Vancouver

Kayakers bobble past, waving at friends on the beach. A floatplane shimmies over the park, diving to its watery landing strip. A chattery hubbub bounces off the gleaming glass t...

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Kayakers bobble past, waving at friends on the beach. A floatplane shimmies over the park, diving to its watery landing strip. A chattery hubbub bounces off the gleaming glass towers that forest the city like latter-day totems.

Vancouver is the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada, and third largest in Canada, with a population of 2.6 million. Located at the southwestern corner of the coastal province of British Columbia, it is well known for its majestic natural beauty, as it is nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean

With the exception of Victoria, Vancouver has the mildest climate of any major city in Canada; even palm trees can (and do) grow here. It rains a lot in Vancouver, especially during the winters, but during the summer months Vancouver gets less rain than most other Canadian cities. During the winter months it can go weeks without seeing the sun or a dry day, but the temperature rarely goes below freezing. Heavy snowfalls are an unusual sight and often lead to major traffic congestion. The weather in Vancouver is similar to the southern UK, and while weather is similar to Seattle's, Vancouver frequently enjoys somewhat better weather overall. In the early summer the days often start out cloudy, due to marine air, but becomes clear by noon. Contrary to Vancouver's wet reputation, during the summer it is actually the second driest major Canadian city (after Victoria). Summer temperatures are not extreme, the typical day time high between June and August is around 24-25°C (75-77°F) away from the immediate seaside cooling effect.

Latitude: 49.25°N 123.1°W

Time zone: UTC/GMT -8 hours

 

Site of the 2010 Winter Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, the city's main sports arena was having its dodgy old Teflon roof replaced with a new retractable lid during research for this book, at a cost of around $500 million. On completion (schedu...

Recently renovated and expanded, Vancouver's best museum houses northwest coast aboriginal artifacts, including Haida houses and totem poles, plus non–First Nations exhibits like European ceramics and Cantonese opera costumes. The free guided tours are...

The 9km (5.5mi) Seawall Promenade - ideal for cycling, walking, jogging and in-line skating - hugs Stanley Park's shoreline. Keep in mind that cyclists and skaters, like vehicles, must travel counterclockwise around the park, and it can get crowded on ...

A fortified trading post since 1827, this is where James Douglas announced the creation of British Columbia in 1858, giving the site a legitimate claim to being the province’s birthplace. With costumed re-enacters, re-created artisan workshops and a go...

The giant University of British Columbia is more than just your average college campus. Its 402-hectare grounds are part of an area called the University Endowment Lands and are set amid rugged forest. Three of the city’s most treasured and wild beache...

Located inside BC Place Stadium, the small but perfectly formed Sports Hall of Fame showcases top BC athletes, both amateur and professional, with special galleries devoted to each decade in sports. There’s a wealth of medals, trophies and sporting mem...

Stanley Park's biggest draw, the aquarium is home to 9000 water-loving critters – including sharks, wolf eels, beluga whales and a somewhat shy octopus. There's also a small, walk-through rainforest area of birds, turtles and a statue-still sloth. Chec...

As you walk out onto one of the world's longest (140m) and highest (70m) suspension bridges, swaying gently over the roiling waters of tree-lined Capilano Canyon, remember that the thick steel cables you are gripping are safely embedded in huge concret...

There's a funky array of vintage and consignment clothing and jewelry here, but the stars of the show are the leather bags, belts, hats and purses made on-site by Erin herself from new and recycled materials (she trained in shoemaking at a London colle...

A fair-trade boutique where purchases support the work of artisans in low- income countries around the world, you'll find stationery from Bangladesh, baskets from Vietnam and a plethora of hammocks, drums, clothing and unusual handicrafts. Pick up a fa...

A treasure trove of antique glories, from flapper dresses to sparkly evening shoes and even the occasional old-school wedding outfit, this is one of the city's best vintage clothing stores. Mostly serving discerning females, there are also essential ou...

Once a citywide chain, this independent homegrown bookseller retreated to this single outlet a few years back, but has retained a loyal following. It’s a nice place to browse for an hour or two, there’s a good selection of Canadiana, and the staff know...

A rare and evocative relic of Kitsilano's hippie past, this vegetarian restaurant has the feel of a comfy, highly chatty farmhouse. It's not unusual to have to wait for a table here at peak times, but it's worth it for the hearty stir-fries, Mexican pl...

