Yaletown Park


Yaletown Park | A public space on the corner of Nelson and Mainland that does a disservice to the word “park”. Instead of being covered with grass, the 0.4 acre rectangle is paved with uneven cobbles and dotted with old granite curbs above an underground parking garage. It is the unfortunate result of a partnership between local developer Peter Wall  – who built the surrounding Yaletown Park Condominium towers – and the City of Vancouver.

Usage | “If you want to know why we should all be wary of urban planners getting into bed with developers, spend two minutes with the embarrassing orphan that is Yaletown Park.”


There are 8 comments

  1. Wall Financial was the developer, not Bruno Wall. Developer bashing is uninformed and misguided. The way the process works is the City sets the parameters, the developer’s landscape architect proposes a design in response, the City’s Planning Department and Urban Design Panel review the proposed design and direct modifications as they see fit, the proposed design is revised and resubmitted as many times as the City requires it, then it goes to Council at a public hearing so Council and the public can weigh in which may result in more changes before it either goes back to Council or Plannng for final approval. If you don’t like the result, well frankly, it’s impossible to please everybody. Suggesting the result arises from some sort of collusion between the developer and the “urban planners” is bullsh*t.

  2. Yaletown Park pleases no one, John. That it survived the process you described suggests there might be an issue with the process. As for the unforced error of mixing Bruno up with Peter, our bad — it’s been fixed. As per a BCB article on Bob Rennie back in 2008:

    “I have coffee with Peter Wall every Sunday afternoon. He’s a dear friend and obviously a very important client. We were having coffee over at First and Cypress and I said, ‘Why aren’t you buying the Maple Leaf Storage site?’ He said, ‘What is it?’ I said, ‘Give me 15 minutes.’

    “We got in the car, came around this block and we sat right here.” Rennie fingers the spot. “I told Peter, ‘Buy it now and we’ll figure it out later.’ He phoned up his friend [and Prospero Realty founder] Bob Lee and he said, ‘Buy it.’”

    Rennie helped Wall plan what is now Yaletown Park: three condo towers standing over a cobblestone plaza. A Starbucks overlooks the square, which is ringed by small trees.

    Thanks for reading. And by all means, keep up the good developing.

  3. As a neighbour to this “park”, I can tell you it is of no use to the people that live and work in this community. It was a hopeful location for the Yaletown Farmer’s Market but there is not enough flat space to be of any use. So, in conclusion, not only is the “park” useless, it is also what we commonly refer to as FUGLY.

    In the original description of the park, the surface was refered to as “soft, undulating granite”

  4. The problem may indeed be with the process and municipalities are being forced to contend with that on a number of recent planning initiatives (e.g., Grandview Woodlands). Perhaps their efforts to foster better public engagement will yield real and sustainable change in the way future projects in the public realm get approved. Bring it on. So…it’s easy to bash the developer or suggest there’s something untoward going on between the developer, planners and elected officials…if you’re uninformed. No different than saying all Trump supporters are knuckle-dragging white trash, or all the houses and condos in Vancouver are being bought up by investors from Mainland China. Plays favourably with a certain audience and can be used to score political points, but doesn’t square with the facts.

  5. I’ve always been puzzled by this sorry excuse for a “park” and wondered WHY OH WHY!!!! have the building residents — if they can — not demanded something (anything!) better. But today I watched a man drill plastic grass onto the area between the sidewalk and the street in front of the JJ Bean on Davie St. at Homer St. If we can’t even manage to keep real grass on these little pieces of land, it’s no wonder this fugly park endures.

  6. The plastic grass is there because all the tiny dogs in tiny dog land (yaletown) are destroying the real grass with their fancy urine.

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