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Our park : an historical geography of Stanley Park from its closest neighbours Mulat, Alyssa Apr 11, 2016

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Report prepared at the request of the West End Memories Project, in partial fulfilment of GEOG 429: Research in Historical Geography, for Dr. David Brownstein.       OUR PARK: An Historical Geography of Stanley Park from its Closest Neighbours  ALYSSA MULAT  SUBMITTED APRIL 11th, 2016             ABSTRACT: Stanley(Park,(Vancouver’s(10016acre(crowning(glory,(has(been(in(continual(dialectical(relationship(with(the(citizens(that(populate(the(city(located(right(outside(its(boundaries.(Through(oral(history(interviews(and(story(submissions(from(former(residents(of(Vancouver’s(West(End(neighbourhood,(I(explore(how(what(was(a(familial,(close6knit(neighbourhood(during(the(1940s(and(1950s(came(under(drastic(changes(in(the(latter(half(of(the(century.(Rapid(development(of(apartment(buildings(led(to(an(increase(in(park(users.(I(argue(that(with(an(increased(population(accessing(the(park,(planning(decisions(for(Stanley(Park(need(to(mediate(between(widely(varied(ideas(about(how(to(properly(manage(nature.(!! 1!INTRODUCTION  ! World(renowned!for!its!expansiveness,!natural!beauty,!and!ample!amenities,!Stanley!Park!is!an!iconic!feature!of!the!city!of!Vancouver.!However,!Stanley!Park!is!not!just!a!natural!expanse!of!forest;!it!is!a!space!that!is!both!personal!and!political,!with!a!history!characterized!by!an!increasing!number!of!invested!park!users!with!competing!ideas!about!the!park’s!purpose.!!Stanley!Park!grew!up!alongside!the!city,!as!the!newly!formed!City!Council!decided!at!their!first!meeting!in!1886,!to!petition!the!federal!government!to!set!aside!the!1,001!acre!peninsula!as!a!park!instead!of!a!military!reserve.1!In!1888,!Stanley!Park!was!officially!opened,!and!Mayor!David!Oppenheimer!declared!it!to!be!for!visitors!to!“spend!some!time!amid!the!beauties!of!nature!away!from!the!busy!haunts!of!men”.2!However,!this!simplistic!notion!of!a!park!space!would!soon!prove!to!be!problematic,!as!Stanley!Park!became!increasingly!utilized!and!conflicting!ideologies!over!how!the!park!should!be!best!managed!arose.3!In!this!historical!account,!I!examine!how!the!interaction!of!the!city!with!the!Stanley!Park!was!affected!by!rapid!changes!in!the!character!of!Vancouver’s!West!End!neighbourhood!in!the!mid(century.!By!weaving!oral!history!interviews!and!anecdotes!together!from!a!group!of!people!who!spent!their!childhoods!in!the!West!End,!I!animate!a!narrative!of!neighbourhood!change,!and!illustrate!the!unique!importance!of!this!vast!park!to!the!kids!who!grew!up!beside!it.!I!also!examine!how!an!increasing!number!of!users!in!Stanley!Park!over!the!last!half!of!the!20th!century!affected!planning!decisions,!specifically!in!relation!to!the!impassioned!conflict!between!pedestrians!and!bicyclists!over!access!to!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!R.!Steele,!The(Stanley(Park(Explorer,!North!Vancouver,!1985.!2!C.!Davis,!The(Greater(Vancouver(Book:(An(Urban(Encyclopedia,!Surrey,!1997,!52.!3!S.!Kheraj,!Inventing(Stanley(Park:(An(Environmental(History,!Vancouver,!2013.!!! 2!seawall.!Together,!these!historical!narratives!exemplify!the!way!that!personal!experience!and!connection!with!a!physical!space!has!become!so!tightly!wound!up!in!the!heavily!politicized!debates!in!decisions!around!planning!in!Stanley!Park.! BEFORE THE HOUSING BOOM: THE WEST END IN THE 1940s and 50s ! All!of!the!former!West!Enders!I!interviewed!remembered!their!childhood!in!the!West!End!fondly,!enthusiastically!explaining!how!their!little!corner!of!the!world!was!an!absolutely!wonderful!place!to!grow!up.!The!West!End!in!the!1940s!and!50s!was!an!affordable!primarily!family(oriented!area,!and!the!children!who!grew!up!there!seemed!to!have!a!sense!of!freedom!in!the!neighbourhood!that!does!not!exist!to!the!same!extent!today.!!At!the!beginning!of!the!century,!the!West!End!had!been!home!to!some!of!Vancouver’s!wealthiest!elite,!living!in!grand!detached!Victorian!houses.!However,!this!began!to!change!as!the!central!business!district!expanded!into!the!West!End,!and!as!single(family!houses!began!to!be!converted!into!multi(occupancy!suites!and!rooming!houses.4!Wealthier!families!began!to!depart!to!other,!more!fashionable!neighbourhoods!such!as!Shaughnessy!and!West!Vancouver!after!the!Lions!Gate!Bridge!was!completed!in!1938.5!The!depression!and!WWII!further!invoked!a!distinct!transformation!in!the!character!of!the!neighbourhood!from!a!wealthy,!exclusive!area!of!single(family!homes!to!one!with!more!mid(!to!lower(class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!4!G.!Gray,!V.!Keddie,!and!J.!Kwan,!Patterns(of(Neighbourhood(Change:(The(West(End(of(Vancouver:(Report(to(the(Ministry(of(State(for(Urban(Affairs,!Vancouver,!1976,!24;!P.!Roy,!Vancouver:(An(Illustrated(History,(Toronto,!1980,!108.!!5!P.!Roy,!Vancouver:(An(Illustrated(History,!137;!G.!Gray,!Patterns(of(Neighbourhood(Change,(28!! 3!families!living!in!subdivided!houses!and!low(rise!apartment!blocks!(see$Figure$1).6!!(Figure$1)!An!aerial!view!of!the!West!End!in!1957,!right!before!the!construction!boom.!There!were!still!some!old!detached!homes,!interspersed!between!a!growing!number!of!low(rise!apartment!buildings.!The!Sylvia!Hotel,!located!on!the!left!of!the!photo,!was!the!tallest!building!in!the!area!at!8!storeys.!Photo(by(Chas.(S.(Jones,(Vancouver(Daily(Province.(City(of(Vancouver(Archives,(Major(Matthews(Fonds.(Collected(photographs.(Ref.(code(AM546S46:(Dist(P133.((!Bryan!Cousineau,!a!former!West!Ender,!remembers!the!West!End!of!his!childhood!as!a!“real!neighbourhood,”!in!which!kids!could!wander!all!over!the!area,!only!returning!home!at!the!resounding!clang!of!the!9!o’clock!gun!sounding!from!Brockton!Point!in!Stanley!Park.7!!  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!6!P.!Roy,!Vancouver:(An(Illustrated(History,!143.!7!B.!Cousineau,!interview!by!author.!Tape!recording.!Richmond,!BC,!5!March,!2016.!!! 4!FREEDOM TO ROAM: MEMORIES OF STANLEY PARK DURING THE MID-CENTURY For!children!and!teens!growing!up!in!the!West!End!in!the!mid(century,!Stanley!Park!was!an!extension!of!the!territory!they!would!roam;!in!essence,!it!was!their!backyard.!Roberta!Forster!Sheppard,!who!spent!her!childhood!in!the!West!End!and!graduated!from!King!George!High!School!in!1955,!said,!“looking!back!I!now!realize!that!probably!the!best!gift!of!those!early!days!was!the!freedom!we!had!as!youngsters!exploring!and!enjoying!the!whole!area!on!our!own!after!school.”8!For!each!of!the!people!I!interviewed,!the!park!had!a!different!meaning,!with!different!memories!attached!to!their!experience,!but!all!were!in!agreement!that!Stanley!Park!played!a!uniquely!important!role!in!their!childhood.!Born!in!the!West!End!in!1933,!5(year(old!entrepreneur!Herb!Nolan!walked!down!to!Stanley!Park!with!his!little!red!wagon,!collecting!cans!and!bottles!from!the!beaches!to!return!and!could!cobble!together!enough!coins!to!buy!himself!an!ice!cream.!Herb!gleefully!described!how!jealous!his!friends!were!of!his!spending!money,!especially!at!a!time!when!most!people!did!not!have!much!to!spare.9!!In!the!early!1950s,!before!1962’s!Hurricane!Freda!felled!large!swathes!of!trees,!Kent!Pearson!hiked!and!played!with!his!friends!in!what!was!then!a!denser!forest.10!Living!in!the!West!End!for!her!whole!life,!Maggie!Tidswell!was!passionate!about!encountering!nature!in!Stanley!Park!as!a!child,!and!still!visits!the!park!regularly!at!present!day.!As!a!child,!she!spent!afternoons!on!the!beaches,!exploring!the!tide!pools!with!the!starfish!and!sea!urchins.11!For!others,!the!park!was!a!place!where!they!learned!and!grew.!Like!many!other!West!End!kids!of!the!1950s,!Roberta!Forster!Sheppard!and!Carol!Ramseth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!8!R.!Forster!Sheppard,!e(mail!message!to!author,!7!March,!2016.!9!H.!Nolan,!interview!by!author.!Tape!recording.!North!Vancouver,!BC.!6!March,!2016.!!10!K.!Pearson,!e(mail!message!to!author,!24!February,!2016.!!11!M.!Tidswell,!interview!by!author!over!phone.!Tape!recording.!27!February,!2016.!! 