Originally known as False Creek Park (it was situated on what was called False Creek Flats) this site had been the city dump whose horrible smell called for its close in 1939. It was covered in with fill from city owned lots in the Hastings East area. The park was finally seeded in 1947 with drainage, trees and shrubs following the next year.
In 1976 a link was created between False Creek Park and MacLean Park – it was named Strathcona Linear Park and False Creek Park was changed to Strathcona Park, named for the surrounding neighbourhood.
The Strathcona neighbourhood takes its name from Lord Strathcona, formerly Sir Donald A. Smith, who drove the last spike completing the first transcontinental railway at Craigellachie, British Columbia. He later became Canadian High Commissioner in London.