Posts Tagged ‘West end’

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.

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.

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:

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!

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:

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:

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:

DINE OUT VANCOUVER 2014……Read about the restaurants that are taking part in the West End and more….

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Hello everyone, Happy New Year from us all once again – and as it is January 6th it is now business as usual again for us all as life returns to normal.

January maybe a quiet month for some around the world, however, in Vancouver we are welcoming the first festival of 2014 and being a foodie city it is all about dining out!

Dine Out Vancouver returns to the city once again and it is such a great way to check out new restaurants at a very reasonable price. We point you in the right direction for some of the participating restaurants in the area.

Canada’s largest restaurant festival, produced by Tourism Vancouver, and presented by American Express dishes up unlimited ways to enjoy the flavours of the city. Choose from hundreds of restaurants, a 17 day calendar of culinary events and dozens of hotel options to create your own delicious dining experiences.

For further details at Tourism Vancouver:

West End Participating restaurants.

Step out of Vancouver and into the warm heart of Malaysia at Banana Leaf, where we serve the finest of Malaysian flavours. Malaysian cuisine is a celebration of the best that Southeast Asia has to offer, a sample of culinary inspiration from Indonesia, India, Thailand, and China. This restaurant is by far one of the most popular destinations for great food.

All three West End locations are taking part in Dine Out and are accepting reservations.

1043 Davie Street. 1096 Denman Street. 1779 Robson Street.

In English Bay on Vancouver’s famous beach enjoy great seafood & steaks with lively outdoor dining, the place to meet for cocktails, or watch the sunset with a bottle of BC VQA wine and fresh-shucked oysters.
Distinctively Westcoast, the extensive wine list, freshest quality seafood, premium steaks and great service make Boathouse a BC coast favourite.

1795 Beach Ave (English Bay and close to Davie and Denman Streets)

Proudly Canadian owned and operated, Cactus Club Cafe leads through innovation while remaining true to its Vancouver roots. Committed to delivering a unique experience, Cactus Club Cafe blends the worlds of fine and casual dining through inventive design, unparalleled food quality and a personalized approach to service.

Beach Avenue – English Bay Waterfront

A West End landmark, the Central is located in a turn of the century refurbished home & boasts a fun flirtatious vibe, “gourmet food for everyday people” and mind-blowing cocktails. It’s where the locals go It also features live Jazz every Sunday evening!

1072 Denman Street

And finally, throughout the country you can find some extra special dining experiences, among the top 10 restaurants in Canada, the number 1 and 3 spots are given to two restaurants that are here in Vancouver. These are higher end restaurants so will be a perfect dining experience for a birthday, romantic excursion or just a good old fashioned splurge where you can dress up and go fancy for an evening…..

Reservations are recommended and a topped up savings account too – but trust us, you will not be let down!

This list is courtesy of The Readers Digest

Named restaurant of the year in 2012 by Maclean’s magazine, Hawksworth is the streetside jewel of Vancouver’s revamped Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Come for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner to sample chef David Hawksworth’s extensive menu; selections might include an appetizer of pan-seared scallops with green apple and sesame ($17), an entree of Pacific sablefish with pickled shiitake and soy-braised daikon ($38) or ‘ if you feel like sharing ‘ a 30 oz heritage Angus bone-in ribeye for $125. The seven-course seasonal tasting menu is $84 or $134 with wine pairings.

801 W Georgia St, Vancouver

It seems every major restaurant in BC’s largest city participates in Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium’s sustainable seafood identification program, and C was the one who started it all. Come here for locally sourced seafood and other ingredients prepped with flair by executive chef Lee Humphries. Dishes might include an appetizer of seared Qualicum Bay scallops ($19), a main of poached lobster with gnocchi ($38) or a seafood tower to share ($95); for a truly special occasion, splurge on “caviar with a conscience,” at $225 for one guest and $400 for two.

1600 Howe Street

In Vancouver for just a couple of days? That is plenty of time to explore the downtown core neighborhoods!

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Many of our guests that breeze through the hotel find that they are short on time to explore the area, so we want to explain to you about the districts that make up the downtown core of Vancouver and how you can maximize your time and still get to visit plenty of amazing places.

We will breakdown the local districts that make up the downtown peninsula that is nestled neatly in between Stanley Park and East Vancouver and the water ways that are the Burrard Inlet, False Creek and English Bay, for each district that is mentioned we will highlight some of the must see areas within them.

