Oppenheimer Park

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Oppenheimer Park
Oppenheimer Park (5674465960).jpg
TypePublic Park
Location400 Powell Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
Created1902
Operated byCity of Vancouver

Oppenheimer Park is a park located in the historic Japantown in Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

History[edit]

Opened in 1902 as the Powell Street Grounds by Vancouver's second mayor,[1] David Oppenheimer; it was later renamed in honour of the mayor. The park is bounded by Jackson Ave, Dunlevy Ave, Powell St and East Cordova St. Oppenheimer Park's facilities include a softball field, a basketball hoop, a children's playground, and a community centre with bathrooms, meeting space, and public computer access. The park employs two full-time activity coordinators and several part-time staff.[2]

The Asahi baseball team used Oppenheimer Park as its home field prior to World War II, although it is most notable historically as being the site of one of the large demonstrations of striking workers during the events of Bloody Sunday in 1938. The park remained a popular family destination until the late 1980s when crack cocaine trade and abuse began to dominate the park's usage.

Since 2004, initiatives by the Vancouver Police and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association have attempted to return the park to its original image of safe recreation, with some success.[2] The park was upgraded in 2010 with reconfiguration of the pathways, addition of playground, basketball hoop and new field house.[3]

First Nations Protest[edit]

On July 2014, some First Nations people of Canada have started occupying Oppenheimer Park in a tent city. They were protesting to the city of Vancouver's attempt to evict homeless people that had been living in the park. Protesters were citing the fact that Vancouver, including its parkland, is unceded First Nations' land and the B.C. Supreme Court decision in 2009, which stated that homeless persons are allowed to camp in a public park if no alternative shelters are available.[4][5]

The protesters and campers were given deadline to vacate the park on October 15, 2014 after injunction was granted to the Vancouver Park Board to evict the protesters from the site.[6] Over 100 tents remained at the park after the deadline, but the protesters and campers were removed from park and five people were arrested on October 16, 2014 for resisting to vacate the park.[7]

Activities[edit]

  • Powell Street Festival - Vancouver's longest running community celebration takes place in and around Oppenheimer Park.
  • HomeGround Festival
  • Asahi Tribute Baseball game
  • Endless Summer Festival

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°16′58″N 123°05′39″W / 49.282675°N 123.094254°W / 49.282675; -123.094254