One of Vancouver’s oldest parks, Hastings Community Park boasts a wealth of activities for children and adults alike. Grand old trees create restful sitting spaces throughout; in the summer, shrieks from the nearby Pacific National Exhibition create a festive atmosphere in the park. A highlight is the new children’s spray park.
Named for Admiral Henry Hastings, Commanding Officer of HMS Zealous stationed on the BC Coast from 1867 to 1869, the original area was known as Windermere Park giving rise to confusion between the real Windermere Park located at 4th and Windermere Street. During World War I the park, still forested and swampy in spots, was used as a ground for soldiers to practice entrenching.
In late 1934 the Park Board approved plans for a community centre on the park. Various community groups in the Hastings area had raised funds for construction of a fieldhouse-like structure. Finally in 1956, a local improvement bylaw, neighbourhood fundraising and capital from the Park Board made the dream of a real community centre a reality. An outdoor pool followed in 1959 and a new wing for senior citizens in 1965. The pool was demolished in the 1990s and was replaced by a popular spray park.