5!remember!taking!swimming!lessons!in!the!park,!either!at!Second!Beach!or!the!former!pool!at!Lumberman’s!Arch.12!Ron!Wasko,!who!has!lived!in!the!West!End!for!all!of!his!62!years,!found!a!different!sort!of!freedom!in!the!park’s!trails!through!several!wild!teenage!nights!spent!drinking!and!carousing!with!friends!under!the!cover!of!nightfall.13!Recreational!opportunities!in!the!park!also!extended!to!skating!on!Lost!Lagoon,!and!many!children!and!teenagers!would!take!advantage!of!the!rare!occasion!when!it!would!freeze!over.14!For!Gary!Pennington,!who!was!born!in!the!West!End!in!the!late!1930s,!Stanley!Park!was!so!enticing!that!in!grade!four!when!he!was!supposed!to!be!on!bed!rest!to!recover!from!what!the!doctors!believed!was!tuberculosis,!he!would!sneak!out!to!explore!the!vast!expanse!of!the!park.15!For!a!generation!of!West!End!children,!Stanley!Park!was!theirs!to!freely!reign!over,!a!backyard!park!rather!than!a!bustling!regional!attraction.!!!1957-PRESENT: THE WEST END CONSTRUCTION BOOM During!the!1940s!and!early!1950s,!the!West!End!remained!a!neighbourhood!characterized!by!families!living!in!suites!in!older!homes!or!low(rise!apartment!buildings,!however,!the!late!1950s!marked!the!beginning!of!a!time!of!protracted!development!and!population!growth!in!the!area.!While!some!boxy!low(rise!apartment!blocks!had!been!built!in!the!early!1950s,!the!City!Planning!department!criticized!the!lack!of!aesthetic!quality!of!these!developments,!and!recognized!that!the!valuable,!central!land!in!the!West!End!would!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!12!C.!Ramseth,!interview!by!author!over!phone.!Tape!recording.!February!28,!2016;!R.!Forster!Sheppard!e(mail,!March!7,!2016.!13!R.!Wasko,!interview!by!author.!Tape!recording.!Vancouver,!BC,!26!February,!2016.!!14!Susan!and!Pyers!Mostyn,!interview!by!author.!Nanaimo,!BC.!4!March,!2016.!!15!G.!Pennington,!interview!by!author,!answers!submitted!by!e(mail.!6!March,!2016.!!! 6!be!better!utilized!as!a!higher(density!residential!area.16!At!this!point!in!time,!the!tallest!building!in!the!neighbourhood!was!the!8(storey!Sylvia!Hotel,!while!other!developments!were!restricted!in!height!to!a!maximum!of!six!storeys.!Susan!and!Pyers!Mostyn!grew!up!and!met!each!other!in!the!West!End,!and!held!their!wedding!reception!the!Sylvia!Hotel’s!restaurant,!whose!slogan!was!“Dine!in!the!Sky.”17!!The!West!End!skyline!drastically!changed!in!1957,!when!City!Council!lifted!the!6(storey!building!restriction.!What!followed!was!a!huge!construction!boom!in!which!over!1,000!suites!were!built!each!year!from!1958(1971.18!Susan!and!Pyers!Mostyn!remember!how!the!familial!feel!of!the!neighbourhood!started!to!dissipate!during!this!time.!When!they!got!married,!they!moved!to!an!apartment!building!and!found!that!although!people!were!becoming!closer!in!spatial!proximity,!their!neighbours!seemed!to!retreat!more!and!more!into!their!private!spaces,!less!willing!to!develop!relationships.19!By!1963,!there!were!only!115!single(family!homes!left!in!the!West!End,!and!494!multi(occupied!homes.20!In!a!few!short!years,!the!West!End!skyline!went!through!an!extraordinary!transformation,!resulting!in!a!neighbourhood!teeming!with!new!high(rise!developments!and!a!rapidly!increasing!population!(see$Figure$2).21!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!16!P.!Roy,!Vancouver:!An!Illustrated!History,!143.!!17!S.!and!P.!Mostyn,!interview!by!author,!4!March!2016.!!18!P.!Roy,!Vancouver:!An!Illustrated!History,!144.!!19!S.!and!P.!Mostyn,!interview!by!author,!4!March!2016.!20!G.!Gray,!Patterns(of(Neighbourhood(Change,!52.!21!M.!Kluckner,!Vancouver(the(Way(it(Was,!North!Vancouver,!1984,!109.!!! 7!!