Category: Vancouver

Vancouver for First Time Visitors

I had house guests this past weekend. They arrived late Friday afternoon, and flew out Monday morning. One is my cousin, whom I don’t see very often, but grew up with and have always been close to. The other is one of her girlfriends. They live in a small city in Alberta and had both been to Vancouver once, as children, and didn’t really remember any details. They came for a “Girl’s Weekend Get-away”, leaving their partners and children behind. It was my birthday last week and I had planned a night out on Friday, to celebrate with several of […]

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Vancouver International Children’s Festival

The Children’s Festival is coming!  Located at Vanier Park, on the shores of English Bay in Kitsilano, it runs for a week starting the Monday prior to the May long weekend, and ending on the Victoria Day holiday Monday.  This year (2010) it’s May 17 – 24.  The website is www.childrensfestival.ca  I’ve been taking my daughter to the festival since she was two years old, and she just turned eight.  We usually buy tickets to a show, which is the best deal because the admission price to the site is included.  We’ve paid just the gate admission a couple of […]

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Vancouver’s Stanley Park

If you have only one day, or even one afternoon to spend in Vancouver, go to Stanley Park.  It is one of the largest urban parks in North America, with 1,000 acres of woodlands, gardens, trails, flowers, lakes, beaches and wildlife. I’ve lived one block off of Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park for the past seven years.  “The park is like our backyard” is a common saying among apartment-dwellers in Vancouver.  In our case, we live by this statement.  Even in the winter months, we regularly walk around Lost Lagoon to see the different animals and birds.  We also go […]

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Vancouver Area Shopping Malls

Living in the West End means you can easily live without a vehicle.  I should know, my family has existed without one for more than ten years.  We brought a car with us when we first moved to Vancouver, and for our first couple of years living in Kitsilano.  We gradually realized that we were not using our car nearly enough to warrant the expense, and that we could easily live without one. One of the most challenging aspects of life without a car can be getting to the big box stores when you need to.  I am not a […]

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Thoughts on Kitsilano

As I was reading through the Spring 2010 issue of British Columbia Magazine, I found an article on my home-community, Kitsilano in Vancouver. This article was well written, and amusing to say the least, but it brought up a few points in my head about truths about this neighbourhood. I’d like to explore three select topics that every tourist will be invested in: Food, Shopping and Things to Do. The article shows a large colour picture of people lined up for the Naam restaurant, at 4th Ave. and Macdonald. While I have always really enjoyed the Naam, I would have […]

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Vancouver Aquarium

I actually took my daughter and two other children (a friend of my daughter’s and her toddler brother) to the Vancouver Aquarium about a week ago, during spring break.  I know, I know, friends and strangers alike were questioning my sanity, but it actually turned out well, and fun was had by all.  The key that made this venture bearable was the fact that we are all members of the Aquarium.  When we first arrived (which was within an hour of the opening), the line up was huge.  I initially thought we would have to find something else to do, […]

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Torch Relay and David Lam Park

On February 11 2010, my family took to Burrard Street to try to catch a view of the Torch Relay.  The atmosphere on the street was fun, relaxed and rather full of police.  But the police on bikes, motor cycles, horses and on foot were having a good time too.   Our glimpse of the relay was too short, so we headed north over the Burrard Bridge into Yaletown just in time to see the cauldron lit up on the big jumbo tron screen. We were treated to a few fireworks before heading back home.  (The under-age-2 set don’t like […]

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The Lights Over English Bay

I got a chance to walk right under the robotic lights in Vanier Park three nights ago.  I was with my 8 and 2 year old children and we approached Vanier Park with the goal of answering the question “just where are these things?” The reaction to the 20 lights that were in continual movement was hugely positive from the kids.  There are ten search lights in the West End and 10 in Vanier Park.  Even on a rainy night they look great as the light makes the moisture in the air shimmer. When I got home I looked up […]

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5 Favourite Things To Do During the Winter Olympics

I got in trouble for my last entry on grumpy Vancouverites, so I thought I’d give some practical suggestions for visitors.   I imagine someone involved in the Winter Olympics might only have a day or so to play in the city.  So I tried to think of my five favourite things that Vancouver has to offer. 1.  Walk the Stanley Park Sea Wall.  It’ll take a couple of hours, but even in the rain, the vistas of both nature and man-made facilities are unique. 2.  Go to Hamilton Street Grill for a steak.  It’s at 1009 Hamilton Street in […]

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Carol Ships in Vancouver

This past December, 2009, I had the opportunity to sing Christmas Carols onboard the Vancouver Harbour Cruise Ship Lines. I performed with three other talented singers, and we formed a quartet, singing traditional Christmas Carols, along with an extremely energetic Sing-A-Long. Upon boarding the medium-size, brightly lit yacht, we sang “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” at the entrance, and were received with extreme friendliness by the staff and by the patrons. Everyone seemed to enjoy the festive ambiance as they boarded the ship. We sang a few more sets for about an hour as the guests lounged, indulged in […]

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