Category: Vancouver

Fun and Colourful Davie Village

Fun and Colourful Davie Village One of the most interesting areas of the West End of Vancouver is Davie Street. It’s known as the gay village and has shops and restaurants of all types. There is a high concentration of LGBT people and businesses catering to this group, but the neighborhood is also very family-friendly. Shopping-Strolling The stretch of Davie Street between Burrard Street, all the way down to Denman Street at English Bay, is a great place to stroll, stop in some unique shops, people watch (some very colourful people in this ‘hood!) and take in the amazing scenery. […]

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Free Vancouver Attractions for Parents and Kids

One of the best parts about Vancouver in the summer is the number of places to go and things to do that are free, or very inexpensive. On a hot day, nothing beats a water park.  These are my favourites in or near downtown Vancouver: Variety Kids Water Park at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley ParkThis water park is located just off the seawall along the north side of Stanley Park, across from an attraction known as Lumbermans’s Arch.  There are plenty of things to climb on and kids can run through water geysers and canons. The waterfall is lots of […]

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Dessert Row in Vancouver

One of my favourite parts of the West End is Denman Street, which is the main artery between Coal Harbour and English Bay, connecting W. Georgia Street (just before entering the causeway through Stanley Park) to Davie Street. This is the perfect stroll for an after dinner walk, whether it’s with out of town guests, or on your own, particularly if you haven’t yet indulged in something sweet. There is a five block stretch of Denman Street known locally as “Dessert Row”. If you can’t find something to satisfy any sweet tooth here, you’re not trying hard enough. Starting at […]

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Where the locals go

Vancouver has lots of, pardon the expression, tourist attractions.  For those who prefer to explore where the natives go, Yaletown, a neighborhood near downtown, has lots of possibilities.  What it also has is the potential for elasticizing its boundaries beyond what is, to begin with, a rather amorphous set of metes and bounds. Furthermore it has something for many different tastes: Walking.  The Sea Wall along False Creek that lies at the southern edge of Yaletown that itself lies on the southern edge of downtown. To the east this can lead to Edgewater Casino with slot machines, poker tables and […]

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Queen Elizabeth Park

Of Vancouver’s three horticultural gems, Queen Elizabeth Park west of downtown takes a different approach from the other two. VanDusen Botanical Garden is just that and so is the University of British Columbia’s. Queen Elizabeth Park is dedicated more to an overall aesthetic than to the grouping and identification of specific plant families. Furthermore, besides the gardens it has lawn space for games including golf, but just the miniature variety. Queen Elizabeth is a masterpiece of reclamation and transformation. What was once a big hole in the ground, a former basalt quarry, is now from the top of the hill […]

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University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology

A museum of anthropology doesn’t sound like a mass market kind of place. Yet the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology draws respectable and diverse crowds, if the tour we just took there in early July is any indication. The reason (my guess) is that it largely devoted to the cultures of what Canada politely calls the First Nations. This name is a straddle between historical accuracy and condescension, the latter embodied in the name of the American Indians or Native Americans. Like the First Nations peoples, there is not much to prove whether they originated in North America […]

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Vancouver’s Showplace Gardens

Vancouver’s climate is one that gardeners at the minimum envy. It’s cold enough so that fruits like apples or pears get the chill down they need to prosper. Summers are warm enough for an explosion of plants to grow and flower. Yet they are not hot enough to sear the profusion of greenery. Not only does Vancouver have lush and prolific home gardens, but it also has two very fine botanical gardens, Van Dusen and University of British Columbia’s, not to mention Queen Elizabeth Park, a naturalized park that could qualify as a third. Both botanical gardens are high on […]

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Sightseeing by Seaplane in Vancouver

Visitors walking around, driving around, or just sitting on a bench around Burrard Inlet, English Bay, False Creek, or Stanley Park find it hard to miss the seaplanes taking off at Coal Harbor, climbing out or letting down to land or just cruising overhead.   That’s because seaplanes are a denizen of Canada and Alaska and not many other places. These are more precisely called floatplanes because of the two pontoons mounted on struts below the fuselage instead of the conventional wheels.  For the most part residents seem either oblivious to them or annoyed with their engine exhausts perhaps but […]

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Canadian Museum of Flight and Fort Langley

Here’s a day trip from Vancouver — a two for one — that parents or grandparents can convince themselves is interesting, historical and educational for the kids, something they must sacrifice to do. Anyone who has raised any number of kids knows that is a delusion, especially in the summer when the kids want nothing more than to put “education” as far away as the North Pole. So the reality is that the adults will like it, maybe a lot, and the kids will tolerate it maybe for a while. What I mean is Fort Langley and the air museum, […]

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Not your Normal Evening at Starbucks in Vancouver

I live in Kitsilano in Vancouver and there’s a Starbucks as close to my house as they can put one without breaking the zoning bylaws.  I am a regular and I call it “my” Starbucks. True, it is profoundly lame to have such a close identification with a global brand.  I am also known to be seen with my computer often working and meeting with people.  An associate of mine refers to the 3rd Ave and Burrard St. Starbucks as my office. So it’s no surprise that the area manager, stopped me one day and gave me in invitation to […]

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