(Figure$2)!An!aerial!view!of!the!West!End!in!197(?,!depicting!just!a!few!of!the!multiple!apartment!buildings!that!were!constructed!during!since!the!building!cap!was!lifted!in!1957.!Photo(by(Westcoast(Transmission(Company.(City(of(Vancouver(Archives,(Westcoast(Transmission(Co.(Limited(fonds.(Box(1746A68,(Ref(code:(AM14356:(CVA(! Not!only!this,!but!the!character!of!the!neighbourhood!had!changed,!from!an!area!occupied!by!many!families,!to!one!with!an!over(representation!of!20(34(year(olds!and!seniors!over!65!years!of!age.22!Carol!Ramseth,!one!of!the!former!children!of!the!West!End,!remembers!how!the!destruction!of!the!old!rooming!houses!and!suites!in!favour!of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!22!G.!Gray,!Patterns(of(Neighbourhood(Change,!66.!!! 8!apartment!developments!created!changes!in!the!neighbourhood!in!which!many!families!with!kids!could!not!afford!to!live!in!the!small!apartments!that!were!being!developed.23!!Kluckner!argues!that!these!apartment!developments!were!more!conducive!to!the!population!of!single!professionals,!an!outcome!desired!by!Vancouver!City!Council!to!provide!a!supply!of!office(workers!to!the!rapidly!expanding!Central!Business!District.24!Whereas!many!of!the!people!I!interviewed!remember!the!West!End!as!a!family!neighbourhood,!the!building!boom!after!1957!heralded!a!new!era!of!high(density!apartment!living,!in!which!the!relational!ties!that!used!to!characterize!the!area!became!increasingly!hard!to!foster.!!!!AN INCREASING PARK POPULATION In!a!1969!study!on!the!West!End,!Roger!W.!Patillo!found!that!Stanley!Park!was!an!important!outdoor!recreation!resource!for!Vancouverites,!but!even!at!that!time,!“it!bec[ame]!so!crowded!on!weekends!and!holidays!that!it!tend[ed]!to!lose!its!appeal”.25!Not!only!was!it!a!park!for!Vancouver’s!citizens,!but!it!also!drew!tourists!and!visitors!from!all!over!Southern!British!Columbia.26!With!an!increasing!population,!the!park!found!a!rise!in!the!number!of!people!accessing!the!facilities,!with!widely!varied!ideas!about!what!a!park!should!provide!for!its!users.!A!myriad!of!conflicting!interests!plagued!the!park!from!the!beginning,!with!the!Parks!Board!left!trying!to!mediate!between!citizens!with!different!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!23!C.!Ramseth,!interview!by!author,!28!February!2016.!!24!M.!Kluckner,!Vancouver(the(Way(it(Was,!115.!!25!R.W.!Patillo,!West(End(of(Vancouver,(“A(Social(Profile,”!Vancouver,!1969,!10.!!26!R.!Steele,!First(100(Years:(An(Illustrated(Celebration,(Vancouver,!1988,!21.!!! 9!views!on!commercialization,!conservation,!recreation,!and!access!in!the!park.27!Robert!A.J.!Macdonald!outlines!the!way!that!the!future!of!Stanley!Park!was!hotly!contested!at!the!beginning!of!the!century,!particularly!evident!in!the!debate!over!the!construction!of!an!athletic!stadium!in!a!marshy!area!of!Coal!Harbour.28!This!debate!sharply!divided!along!class!lines!the!“elite”!who!wanted!to!preserve!a!more!natural,!untouched!park!aesthetic!from!the!“middle(class”!users!those!who!supported!developing!Stanley!Park!into!a!utilitarian,!recreational!space.29!While!the!area!at!Coal!Harbour!was!turned!into!the!artificially!created!Lost!Lagoon,!the!Parks!Board!did!recognize!the!need!to!take!into!consideration!the!diverse!needs!of!park!visitors!and!add!some!practical!recreational!facilities,!such!as!tennis!courts!and!children’s!playgrounds!to!promote!usability!of!the!park!along!with!conserving!its!natural!elements.30!These!issues!and!debates!would!become!even!more!intense!with!the!rapid!development!and!accompanying!rising!population!in!the!last!half!of!the!century.!! THE HISTORY OF THE SEAWALL One!example!of!the!extent!of!public!outcry!over!decisions!of!the!park!was!the!controversy!over!the!seawall!in!the!late!1970s.!Many!whom!I!interviewed!consider!the!seawall!to!be!an!iconic!feature!of!Stanley!Park.!In!the!early!1900s,!English!landscape!architect!Thomas!Mawson!presented!plans!for!beautifying!Stanley!Park,!and!while!most!of!his!plans!were!not!implemented,!it!did!result!in!the!beginning!of!construction!on!