Passenger rail service was nearly eliminated by the late 1950s or early 1960s.
(William H. Bass Photo Collection courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)
Welcome to Canterbury Park! This picturesque 1.7-acre neighborhood park is east of Meridian-Kessler and south of Broad Ripple at 5510 North Carvel Avenue, near where the Monon Rail Trail meets 54 th Street. The park features a playground, picnic shelters, restrooms, and a sand volleyball court.
The Canterbury Park neighborhood sprang up shortly after World War II, as soldiers returning from war sought affordable housing for their growing families. Homes with ample yards and garages for family sedans brought new residents to the area; schools and businesses soon followed. As the area became more residential, and personal automobile ownership continued to increase, the Monon Railroad reduced passenger operations through Indianapolis. The rail line returned much of the track’s right-of-way to the City in 1956. The section of land between Carvel Avenue and the train tracks was not deep enough to allow for residential construction, so the area was designated as a neighborhood park. Canterbury Park officially opened in 1959, providing recreation opportunities to families living nearby.
The quiet, tree-lined streets of the Canterbury neighborhood are still a sought-after place for families to make their homes. Canterbury Park remains a popular outdoor destination for both the immediate community surrounding the park and for those passing through on the Monon Rail Trail. Joggers and cyclists often stop to rest under the park’s ample shade trees. On particularly nice days, it’s not uncommon to see a row of strollers and bike trailers lined up at the park’s entrance, as parents bring their children to enjoy the playground equipment. Teams of two, three, or four players face off in sand volleyball.
The Canterbury community takes great pride in their park and regularly hosts neighborhood picnics and park clean-up events. For one of the city’s smaller parks, Canterbury Park is one of Indy Parks and Recreation’s most well-regarded green spaces.