Trout Lake is one of East Vancouver’s hidden gems. Slightly off the beaten track of Commercial Drive and Grandview Park, Trout Lake is located in John Hendry Park, just south of Broadway on Victoria Drive. With the lake, playground, beach, fields and marshes, John Hendry Park offers something for everyone and is easily within walking or biking distance of almost anywhere in East Vancouver.
Discover Nature in the City
Trout Lake is a little pocket of green space that is home to many different kinds of plants and animals that thrive in the city. On our walks around Trout Lake, we’ve spotted ducks, seagulls and crows, of course, but we’ve also seen a bald eagle dive down and snatch a fish right out of the water, spotted a handful of frogs along the marshy edge of the lake, and listened to redwinged blackbirds whistling their tunes from the reeds. The north end of John Hendry Park is an off-leash area for dogs, so the best place for feeding ducks is further south, at the beach.
(Photo by Mike Babiarz)
Saturday Farmer’s Market
On Saturday mornings in the summer and fall, Trout Lake buzzes with the weekly East Vancouver Farmer’s Market, which is held in the north parking lot while the Community Centre is rebuilt on the west side of the park. Discover the wealth of food and culture grown close to home, with farmers, bakers, artisans and musicians offering their bounty. Arriving early lets you get the best pickings and avoid the height of the crowds.
Trout Lake Beach and Swimming
The water in Trout Lake is generally warm and safe for swimming, and the sandy beach is a great place for kids to go building sandcastles and digging holes. There is a lifeguard on duty from Victoria Day to Labour Day, and the water is tested regularly for coliform levels. The lake has been closed for swimming a couple of times this summer, so be sure to call the Vancouver Parks Board at 604-738-8535 before heading out if swimming is the main attraction of your outing.
Trout Lake Community Centre
The Community Centre building at Trout Lake is currently demolished and being rebuilt in the same location, but many of the community centre programs are continuing to be run out of the arena building and in other locations off-site. Listings of current programs are available from the Trout Lake website. Several festivals are held at John Hendry Park, including the Alice in Wonderland festival and the Luminares festival.
We go to Trout Lake all year round, bundling up in the rain and wind and sitting in the shade of the willow trees during the summer. Trout Lake can be a place to escape into nature or take in some culture at the Farmer’s Market or a festival, and it’s right at our doorstep in East Van.
Michelle Carchrae is a freelance writer and mama to two little girls. Michelle writes about attachment parenting, parenting resources and life with kids at her blog The Parent Vortex.