Posts Tagged ‘Sunset Beach’

Whale and Dolphin watching season has begun in spectacular style!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

It has been quite the week for us along the coastal BC waters as we have been treated to some rare Dolphin and Whale pods migrating through the Georgia Strait.
The Whales are not too elusive as they general favour these waters for migrating, but catching a sight of Dolphin pods is actually a rare occurrence – not so rare this week though. A Pod of Dolphins was spotted swimming along False Creek and Sunset Beach which is literally a 5 minute walk from the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel, it wasn’t just Vancouver that was being treated to this rare spectacle, there was also an incredible sight of Dolphins being chased by Orca Whales along Howe Sound in the Squamish area.

The coastal waters of BC is rich in abundance of some stunning sea creatures and none more majestic than the various species of Whales and Dolphins and so far this year, it seems apparent that the pods are looking very very healthy for the 2014 season.

This link has some great footage of the Whales and Dolphins that were in the Howe Sound recently courtesy of the Prince of Whales whale watching operation. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=731808353525929

And some more from the CBC News Website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dolphins-orcas-delight-watchers-in-vancouver-squamish-1.2574894

Here is a great link that shows how the species are interconnected to a wider ecosystem in the local waters around us.
bc_marine_life

Whale Watching Tours Season runs from April 1st to October 31st
There are various Tour operators that you can use to spend a day out at sea to catch these Whales. Reservations for these tours can be made directly with us at the Front desk of the hotel.

Vancouver operations
Wild Whales Vancouver
1806 Mast Tower Road – Granville Island
Vancouver, B.C.
V6H 4B6 Canada Phone: 604-699-2011 Website: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

Vancouver Whale Watch
Suite 210 – 12240 Second Avenue
Richmond (Steveston), BC
Canada V7E 3L8

Phone: (604) 274-9565 Website: http://www.vancouverwhalewatch.com/index.html

Victoria operations
Prince of Whales Whale Watching
812 Wharf Street, Lower Causeway Level
Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 Canada

Toll-free 1-888-383-4884
info@princeofwhales.com
website http://www.princeofwhales.com/

Davie Village, Pride celebrations and other LGBT related events

Friday, July 26th, 2013

The time has come for the West End to come alive with the spectacular fireworks display and Vancouver to host its annual Gay Pride Parade and festival.

This is truly the time when Summer is in full swing in Vancouver and the West End district is the place to be, there are no shortage of events at this time of year, so please read on to find out the very best events in the area. We will also have a comprehensive list of resources for the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual & Trans community.

MAJOR EVENTS
Picnic in the Park – At The Brockton Oval (Stanley Park) JULY 27th
This is a preview event leading up to the main Gay Pride event the following weekend. get down to Stanley park and bring your picnic along where you can enjoy the fun and festivities while networking to meet new friends.
There will be food on offer, a game of Tug of War and at 4pm you will get the chance to meet the Stewards who will be running the Pride parade for a much anticipated preview.

http://vancouverpride.ca/o_events/pride-launch-picnic-in-the-park-2/

QMUNITY EVENTS
Coffee at Qmunity JULY 29th
Pop by for some coffee and a chat with the Executive Director at Qmunity (formerly known as The Centre) Here you can discuss with Qmunity ideas and suggestions in ways to enhance the community that is Davie Village.

http://www.qmunity.ca/events/?cal_cat=5

G(r)ay and Glamorous!
If you are over 55 and are wanting to Strut your wares with pride, then this is the place for you! A wonderful event that is sponsored by the Pride Society.
Located at Barclay Manor which in itself is a beautiful historical location within the West End, this event wants you you to glam it up and wear the very best dazzling costume you can find, there will be prizes and lots if giggles in store!

http://www.qmunity.ca/events/?cal_cat=5&month=aug&yr=2013#

CELEBRITIES NIGHTCLUB EVENTS
GAY BINGO FOR LIFE at CELEBRITIES NIGHTCLUB – Every WEDNESDAY
Starting at 8pm – This is a great night to have some Bingo fun, lots of drinks, laughing and some excellent prizes and all for a very good cause… this event is on going on a weekly basis at the Celebrities Nightclub.

http://celebritiesnightclub.com/bingo-for-life-ft-joan-e-celebspride/

HISTORY CELEBPRIDE 13HR EXTRAVAGANZA
Join in the fun and festivities at Celebrities with a 13 hour marathon of excellent DJ’s to get your boogie on and celebrate the Vancouver Pride.

http://celebritiesnightclub.com/history-celebspride/

OASIS ULTRA LOUNGE
Oasis Ultra Lounge not too long underwent some incredible refurbishments and looks pretty classy indeed! With nightly events here are a couple of highlights!

