Stanley Park Bus Loop to Prospect Point
For work there was an opportunity for team building with a couple of folks from back east, specifically, Toronto. When a pandemic is still ongoing, outdoor activities – especially in Vancouver – are a great idea. As a long time Vancouverite, I love showing off the sights and Stanley Park jumps to mind.
As part of team building, you want people who don’t know each other. My challenge for them was to “walk, talk, and look for answers to questions you haven’t been given yet.”
It occurred to me that I should test if what I was going to do was possible, so my wife and I traced the route and made notes for a 10-question quiz.
We started in the Stanley Park bus loop. If you take the 19 bus on West Georgia Street, it takes you to a lovely loop shaded by trees with a little gazebo where you can wait for the team mates who took the wrong bus or were simply late.
This led to the first question, “What is the name of the first stone brick building near the bus loop?” I’ve saved the answers to the questions at the end.
From the stone building we headed left down to a path and turned right. At the point where we turned right there was sign for the Vancouver Aquarium. The second question is, “How many animals does the sign claim are in the Vancouver Aquarium?”
The path now leads to the Seawall. On the day we went, there was a woman trying to sell us small kites and another playing O Danny Boy on a small Guzheng. (Yes, I had to look that up.) You then reach Stanley Park Drive, which you need to cross and then to cross the bike lane to reach the pedestrian Seawall path. You then need to head left to start the walk to our goal of Prospect Point.
It was a low tide when did our walk and this picture shows you just how much water moves in and out.
You will pass on the right a boating facility that led us to ask, “What year was the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club founded?”
Where some of the fancy boats were moored, I noticed the ones there weren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The cruise ship coming out of the port was much bigger than it looks in this photo.
You will pass a sports field on the left, but well inset from the Seawall, named Brockton Oval. This inspired the next question, “What sport do they play on Brockton Oval?”
The next question walked up to us, “What type of horses are used by the Stanley Park horse-drawn tour?”
Not too far past Brockton Oval, we took a left hand turn toward a gift shop and some totem poles. This takes short cut, avoiding Brockton Point and the little lighthouse. From a time perspective, we felt this was a good idea. Plus the gift shop area has washrooms. And it gave us two questions.
“Name the three first Nations associated with Stanley Park.”
“How many totem poles are by the gift shop?”
As you leave the gift shop, you will be crossing Stanley Park Drive once again. We used the marked spot and then returned to the Seawall and turned left. In the park, you will find signs about wildlife. “What is the fine for feeding wildlife?” It’s important to follow the rules as a lot of coyotes during the first two years of the pandemic started behaving very aggressively and were attacking people. My personal view is that with the disruption, their human food supply changed, and the coyotes lost it.
Across the water, in North Vancouver, you will find piles of yellow stuff. A friend once tried to convince tourists it was a large pile of custard. “What is the yellow stuff across the water on the North Shore?”
As we proceeded along the Seawall, there are a couple of sculptures.
“Does the girl in wet suit sculpture depict her mask on the top of her head or around her neck?”
The next sculpture looks so cool. “From what ship does this replica of a ship’s bow figurehead come from?”
As we proceeded further along the Seawall, there’s a children’s splash pad. It’s important to note that for this walk, this is the last chance for a bathroom break before we finished at Prospect Point.
Past this, we looked for a sign that would lead us up to Prospect Point. From what we could tell there were two ways up and the first one seemed the least difficult. The bicycle path that’s on the actual road is a tough one if you’re not used to it.
There’s grand view of the Lion’s Gate Bridge.
“What is the other name for the Lions Gate Bridge?”
At this point in the walk, there are no more skill testing questions. The work is getting up to Prospect Point. There are two rewards at the end of this. Ice cream and the view.
Look for a little yellow sign on a post that directs you up, across the road and onto a gravel path that suddenly looks like this:
It’s an abrupt change of scenery where you feel like you’re in the woods heading to Grandma’s place. The name of the trail is Avison Trail. There are only a couple of signs, but the trick is to keep going up, following the gravel trail. There are two steep sections. You have my permission to stop and catch your breath.
Watch the ground for Banana Slugs, particularly if it has recently rained. We found this bad boy on a tree. Yes, they can grow big. No injuries to humans have ever been reported.
Eventually the path leads you to a Lions Gate Bridge pedestrian over pass. A baby lion will give you a clue that you’re close.
Follow the sidewalk along to Prospect Point.
There is a gift shop, snack and ice cream bar and there used to be a bar and grill that you could have lunch or dinner. It was closed on our date. From the look of it for renovations. I’ve been there before and it’s a great view to dine from.
Speaking of views, if you press on past the ice cream stand, you come to the viewpoints.
At this point, for the team building exercise, cabs of some sort would be called because it’s a long walk back to the bus loop. We decided that 90 minutes was a good time to allow for the walk and sight seeing.
However, my wife and I had parked our car near the bus loop and had to make it back.
We used the local park map and followed trails to wend our way back. We could have simply followed Pipeline Road down hill to the parking lot, but we wanted the park experience. There’s a path along side the road, but it was closed due to denning coyotes. We sensibly respected that advice and headed toward Beaver Lake. To our amazement, it was positively swamped with flowering water lilies.
It was not far past that we made it to the parking lot … just as the rain started. We considered ourselves lucky and blessed.
Answers to Quiz
What is the name of the first stone brick building near the bus loop?
Stanley Park Pavilion
This is a popular place for weddings and events and if you are a weary traveller, you can grab a beer and enjoy yourself.
How many animals does the sign claim are in the Vancouver Aquarium?
What year was the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club founded?
What sport do they play on Brockton Oval?
What type of horses are used by the Stanley Park horse-drawn tour?
Name the three first Nations associated with Stanley Park.
Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh
How many totem poles are by the gift shop?
What is the fine for feeding wildlife?
What is the yellow stuff across the water on the North Shore?
Does the girl in wet suit sculpture depict her mask on the top of her head or around her neck?
Uptight people like me who’ve been scuba diving are taught to keep it around your neck. The reason is that if you are bumped, the mask won’t fall off and fall to the bottom of the ocean.
From what ship does this replica of a ship’s bow figurehead come from?
SS Empress of Japan
For obscure info, you’ll note this ship was built in Scotland.
What is the other name for the Lions Gate Bridge?