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!27!E.!Swantje,!Stanley!Park:!Tourism!and!development,!B.C.(Historical(News,!1998.!!28!R.!McDonald,!‘Holy!retreat’!or!‘practical!breathing!spot’?:!Class!perceptions!of!Vancouver’s!Stanley!Park,!1910(1913,!Canadian(Historical(Review,!1984.!!29!R.!McDonald,!‘Holy!retreat’!or!‘practical!breathing!spot’,!135.!!30!R.!McDonald,!‘Holy!retreat’!or!‘practical!breathing!spot’,!147.!!! 10!seawall.31!The!seawall!was!not!originally!envisioned!as!a!connected!path,!rather!a!set!of!separate!walls,!but!Park!Superintendent!W.S.!Rawlings!was!the!first!to!see!the!potential!of!linking!the!paths.32!Growing!up!in!the!West!End!between!1944(1963,!Bryan!Cousineau!used!to!run!with!a!club!at!the!YMCA,!and!sometimes!their!path!would!lead!them!through!Stanley!Park.33!He!would!often!run!into!a!man!named!Mr.!Cunningham,!the!master!stonemason!who!dedicated!decades!of!his!life!to!building!the!seawall!in!what!Gary!Pennington!described!as!a!“major!labour!of!love.”34!While!Mr.!Cunningham!was!not!the!most!talkative!fellow,!for!years!Bryan!enjoyed!watching!him!make!his!own!cement!and!fit!rocks!into!the!wall,!slowly!progressing!through!the!park.!As!the!wall!was!not!completed!until!the!1980s,!Bryan!remembers!that!there!were!large!gaps!in!it,!where!the!path!would!just!come!to!an!end!without!warning!lights!or!flashers,!necessitating!sharp!halts!if!one!was!not!paying!enough!attention.35! PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS: GROWING TENSION ! Even!before!the!completion!of!the!seawall,!tensions!in!the!park!between!pedestrians!and!bicyclists!began!to!rise!during!the!early!1970s.!While!bicycle!usage!along!the!trails!of!the!park!was!a!common!occurrence!since!the!early!days!of!the!park,!an!increased!population!of!park!users!and!the!fitness!craze!of!the!1970s!led!to!the!creation!of!the!first!bicycle!path!in!the!interior!of!the!park,!which!was!mostly!abandoned!in!favour!of!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!31!P.!Roy,!Vancouver:(An(Illustrated(History,!106.!!32!R.!Steele,!First(100(Years,(22.!33!B.!Cousineau,!interview!by!author,!6!March!2016.!!34!G.!Pennington,!interview!by!author,!6!March!2016.!!35!B.!Cousineau,!interview!by!author,!5!March!2016.!! 11!seawall.36!Access!to!the!seawall!soon!became!a!point!of!contention!between!park!users.!Dozens!of!citizens!sent!letters!to!the!Board!of!Parks!and!Recreation,!on!one!side!from!pedestrians!concerned!with!maintaining!a!peaceful!park!atmosphere,!and!on!the!other!side!from!bicyclists!wanting!more!access!to!different!parts!of!the!park.!For!example,!a!79(year(old!man!named!William!Dey!wrote!a!particularly!incensed!letter!to!the!Parks!Board!and!the!Mayor!after!a!collision!with!a!bicyclist!in!an!area!that!was!supposed!to!restricted!to!pedestrian!use!only.37!Mr.!Dey!announced!that!he!would!be!bringing!damages!against!the!Parks!Board!and!the!city!for!the!injuries!he!sustained!in!the!accident,!arguing!that!they!were!not!doing!enough!to!enforce!the!by(law!restricting!bicycle!users!to!certain!areas!in!the!park.!In!response!to!this!growing!issue,!in!1977,!City!Council!and!the!Board!of!Parks!and!Recreation!put!forth!a!plan!to!widen!the!seawall,!in!order!to!accommodate!both!pedestrians!and!bicyclists.38!Financed!in!partnership!with!a!charitable!group!called!the!Devonian!Foundation,!the!plan!proposed!a!widening!of!seawall!at!seven!strategic!points,!from!the!existing!11ft!to!20ft!with!separate!paths!for!pedestrians!and!bicyclists!(see$Figure$3).!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!36!M.!Kluckner,!Vancouver(the(Way(it(Was,!38.!!37!City!of!Vancouver!Archives,!City!of!Vancouver!Fonds,!Mayor’s!Office!General!Correspondence,!COV(S483((,!Box!48(G(2,!folder!100,!W.!Dey!to!Mayor!and!Aldermen!of!the!City!of!Vancouver!and!the!Chairman!and!Members!of!the!Vancouver!Parks!Board,!15!May!1978.!!38Ibid,!Finance!Department!to!City!Manager,!Subject:!Stanley!Park!Seawall,!December!7!1977.!!!! 