Posts Tagged ‘Vanier Park’

May Events in Vancouver 2014

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

May 2014 is shaping up to be a very busy month in Vancouver, not only is it the beginning of Official tourist season what with the arrival of the Cruise Ships, it is also the time when our weather is becoming sunnier and warmer and that means the festivities start to commence! We cannot wait and are looking forward to a great Summer season ahead of us.

Here are a list of Events to look out for in May – it is a jammed packed month so we are sure you will be kept busy!

EVERY THURSDAYS of every Month
Forbidden Vancouver City Walking Tours
On Prohibition City you explore the strange, corrupt and colourful history of prohibition-era Vancouver. Hear of the unlikely alliance of temperance campaigners and anti-saloon activists who together convinced the province to go dry back in 1917. Discover what life was like under prohibition, with stories of blind pigs, private members clubs, corruption, bootlegging, and free-flowing medicinal liquor. And learn the stories of the city’s most notorious mayor, LD Taylor, its most beautiful showgirl and its greatest rum-runners.
Website: http://forbiddenvancouver.ca/home/prohibition-city/

Fairview Pub – Thursday Night Jazz
One of Vancouver’s best venues for live Jazz, Rhythm & Blues entertainment. This legendary Vancouver pub is popular with locals and guests alike and features live music and drink specials at the full-service bar. Our popular Thursday Night Jazz features John Nolan Jazz trio followed by the house band. Visit us online for schedule of upcoming shows.
Website: http://www.fairviewpub.ca

MOTHERS DAY in Vancouver – May 11th
There are plenty of options for Mother to enjoy her day – take a look at this comprehensive list courtesy of About.com Vancouver http://vancouver.about.com/od/vancouverevents/tp/mothersday.htm

Soul Reflexions Spa
If you really want to pamper Mother we do recommend a great Spa that is in the local neighbourhood and run by Zsuzsanna Szokendi – it is just a few minutes walk away from us, a very initimate setting and at a great price! Mum will be happy.
Website: www.soulreflexions.com

NIGHT MARKETS
The Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market 2014 event is located at No. 3 Road & River Road, Richmond, just 1 block from Bridgeport SkyTrain Station. It runs from May 18 to Oct 8 on every weekend starting at 7:00 pm. This outdoor event offers 88 food booths (the largest international food court ever), over 200 merchants & corporate sponsor booths, more than 1,700 on-site parking stalls, free admission, free live entertainment nightly on a top-notch performing stage, games, contests & hundreds of give-away prizes. Come & spend your summer in this fun-filled shopping & eating paradise with you.
Website: http://www.richmondnightmarket.com

Vancouver Chinatown Night Market
The street market contains booths with different merchandises on sale including artistic handicrafts, creative gifts & decors, modern electronics, fashionable clothes, popular music, delicious snacks & ethnic food…etc.
Vancouver Chinatown Night Market
Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Venue: Keefer St. / Main St. (Between Main & Columbia St.
Website: http://vancouverchinatownnightmarket.com/

FAIRGROUND – Playland at the PNE Vancouver May 3 – Sept 21, 2014
The Playland amusement park is now ready to open its doors for the 2014 season
The Park is also home to the PNE and the Hastings Race Course – the Playland Amusement park itself is Canada’s oldest amusement park, it opened its doors to the public way back in the 1950s and still has the original wooden Rollercoaster in operation, which has been entertaining thrill seekers since 1958, there are also 2 other rollercoaster rides at Playland.
Website: http://www.pne.ca/playland/

MARATHON – Vancouver May 4, 2014
Named as one of the Top 10 Destination Marathons, the BMO Vancouver Marathon is a Boston Qualifier that takes runners on a 42.2 kilometre (26.2 miles) adventure past beaches, through natural parks, and along Vancouver’s bustling Seawall.
Website: http://www.bmovanmarathon.ca/

CHILDRENS EVENTS!
Vancouver International Children’s Festival 27th May to June 1st
A world-renowned festival of performing arts for young audiences, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival has been educating, entertaining & inspiring young audiences since 1978.
The Vancouver International Children’s Festival moved to Granville Island in 2011, after 33 years at Vanier Park.
Website: http://http://www.childrensfestival.ca

Spring time in Vancouver – Part 1…Gorgeous Wildlife and Plantlife

Monday, February 24th, 2014

For many of us who live in Vancouver the Season of Spring is by far one of the best, with the longer days becoming more noticeable and the weather slowly but surely warming it is a time where the city and nature start to wake from the long long nights of Winter.

