English Bay Beach
English Bay Beach, also called First Beach, located along Beach Ave between Gilford St and Bidwell St, is the most populated beach area in Vancouver’s downtown area. The Stanley Park Seawall, a popular running and biking route, runs along the east side of the beach.
The beach has always been popular, especially after sand was added in 1898 and people began to build themselves cottages where they would spend their summers. It’s hard to imagine that in order to reach the beach in the 1890’s, one had to follow trails through the bushes and then, when you arrived, the beach was divided in two by a large rock, men on one side and women on the other! In the early 1900’s, a wooden bathhouse was built (people no longer had to change behind the bushes) and a walking pier with a glassed-in dance hall called “The Prom” were added. The current concrete bathhouse was constructed in 1931 while, seven years later, the pier and dance hall were both torn down.