KARAOKE
Every Tuesday night come on down and see Grogan who is hosting this fantastic night of entertainment, whether you are a budding singer wannabe or just want to sing your heart just because, then this is the place for you, there are excellent drinks specials and pretty awesome and entertaining staff to get you through the night.

A Deeper Love Drag Extravaganza – MONDAY JULY 29th
A benefit gala for Vancouver Pride, here you will get to see the brightest and biggest stars of the Drag scene, this will be an awesome night to remember…

http://oasisondavie.com/

THE JUNCTION PUB
Absolute Pride – August 3rd
Have an absolutely crazy time at the Junction and enjoy the very best drag show in town in celebration of the Pride festivities.
Doors open at 9pm and the music will be spinning till 4am.

http://www.junctionpub.com/events/absolut-pride/

PRIDE FESTIVAL & PARADE!
Vancouver Pride comes to the West End this Sunday August 3rd hot on the heels of the final celebration of light fireworks.
This weekend is sure to be fun, festive and full of eccentric people to get you in the party mood.

http://vancouverpride.ca/official-events/

DAVIE STREET PARTY Saturday August 2nd
Kick off the Pride weekend with a bang, Davie village will come alive with some amazing street partying to be enjoyed by all. Beginning at 4pm there will be an All Ages section to kick things off and this area will be free. From 7pm the actual street party begins for real, great stalls and live music will be sure to get the festivities on in style.

THE PRIDE PARADE – Sunday August 3rd
The parade begins at Robson Street and Thurlow Street, heads west to Denman Street, follows Denman to Pacific Street and Beach Avenue and finishes at the Sunset Beach Festival site. – See more at:

Parade begins at 12pm on Robson St to Denman St to Pacific St and Sunset Beach.

Honda – Celebration of Light 2013 Important Information.

Friday, May 17th, 2013

By far one of the biggest events of the Summer calender is the Celebration of light Fireworks.

We will like to give you some helpful tips and advice for the 3 days on the days that the Fireworks will be occurring as there will be road closures. We will also give you some pointers on where is best to watch the show.

CHECKING IN TIME/PARKING ADVICE
As we are in high season it is highly likely that the rooms will be ready closer to the usual check in time of 4pm, we know that some of you are travelling early – so if the room is not ready, don’t worry, we will have plenty of space to store any bulky luggage, and you will be able to park your car at anytime, irrespective of the status of the room.

Bring your vehicle to the very front of the hotel, we have a loading zone for your convenience that has enough space for 2 vehicles – when you check in, park the vehicle in this spot (make sure there is enough room for a second vehicle) and we will then direct you with a parking pass to the parking lot.

ROAD CLOSURES
Due to the volume of people that will be attending the display (300,000 and more) The city will be shutting down the West End to traffic for safety precautions.

ROAD CLOSURES COME INTO AFFECT AT 19.30hrs (7pm)

We do advise that you try to check into the hotel before the streets close at 7.30pm, as the Police will not let anyone in without a West End permit (Our Green Parking passes are not accepted as Permits). The Sunset Inn is just within the closed boundary.

Please see the link to see a map of the Road closures. http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28412201/MAP2012.pdf

THE BEST VIEWING/VANTAGE POINTS
The majority of the crowds will be heading down toward the intersections of Davie and and Denman Street – also a big crowd will assemble at Beach and Pacific Ave.

English Bay is the most popular area, however, it will be seriously crowded and you will likely be packed tighter than a can of sardines. We suggest that you head down Thurlow Street towards the Sea-Wall and head West towards English Bay and the Inukshuk.

