Old Stanley Park Zoo, Stanley Park

Many different objects appear in the remnants of the old bear pits in what remains of the Stanley Park Zoo, sometimes their meaning is unclear, other times it is not difficult to see what the artist is trying to portray. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE: www.venturevancouver.com

Burlap sacks made to look like bears and lit up in the remnants of the Old Stanley Park Zoo.





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Camera, Sense of Curiosity

It it hard to believe that there used to be a full fledged Zoo in Vancouver's Stanley Park. Not much remains of it since its closing in 1996, most of the animals were moved to other Zoos due to space constraints and the pens turned into walking paths. The large Bear pits still remain, the surrounding vines almost enclosing them. This unique historical feature of Stanley Park is an interesting stop if not to see what was once the biggest attraction, but to see if the local artists have used the pits as their canvases.

The remnants of the old zoo, abandoned for almost a decade are overgrown with foliage and fenced to keep curious visitors safe, but is a stark reminder of the past uses of the Park.

Two enclosures - both bear habitats, and a few older peacocks which still strut around the park are almost all of what remains of the Zoo which was closed and relocated to the city of Aldergrove in 1996 and made into the Greater Vancouver Zoo. This was due to protest of the living conditions and the lack of space needed for these animals after the 1994 referendum voted against the upgrade and expansion of the park.

Over fifty species called the park home, such as black bears, penguins, emus, buffalo, monkeys and the two baby polar bear cubs which were the main attraction.

Some animals still remain in the Park at the Children's Farmyard which is home to many reptiles and farmyard animals.

The Polar Bear habitat was converted into a fish hatchery which joins many same initiatives around the Vancouver region. The enclosures themselves still act as an interesting view into the history of the park, as the original signs are still up to remind old visitors and show new visitors what the area once was.

Forms of Art in the Park are also seen in these empty pits as burlap sacks made to appear like bear cubs have been placed in the enclosures.

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The Old Stanley Park Zoo has been abandoned since 1996, however, a few permanents still survive such as the two bear pits that housed the more popular animals in the zoo. Due to concerns about space, the zoo was relocated out of the city with only a few concrete structures remaining in its place.

Location of Remnants of the Old Stanley Park Zoo

Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Remnants of the Old Stanley Park Zoo

On a path south of the Aquarium near the stream
Stanley Park

Map of Stanley Park

Click the brown GEMS on the map to navigate to the other activities within this region

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