8 best urban parks in Canada As Canadians, we're proud of our national parks--but don't forget about that urban oasis right down the street. These urban parks are the best our cities have to offer. By Stephanie Zolis 2014-06-27 11:40:58 8 best urban parks in Canada Slideshow View Slideshow 8 best urban parks in Canada Replay This Slideshow Next Slideshow Previous Next By: Photo: © Copyright View more galleries 7 best wine-tasting desti Easy summer flower arrang 6 ways to celebrate the S Stanley Park, Vancouver If you haven't visited Stanley Park before, you've certainly heard of it. A lush green space spanning 400 hectares of parkland and West Coast rainforest, it was recently named the best park in the world by TripAdvisor.com, even beating out New York's Central Park.Stanley Park features an aquarium, golf course, lookout points, gardens, beaches, landmarks, 27 kilometres of forest trails, and 22 monuments and sculptures. Don't miss out on the Lost Lagoon (a freshwater body that provides sanctuary to a range of bird species), seawall (an 8.8-kilometre stretch providing scenic views of water, mountains, sky and trees), or Brockton Point's First Nations totem poles (British Columbia's most-visited tourist attraction). High Park, Toronto Toronto's largest public park, High Park offers visitors a greenhouse, zoo, restaurant, off-leash dog park, nature trails, playgrounds and sporting facilities, not to mention the signature Sakura cherry blossom trees in Hillside Garden. (Visit during late April or May to see these beauties in full bloom.) The city has taken great efforts to rehabilitate High Park's Grenadier Pond, which means that activities like boat rentals, swimming and ice skating are no longer available (you'll have to head to the designated pool and skating rink, instead), but visitors can still enjoy fishing on the pond's south rim. Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg Situated on 113 hectares of woodland and plains along the Assiniboine River's south side, Assiniboine Park is considered Winnipeg's "crown jewel." The park boasts attractions for all types of visitors: the Assiniboine Park Zoo (home to the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre), the Assiniboine Park Conservatory (where you'll find more than 8,000 flowers, plants and trees), and the Pavilion Gallery Museum, which exhibits the work of local artists as well as a permanent Winnie the Pooh artifact collection, for starters. Beacon Hill Park, Victoria Encompassing 80 hectares of Victoria's southern shore, Beacon Hill is home to more than just stunning vistas. It's also where you'll find an important Canadian landmark: the western terminous, or the starting point of the Trans-Canada Highway. After you snap a photo at "Mile 0," head to the oceanside bluffs, where paragliding, kite running and radio-controlled airplane flying are common endeavours. If nature is what you're looking for, explore the Black Cottonwood Semi-Swamp of Beacon Hill's southeastern edges, then stroll into the park interior, where rolling planes dotted with wildflowers stretch out into the horizon and lilies decorate the serene surface of Fountain Lake. Pippy Park, St. John's, NL Featuring a golf course, campgrounds and scenic trails, Pippy Park has an outdoor attraction to suit every lifestyle. It's also quite breathtaking. A mix of shrublands, barrens and wetlands, the park is a diverse blend of forest and plains. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the rare Leopard marsh orchid among the park's many native species by heading to the MUN Botanical Gardens. Rockwood Park, Saint John, NB Whether you're looking to go hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, pedal boating, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, camping, golfing, mountain biking or horseback riding, Rockwood Park is the venue for you. It has a golf course, zoo, beaches, gardens, stables, picnic sites and campgrounds, plus 890 hectares of park forest and the serene Lily Lake. William Hawrelak Park, Edmonton Situated in the North Saskatchewan River valley parks system, a continuous collection of urban parks (and what's considered the largest urban park in Canada), the 68-hectare William Hawrelak Park includes a five-hectare lake. Home to many festivals and events, the park features a pavilion, amphitheatre and playground. But it's about to get even better. In 2013, city council approved a $2.1-million plan to design and construct a water play feature, including a spray deck and shallow wading pool, which is under construction this summer. Mount Royal Park, Montreal Located in the heart of Montreal, Mount Royal Park (or Parc du Mont-Royal) is one of the last remaining green spaces in the city. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (who also designed Central Park in New York), the park is home to 182 bird species and 20 mammals. In addition to hiking and biking paths, there's nearly 20 kilometres of cross-country skiing trails. Not in the mood to trek on foot? The park also offers horse-drawn carriage rides. Those with an equestrian streak can even arrange an appointment to visit the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal cavalry stables.If you're more of a history buff, consider exploring the city's Catholic roots. View the park's Mount Royal Cross, a 31.4-metre installation, or Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, the largest Catholic cemetery in Canada. While perhaps not a draw for everyone, the site is one to be seen.