One of the most popular areas of Stanley Park, particularly for locals, is at Lumberman’s Arch, located near the shore just north of the Aquarium. This large expanse of grass and trees makes it an ideal picnicking spot for many who come here on those sunny summer days.
The current Lumberman’s Arch is a red cedar construction dating from 1952 that replaced a much more elaborate arch made entirely of fir that was dismantled in 1947 after falling into disrepair.
The original arch was quite the landmark and attracted many to the area making it a major meeting place within the park. The construction of the old archway took place in 1912 for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught – the Duke being the Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916. The arch was originally situated at Pender and Hamilton streets in the downtown area of Vancouver and was then moved to its new home in the park in 1913 where it remained for the next thirty-four years.
When visiting this area you will find yourself standing on rather hallowed ground when it comes to the more ancient history of Stanley Park as this was where the first nation people gathered and lived in the village known as Xwayxway (place of the mask.) It was the people from this village that first greeted Captain George Vancouver when he became the first European to enter Burrard Inlet in 1792.
It’s easy to pass this area by as you travel along the road or the seawall but it has many reasons why you should stop and take in its beauty and think of the history laying beneath your feet. It is also one of the prettiest places to sit and admire the north shore mountains and let the hours drift on by.