Posts Tagged ‘Granville Street’

ART DECO – Where to look for Art Deco buildings in Vancouver.

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours are promoting the Month of March as Art Deco Month and want to show off the buildings that were built in this style around the city, we will also like to write a little about this as we feel Art Deco Buildings are truly magnificent and really do stand out in the city. Vancouver does not have too many buildings left in this style – but what we do have is truly stunning and each place has its own piece of history besides just the look.

For further information on Forbidden Vancouver, please click on the link below….
Forbidden Vancouver: http://forbiddenvancouver.ca/

Art Deco can be traced back as early as the 1900s with its origins hailing from France, it became popular during the 1920s before flourishing widely through the 1930s and 1940s where it pretty much reached its peak, after the second World War its popularity waned and in time became an historical relic as other modernistic designs and fashion had a greater influence.

Art Deco can be found not only in Buildings but in Art, movies and fashion – if you spend time in coffee shops around the city you can see the influence of Art Deco merging with Abstract inspired works of Art, there are some amazing works hung up on the walls that have images of Vancouver in the style of Art Deco with a more modern twist, an example of this are some works from a local artist called Laura Zerebeski who works at The Beaumont Studios. Laura’s Art is certainly in the flavour of Surrealism yet from what we can see it looks like some Art Deco influence has crept in too….

To see more work from Laura Zerebeski: http://laurazee.com/

The Beaumont Studios: http://www.thebeaumontstudios.com/

Vancouver is home to some exquisite Art Deco designs and the first building that comes to mind is the old Marine Building. Located in the Downtown Core where today the district is now home to the Financial Sector, this building still stands out today (although it is dwarfed by the more modern day glass structures), however, when you do walk by it, you will see the unmistakable design which tells it apart from the other structures in the area and that it is truly Art Deco at its finest.
The inside of the Marine Building is stunning too, there is so much to look out for within this building and it has so much intricate detail that you could spend a few days uncovering the Artwork that is so special and unique to this wonderfully historical landmark in the heart of the city.

The Marine building opened its doors on October 7th 1930 right in the heyday of this popular design and at that time it proudly held the record of being the tallest skyscraper structure within the British Empire, standing at an impressive 97.8m and holding 22 floors the building kept this record until 1939. It would have been quite the sight if you were coming to Vancouver back in the day, as many of the surrounding buildings and structures were no bigger than a couple of storey’s high with a few buildings barely reaching ‘mid level status’ – the few buildings that did were likely built by the big CEO’s of their day as large mansion houses for themselves, staffers and workers that were earning their keep at the various industries of the day.
The building that was originally the tallest prior to the Maritime building as the tallest skyscraper within the British Empire was ‘The Sun Tower’, this too being a very popular building in Vancouver with its distinctive faux-patina steel dome painted to imitate copper cladding, is a structure that is easily spotted from many vantage points around the city – especially if you are looking with your back facing the North East looking at the downtown skyline.
The design of the Sun tower also hails from the influence of French architecture that is known as Beaux-Arts architecture this type of design was very popular from around the 1600s right through to the same era as Art Deco, this can be seen throughout Canada and especially The Prairies with many of the structures being built between the 1900s and 1960s.

Other notable buildings that were built in the Art Deco design are the Vancouver City Hall which reminds me of the Fritz Lang Movie ‘Metropolis’ which was undoubtedly a champion of Art Deco in film – even the Band Queen got in the act when they were promoting one of their biggest hits Radio Ga Ga which used footage from the film and created their stage set courtesy of this movie from 1927.
The Bay Theatre (Starlight Theatre) which was built in the Art Moderne style of Art Deco and is now home to Blenz coffee shop located on Denman Street which is not too far away from us here in the West End.
The Vogue Theatre – located in the heart of downtown Vancouver on 918 Granville Street, the Vogue has been one of the defining architectural achievements in Vancouver since its opening in 1941 (and still entertains the masses to this day) it is a true Art Deco/Art Moderne building.

The Vogue Theatre is a very popular venue and it actually features extensively within the entertainment scene in Vancouver, in our last few blogs we had written about events in March – well take a look at the Vogue as it will be showcasing performances from the upcoming CelticFest as well as many other acts….

The Vogue Theatre: http://voguetheatre.com/

For further information on historical buildings take a look at the Vancouver Heritage Society http://www.heritagevancouver.org/

Celticfest and St Patricks Day Parade.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Spring is coming, it really is, and that means that we will get to see many more fun events to choose from as the season starts to slowly warm and wake from the long Winter slumber.

One of the biggest events that has taken a life of its own is CelticFest and the St Patrick Day celebrations and parade. This festival is quite the phenomena, its funny how all of a sudden we become Irish overnight – and in all honesty, why not? The Irish know how to party, have a great Beer that some of you may know about, they know how to dance, and, if you believe the stereotype, are ‘to be sure’ to have Red hair and will ‘thank you a million’ for coming out to celebrate with them.

