The Lost Lagoon is a landmark oasis in Stanley Park and home to an ecosystem of birds, plants, fish and a variety of other wildlife. This is a popular destination where locals and visitors escape the rush of the city – and to be honest, it is quite easy to find. Located at the West Georgia Street entrance of Stanley Park, one of Vancouver’s busiest routes, one may wonder: “What about this Lagoon is ‘lost?’”
The Lost Lagoon was named after a beautifully haunting poem written in the 20th century by Emily Pauline Johnson, a talented Canadian artist and the daughter of an English woman and a Mohawk chief.
Pauline’s poem reads:
It is dusk on the Lost Lagoon, And we two dreaming the dusk away, Beneath the drift of a twilight grey, Beneath the drowse of an ending day, And the curve of a golden moon.
It is dark in the Lost Lagoon, And gone are the depths of haunting blue, The grouping gulls, and the old canoe, The singing firs, and the dusk and—you, And gone is the golden moon.
O! lure of the Lost Lagoon,— I dream to-night that my paddle blurs The purple shade where the seaweed stirs, I hear the call of the singing firs In the hush of the golden moon.
Born into two worlds in 1861, Pauline learned to appreciate both the Victorian English society’s elegance and the Mohawk Nation’s connection to nature. She shared the complexity of her two identities through poems, stories and theatre performances. To captivate her audiences’ curiosity of her mixed backgrounds, Pauline would wear traditional Mohawk clothing and halfway through, she would change to a Victorian-style evening gown.
Pauline was also a canoeist, which leads to her adoration of the Lost Lagoon. When she moved to Vancouver in 1909, Coal Harbour waters extended into Stanley Park. Pauline would paddle through the harbour and noticed that the tide pool in Stanley Park would often dry up, hence the name “Lost Lagoon.”
The tide pool was dammed in 1912 and is now a large freshwater lake with a majestic backdrop of downtown Vancouver. Today you won't lose the Lost Lagoon, but the next time you visit, remember that the same lagoon was an oasis for both Pauline then and you now.
We always know spring is in full swing when the side streets of Robson Street become lightly dusted in pink. That’s right, Vancouver has 40 000 ornamental cherry trees. Their petals are the “pink” lining of Vancouver's wonderfully diverse seasons.
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) has arranged a variety of activities highlighting Vancouver’s cherry blossoms’ history and beauty. Don’t have time to catch the festival? That’s ok, take a stroll along Haro Street (see photo below,) just one block over from Robson to see what all our excitement is about! While you’re there, you might also enjoy the gardens in the roundabouts that are maintained by local residents.
Here are some VCBF activities that are a short walk or an even quicker bike ride from the Blue Horizon:
Above: Roedde House Museum Photo credit: Inside Vancouver
We enjoy the best of both worlds being between Vancouver’s vibrant downtown and the charming tree-lined West End neighbourhood. The best of West Coast urban lifestyle is at our doorstep on Robson Street, a people-watching, coffee drinking and shopping hub. If you are more of a nature lover, we are a short bike ride or walk to the beauty of Stanley Park and English Bay.
Great experiences abound along the way – one little known delight is a mere four blocks away: the Roedde House Museum. Nestled within the Barclay Heritage Square at 1415 Barclay Street, the Roedde House Museum was named after Gustav and Matilda Roedde (pronounced Row-dee,) a couple who settled in Vancouver from Germany at the turn of the 20th century. As Vancouver’s first bookbinder, Gustav Roedde became iconic in Vancouver’s community at the time. Locals developed the saying “Take it to the Roeddes!” for whenever there was a need for printing or binding services.
Today the Roeddes’ Victorian-style house and garden has been repaired and restored, filled with antiques, including letters written by the family. Special activities at the Museum include a British-style afternoon Tea and Tour and Jazz Nights in an intimate parlour. Visiting the Museum is a blast from the past, experiencing the day-to-day life of the Roeddes.
We would love to hear from you about your experience at the Roedde House Museum; Leave a reply in the comment box below. Stay tuned for more insights on the Blue Horizon’s neighbourhood!