Five hidden places to bask in the Vancouver sun

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      Damn, is our city ever beautiful when the rain stops for a minute.

      We all know about our wonderful parks and beaches, but that’s not all we have to offer in terms of urban outdoor space. If you’re looking for an idyllic place to soak up that glorious sun, consider one of these hidden spots.

      Beer Island

      Beer Island is a charming little peninsula in Olympic Village. Despite its name, it’s not actually an island (it’s connected to the mainland via a short, narrow path off the seawall)—but once you’re there, you really do feel like you’ve found your own little oasis.

      Sun Yat-Sen Park 

      Amid the urban busyness of Chinatown is the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: a Ming Dynasty-era green space boasting winding paths, intentionally-placed rocks, and tons of flora, which you can access for a fee. However, the adjacent Sun Yat-Sen Park plays host to a tranquil pond, a pagoda, and serene greenery—for no cost at all. 

      Vancouver Public Library rooftop aka the Phillips, Hager and North Garden

      Panoramic views of the city skyline are on offer at this ninth-floor rooftop sanctuary above the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch. Named the Phillips, Hager and North Garden, the space is accessible to the public during library hours. It boasts drought-resistant local greenery—like arbutus hedges and maple trees—along with 52 solar panels. Grab a book and your lunch, and enjoy peace among other urban serenity seekers.

      Nitobe Gardens 

      The University of British Columbia’s Nitobe Memorial Garden is revered as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, with blooming cherry blossoms, maple trees, and koi ponds. Anyone can enter this immersive space Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 4:30pm.

      Laurel Landbridge Park Trail to Charleson Park

      In Fairview, a short but unexpected respite from urban surroundings is found via the Laurel Landbridge Park walking trail, which leads to Charleson Park’s waterfall and pond. A waterfall in the middle of the city? Yeah—you read that right. Follow the pathway lined with lush greens to an outlook platform that reveals a city-protected view of the Lions and Crown Mountain, plus find the city’s hidden waterfall nearby.