If you need a break from the area’s noisy Chinese grocery stores, nip into this kitsch-arama of all things pop culture, where you’ll find those must-have tiki mugs, wind-up metal robots and cheetah-print fez hats that no discerning individual should be...

If you’re lucky enough to catch a show at the Orpheum Theatre, be prepared to gasp when you enter the auditorium. Built in 1927 and now designated a national heritage site, the sumptuous Spanish baroque interior of multiple arches topped by an ornate p...

You'll easily spot this bright yellow bistro as you pass over the Granville Bridge on your way here. In summer it offers one of the best sunset patios in town from which to enjoy well-executed classics like seafood chowder, halibut and chips and thin-c...

A two-minute walk west along the seawall from the Granville Island entrance, this wildly popular seafood shack is one of the city's best fish-and-chip joints, offering a choice of halibut, salmon or cod encased in crispy golden batter. The smashing (an...

Expect some verbal sparring at this local hangout where the jokily abusive servers will greet you with the line ‘Move your ass to the table, ’ then shimmy over to demand ‘Are you ready to order, or what?’ It’s all meant warmly – if they don’t insult yo...

Just off S Granville St, ever-popular Vij's is the high-water mark of contemporary East Indian cuisine, fusing regional ingredients, subtle global flourishes and classic ethnic dishes to produce an array of innovative flavors. The unique results range ...

This narrow Granville St drinkery never seems to have enough tables to go around at the weekend, when the noise levels prevent all but the most rudimentary of conversations. It's a different story during the week, when calm is restored and you can savo...

The signature beer at this giant, edge-of-Gastown microbrewery is Lions Gate Lager, which is a good summer tipple, but the Empress IPA is also worth a try. A favorite of the after-work crowd, the pub downstairs can get noisy, while upstairs is all abou...

A recently restored 1980s movie house with very comfy seats, the one-screen Rio shows one Hollywood blockbuster every night. Even better are its extras: there's a baby-friendly screening for parents and their mewling progeny every other Wednesday, whil...

Rediscover Vancouver — Only one of many lovely Vancouver views #Vancouver...

The kids went downtown without me a few days ago to visit a downtown park that someone at the laundromat told me about and to go in a fancy hotel that we had read about. On Sunday we took the bus west a few miles to Pacific Spirit Regional Park and w...

If you’re lucky enough to catch a show at the Orpheum Theatre, be prepared to gasp when you enter the auditorium. Built in 1927 and now designated a national heritage site, the sumptuous Spanish baroque interior of multiple arches topped by an ornate p...

This narrow Granville St drinkery never seems to have enough tables to go around at the weekend, when the noise levels prevent all but the most rudimentary of conversations. It's a different story during the week, when calm is restored and you can savo...

The signature beer at this giant, edge-of-Gastown microbrewery is Lions Gate Lager, which is a good summer tipple, but the Empress IPA is also worth a try. A favorite of the after-work crowd, the pub downstairs can get noisy, while upstairs is all abou...

A recently restored 1980s movie house with very comfy seats, the one-screen Rio shows one Hollywood blockbuster every night. Even better are its extras: there's a baby-friendly screening for parents and their mewling progeny every other Wednesday, whil...

In 1994, an Indian immigrant opened a small eatery called Vij's Restaurant in Vancouver. Initially, Vikram, the proprietor of the restaurant, wanted a small place that can show off the masterly of Indian Cuisine without using the overly overused Tandoo...

A rare and evocative relic of Kitsilano's hippie past, this vegetarian restaurant has the feel of a comfy, highly chatty farmhouse. It's not unusual to have to wait for a table here at peak times, but it's worth it for the hearty stir-fries, Mexican pl...

You'll easily spot this bright yellow bistro as you pass over the Granville Bridge on your way here. In summer it offers one of the best sunset patios in town from which to enjoy well-executed classics like seafood chowder, halibut and chips and thin-c...

A two-minute walk west along the seawall from the Granville Island entrance, this wildly popular seafood shack is one of the city's best fish-and-chip joints, offering a choice of halibut, salmon or cod encased in crispy golden batter. The smashing (an...

Expect some verbal sparring at this local hangout where the jokily abusive servers will greet you with the line ‘Move your ass to the table, ’ then shimmy over to demand ‘Are you ready to order, or what?’ It’s all meant warmly – if they don’t insult yo...

Just off S Granville St, ever-popular Vij's is the high-water mark of contemporary East Indian cuisine, fusing regional ingredients, subtle global flourishes and classic ethnic dishes to produce an array of innovative flavors. The unique results range ...

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