If a picture is worth 1000 words then a video says it all!
This little clip shows, persuasively, the "ambience" that we can create , and want to create, for Mapua's Waterfront Park . "Kits" beach - short for Kitsilano .
The audio background is as enticing as the video: magical sounds of children playing, families picnicking, friends talking. Moms and dads watching carefully as their children, ages 3 to13 , play and explore the playground, green spaces, and the foreshore. Kids have space to wander and play . Seniors (like moi!) sit and read and people watch. Teens and adults have a half court basketball court 50 metres away, ditto for volleyball. Simple infrastructure - posts for a volleyball net (bring your own) and a backboard and hardback for a basketball court (bring your own ball) . And of course there is the visual background of wonderful foreshore beach, water, and mountains - iconic Vancouver views. There is a beachfront concession shop for affordable food and coffee, upstairs a higher end restaurant with views (and food) to die for, then a block of toilets, changing rooms, all in an area smaller than our combined Wharf and Mapua Waterfront . The playground is an "inclusive " one, built with the needs of special needs kids, adults and families in mind. And while the facilities are great, its the people that make the space vibrant and alive.
The promenade at Kits is well used, by walkers and cyclists - but cyclists have to dismount through this busy portion . A couple of commercial kayaker and paddle board concessions are permitted at the north end of the beach. Ok...Mapua's Waterfront Park is on a smaller scale than the entire Kits beach and promenade, but more than comparable in size , in green space, and in visual beauty in the area around Kits' playground/greenspace/ beach/foreshore.
Of course there is no motorised powerboat access to the foreshore at Kits through this space, or indeed anywhere along Vancouver's Kits/Jericho/Spanish Banks foreshore beach parks. Mixed uses are everywhere - dog walkers, cyclists, picnickers, swimmers, kayakers, volleyball, basketball, ....- but there is no place in that mixture for concrete powerboat launching ramps or turning bays cutting across the park to the foreshore (or parking - at a huge premium around Kits) . Of course one "could" build such things, and there are definitely trailerable powerboat owners who would absolutely love that - but the green space value, people spaces value, natural spaces values, playground values, and visual amenity values of this sort of foreshore parkland would be seriously compromised. And for who's benefit? Certainly not compatible at all with Vancouver Park Boards values and philosophy as outlined at their 25 year long term plan , called Vancouver's Playbook- a new plan to guide how they create vibrant, parks and recreation over the next 25 years: URL vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vanplay-parks-and-recreation-strategy.aspx
Mapua Waterfront Park is not Vancouver's Kitsilano for sure. But it could be. Start from Kits here as a finished product, and then ask yourself - why would anyone in public position want to sacrifice any of this public space and associated public value to a private interest group?