The Sanctuary was the first stage of the Hasting’s Park redevelopment and replaces acres of roads, asphalt parking lots, and under-used or vacant buildings. The Sanctuary was designed to recall the natural condition of the park at the beginning of the 1900’s and has successfully created, through a re-naturalization process, a Pacific Northwest forest complete with a series of ponds and wetlands that include an uncovered and reinstated historic fish-bearing stream. This rehabilitated stream could eventually connect to Burrard Inlet and become a course for migrating salmon.
There were many approaches to sustainability including the large scale use of fill soil completely sourced from the City of Vancouver’s composting facility and the specification of exclusively local-derived indigenous plants, stone and other materials. The Sanctuary is now a resplendent natural retreat in the middle of the city, widely used by both nearby residents and citizens at large. Home to a wide variety of wildfowl and small mammals, it proves that nature and cities are not mutually exclusive and demonstrates a new urban park aesthetic for the City of Vancouver.