12!!(Figure 3) A map of Stanley Park highlighting the seven points along the sewall route to be expanded, and a cross-section rendering of the proposed division between cyclists and pedestrians. City of Vancouver Archives, City of Vancouver Fonds, Mayor’s Office General Correspondence, Box 48, file 100.  The!Parks!Board!hoped!that!this!would!alleviate!the!issue!around!bicyclists!and!pedestrians,!but!they!were!not!prepared!for!the!flurry!of!protest!that!ensued!from!numerous!park!stakeholders!after!the!proposal!was!introduced.!The!British!Columbia!Hotels’!Association!argued!that!“this!great!attraction,!with!its!present!beauty!and!tranquility,!should!not!be!despoiled!by!the!noise!and!bustle!of!cycle!traffic.39!Some!citizens!questioned!whether!there!may!be!other,!more!effective!alternatives!to!widening!the!seawall,!such!as!increased!policing!of!bicyclists’!behaviour!or!restricting!cars!in!the!park!to!open!up!more!roads!for!cyclists.40!Others!were!concerned!about!the!environmental!impact!of!the!widened!seawall,!firmly!against!developments!that!would!negatively!affect!the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!39!City!of!Vancouver!Archives,!City!of!Vancouver!Fonds,!Mayor’s!Office!general!correspondence,!COV(S483((,!Box!48(G(2,!folder!100,!Louis!Valiente,!President,!Vancouver!Zone,!the!British!Columbia!Hotels’!Association!to!Mayor!J.!Volrich!and!Members!of!Council,!12!October!1977.!40!Ibid.,!W.E.!Brennan!to!Mayor!Jack!Volrich,!17!August!1977;!Ibid.,!A.!Edgar!to!City!Council,!21!August!1977.!!! 13!natural!elements!and!increase!the!noise!and!busyness!of!the!park.41!The!Renfrew!Collingwood!Citizens’!Association!called!for!more!citizen!participation!in!park!planning!through!more!consultation!and!a!plebiscite!about!major!changes!such!as!the!widening!of!the!seawall.!42!!The!West!End!Community!Association!queried!whether!the!funding!provided!by!the!Devonian!Group!would!be!better!utilized!to!improve!a!different!aspect!of!Stanley!Park,!and!ultimately!called!for!more!transparency!and!explanation!be!provided!before!the!project!was!moved!forward.43!In!an!intensely!heated!public!meeting!that!same!year!with!200!in!attendance,!stark!adversarial!defences!were!voiced!between!pedestrians!who!“saw!the!carnage!that!is!reaped!by!our!adventurous!cyclists,”!and!bicyclists!maintaining!that!both!forms!of!mobility!should!be!able!to!coexist!on!the!seawall.44!Apart!from!Alderman!Warnett!Kennedy,!who!believed!that!“the!seawall!was!built!for!pedestrians!and!to!widen!it!would!be!to!destroy!its!intimate!privacy,”!City!Council!and!the!Parks!Board!remained!staunchly!in!favour!of!the!project.45!Despite!this!ardent!opposition!by!a!large!group!of!concerned!citizens,!City!Council!and!the!Parks!Board!decided!to!go!ahead!with!the!proposed!widening!of!the!seawall!in!the!early!1980s,!much!to!the!dismay!of!those!who!enjoyed!the!once!peaceful!pedestrian!nature!of!the!pathway.!!   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!41!Ibid.,!James!Craig!to!His!Worship!the!Mayor!and!Members!of!Council,!15!August,!1977.!!42!Ibid.,!Bill!Funk,!Chairman!of!Renfrew!Collingwood!Citizens’!Association!to!Vancouver!Board!of!Parks!and!Public!Recreation,!20!September!1977.!43!Ibid.,!Brief!Presented!to!City!Council!by!the!West!End!Community!Association,!12!July!1977.!!44!Ibid.,!Seawall!Widening!Opposition:!Cyclists!Run!into!Pedestrians,!clipping!of!a!newspaper!article!by!Carolyn!Volkart,!date!unknown.!!45!Ibid.!! 14!THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SEAWALL CONTROVERSY ! While!Vancouver’s!City!Council!and!the!Parks!Board!ultimately!decided!that!widening!the!seawall!would!be!the!most!beneficial!way!forward,!the!long!extent!of!the!conflict!and!the!number!of!people!involved!signalled!the!need!to!manage!a!highly!invested,!highly!polarized!public!opinion!on!issues!around!the!future!of!the!park.!Up!until!the!1980s,!Parks!Board!had!employed!an!