Discovering Vancouver: Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

The Chinese influence in Vancouver can’t only be seen in its diverse population and the many Chinese and Taiwanese shops all over the city. Vancouver’s Chinatown also comes with its very own Chinese garden: the Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens. 

Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

The garden owes its name to Dr Sun Yat Sen, the first president of the Republic of China, who is also considered the father of modern China. Built in the mid-80s, the gardens consist of a free section and a separate part with an admission fee. The design and construction of the gardens was a collaboration of Chinese and Canadian architects and also engaged experts from the Chinese garden city of Suzhou.

Dr Sun Yat Sen’s Classical Garden is a cultural oasis in Vancouver’s Chinatown and just about a 15-minute walk from Gastown, its historic centre. Chinatown came about in the late 1800s already and was established by Chinese railroad workers. Dr Sun Yat Sen’s Classical Chinese Gardens only date back to 1986, the year Vancouver hosted the World Expo.

Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Stroll along the pathways meandering through the trees, rocks and alongside the pond and take in its pleasantly balanced atmosphere. On sunny days you’ll see art students creating drawings of the pagoda juxtaposed against the pond. The gardens are a great little place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and enjoy the heritage of its Asian immigrants, whilst being reminded of its location in inner-city Vancouver by its surrounding, flash new high-rises.

Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Entrance to Dr Sun Yat Sen Park is free; admission to Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens is 12 CAD per adult.

Where are some of your favourite landscaped city gardens?

Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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  22 comments for “Discovering Vancouver: Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

  1. 10 October, 2011 at 19:14

    I love these types of gardens set amid bustling towns! So serene.

    • Christina
      11 October, 2011 at 14:49

      So do I. Big fan of obscure little gardens and parks, and in Vancouver there are at least two great parks to explore, Stanley Park and Dr Sun Yat Sen’s!

  2. 11 October, 2011 at 00:56

    Beautiful photos of the park. We have something similar at Golden Gate park, though not to that degree in design and size (Also donated by R.O.C President). =)

    • Christina
      11 October, 2011 at 14:48

      Annie, I love Golden Gate Park. Isn’t the Japanese Tea Garden there as well? I’ve been to that one and it was stunning, too!

  3. 11 October, 2011 at 01:03

    I have yet to be there but it looks fantastic! Especially since like Debbie says, it’s so close to town.

    • Christina
      11 October, 2011 at 14:46

      It is a great place to step away into a little green oasis – you should definitely go, seeing that you live in Van, take advantage of it!

  4. 11 October, 2011 at 05:31

    What an incredible thing to find in Vancouver. I suppose just outside will be a wonderful selection of Chinese restaurants!!?

    • Christina
      11 October, 2011 at 14:45

      Haha, well, there’s a wonderful selection of Chinese restaurants all over Vancouver, but Chinatown certainly has a few too!

  5. 11 October, 2011 at 08:48

    I continue to be amazed at how much I learn by reading travel blogs everyday! Didn’t know this garden existed in Vancouver. I’ve always just stopped at Stanley Park. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Christina
      11 October, 2011 at 14:51

      Great I gave you another travel tip for your next Vancouver visit! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  6. 11 October, 2011 at 14:43

    Looks like a little breath of fresh air (and tranquility) in the middle of an urban setting. These are my favorite types of places to discover in big cities. 🙂

    • Christina
      13 October, 2011 at 18:14

      Same here. I love discovering new obscure gardens. This one is so quiet – quite the opposite from its surroundings.

  7. 12 October, 2011 at 07:59

    Such a pretty place to honor Sun Yat Sen. I’ve recently visited other memorials to him, including the one in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Very interesting history.

    • Christina
      13 October, 2011 at 18:13

      I was in Chinatown in SF but didn’t go to a garden there. I guess I missed out!

  8. 12 October, 2011 at 14:39

    Beautiful. I love the juxtaposition of the garden with the city buildings outside.

    • Christina
      13 October, 2011 at 18:12

      So do I. I could have sat there for a few hours and admired Vancouver’s green glass highrises from the Chinese gardens.

  9. 12 October, 2011 at 19:07

    I had no idea this was there. Looks beautiful. I love gardens like this. While a bit different, went to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco and love walking around and looking at the unique gardens they have.

    • Christina
      13 October, 2011 at 18:10

      I love the Japanese Tea Garden in SF. Well, I love gardens and parks in general – Kyoto is a gem!

  10. 13 October, 2011 at 23:01

    A long time ago, I saw Sun Yat Sen’s childood home in ZhongShan. This one in Vancouver looks like such a lovely garden of tranquility. How touching that the Chinese emigrées built a memorial garden abroad, when China was still a closed country.

  11. 16 October, 2011 at 06:35

    Very nice park Christina, looks like a great place for a leisurely relaxing stroll.

  12. 26 December, 2011 at 09:49

    Wow without reading the text and title i would say these pictures were taking in singapore!
    Happy Holidays by the way!

    • Christina
      26 December, 2011 at 12:34

      Thanks Ron! Happy Holidays to you too!

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