The Festival runs from March 9th to March 17th where the big day and Parade concludes this festive period. the festival is one of the biggest of the early Spring season and you should wear something green in solidarity. This years parade follows the same route as 2012

If you want to catch an awesome parade – click on the links below where you can see the best of the St Paddys Day celebrations around Vancouver. The festival attracts well over 300 000 visitors a year featuring dancers, stilt walkers, music, some Irish Wolfhounds and more – so get your Jig on!

http://www.celticfestvancouver.com/parade.php

Popular Irish style pubs to visit are -

Doolins Irish Bar.
A popular favorite on Granville Street right in the heart of the entertainment district (especially the younger crowd) This will be bursting at the seams during the St Paddy Weekend.

http://www.doolins.ca/

Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug.
A small but cute bar that is opposite Doolins on Granville, this to us is by far one of the most authentic looking Irish bars and really seems to have captured the essence and flavour of what an Irish style bar actually looks like. The food here is fantastic too…!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Johnnie-Foxs-Irish-Snug/122975751089380

At the time of writing, the webpage for Johnnie Fox’s seems to be under maintenance, please look at the facebook link above as this will be just as beneficial if not more!

Ceili’s
Located a couple of blocks north from Johnnie Fox’s and Doolins, this bar also captures the imagery of what a Celtic themed bar should look like, check out the impressive display of Whisky on the walls there, so many that it takes a wee ladder to find the items.

http://www.ceilis.com/

The Irish Heather
A fantastic Irish Gastropub that has undergone some major renovations over the years. This is fine Irish dining at its best, it has a high end quality to the place without necessarily breaking the bank either, unless you choose the more expensive route. A must see dining out fixture when you are visiting Gastown.

http://www.irishheather.com/

How to get around Vancouver?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Big Bus, Land Sea Tours, Translink, Butchart Botanical Gardens

One of the regular questions we receive at the hotel is “What is the best way to get around Vancouver?”, and “Where can we park our vehicle?”. We have decided to explain how it all works and what the best options are for you to see the city with the least amount of effort, and something that will also be informative and as fun as possible.

Using the vehicle may not be the best option within the downtown core, however, we do recommend using the vehicle to go further afield if you are feeling adventurous and will like to go your own way, please make sure that you ask us at the Front Desk for advice and pointers on how to get from A to B. A day trip on your own clock to Whistler or Victoria can be achieved, however, we will like to introduce you to Tour Operators that will do the hard work and really make a day trip work, so you don’t have to get lost and figure it for yourself.

Vancouver has multiple options for you to get around the city, the most obvious being the Public Transportation of either Bus, Skytrain and of course Taxis. The bus and the Skytrain are run by Translink (who also run the Seabus from Vancouver to the city of North Vancouver at Lonsdale Quay). Taxis are everywhere, so when ordering they will literally be at the hotel in minutes.

What is so good about the Translink company running the bulk of the public transport is its efficiency, one ticket will last you 90 mins which means you are able to transfer on any mode of transport they offer within that hour and a half, and with Vancouver being a smaller city in consideration, that ticket will get you quite far at a very small cost. For further details on the pricing and zoning areas, we will be more than happy for you to come to the front desk for directions and pointers…we will also happily provide you with change as paying on the bus you will need coins. The Number 6 Bus is available right around the corner, this will take you to English Bay heading out West, or Eastbound through the heart of the downtown core and Granville Street.

Big Bus Sightseeing Tours.
As for sightseeing and a tour that will be fun and engaging, you will need to look no further than Big Bus. We have been recommending Big Bus for many many years, we strongly feel that they are one of the best ways to get yourself around Vancouver, we are confident that you will come away from their tours with great knowledge of the city, and above all an unforgettable experience, they are fun, engaging and above all very experienced within this industry. Their routes pretty much hit every major attraction within the city, such as Granville Island, Gastown and Stanley Park.

There are various tours that they have on offer, the most popular being their Hop on Hop off excursions, you have an option of 1 day or 2 day passes, the best thing about Big Bus is that you can Purchase your ticket directly with us at the Front Desk (we will need your credit card) and the pick up stop is literally just around the corner from us, no more than a 30 second stroll on Thurlow Street. Perfect!

Landsea Tours and Adventures.
For travelling further afield such as Whistler and Victoria, we will recommend Landsea Tours & Adventures. Landsea Tours are perfect if you have a limited amount of time, and are looking for a day trip to Whistler or Victoria or even the North Shore of Vancouver. The tours will come directly to the Hotel and from here, they will whisk you away to your destination where they will set the agenda that you get to see the major hotspots and have time to sight-see and explore the destination for a few hours.

The Victoria trip also includes the Famous Butchart Botanical Gardens, we highly recommend that if you need to visit Victoria and the Gardens, please consider this tour option, as it will be more productive to let Landsea tours set up your trip, whisk you away from your doorstep with less fuss and more to see!

There are a few more options, but for now, we feel that these options will be sufficient and enable you to sightsee and explore with the least amount of fuss.

We look forward to hearing about your experiences, please feel free to write in and explain what the tours had to offer and why you would use them again.