Sunset Beach is a really good vantage point and will be much quieter and less congestion. DO NOT BRING BOOZE, it will be confiscated and you are at risk of a fine. Be smart regarding valuables – as always when there are large crowds it is best to be safe and sound.

For further information on the events. Please look at the website
http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Beaches and outdoor Swimming Pools.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

The city of Vancouver is surrounded by many gorgeous beaches for you to enjoy, as the season starts to heat up we want to share with you the very best of Vancouver Beaches, swimming pools (Indoor and Out) and other aquatic related centers for all the family to enjoy.

VANCOUVER BEACHES

Downtown Vancouver/Stanley Park
SUNSET BEACH
Our namesake Beach is just a short 5 minute walk down the hill from the hotel. At Sunset Beach you get to experience some very good views of the The Burrard St Bridge, Granville Island, False Creek and the mouth of English Bay….it is one of our favorite beaches due to its location and the fact that it does not get as busy as the others…and of course you do get to experience some spectacular Sunsets from this vantage point.

ENGLISH BAY (FIRST BEACH)
English Bay is the most popular beach of them all due to its location at the Western side of the city – this is where the West End meets Stanley Park. You can reach English Bay by heading west from the hotel, we feel the best and most scenic route is to walk South to Sunset Beach and then head West along the seawall towards the Iconic Inukshuk
To many locals this is also known as First Beach as it is the first beach you reach as you make your way along Stanley Park.

SECOND BEACH
Heading West along the Seawall from English Bay and after about a 10 minute or so walk you will reach the beginnings of Stanley Park and Second Beach. Not as crowded as English Bay but it can get pretty busy when there are some events happening such as the Outdoor Movies at the height of Summer.
Close by to Second Beach are the Tennis Courts where the Herons annually congregate to raise their young high above the courts. Take the family along where you can enjoy a BBQ and Picnic at Ceperley Meadows and the famous outdoor Second Beach Pool – read further down to the Swimming Pool section for further details.

THIRD BEACH
Keep walking West along the Sea wall and as you start to turn towards the North West you reach the third and largest of the Stanley Park Beaches Third Beach.
Very popular among the locals who are willing to walk a little way around the park, here you will get to see unobstructed views of English Bay, Bowen Island, North Vancouver, The Spanish Banks and UBC towards the Southwest.
At the height of Summer, the beach is very popular among the drumming crowds – its well worth a visit to see the crowds congregate with their drums, especially as the Sun is beginning to set you hear the drummers increase the beat and volume which ultimately ends on a voracious high just as the Sun Sets, its quite the spiritual experience and a great sense of community as another day ends in Vancouver.

Greater Vancouver Beaches
KITSILANO BEACH
Some say this is out little version of California….so check it and lets us know what you think. Its a stunning vantage point of Downtown Vancouver, the North Shore and Bowen Island. There are also some great restaurants here to dine in that overlook the beach. If you like dogs, walk north towards The Maritime Museum and there is the smaller Dog Beach, this place will put a smile on your face!

Also close are:
Museum of Vancouver http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/
Bard on the Beach http://www.bardonthebeach.org/
H.R Macmillan Space Centre http://www.spacecentre.ca/

JERICHO BEACH/SPANISH BANKS
Located further West along Kitsilano – Jericho Beach and its parks is a stunning place indeed, with the city of Vancouver out East in the distance and towards the north you have Cypress Mountain dominating the sky line, this is an awesome area to see the Sun set over Vancouver Island at the height of summer.
Check out the Jericho Beach Webcam http://www.jericho.ca/webcam/webcam.html

WRECK BEACH
Wreck Beach is famous really for one thing….and thats the nudists! A world famous nudist beach that is a popular destination in the summer….clothing is optional so you have been warned.
Located at the Western end of the University of British Columbia and flanked by some steep cliffs here you will enjoy stunning views of the Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island.

OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
SECOND BEACH POOL
A very popular outdoor pool for all the family to enjoy – its locations is close to English Bay and by Stanley Park, at the height of Summer the near by Ceperley Meadows is the location for late evening after dark movies, so bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy!
The Pool is heated and has a cafe located nearby if you fancy an Icecream, Hotdog or a Burger.
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/secondbeachpool.htm

KITSILANO POOL
The most popular Outdoor beach of them all, located just to the West of Kits beach, this pool is huge – it is 3 times longer than an Olympic sized pool…pretty impressive!
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/kitspool.htm

NEW BRIGHTON POOL
Located out in East Vancouver on the Burrard Inlet, it is the 3rd open air pool to enjoy.

For further information on Pools and recreation – http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/tp/outdoorpools.htm

INDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
AQUATIC CENTER
Just a few minutes walk down Thurlow St from the hotel and at the Foot of Sunset Beach and The Burrard Bridge – The Aquatic Centre is a great all year round facility for Water related activities.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vancouver-aquatic-centre.aspx

HILLCREST POOL
The jewel in the crown for Aquatic facilities, Hillcrest is a state of the Art Sports centre than not only boasts a swimming pool, but much more for Sports and recreation.
Located next to the Stunning Queen Elizabeth Park, Hillcrest was the former curling venue for the 2010 Winter Games.
http://www.hillcrestcentre.ca/

Queen Elizabeth Park.. http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

Coming to Vancouver on a cruise?…Here are some helpful tips to organize your visit.

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

For many Vancouverites in the city April is the last quiet month before the Summer tourist season begins, we are sure that many of you are busy planning your trips and it is likely that you maybe visiting us as via a stopover on your Alaskan Cruise.

The majority of the Cruise ships dock into Vancouver very early in the morning (usually docking at Canada Place around 7am) this means that the majority of the Cruise Ship guests have quite some time to kill due to Checking in time being 4pm. So what can you do to utilize your time until your room is ready? Below we will have some helpful tips and advice on how to organize your day efficiently.

There is no doubt that many of you will be lugging some heavy luggage with you, well worry not, after we have completed the Check In procedure – we will happily place your bags in secure and safe storage, if the room happens to be ready before you return to the hotel, we will do our very best to have your luggage in your room ready and waiting for you on your return.

Below we have some excellent suggestions on what you can do in the time between arrival and checking in to your room.

BREAKFAST!
Its early, way to early for many, but here you are checking in at 7am – you are maybe tired and highly likely that you will be hungry too….so why not find yourself somewhere to go to satisfy your hunger…here are our recommendations for an excellent Breakfast.

THE ELBOW ROOM
The Elbow Room is quite an experience, not only does it have a huge Breakfast but you will be greeted with some Sassy Staff! What makes the Elbow Room a hit eatery in Vancouver, it isn’t just the yummy food, it is its reputation for some very funny and very rude staff – and please do not be alarmed, this is exactly what it is known for. If you have a reputation for quick wit, humour and Sarcasm and love a good old fashioned cooked breakfast – then this IS the place for you. Get fed and enjoy the ride, its a very amusing experience – Good Luck!
www.theelbowroomcafe.com
JOES GRILL
With locations on Davie St and Denman Street – this breakfast joint is a huge hit in the city, with great food and great staff it has been delighting hungry patrons for many years, but get there early, it can be a very very busy restaurant and for good reason as it is an excellent well known institution of the West End.
www.joesgrill.ca
HAMBURGER MARYS DINER
A cute 1950s Diner on Bute and Davie, open from 8am till the early hours of the morning, it has an extensive Breakfast Menu, excellent comfort Canadiana style foods such as a variety of tasty Burgers, Sandwiches and good old fashioned meals such as Meatloaf, Fish and Chips and more…!
www.hamburgermarys.ca

SIGHTSEEING AND MORE…
BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING TOUR AROUND THE CITY OF VANCOUVER
Big Bus is an excellent way of utilizing your time while you are waiting on the room. You can purchase your tickets at the Front Desk and better still, the stop is just a 30 second walk away around the corner on Thurlow St, where the next stop on the Tour is Granville Island.
Helpful Tip We recommend that you purchase a 2 DAY HOP ON HOP OFF pass as it will save you money, and we advise that you do a full round trip tour of the city in one trip and then on the second loop, use the HOP ON HOP OFF service that the ticket provides so you can see some major attractions such as Granville Island, Gastown and Chinatown.

http://bigbus.ca/home/

http://granvilleisland.com/

TOUR AROUND FALSE CREEK/VISIT GRANVILLE ISLAND
If you are heading down to Granville Island, you can get there by taking the FALSE CREEK FERRIES, these are cute little boats that will transport you to the island and also to various destinations along False Creek such as The Maritime Museum, Science World and the Olympic Village.

