Pretty cool view from Jonathan Rogers Park
Today (December 16) at about 4:30 p.m., I was standing in the 100 block of 8th Avenue, on the south side of the snow-covered expanse of Jonathan Rogers Park, enjoying a wide-angle view of downtown Vancouver.
It really was a cool view—and not just because the temperature was something like -4° Celcius.
It was that special time of day when the city lights are appearing and the sunlight is disappearing—when the buildings are all lit up and there is still light in the sky.
In this between time, when the light of the city and the light of the sky meet, a weight is seemingly lifted off of steel and concrete and downtown Vancouver achieves a sort of visual grace and lightness that is as exhilarating to see as it is short-lived.
A good place to park yourself to see the view
And if you must see the dusk view of downtown Vancouver from street level then the south side of the one block-long Jonathan Rogers Park, in Mount Pleasant, is not a bad place to be standing.
Actually, in theory, Jonathan Rogers Park is more of a grass-covered sports field. In practice though, it’s an off-leash canine field of dreams.
It’s true that at the eastern end of the park there’s a small children’s playground with swings and a concrete wadding pool, as well as rudimentary washroom facilities and—tucked into the northeast corner—a small community garden. Mostly though, area residents’ dogs have the complete run of the park, alongside a smattering of homeless people, as the weather permits.
The most important thing though, view-wise, is that aside from the tall trees spaced along the south and east sides, there is nothing in the park to obstruct the view north of downtown Vancouver. And all that lies between the park and downtown is a grid of mostly low-rise buildings zoned for light industrial uses.
Standing on the north side of the 100 block of 8th Avenue thus affords a person with a sweeping view of the downtown skyline, backed by the magnificent North Shore mountains and framed by a really gorgeous big sky.
Arguably, the view of the downtown skyline is even better exactly one block south, from the rooftop parking lot of the MEC store at 130 West Broadway Avenue, but it won’t be for long. MEC has sold this building, ahead of moving to an as-yet un-built new location. Whatever new development replaces it likely will not have a rooftop parking lot accessible to the general public.
So, if you ever get the chance, I strongly recommend that you check out the great views from Jonathan Rogers Park. There’s even a first-rate coffee house that roasts their own beans across from the park on 8th Avenue.
And…oh yes, bring a dog with you, if you happen to have one lying around. Dogs love this park—even when it’s covered in snow! Click the images to enlarge them.