7 Things you did not likely know about Joe Fortes

If you’ve been in Vancouver a while, you might hear the name Joe Forte, which many associate with a restaurant Joe Fortes found on Thurlow Street between Robson and Alberni. (They have a good lunch special by the way.) There’s also a library named after him. However, Seraphim “Joe” Fortes was the Vancouver Park Board’s first lifeguard. When I happened upon an article about him in BC Magazine‘s Spring 2011 edition, I was fascinated to find that the Canadian immigrant experience is old than we thought. Consider these 7 facts about Joe Forte. Born Barbados 1865 Mixed African/European parentage Lived […]

Read more

7 Essential Independent Vancouver Restaurants

Personally, I always try to support independent businesses. Independent Vancouver restaurants offer local and regional cuisine that reflects the surrounding culture and landscape. Plus, they have ambiance that differs from chains. Independents often feature local art on the walls and local musicians on the stereo. You often get to meet the owners, who go out of their way to deliver exactly what you’re looking for. I’ve done the dirty and expensive work for you and I’m here to share my favourite new-to-the-scene, independent restaurants in the mid-range category ($15-$25 entrées – similar to the cost of a main at Cactus […]

Read more

9 Essential Vancouver Beaches

With Vancouver’s sheltered oceanfront there are opportunities to enjoy the beach life in 9 distinct places. Three of these beaches are accessible to downtown Vancouver via Stanley Park and the others are all south of downtown heading west toward and into UBC (University of British Columbia). My favourite memory of a few years back was a remarkable convergence of an extremely low tide, a glorious sunny day and the time to enjoy a long walk. Three of us realized that we could literally walk along the exposed tidal mud all the way from Kits Beach to Wreck Beach. It was […]

Read more

Five Reasons to Stop at Field BC

My experiences with Field, BC have been mostly limited to driving by it. Normally by that point in my voyages east, I was road-weary and just wanting to get to Banff or Calgary. There are however, a few reasons to exit the highway and enjoy your self. Burgess Shale. About 1/2 a billion years ago, this part of BC was an ocean. The Burgess Shale is the largest fossil collection. Emerald Lake Lodge. The view of the mountains and lake is to die for. (Worth the 20 minute drive from Field.) Truffle Pigs Bistro. Just the name makes me want […]

Read more

Tofino, surf capital of Canada

When you think “surfing” you rarely think “Canada”. However, anyone who knows anything about Tofino knows about surfing. But it’s not the California or Hawaii surfing. Think 10 degrees Celsius water temperature and lots of rain. Tofino is at the edge of the Clayquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and in the middle of the Pacific Rim National Park. One of my favourite things to do is to head down to the dock where you can find the official sign indicating the end of Highway 1 at the bottom of First Street. Imagine that only Pacific Ocean is between you and […]

Read more

Deep Cove, the jewel of North Vancouver

Deep Cove is technically in the District of North Vancouver, but don’t tell any locals that. Deep Cove has the feel of a small village at the end of the road. In this case, the road is Dollarton Highway, which is slightly east of the Second Narrows Bridge as it leads into North Vancouver. You follow the highway until you can go no further. The village has a series of shops, bistros, ice cream Parlours and so forth. The real reason for going is Panorama Park, which is not naming hyperbole. The view onto Indian Arm is spectacular. From there […]

Read more

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

If you talk to people living in the Lower Mainland — what we call Vancouver and its adjoining cities — they will often say “I always wanted to go to Capilano Suspension Bridge.” This historic North Vancouver tourist site is worth the visit, but in my opinion should be followed up with a local walk to see similar terrain outside a contained park environment. The reason for my first visit ever, despite being a 25 year veteran of Vancouver, was a school grad trip that I was helping to organize. For such an event, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park actually works […]

Read more

July Summer Festivals in Vancouver

Celebrate the sun with one of these fun summertime festivals. Robson Summer Fest Come down to Robson Street, from Burrard Street to Jervis Street, on Saturday, July 19th from 12-4pm for an afternoon of fun at this summertime street party. There will be music, street entertainment, snacks, store promotions, giveaways, and much more. Indian Summer Festival If you’re in the mood for some politics to go with your music and art, then check out this diverse and fascinating summer festival. The Indian Summer Festival is on now until July 12th. For tickets and more information, visit indiansummerfestival.ca Vancouver Art Gallery […]

Read more

Snug Cafe Bowen Island

A brief trip to Bowen Island found me in a ferry line up at breakfast time waiting to head back to the mainland. The BC Ferry comes into Snug Harbour Bowen Island and on the Bowen Island Trunk Road, there are establishments meant to service those hanging around for a ferry back to Vancouver. (Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver to be precise.) Bowen Island is odd in that, once you’re there, you feel very far away from Vancouver. However, an 8:35 AM ferry allowed me to be at my desk at 9:30 in downtown Vancouver. But, I had time to kill […]

Read more

Stanley Park Seawall is Best on a Grey Day

It was an odd set of circumstances that found me cycling around Stanley Park’s seawall. I was keeping good company with about a dozen other cyclists on a June weekday. It was a work team building exercise and also a way to add steps to our pedometers. The GCC (Global Corporate Challenge) was on and we wanted to boost our numbers. When I was cycling around the seawall, I started thinking about this park. It’s huge. 4.05 sq. km and the seawall itself is about 10 km in circumference, depending on what you consider as the starting point. See this […]

Read more