Millennium Park on Vancouver’s North Shore
If you’re visiting West Vancouver and looking for a nice view of the ocean and Stanley Park, then Millennium Park is the perfect spot to be. It’s also in a very convenient place since it’s close to both Ambleside Beach and Marine Drive.
At Millennium Park you can go for a stroll, visit the beach and grab a bite to eat all in one afternoon. The park itself is tiny. It’s connected with the West Vancouver Seawall, however, which runs more or less from Ambleside to Dundarave.
Up until the summer of 2021, the biggest attraction at Millennium Park has been the fact that it’s right next to John Lawson Park and just a short ways from Ambleside. It’s a nice place, but it has never stood out as particularly significant. Up until 2021, in fact, as of the last time we checked, the municipality didn’t even have a page about the park on its website!
The West Vancouver Seawall connects the above three parks and runs all the way to Dundarave. Unless they are a local person working in the community garden, most people just spend a couple of minutes at Millennium Park on their way to one of the other parks in the area.
Beginning in the summer of 2021, however, as of July 1st, Millennium Park is set to be the first and only public park in the District of West Vancouver where you can drink alcohol in public. That alone makes this park suddenly very significant (and soon to be especially popular)! To learn more about this, continue reading.
Where is the Park?
Millennium Park is located at the intersection of 15th Street and Argyle Avenue. It’s between John Lawson Park and Ambleside Beach.
The West Vancouver Community Arts Council has its office at the Silk Purse Arts Centre. The Centre’s address is 1570 Argyle Avenue. On one side of the small, older, reddish-coloured building is John Lawson Park. On the other side is Millennium Park. That’s how close the two parks are. Many people don’t even know they are two completely different parks.
If driving from Lions Gate Bridge or North Vancouver along Marine Drive, make sure to turn left onto 15th Street. If driving along the Trans-Canada Highway, take the exit onto 15th Street and head south down the hill. The park can be found at the end of that road.
Parking is most easily found on the sides of Bellevue Avenue. There is also a strip of parking spaces right in front of both Millennium Park and John Lawson Park. Alternatively, many visitors park in one of the larger lots at Ambleside Beach and then walk back along the seawall via Millennium Park towards John Lawson and Dundarave.
You’ll find a few picnic tables, a large open lawn, a community vegetable garden and a rocky beach area in the park. There isn’t really a beach at high tide. However, there are large boulders and logs to climb over at low tide. In one direction you can see the Ambleside Pier. In the other direction is the pier at John Lawson Park.
Perks at the Park
What makes Millennium Park so special, other than the fact that it’s in a pretty spot?
Nearby John Lawson Park and Ambleside Park are places that people drive from miles away to visit. The former has an exceptional children’s play area. The latter is one of the Lower Mainland’s most beautiful beaches. Ambleside also has sports fields, children’s play areas, a pitch and putt golf course, amazing views and an exceptional off-leash dog area. Ambleside is where a number of West Vancouver’s annual festivals take place as well.
How can tiny Millennium Park compete with, and complement, the above two amazing neighbouring parks?
In previous years, Millennium Park has simply been a nice place to visit or walk through when strolling from one of the two other main parks to the other. As of the summer of 2021, however, Millennium Park is the first park in West Vancouver where you can drink alcohol in public.
Yes, that’s right, you can take your own beer, wine and other adult beverages and enjoy them at the park with no risk of getting arrested (so long as you do so responsibly between noon and dusk). The new policy came into effect on July 1st, 2021.
The ‘alcohol in the park” pilot project was introduced to give people a chance to socialize outdoors while COVID-19 rules still restrict indoor gatherings. The new rules last until October 31st in 2021 (but they could get extended).
Events at the Park
In addition to being a beautiful spot and a place where you can drink alcohol, Millennium Park is also a venue during the Harmony Arts Festival in the summer. There is a stage with live music during the festival. There is also a beer garden at the park.
In recent years, in December, the park is also where you’ll find decorated Christmas trees as part of the Dundarave Festival of Lights. Most of the Christmas trees at the festival are at Dundarave Beach. A few though are also at Millennium Park.
To learn more about the area and other parks, see the District of West Vancouver‘s website.
Interestingly, Millennium Park used to have a beautiful large floral clock. That’s what used to make the park stand out. The clock was old and needed work, however, so it was sadly removed a number of years ago.
Note: Dogs are not permitted on the lawns, trails or beaches at either Millennium Park or John Lawson Park. However, they are allowed on leash in some areas of Ambleside Park (but not all areas). There is, however, an amazing dog park at Ambleside, including an area with a sandy beach.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- West Vancouver
- Vancouver’s North Shore
- Vancouver’s Best Beaches
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver Bars and Nightclubs
- Restaurants in West Vancouver