Queen Elizabeth Park is situated on Little Mountain whose summit is approx. 500 feet (the highest point within the city of Vancouver). At the turn of the century (1900) it was quarried for its rock to build Vancouver's first roadways. This area was also the site for two holding reservoirs for the City's drinking water
In 1930 the BC Tulip Association suggested transforming the quarries into sunken gardens. It was dedicated as such by King George VI and his consort, Queen Elizabeth on their visit to Vancouver in 1939. From that point over time it was transformed into Canada's first civic arboretum. Examples of all the native trees found across our nation were planted along with many exotic species to create Queen Elizabeth Park as we know it today. The quarry gardens, designed by Bill Livingstone and were unveiled in the early 1960s. The smaller North Quarry or dry garden was undertaken to commemorate the City's 75th Anniversary.
The Bloedel Floral Conservatory (Canada's first geodesic conservatory) opened on December 6, 1969. With its many climactic zones displaying a huge variety of plants and a superb selection of free-flying tropical birds it has become one of Vancouver's most popular attractions. In addition the conservatory is surrounded by a series of plazas that include covered walkways, fountains and works of art. This enhancement also served to cover up the city's reservoirs. In 1972 the Conservatory received The Vincent Massey Award for excellence in the urban environment.