It’s not surprising that John Hendry Park is such a popular destination; tranquil Trout Lake and a wide range of active and passive recreation opportunities create an exceptional setting. The beach area and wildlife habitat around the lake can almost make one forget that that the park is in the city, especially when illuminated with glowing lights at the annual lantern festival.
Trout Lake provided water via a flume for Hastings Sawmill, located at the foot of Dunlevy Street. The mill’s co-owner was John Hendry, a prominent figure in his day due to his influence in developing the region’s lumber industry.
Born in New Brunswick, John Hendry came to Vancouver in 1872 when the lumbering industry was just getting started. After a brief stint in the state of Washington, Hendry was commissioned to rebuild the Moodyville Mill which had been recently destroyed by fire. The young entrepreneur soon became well known and started many lumber operations in the Lower Mainland. His most influential endeavours included the Royal City Planing Mill in New Westminster and the Hastings Saw Mill.
John Hendry died in 1916 at the age of 72 having earned many titles in his lifetime some of which included: President Vancouver Board of Trade; President Canadian Forestry Association and Mayor of New Westminster.
Hendry’s daughter married Eric W. Hamber, one of the previous Lt. Governor’s of British Columbia. In 1926, the Hambers donated part of their land at the Trout Lake site to the Vancouver Park Board under the condition that it be called “John Hendry Park”. In 1942 a letter was received by the Park Board from the Honourable E. W. Hamber reminding the Board of his family’s gift and that the name was a stipulation of this donation – therefore it should not to be referred to as Trout Lake Park, especially by the Park Board. And so the Park Board resolved once again, on September 11, 1942, that John Hendry Park was this site’s official name thereby tipping its hat to the generosity of one of Vancouver’s pioneering families.