There are many reasons to come to Vancouver between March and June not just because is it still a relatively cheaper time to stay in the city. The tourist season will generally start to really kick into gear during the latter half with the volume of Cruise Ships increasing, Spring break and so on, so if crowds are not your thing then very likely this season should really appeal to you as the city is not too too busy.

Many of us love Vancouver in the Spring for one thing overall and that is for the blooming of the plants and the explosion of colour because of this. As the leaves begin to unfold and the increase of the local wildlife who are during their rounds, where they will be getting ready for the mating season and need to fill their hungry bellies – so much to choose from that will no doubt grab your interest.

We will break down this blog into 2 parts so that there is something for everyone to be interested in, and, as always we will have further blogs that will keep you up to date on all the major events over the coming months.

CLIMATE
The Climate in Vancouver is very well known as soggy, mild with lots of rain! However, this year has been different, admittedly this particular Winter has not played ball as normal as it has been predominantly dry, it has had the odd blast of the Arctic air licking our shores (albeit brief) and its snowing as I type so we are still reminded that it is still the Winter season.

It has also been a remarkably sunny winter so therefore that means it has been very very dry. This area of the world is known as a temperate Rain-forest and we do normally average quite a few inches of rain each month during November and May respectively, in fact, the crazy weather that has been occurring in Europe and more specifically the UK is what we would call typical. So in a year that has been anything but normal we have to admit – it has has been quite nice to be able to get outdoors when we normally bunker down.

So what remains for the rest of 2014? Of course we will never really know, but many are predicting that it could be a year when we may get water advisories due to the lack of the precipitation, it could also mean that for all the visitors coming here in the Spring and Summer it could very well be an outstanding season to come. Meteorologists who are looking at the El Nino and La Nina fluctuations in the Pacific are seeing a possible transition to a mild El nino pattern which we has not been present in the last few years, if and a big if as always this is the case, this area of the world could expect a dry and warmer pattern -top that with the effect of this dry winter Summer 2014 may seem warmer than usual, only time will tell.

Spring in Vancouver is typically changeable with the rains becoming more showery with the odd brief cold spell, there is always an outside chance that snow may fall even as late as the end of March and at a push April – due to its topsy turvy nature, either way the great thing about Vancity is that you can get some late season skiing in on the slopes and then come back down to earth for a nice stroll down the beach – the Sun is starting to have an influence so it may be pleasent and warm down at sea level. In turn that means the world around us is waking up so the next section will explain about the blooming of the Plants and what wildlife to expect here.

TREES AND PLANTS
It is fair to say that the Spring season is one of the most colourful and stunning of all seasons and in Vancouver it is very visible- what you will also notice is the many varieties of Plant-life that hail from areas such as the Far East Asia with the main feature dominating are the Cherry Blossoms, they seriously show off what they have got especially during late April and May – there is a great Festival and Website that is dedicated to the Cherry Blossoms it gives you a comprehensive guide as to where the blooms are occurring around the city, what kind of blossoms they are, and what to expect over the next few weeks as they progress.
A major highlight of the Cherry Blossom blooms are the trees that line the square at Burrard Street Skytrain station – here there are so many Blossoms in bloom that they create a stunning pink and white canopy ceiling above you, its gorgeous.

Although the Cherry blossoms tend to take the most accolades in the area there are more amazing plants and trees to check out.

