Originally called Portside Park, CRAB Park (Create a Real Available Beach) is a hidden gem, just steps from bustling Gastown and Waterfront Station. I’ve lived in Vancouver most of my life and I didn’t even know it existed until a few years ago.
There’s a tiny, quiet beach, where you can not only admire the view of the Lions (two twin peaks on the North Shore), but also watch the comings and goings of a busy, working port. Container ships, helicopters, SeaBuses and even the occasional cruise ship frequent the area, and during summer months, you’ll often see beach bonfires on the sand.
Alongside the beach is a grass field and a playground. It’s one of Vancouver’s rare off-leash parks, and there are always dogs running everywhere. One long path circumvents the park, leading past monuments and memorials, both beautiful and heartbreaking. Most concern the lives and challenges faced by those living in the nearby downtown eastside.
The park is easy to find once you know where it is. Go down Main Street, all the way north, and follow the road as it winds left over the Main Street overpass and you can see the park from there.