The Ceperley Meadow at Second Beach in Stanley Park is home to festivals, bike rides, power walks, and outdoor movie nights. It’s also where you can find the site of Vancouver’s first children’s playground after Grace Ceperley (who loved children) willed an endowment for that purpose in the late 1920s.
Grace was the wife of Realtor Henry Ceperley who came to Vancouver around 1886 from California and was involved in the development of Stanley Park. He helped encourage the CPR and Ottawa to maintain the area as park land.
The Ceperleys lived at Deer Lake in Burnaby and developed the Fairacres estate that included a strawberry farm and a mansion.
When Grace passed in 1917, the estate was sold and from the 1930s until the 1960s it changed hands a few times. The City of Burnaby acquired the property and the mansion in 1966 and in 1992 it was designated a heritage property.
The Fairacres mansion is now the Burnaby Art Gallery and is a part of the Burnaby Arts Centre. You can walk around the grounds, gardens, and spot other original buildings from the estate like the barn or root cellar.
If you’re into spooky stories, it may be the right time of year to visit the art gallery — rumour has it, Grace still walks the halls.