Cherry Blossom Festival: http://www.vcbf.ca/

Deciduous Trees
Vancouver is also home to some pretty stunning Deciduous trees in the area and in the Spring they really show off the very best of their Spring Blooms, trees such as Magnolia Vulcan this tree dazzles with a brilliant ruby-red 20-cm flowers. It thrives in every soil type and has sturdy upright growth. You can find this on the Corner of Beach Ave and Burrard St nearby, Magnolias are found all throughout the West End and vary in size and shapes.
Found all over but you can see it in the Rose Garden in Stanley Park The Prunus ‘Akebono’ (ornamental cherry) its pink blossom slowly turn to a soft pink-white from mid-March to early April.

Just around the corner from us is a wonderful Magnolia tree that is getting ready to put on its own Spring show, take a left turn from the Hotel and Burnaby Street onto Thurlow St and you will see this gorgeous tree!

WILDLIFE and STANLEY PARK
Spring is also the season when you notice the influx of the migrating birds and of course the critters that are now waking up from their deep winter slumber.
We recommend that when you do visit the parks (Its our stunning oasis in the city) we really do encourage you to keep your eyes peeled as there is plenty of wildlife to spot on the ground and in the skies.

The Great Blue Herons.
These majestic creatures have made a small area in Stanley Park their natural home for nesting and it is in surprisingly large numbers – it seems that in many other areas of the world the Herons are found to be dwindling in numbers, thankfully this is not the case in Vancouver, we hope that this is a healthy continuing trend.
During March we will see the return of the male Herons, the best place to see them are down by the Tennis Courts on Beach Avenue (Which is not too far a walk from the Sunset) the male herons will return to their designated nests where they will hope to attract the females whom arrive a short while later.

Once they do arrive the usual courtship ritual begins, you can spot this when the couples are in their nests and will cross their bills regularly, together they help maintain their nests (some return to the existing ones and like to modernise and spruce them up too).
Come the end of April and early May you will start to see the chicks hatching from their nests, it is quite a sight to see. At the last count there are around 165 to 170 nests, this location has been a regular home since 1921 there were many nests across the creek in Vanier Park, but now, only a handful remain.

Heron Colony of Stanley Park: http://www.greatervancouverparks.com/StanleyHeronColony01.html

Here is a video of the Herons in the Park
Blue Herons of Vancouver

The Elusive Coyote
Coyotes breeding season occurs from January through April and there is always a chance that you will catch a quick glance of them as Spring progresses to Summer. Cubbing season will be well under way by then so the Coyotes will be busy looking for food not only for themselves but for their new offspring too. If you do manage to see them – just let the Coyotes be, they may look a little under nourished but don’t be tempted to feed them as these critters are more than capable and happy to forage by themselves.
An interesting fact about the Coyotes, they were introduced into Vancouver in the 1980s and very quickly established themselves into the urban setting. They are a little fearful of humans when they are not treated or respected as the animals that they are, however, this is not a cause for alarm, just leave them be and they will carry on their merry way as long as they are not distracted – it is not unusual to find them wandering the street or even venturing deeper into the city, Coyotes live where ever they can get comfortable, they only make Dens for the purpose of bringing up the cubs, otherwise, leaves and shrubs will be more than fine for a home sweet home.

Living with Coyotes: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/conservation/co-existing-with-coyotes/

Migrating Birds
A sure sign of Spring is the sound of the Birds that are making their way around the globe and at this time of year start to make their presence known in the city, this is really noticeable by their chirping, whistles and regular songs that become more and more familiar, and of course the plumage, they really do begin to get more and more colourful!
The birds that arrive come in all shapes and sizes of course and there are far too many to mention here, but we will note a few to look out for, and please click on the link below so you can read in depth of the many other species not mentioned here. Keep an eye out for Hawks, Bald Eagles, Chickadees, Hummingbirds and of Canada Geese – easily spotted by their famous flying V formation!

A cool occurrence that happens everyday is when the Species of Gulls and Crows make their way home to their respective nests and roosts, if you look up at the skies roughly an hour before and up to Sunset you may get to witness a very large Murder of Crows heading east to their roosting spot in Burnaby, its is quite a sight to see – at the very same time, you will see the Gulls making their way home from inland out to the coast where their nests are.