“ad!hoc!approach!to!development…![in!which]!facilities!and!services!have!been!added!to!the!park!on!a!project!by!project!basis!with!each!Parks!Board!carefully!weighing!the!impact!of!each!new!addition.46!However,!diversity!in!public!opinion!over!the!seawall,!traffic!congestion,!and!other!issues!in!the!park!prompted!a!need!for!a!revised!method!of!approaching!these!issues.!In!1985,!the!Vancouver!Board!of!Parks!and!Recreation!published!a!comprehensive!Stanley!Park!Master!Plan,!outlining!the!existing!issues!in!the!park!and!proposing!a!long(term!strategy!for!managing!development!in!the!park.47!For!the!first!time,!decisions!made!around!conservation,!recreation,!transportation,!and!commercial!operations!in!this!large,!complex!park!would!be!guided!by!a!more!holistic,!forward(thinking!approach!to!parks!management.!The!Master!Plan!recognized!the!need!to!“provide!a!comprehensive!mix!of!recreation!facilities!and!activities!to!a!wide!range!of!user!groups”!while!still!maintaining!the!natural!aspects!of!the!park!that!were!so!quintessential!to!the!Stanley!Park!experience.48!!  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!46!City!of!Vancouver!Archives,!City!Publications!Collection,!PUB(:!PD!2312,!Stanley(Park(Master(Plan:(Draft(Report,!published!by!Vancouver!Park!Board!1985,!i.!!47!Ibid.,!ii.!!48!Ibid.,!8(46.!!! 15!CONCLUSION Since!its!foundations!in!the!late!1800s,!Stanley!Park,!Vancouver’s!green!crown,!has!historically!been!both!a!personal!and!political!space.!For!those!who!grew!up!in!the!West!End!in!the!1940s!and!50s,!Stanley!Park!was!a!their!backyard,!a!place!where!they!would!freely!roam,!play,!and!safely!return!home!after!a!long!day!spent!in!the!sunshine.!It!was!a!place!where!they!grew!up,!learned!new!things,!played!sports,!got!into!mischief,!played!with!their!friends,!and!interacted!with!nature!with!freedom.!However,!as!old!rooming!houses!and!heritage!homes!were!replaced!with!high(rises!during!the!building!boom!of!the!early!1960s,!the!neighbourhood!changed!in!a!few!short!decades.!City!Council!and!the!Parks!Board!had!to!mediate!the!concerns!of!a!rapidly!increasing!population!with!a!large!diversity!in!opinion!over!how!Stanley!Park!should!be!used,!a!problem!exemplified!in!the!heated!controversy!between!pedestrians!and!bicyclists!over!the!rights!to!the!seawall.!This!led!to!the!adoption!of!a!more!comprehensive!approach!to!park!planning!with!the!Stanley!Park!Master!Plan!in!1985,!but!as!Vancouver’s!population!continues!to!grow,!there!will!certainly!be!more!debate!between!keenly!invested!park!users!with!a!diversity!of!opinion!on!conservation,!safety,!commercialization,!recreation,!and!development!in!Stanley!Park.!When!I!asked!the!former!West!Enders!that!I!interviewed!what!the!purpose!the!park!should!serve,!many!of!their!answers!harkened!back!to!the!original!vision!for!the!park!as!an!escape!from!the!city!for!all!people!to!enjoy!nature!and!recreation.!The!changing!character!of!the!West!End!may!mean!that!that!there!are!fewer!children!who!have!as!intimate!an!experience!as!these!neighbourhood!kids!did,!however,!Stanley!Park!remains!an!important!feature!in!the!cultural!landscape!of!Vancouver.!Going!forward,!Vancouver!City!Council!and!the!Parks!Board!need!take!into!consideration!the!opinions!of!all!park!users!to!ensure!that!Stanley!! 16!Park!continues!to!be!a!space!where!people!can!encounter!nature!and!others!in!a!truly!personal!and!impacting!way.!The!living!memories!of!these!former!children!of!the!West!End!provide!an!intimate!look!at!how!truly!important!this!enormous!park!is!to!our!city.!! “The purpose of the park, from a person who has frequented it intimately for over 75 years, is to have it as a sanctuary from every day life that is often fraught with work, busyness, congestion, and economic pursuits.  It is a most welcome break from the necessary routines of life that engage us.  