The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden has provided a place of urban zen for Vancouver residents and visitors for more than 30 years. Stroll along quiet walkways past beautiful pavilions to see carefully created places for contemplation and enjoyment of man’s harmony with nature.
Joe Wai and Don Vaughan, in collaboration with the Suzhou Garden Administration, created the garden as an authentic recreation of a Ming dynasty scholar garden, the first classical Chinese garden built outside of China. Individuals, rather than governments, collaborated to create this welcoming space, a highlight of Vancouver’s Chinatown cultural history. Appreciate the feng shui as you note the relationship of parts to the whole in the organization and placement of features in the garden.
Wander through the shaded spaces, seeing new delights at each turn. Notice rare tai hu rocks imported from China, a collection of 100-year-old miniature trees and koi swimming in a jade green pond. The setting recreates gardens from15th-century China.
Look for interesting plants including ginkgo, meta-sequoia and bamboo. Covered walkways and pavilions provide protection even in Vancouver’s rainy season. Take a free guided tour, which is offered by volunteers in six languages. Brochures are available in multiple languages.
The garden seeks to connect cultures and communities. Get familiar with ancient and ongoing Chinese customs during annual festivals including the springtime Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Monthly art exhibits feature Chinese and Western artists, both established and newcomers.
Take photos standing before the moongates and latticework. Look for reflections in the jade green water. Browse through the Eight Treasures Shop for Chinese porcelain, tea and gift items.
This peaceful space is located in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, about a 20-minute walk from downtown. Ask the garden staff for directions to some of the best nearby restaurants and shops to extend enjoyment of your visit to this fascinating ethnic neighborhood.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is open daily, except for Mondays during winter, and has an admission fee. Enjoy this unique opportunity to appreciate traditional artistic, architectural and philosophical expressions of Chinese culture.
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