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Steele, Richard.

North Vancouver, Whitecap Books, c1985.175pp, paper, $8.95, ISBN 0-920620-5 9-0. CIP

Grades 8 and up
Reviewed by Adele Case

Volume 14 Number 1
1986 January

Visitors to Vancouver, especially those whose time is limited, are always advised to "be sure not to miss Stanley Park." It is sensible advice, for in this superb natural park there is something to suit all tastes and all interests. The naturalist, the child adventurer, the student of local history or Indian lore, the fitness enthusiast, the bird or animal lover, not to forget lovers of all ages, can find peace, excitement, tradition, and solitude along the walks or in the treed or developed areas of the park. Richard M. Steele's pocket-sized paperback, The Stanley Park Explorer, can be used as a guidebook, a reference for the walker, or as an introduction to park history, to be dipped into on a winter's night, or when a visitor is back home. It covers all aspects of the changes, since 1888, to the tip of Burrard Peninsula.

Many photographs in black and white (it is unfortunate there could not have been at least one section in colour) show us the changes that have taken place during the almost one-hundred-year-history of the park.

The book has been divided into walks that cover all the major pathways and roads through the park. Graphs show points of interest, and these are described as they appear in the course of each walk. The Seawall walk will have wide appeal for tourists, cyclists, joggers, and weekend harbour watchers. This is the longest walk in the park, as it loops around the seaward perimeter of the territory. Lost Lagoon is the haven of many seniors, children, and those who find pleasure in the company of the myriad birds, squirrels, and chipmunks that live nearby. The Entertainment Loop takes in the zoo, picnic sites, concession, and other areas frequented by families. Beaver Lake, Siwash Rock, and the Bluffs would suit the more adventurous, or those keen on tracking down the elusive skunk cabbage plant, or a trumpeter swan.

The freshness and variety of the park make it a worthy mecca for tourists and residents alike: as author James Morris summarizes, it is ". . half savage, half domestic. . .the most beautiful park in the world." This little book will be a worthwhile addition to the reference collection of any person who yearns to learn while appreciating the beauties of nature.

Adele Case, Britannia S.S., Vancouver, B.C.
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