Relax by fountains, shop in bustling markets and listen to concerts in a scenic park that has become the city of Vancouver’s premier outdoor public space.
Colorful flowerbeds and eye-catching artwork are just two reasons to visit Esther Short Park. Come to this picturesque square in the center of downtown Vancouver to browse charming markets, attend open-air concerts and celebrate at lively local festivals.
Wander around the park to see several monuments, some of which date back more than a century. Esther Short Park was established in 1853, but only became the popular cultural hub it is today after the city’s mayor revamped it in the late 1990s.
Explore the peaceful park and inspect all the artwork and architecture in it. Pioneer Mother, a bronze sculpture depicting a woman and three children, was created in 1929 as the city’s first piece of public art. Gaze up at the Salmon Run Bell Tower, a 69-foot (21-meter) campanile with moving dioramas depicting stories from Chinook culture.
Browse the displays in Gallery 360, located in Slocum House in the corner of the square. Admire paintings and photography by local artists. Children can have fun in the Victorian-styled play area. At the southern end of square is Vancouver’s slick and modern City Hall.
Attend one of the free open-air events that take place in the pavilion throughout summer. Watch a movie beneath the starlit sky or dance to live music. Jazz, beer and wine festivals are held here throughout the year. Watch from one of the nearby cafés as marathons and charity walks set off from this city hub.
Join locals hunting for bargains in the Vancouver farmers market, where over 250 vendors sell their goods. From March to October, the market takes place in the park every weekend, without fail. Buy some freshly baked goods or a handcrafted souvenir.
Esther Short Park is a 10-minute walk from Vancouver’s Amtrak station, while buses stop just outside the park. Check online before your visit to see what events will be happening in the popular open-air venue.