False Creek Ferries also offer full sightseeing tours all along False Creek, we feel that this is a trip well worth doing so check it out!

http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/

SEAWALL, ENGLISH BAY & STANLEY PARK.
If you have the energy and you are in the need to stretch the old legs, well just head South down the hill on Thurlow St and head down to the Sea Wall and Sunset Beach – head West towards English Bay, along the way you will experience stunning views of the ocean and Bowen Island in the distance and the Iconic Inukshuk!

Here you will be at the famous downtown Beach that is English Bay, you should reach this area in around 15 mintues or so, if you still want to carry on further – another 10 minutes farther along you will reach the beginnings of Stanley Park (nearby are the Tennis Courts and above them are the Nesting Herons) – stunning to see!
http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/stanley-park-complete-guide/

For further reading on Vancouver http://www.venturevancouver.com/

And Tourism Vancouver http://www.tourismvancouver.com/

Watch Vancouver roar with Pride over this coming week and weekend!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The West End is alive with the sound of music, fireworks and probably the best weather of the summer season so far!

It all began in spectacular fashion with the opening of annual Celebration of Lights Fireworks display and it did not disappoint, with calm and completely clear skies, the stage was set for Vietnam (appearing for the very 1st time) to dazzle the strong crowd of well over 300 000 excited spectators, we really enjoyed the display especially the music which infused some traditional music and some more well known songs from our side of the pond which certainly got the crowd dancing. Next up on Wednesday will be Brazil to give us their best shot to try and win this competition. We anticipate a noisy booming affair.

Anyone who is staying at The Sunset Inn and Suites or elsewhere in the West-End will tell you that there is an unmistakable buzz in the air, and this is all for very good reason, as all week we are leading up to the 34th Annual Pride Festival and Parade. This is where the West End comes alive and its all fun in the sun.

Here is what to expect…

Friday August 3 from 7pm till 12pm – DAVIE STREET DANCE PARTY.
Start the weekend on the right foot and boogie on down at Davie where the street will be closed off for a Dance Party! Featuring some of the best and hottest DJs of the summer season, main entrance is at Broughton and Davie Street. This event is 19+ and cash only.

Saturday August 4th from 4pm till 10pm – SHOREfest.
Hosting free concerts on two music stages at English Bay and Sunset Beach, catch some of the hottest bands in Canadian music, absolutely free. The concerts preceded the grand finale of the finale to the Celebration of light, where Italy bow out the show starting at 10pm.

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Sunday August 5th – PRIDE FESTIVAL, PARADE AND MARKET.
@Sunset Beach, 11am to 6pm The festival is a great place to check out before, during and after the parade.

34th ANNUAL PRIDE PARADE at 12pm
Starts @Robson and Denman and ends at Beach and Thurlow, with an expected attendance of over 700,000 spectators.

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

So go out there and have fun, and support such an event that embraces equality and love in this huge world community of ours!

What to expect from the parade? See the link below.

http://youtu.be/J9gm3lMacOQ

Celebration of lights fireworks begins on Saturday July 28th!!!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The Sunset Inn hotel is getting ready for the official start of major festivities in Vancouver.

Starting this Saturday July 28th, the first of 3 huge fireworks displays will be occurring at English Bay as part of the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks competition.

This is an event that is by far one of the most popular in Vancouver, and for all those who live in the West End we see this as the true beginning of summer.

Please see the link below to know what to expect…

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

This is a major event in the city, and with any huge event such as this you will have to expect road closures, so, we do strongly suggest that if you do have a vehicle this will be the best day to leave it at the hotel, the West End completely shuts down for traffic at around 4pm, so the streets can let around half a million people migrate through the West End towards English Bay.

