|Siwash RockSiwash Rock is a 32 million-year-old sea stack (rock outcropping) located just off the seawall between Third Beach and Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park. It is between 15 and 18 metres tall (50–60 feet). A nearby plaque relates the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish first nation) legend of how a man was transformed into Siwash Rock "as an indestructible monument to Clean Fatherhood" a reward for unselfishness. A lookout above Siwash Rock is accessible from Park Drive or trails leading from Prospect Point and Third Beach. |
Beaver LakeBeaver Lake, often described as a jewel in the centre of the park, is a much visited riparian and wetland feature unique to Stanley Park and in Vancouver. The kilometre-long pathway surrounding the lake allows visitors views of both native and fragrant water lilies which cover most of the lake's surface as well as innumerable waterfowl and, of course, evidence of beavers at work. Beaver Lake is undergoing rapid infilling, though, and could completely disappear within a couple of decades. The Park Board intends to develop a strategy to restore Beaver Lake in order to continue its valuable contribution to biodiversity in the Stanley Park forest and to ensure it is maintained in perpetuity for the enjoyment of all.
Prospect PointStunning views of the Lions Gate Bridge and the entrance to Burrard Inlet can be seen from the viewpoints located here. A two-storey signal station once stood atop Prospect Point to alert approaching vessels of strong tides, winds and maritime traffic at the turn of the century. In June 2009 a naval mast at Lowden's Lookout at Prospect Point was dedicated in a special ceremony led by HRH Prince Edward as part of the beginning of the Canadian Navy's 100th anniversary celebrations.
First Nations Art in the Park
Coast Salish GatewaysThree carved gateways by Coast Salish artist Susan Point were installed at the Brockton Point Visitor Centre in June 2008. The three portals act as entryways into the Brockton Point Visitor Centre, welcoming visitors to the park. These beautifully carved red cedar portals are constructed to represent the traditional slant-roof style of Coast Salish architecture with carved welcome figures in the doorways. Three years in the making, the artworks were developed through collaboration with Coast Salish Arts; Vancouver Storyscapes (a City of Vancouver Social Planning project to encourage aboriginal people to share their stories through a variety of media); the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations; and the Vancouver Park Board.
Totem PolesThe totem pole display area at Brockton Point is the most visited tourist attraction in all of British Columbia and it has an interesting history. In the early 1920s, the elected Park Commissioners of the day supported the idea of constructing an Indian Village in Stanley Park near the Lumbermen's Arch area. This site was chosen as it had been the location of a massive midden, or cultural mound, resulting from years of habitation by the native aboriginal peoples. The midden primarily contained calcined shells that covered an area 8 feet deep over several acres. These shells were so numerous that they were used to surface Stanley Park's first perimeter road. The initial four poles, all from the Alert Bay region on Vancouver Island, were purchased by the Park Board in conjunction with the Art, Historical and Scientific Society (precursor to the Vancouver Museum). Totem pole numbers increased as the City prepared for its Golden Jubilee Celebration in 1936 with additional pieces being purchased from the Queen Charlotte Islands and Rivers Inlet on the central coast of British Columbia. The totem pole exhibit, which never achieved its full village vision, remained at the Lumbermen's Arch location until the early 1960s. When the underpass to the Lumbermen's Arch 'draw and fill' outdoor pool was constructed, the poles were moved to their present location, just east of Brockton Oval, which was considered to offer a more appropriate backdrop with better public access. Several of the original poles had been carved as early as the late 1880s but time plus the elements took their toll over the ensuing decades. The Skedans Mortuary Pole was replaced in 1962 by a replica with all remaining totems being sent to various museums for future preservation and new ones commissioned or loaned to the Park Board between 1986 and 1992. In 2009 a new pole carved by Robert Yelton of the Squamish Nation was added to the site, bringing the total number of poles to nine. The pole pays tribute to Yelton's mother, Rose, who was one of the last residents of Stanley Park.
Raven: Spirit of Transformation A massive second-growth Douglas fir from Brockton Point that was toppled in a windstorm has been transformed into a dazzling raven sculpture. Entitled, "Raven: Spirit of Transformation", the six-foot high and eight-foot wide statue is now on display at Aboriginal Tourism BC's Klahowya Village at the Miniature Railway Plaza in Stanley Park. Four years ago a devastating windstorm struck Stanley Park, leveling 41 hectares of forest. It took 40 Park Board staff working every day from dawn to dusk two weeks to clear the fallen trees and debris from roadways in the park. The tangled chaos that resulted presented incredible challenges, but also extraordinary and unexpected opportunities. Small pieces of wood were given to local woodworkers and craftspeople. Ninety larger pieces of wood or logs were allocated to the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam First Nations—whose traditional territory is Stanley Park—to be used in the creation of canoes, structural beams and artistic and ceremonial pieces. Representatives of the three First Nations selected their favorite pieces of wood. One of those pieces was a Douglas fir stump. The wood was hauled to the Klahowya Village site where it was transformed into a raven sculpture by aboriginal artist Richard Krentz. Carving in the open air, Krentz made the shaping of the statue a public event. "The Raven represents one of the most important figures in west coast First Nations myth," said Krentz. "He's a trickster and change-maker, who is also a protector and guide for humankind." Klahowya Village is a cultural visitor experience that merges traditional artisan village elements with contemporary aboriginal experiences and authentic art, culture and traditions.
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