The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first full-size Chinese or "scholars" garden built outside of China, and is located in Chinatown in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The garden was built in 1985-1986. The outer park was designed by architects Joe Wai and Donald Vaughan, while the inner garden was conceived by Wang Zu-Xin as the chief architect, with the help of experts from the Landscape Architecture Company of Suzhou, China.
Because the climate in Vancouver is similar to that of Suzhou, many of the same plant varieties are found in the garden as in its Suzhou counterparts. The plants were chosen according to their blossom schedules in order to emphasize seasonal changes, especially the “awakening” in spring. They are also selected to invoke the symbolic, historical, and literary meaning of each plant and are used sparingly, in contrast to western gardens, and provide colour through all the seasons.
The Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Classical Chinese gardens employ philosophical principles of Feng Shui and Taoism, striving to achieve harmony and a balance of opposites. Craggy rocks, for example, are juxtaposed against delicate foliage. Water is also an important element of the garden, and the large pond offers stillness, sound, a reflection of the sky, and helps to unify the other elements. Fish and turtles live in the garden and also serve a symbolic purpose. Bats, dragons, and phoenixes are represented in objects throughout the garden. Numerous large rocks are strategically placed and are intended to represent mountains concealing and revealing park elements.
The garden is named in honour of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a nationalist leader who is considered the “father of modern China.”