We always suggest that you head straight down to the Beach via the seawall on Thurlow Street to Sunset Beach and towards English Bay…..you do not have to be right at the Bay to see the display, it will be crazy full and if anything Sunset Beach will be quieter yet – still it has an amazing vantage point, also GO EARLY….there will be a stage and live bands to entertain you as the sun sets before the big show shoots into the sky at 10pm…be prepared to be dazzled!!!!

As for the rest of the summer, please keep checking this blog for further exciting events. Over the next couple of months the Vancouver Calender does get pretty busy, the events following the fireworks are as follows…….The Davie Street Dance Party on August 3rd.

http://www.coopradio.org/events/barefoot-davie-street-dance-party

Following hot on its heels is the Annual Pride Festival and parade, then all this ends with a bang with the Vancouver Fringe Festival during September…….summer has never been so good in Vancity!!!

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

Also in 2009 during the South African display at the celebration of light, a very rare thunderstorm moved over the city and very nearly upstaged the event itself, I believe the footage will speak for itself…..the 1st is a timelapse of the day, pretty breathtaking, the second video is the full display itself…enjoy!

http://youtu.be/HNgk1pEHi_Q

http://youtu.be/TwDDdfLYbDA

Isn't life a beach!!!!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It seemed like it would never come, but we can safely say now that since July came around summer seems to truly have arrived!!! We have literally just had only a handful of grey skies, and after the deluge and cold that was our June, we feel that many of us were losing hope and our minds as to when will Summer start – if it ever was to return?

Worry not, Vancouver has been basking under cloudless skies for a few weeks now, and fingers crossed this will be the general trend for the next few months.

Here we want to suggest the best beaches and swimming pools for you to enjoy…

Beaches of Vancouver
Sunset Beach

A beach on your door step, just a 5 minute walk down the hill and you will find yourself at the mouth of False Creek and English Bay, from here you will get some stunning views of a gorgeous Sunset out West, and looking East, you have the stunning backdrop of the majestic Burrard Bridge and Granville Island. There is also the cute Sunset Beach Cafe for a bite to eat if you fancy.

English Bay, Second and Third Beach

By far one of the most popular and well known beach to visit. From English Bay you will be treated to some stunning views of Bowen Island and the central portion of
Vancouver Island. This area is also the gateway to Stanley Park, if you follow the Sea Wall you will eventually come across Second Beach. At Second Beach you will find one of many Open air swimming pools, Second Beach Pool is pretty big and certainly a big hit for families to all enjoy, keep walking further and you will be at Third Beach near Prospect Point, an excellent viewing area from Stanley Park…well worth a visit.Also a tip for some good views and food, try The Boathouse for excellent
seafood and/or The Cactus Club Cafe.

Kitsilano Beach
We adore kitsilano Beach, it is our little bit of California, a long stretch of sandy beach that has beautiful scenic views of The North Shore Mountains and Downtown
Vancouver, here you will see people play Beach Volley Ball and other beach sporting activities. There is also Kitsilano Out Door Swimming Pool, probably the most
popular out door pool in the area. Just around the corner from Kitsilano Beach, you will find Vanier Park, here there is a beach that has been made a designated area for
Dogs to run around, some of the puppies love the attention too..

Jericho Beach/Spanish Bank
As we head out west towards the University of British Columbia, the beaches really start to look very different, much more sandy beaches to play around with, we now
begin to wind our way round the peninsula from Vancouver’s English Bay towards the more open ocean of the Georgia Strait. Here the visual scenary of the city and the
mountains really do begin to open up, what ever you do, do not forget the camera!

Wreck Beach
This is the mother of all beaches in the area, you have excellent views of the majority of Vancouver Island, amazing location as Wreck Beach is situated at the UBC
Campus, which itself is a really special area to walk around, and is also home to the UBC Botanical Gardens and the Museam of Anthropology, but approach with a
little caution, it is one of the most popular and famous nudist beaches……its not a requirement to let yourself walk around naked, but just so you know……

http://vancouver.ca/parks/rec/beaches/

Hidden Gems of the West End

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

As a part of Vancouver’s West End, we really feel very lucky to belong in such a pretty district, and what makes it even better is its superb location.

