Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden holds the distinction for being the only authentic, full-sized classical garden to be made outside of China. Built as a joint venture between People’s Republic of China and Canada, this garden was built in the eighties, using authentic craftsmen and materials, such as roof tiles and pebbles, brought in especially from China. This entire garden has been made without the help of a single nail or power tool. 52 artisans, called in especially from Suzhou worked for over a year in Vancouver to give shape to this beautiful garden.


The garden is within walking distance of China town, but the moment you enter it, you seem to have left the city miles behind. The tranquility of this beautifully landscaped walled garden is one of its major attractions. You can walk around the garden enjoying the simple beauty and harmony of the plants and water.


Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden has been modeled after the private classical garden-homes found predominantly in the city of Suzhou, during the rule of the Ming dynasty. These gardens are constructed in a manner that conveys an illusion of space, even though the actual covered area isn’t all that much.  


In the typical manner of the Chinese design, this garden has also been designed keeping a balance between the four elements that Chinese believed to be most important – rock, water, plants, and architecture. The rocks used to form the skeleton of this garden are limestone rocks (known in Chinese as Tai Hu rocks), which are known for their beauty, color and texture. The water in the garden is the color of jade, which is considered a symbol of tranquility among the Chinese.


The other attractions of this garden are the Yun Wei Ting, or the ‘Colorful and Cloudy Pavilion’, which is located at the peak of the false mountain, the Han Bi Xie, or the ‘Jade Water Pavilion’, which gives you the impression that the pavilion is floating on the jade colored pond. The bigger pavilions of the garden - the Bai Chuan Tang, also known as the ‘Hall of One Hundred Rivers’ and the Hua Feng Tang, or the ‘China Maple Hall’ are used for various cultural programs and events that are hosted here throughout the year.


As mentioned above, there are several events, programs, cultural exchanges, and garden tours conducted in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, which provides the visitors with a unique and lively interaction with Chinese culture and heritage. There is even a small shop in the garden, where you can pick up beautiful curios of Asian crafts, such as wind chimes, porcelains, handmade paper, and bonsai plants, to name a few.


A trip to Vancouver without a visit to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden would hardly be a trip at all. Don’t miss this jewel of a garden located discretely in China Town, which casts its spell on you the moment you walk through the door.