Stanley Park miniature train to return as Vancouver gets an unexpected early Christmas present

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      In a gift that possibly no one except for Kris Kringle and the ghost of Bing Crosby saw coming, it’s back for the first time in three years. Thanks to a team of donors, the Stanley Park miniature train will be back on the tracks for the 2023 holiday season.

      The City made the announcement this afternoon, with Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim crediting both the corporate sector and private citizens on the fundraising front.

      The Stanley Park miniature train was taken out of commission in 2020 as COVID-19 locked down the world. Even as things began to return to normalcy, both the train and miniature railway remained closed, with staff citing structural concerns around the track and problems getting parts for the built-in-1961 locomotives as major problems. As a result, two much-loved Vancouver traditions—Stanley Park Bright Lights and the Stanley Park Ghost Train—were lost over the past three years.

      Earlier this fall, the Vancouver Park Board announced that there would be no Ghost Train for 2023, which led most to conclude that the Bright Lights celebration wasn’t going to happen, either.

      So it was a surprise when Sim announced that restoration on the track and trains had been completed.

      In a release, he said: “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to community champions for their generous philanthropic support in the restoration of this beloved holiday attraction. Specifically, we express our gratitude to the Beedie Foundation, Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation, Diamond Foundation, The Lyall Family, Jeff Stibbard, and The 625 Powell Street Foundation for their invaluable contributions.”

      As always, funds raised by the Christmas Bright Lights celebration in the park will go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.

      Starting November 9, tickets for the Bright Lights Train can be purchased for a designated time slot. And as sure as you’re doing to be watching ElfA Christmas Story, and Silent Night, Deadly Night this holiday season, you can bet those tickets will, after a three-year pause, sell out.

      Stanley Night Bright Lights

      Where: Stanley Park Miniature Train

      When: November 30 to January 6

      Tickets: Available online