This greenspace had an interesting start before it became an official park. It was first privately owned by John Callister and known to early pioneers as Callister Exhibition Park but on September 18th, 1920, tobacconist Con Jones made an agreement to purchase the land for $10,000 with Mr. Callister holding the mortgage. Con Jones operated the site for profit as a private baseball ground which was home to the Vancouver Professional Baseball Club. In addition, it was used for midget car racing but was best known for soccer and the home field of the Pacific Coast League.
In 1934 John Callister died and the land was inherited by his two nieces. As Con Jones was not making his monthly payments, the land reverted back to the new owners (Callister’s nieces) who paid the back taxes and then donated the area to the City for parkland. The name Callister was a crucial part of the donation.
In 1942 Callister Park was leased until 1960 to the Vancouver Exhibition Association and it became known as Callister Exhibition Park which was the home to lacrosse and soccer. In 1970 the installation of the synthetic turf at Empire Stadium, paid by the City, was made on the condition that Callister Park would be returned to the Park Board as a 'neighbourhood park'.