Cozily nestled between the Downtown core of Vancouver, with False Creek to the South, English Bay and Stanley Park to the West and Coal Harbour to the north, this area has pretty much retained its look since the 1960s – much of this due to the efforts of the long term residents of the West End who understand the importance of retaining an image and history that makes the West End unique.

When visiting this neighbourhood, we suggest taking time to wander and meander through the different streets as it is impressive to see how the area changes.  Street by street, block by block, you will see the colours,  style and shape of each building and apartment look very different from the next one. The trees and various other types of flora are absolutely stunning, especially at this time of year with the fall colours and leaves showing us an impressive natural display.

Not only do we enjoy the sights of the West End, it is its sense of multiculturalism and welcoming diversity that really makes this area what it is. It is home to Davie Village, which spans the blocks of Davie Street and Jervis, right down towards Burrard and Davie Street. The streets here are all decorated in an array of colour to predominantly celebrate the heart of Vancouver’s Gay scene and now official Gay district. The area is awash with Rainbows, colourful murals and pink bus stops – all to celebrate the sense of pride, love and diversity that is Davie Village. No matter who you are, you will always feel welcome within this love-able community.

The West End is home to many hidden gems – some of which are very well known, others not so much.  We would like to personally highlight a few that you may wish to discover when you come to visit us here. As mentioned earlier the West end is located at the northern side of False Creek, reaching False Creek you will be greeted with the Seawall and Sunset Beach. This beach has to be one of our favorites as it is tucked along the Creek were it is bordered to the East by the Impressive Burrard St Bridge, and English Bay to the West… all overlooked by the famous Inushuk monument at the seawall, a recognizable symbol of First Nations culture and also known as “Ilanaaq” which was one of the official mascot logos at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
This beach is a perfect place for hanging out in the summer, never overly crowded and generally filled with locals from the area. It is a great spot to watch the small boats and yachts zoom in and out of False Creek and from Granville Island through to English Bay. It is also one of the better spots to watch the vibrant Vancouver sunset away from the busy but bustling English Bay.

Our other favorite areas to explore are also just a stones throw away from Sunset Inn & Suites. These are the historic housing community of Mole Hill, Gabriola Mansion (formally home to the ‘Romanos Macaroni Grill’) and St Pauls hospital.

Mole Hill is situated just to the north of Davie Street/Village and south of Nelson Park, a cute little city park which is home to a smaller park where your dogs can run free. It’s pretty fun to watch the dogs have their day with their buddies. Mole Hill has its history dating back to the 19th century; it was named after two early settlers Elizabeth and Henry Mole. The housing here is basically a co-operative community advocating for people of all ages in the middle to low income bracket, members and tenants of the housing here all partake in the upkeep of the Mole Hill community, which is clearly visible with the stunning flowers and gardens that surround this hidden community.

Gabriola Mansion which was formally the home to Romanos Macaroni Grill is quite an impressive building. One of the very few ‘great’ mansions left in the city. In its day, this home would surely have been one of the most lavish in the area. Named Gabriola after the sandstone rock which was quarried at Gabriola Island and used to build the outer side of the house. Built in 1900 for Benjamin Tingley Rogers an industrialist whom founded BC Sugar. Sadly the mansion is now standing derelict and its future is unsure. Back in the 1970′s it was at risk of demolition, and we hope that this building is saved for the future and beyond.

St Pauls hospital, which sits between The downtown Core and Davie Village, is an impressive imposing red brick building. The site was founded in the late 1800s as a 25 bed hospital, with a large expansion of the hospital occurring in 1912. Its unmistakable red brick turn of the century architecture is quite something, especially among the many taller glass fronted buildings that is quite the modern look of Vancouver these days. The hospital was at risk of closing down until very recently, for the foreseeable future it is here to stay.

So there are just some tidbits of what the West End is like….come for yourself and see this wonderful community!

Some information was cited from the following sources: http://gabriolan.ca, http://www.miss604.com, http://www.mole-hill.ca