Birds of Vancouver: http://birdvancouver.com/blog_april12.html

And then the rains came – Welcome to Raincity!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

I must apologize for the absence of Blogs the past few weeks….November is generally the time when staff go on their vacation as the hotel tends to wind down after the busy summer period.

Coming back to Vancouver in the middle of November is like returning home to an unfamiliar city – gone are the glorious blue skies of summer, now replaced by the seasonal Pacific storms that barrel the coast like an unrelenting train (which in actual fact is the case). For some this can seem like a drab nightmare, but there is a great charm to the weather that makes the Pacific Northwest so unique.

We feel that rain should never stop you from venturing out, if anything, get the wellies and anorak on and brave the elements…the colors of the sky are not as dull gray as you may think…and Stanley park comes alive with the passing weather, its this time of year when you realize and notice that Vancouver is nestled in a temperate rain-forest, so take a good look as the fronts sweep by and watch the trees breath out the condensation in the park, it truly is a living and breathing ecosystem.

There are plenty of things to do in the city that is undercover, such as Granville Island Public Market, the Big Bus city tours, Museum of Vancouver alongside the Macmillan Space Center and Police Museum near Kitsilano Point at Vanier Park.

http://www.granvilleisland.com/

http://bigbus.ca/home/

At Kitsilano Point there is a great story that sums up our “Raincity”. Which has been carved onto a large rock, it is a lovely testament to the inclement weather.

This story stone, entitled “Vancouver in the Rain” is one of ten across the city. Here it is….

“It is probably fair to say that one of the things for which Vancouver is most famous is rain. It is true that it can and will rain here for weeks on end. Several years ago I found myself coming close to being thoroughly disgusted with the rain, unusual for me as it usually bothers me not at all.

I was walking home from work and was mumbling under my breath the whole way, carrying on about how this weather was suited only to ducks. The building I lived in at the time was a large square building surrounding a brick courtyard. I came around the corner into the courtyard and there, to my amazement, was a beautiful Peking duck, having a ball in a huge puddle in the middle of the courtyard. It was quacking and splashing with such obvious delight that I had to smile, glad that such joy could be found in the gray wetness of such a day.

I really love the rain in Vancouver. I have been told that the Inuit have hundreds of words for snow. I have often thought we don’t have nearly enough words for rain, for there are so many types of rain. There is soft rain and hard rain and sideways rain, rain that makes you instantly wet, and rain that leaves soft kisses on your cheek, like the wings of a butterfly. There is cold rain and warm rain, go out for a walk rain and stay in bed with the cats rain. There is booming rain and whispery rain, rain that lulls you to sleep and rain to sing you awake. The rain brings us all the shades of gray, but it also brings us the wonderful greenery which surrounds and blesses us.”

Major attractions to visit in August.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The city is in between festivals at the moment so this will be a good time to explore some of the major attractions around the city. Here we can give you a sneak peak at some of Vancity’s most popular tourist destinations and a little bit more.

Vancouver Art Gallery
A staple in the city, the Vancouver Art Gallery has been the hub of all the attractions in the city and is certainly a must see attraction. The fountain area is also the assembly point for many protests and political gatherings!

Every Tuesday after 5pm the gallery is by donation only and is open later till 9pm. Current exhibit of interest at the VAG, is the Henry Matisse display. There are also daily tours around the Gallery.

www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

Museum of Anthropology
The Museum of Anthropology is located at the University of British Columbia campus, it is a truly stunning setting and is home to one of the major Anthropology classes in the world. The museum is certainly one to spend the whole day at, there are so many exhibits and artifacts that it would be a shame to just breeze through for a couple of hours.
Here you will get to learn about the culture of the local First Nations in the area and much more in the way of world culture.

http://www.moa.ubc.ca/

Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

Located at Queen Elizabeth Park, a jewel in the crown for anyone that loves Flowers, Parks and amazing scenery, the gardens are part of an old quarry network, and the park itself is actually one of the highest vantage points in the city, on a good day you will be greeted with a 360 degree view of the city.