Stanley Park renews those who enter its confines and reminds us of the importance of silence, nature, and wonder in our lives. It makes us more human and that needs to be foremost in any future plans for its use and development.  Sometimes no change is for the better.  Let us please leave this natural wonder as it is as our gift for generations to come. “49   – Gary Pennington, former West Ender, current West End historian and activist   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!49!G.!Pennington,!interview!by!author,!6!March!2016.!!!! 17!BIBLIOGRAPHY  PRIMARY SOURCES !B.!Cousineau,!interview!by!author.!Tape!recording.!Richmond,!BC,!5!March,!2016!!R.!Forster!Sheppard,!e(mail!message!to!author,!7!March,!2016!!E.!Molnar,!interview!by!author!over!phone.!7!March,!2016!!Susan!and!Pyers!Mostyn,!interview!by!author.!Nanaimo,!BC.!4!March,!2016!!H.!Nolan,!interview!by!author.!Tape!recording.!North!Vancouver,!BC.!6!March,!2016!!K.!Pearson,!e(mail!message!to!author,!24!February,!2016!!G.!Pennington,!interview!by!author,!answers!submitted!by!e(mail.!6!March,!2016!!C.!Ramseth,!interview!by!author!over!phone.!Tape!recording.!February!28,!2016!!M.!Tidswell,!interview!by!author!over!phone.!Tape!recording.!27!February,!2016!!R.!Wasko,!interview!by!author.!Tape!recording.!Vancouver,!BC,!26!February,!2016!!City!of!Vancouver!Archives,!City!of!Vancouver!Fonds,!Mayor’s!Office!General!Correspondence,!COV(S483((,!Box!48(G(2,!folder!100!W.!Brennan!to!Mayor!Jack!Volrich,!17!August!1977!Brief!Presented!to!City!Council!by!the!West!End!Community!Association,!12!July!1977!J.!Craig!to!His!Worship!the!Mayor!and!Members!of!Council,!15!August,!1977!W.!Dey!to!Mayor!and!Aldermen!of!the!City!of!Vancouver!and!the!Chairman!and!Members!of!the!Vancouver!Parks!Board,!15!May!1978!A.!Edgar!to!City!Council,!21!August!1977!Finance!Department!to!City!Manager,!Subject:!Stanley!Park!Seawall,!December!7!1977!B.!Funk,!Chairman!of!Renfrew!Collingwood!Citizens’!Association!to!Vancouver!Board!of!Parks!and!Public!Recreation,!20!September!1977!L.Valiente,!President,!Vancouver!Zone,!the!British!Columbia!Hotels’!Association!to!Mayor!J.!Volrich!and!Members!of!Council,!12!October!1977!Seawall!Widening!Opposition:!Cyclists!Run!into!Pedestrians,!clipping!of!a!newspaper!article!by!Carolyn!Volkart,!date!unknown!!City!of!Vancouver!Archives,!City!Publications!Collection,!PUB(:!PD!2312,!Stanley(Park(Master(Plan:(Draft(Report,!published!by!Vancouver!Park!Board!1985!![Aerial!view!of!the!West!End!showing!the!increase!of!apartment!buildings!west!of!Cardero!Street],!Vancouver,!B.C.,!1957.!Photo!by!Chas.!S.!Jones,!Vancouver!Daily!Province.!City!of!Vancouver!Archives,!Major!Matthews!Fonds.!Collected!photographs.!Ref.!code!AM54(S4(:!Dist!P133.!!!British!Columbia!–!Vancouver!skyline!(aerial!photograph!showing!apartment!buildings!in!the!West!End!of!Vancouver,!Vancouver,!B.C.,!197(?.!Photo!by!Westcoast!Transmission!Company.!City!of!Vancouver!Archives,!Westcoast!Transmission!Co.!Limited!fonds.!Box!174(A(8,!Ref!code:!AM1435(:!CVA!1435(132!!!! 18!SECONDARY SOURCES !C.!Davis,!The(Greater(Vancouver(Book:(An(Urban(Encyclopedia,!Surrey,!1997!!G.!Gray,!V.!Keddie,!and!J.!Kwan,!Patterns(of(Neighbourhood(Change:(The(West(End(of(Vancouver:(Report(to(the(Ministry(of(State(for(Urban(Affairs,!Vancouver,!1976!!S.!Kheraj,!Inventing(Stanley(Park:(An(Environmental(History,!Vancouver,!2013!!M.!Kluckner,!Vancouver(the(Way(it(Was,!North!Vancouver,!1984!!R.!McDonald,!‘Holy!retreat’!or!‘practical!breathing!spot’?:!Class!perceptions!of!Vancouver’s!Stanley!Park,!1910(1913,!Canadian(Historical(Review,!1984!!R.W.!Patillo,!West(End(of(Vancouver,(“A(Social(Profile,”!Vancouver,!1969!!P.!Roy,!Vancouver:(An(Illustrated(History,(Toronto,!1980!!R.!Steele,!First(100(Years:(An(Illustrated(Celebration,(Vancouver,!1988!!R.!Steele,!The(Stanley(Park(Explorer,!North!Vancouver,!1985!!E.!Swantje,!Stanley!Park:!Tourism!and!development,!B.C.(Historical(News,!1998.! 

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