Museum of Vancouver – Space Museum – Maritime Museum – Bard on the Beach

These attractions are located in Vanier Park, just a stones throw away from the stunningly beautiful kitsilano beach. To get to these areas you can take a small boat ride using False Creek Ferries (round trip $5.50) and running every 15 minutes.

The Museum of Vancouver has a great exhibit that shows the Stanley Cup Riot Boards of 2011 that were in place around the city, and, specifically The Bay store. A interesting insight into the sense of community that arose during a dark patch during an event that was meant to bring everyone together, but in an unexpected fashion.

http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/

The HR Macmillan Space Center will delight the young keen astronomer in anyone one of us, a perfect attraction for aspiring young Scientists!

www.spacecentre.ca

The Maritime Museum is home to a cool collection of Boats from the past and present!

Bard on the Beach, a staple in the Vancouver summer season, watch Shakespearean plays in the open air with a stunning backdrop of the city behind you.

http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

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/

Bard on the Beach returns for Summer 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Tents set up for Bard on the Beach


May 31st is the official opening of Bard on the Beach….a popular annual favorite that has been entertaining the masses since 1990.

The location of Bard on the Beach is quite convenient as it is situated at Vanier Park on the opposing side of False creek to us at the Sunset Inn. Just a 10 minute walk down the hill to the Seawall, you will be able to catch the cute False Creek Ferry taxi over to the Maritime Museam at Vanier Park. $3.25 one way and a round trip at $5.50 Cash Only!

The location for these great Shakespearean open air plays is pretty stunning, you have some wonderful views of English Bay and the City Skyline, definitely a photogenic moment that captures the city, mountains and rolling ocean.

Bard on the Beach runs from May 31st all the way through to September 22nd, so that is plenty of time to get your tickets for one of your favorite shows.

The performances for the 2012 season are as follows….

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

The ultimate battle of the sexes! Fiery, hot-tempered Kate faces off in a crackling battle of wits with the only man who can tame her.

MACBETH

Seductive prophecy and devastating ambition are the forces that drive this dark and powerful tragedy.

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

It’s 1968 and the merry wives of Windsor, Ontario plot their hilarious revenge on the wickedly charming rogue Sir John Falstaff.

KING JOHN

King John plots to stay one move ahead in this game of high-stakes chess where the winner takes the crown.

And whilst you are down there, head round the corner to kitsilano and kits Beach , this is truly our little taste of California….nearby there are some very good bars and restaurants to choose from, and if you are up for a challenge…climb the steep hill up towards West 4th Avenue. This area which is very much like The West End – is a popular spot for some shopping, drinking and eating.

http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

International Childrens Festival and more….

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

The International Childrens festival will be underway this Monday, so if you have kids and want to please them, this is certainly the place to be!

The festival has been running since 1978 and is by far one of Canada’s largest festivals, its home is now on Granville Island (for many years the festival was located at Vanier Park) where the whole family can enjoy themselves as there is something for everyone.

The festival involves a great deal of Performance Art, Song and Dance, lots of storytelling, with some highlights that include a Bedtime Pajama Party, this wiil be really good fun for the kids, as they can get dressed up in their best PJ’s where they will be captivated with awesome Childrens Stories.

Not only is the festival there for the family to enjoy, there is also the Kids Market that has its permanent home on Granville Island, here the kids can run around at their leisure and play on a 2 story play pen and climbing frame, get creative and artsy with their Arts and Craft room, or just peruse the amazing toys, costumes and clothes.

The original home of the festival used to be at Vanier Park. This area is still worth a look as it is home to the Maritime Museum, The Macmillan Space Center and The Police Museum, it also sits at the foot of False Creek and English Bay, around the corner is Kitsilano Beach, which we boast is our little taste of California and an area of amazing scenery of the Mountains and City.

And why not really push the boat out, get down to False Creek and take either the Falsecreek Ferry or Aqua Bus along to Science world, here the whole family will be dazzled with Science, entertainment and some incredibly fun workshops all in the name of Science!!! The ferry ride along the creek is pretty awesome too, so make sure you have that camera ready.

http://www.childrensfestival.ca/