This is the area that the Sunset Inn and Suites calls home and is one of the most vibrant and colourful of all the districts that the city has to offer.
Davie Village is a 3 block area that spans Davie Street, between the cross sections of Jervis St and Burrard St and is more commonly known as the Gay district of Vancouver. The streets here are awash with colour such as the Rainbow Painted Cross walks of Bute and Davie, bright pink bus stops and an enormous amount of restaurants to satisfy your bellies.

Once you have gotten yourself orientated around our local neighborhood the next place to visit should be Granville Island.

The jewel in the crown and a must see place to visit when you are in Vancouver, by not coming to Granville Island is like going to New York and not bothering to see the Statue of Liberty, so there you have it – get on down there.
Like Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Granville Island has plenty of wonderful boutique shops, so many market stalls, restaurants and entertainment to keep you occupied for quite some time.
The area is famous for its Buskers, it has a few Theatres for you to enjoy such as The Backstage Lounge which is an excellent venue for Live music and plenty of Comedy and Live Improve at the Vancouver TheatreSports League.

The Island is also famous for its more quirky stores to visit such as The Granville Island Broom co, and you have guessed it they make lots and lots of Brooms, and it is all done there and then at the Store before your eyes, its pretty impressive to see these Brooms, Dust pans and other items be handcrafted from scratch using the very best local materials from the area.

Broom Co website

Granville Island is home to the very first Sake maker in Canada to open a store, and like the Broom shop, all the Sake produced is being made from within the store there are tours are available too.

Sake Website

For dining on the Island we highly recommend The Sandbar Restaurant. This is a huge hit in the area and everyone we recommend there has not been disappointed. It is a very Vancouver style establishment too, with a menu that is sure to satisfy everyone, if you are looking for Pub style food – you got it, fancy trying something that is more Asian fusion like Sushi – you got it, you are craving some excellent Pacific Northwest Seafood – well guess what? You got that here too – oh and ask to be sat at the very top, the views from the upper level balcony is fantastic!

Sandbar Website

From Granville Island you can then make your way to the older and most popular areas of Vancouver which is the districts of Gastown and Chinatown. Here you are entering the more historical side of the city which is full of character. From the Cobbled stone streets of Gastown to the hustle and bustle of the Chinatown district which is one of the oldest in North America – during the summer months it boasts a great Night market from 6 till 11 on the weekends, its full of excellent food and amazing craft stalls at a very affordable price.

The Gastown district has no shortage of great restaurants to dine in and lots of souvenir shops so you can buy gifts for friends and family to remember the trip.
The most notable places to see when you are in this area is the world famous Gastown Steam Clock, amazing array of restaurants and gorgeous boutique shops, in this area you are spoiled for choice when it comes to fashion as there are so many with really cute and trendy styles of all genres, whether you are into Pin Up, hipster, punk or designer it is all here for your pleasure.

For further information on these districts: Gastown


The VAG is a very popular destination to visit and has some amazing Art work to delight anyone who is creative and love to see new works of Art. They boast a collection of 10,000 pieces of their own permanent personal collection of Art.
The grounds outside the gallery are a popular assembly point for protests and some events such as Canada Day, so go check it out.

Vancouver Art Gallery:

Many of these places are very easy to reach via Public transport, and whats even better is the BIG BUS Tours as these guys will transport you all through the downtown core and the places that we have listed, and they have special deals set up with the hotel so it is always best to speak to the Front Desk and purchase your ticket here.

For further information on Big bus click here:

Please click on the following link to read the Sunset Inn’s latest Newsletter

Gabriola House, the Sugar Refinery and Mr Rogers!

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Gabriola House is a beautiful Mansion house just a few short blocks away on Davie Street (As you head towards English Bay at Davie and Nicola).

This Mansion House was designed by the famous Industrialist Mr Benjamin T Rogers who is the founder of The B.C. Sugar Refinery that is located at The Port of Vancouver in East Vancouver.
Both buildings are quite an impressive sight and have a look that harks back to the old English style buildings of the Industrial revolution (for the Refinery) and a Quaint English Style Country house (For the Mansion). The British influence on the architectural design were no accident as when Mr Rogers was visiting Britain in the late 1800s he fell in love with the English style Mansions and wanted to have one for himself.

At the turn of the century there were many Mansion houses like these dotted all around the West End all built by wealthy industrialists that were mainly in the logging industry. Mr Rogers made his fortune at the age of 22 by becoming the manager of the B.C’s Sugar refinery, his mansion house was used as living quarters for his small group of staff for personal use and some that worked at the refinery itself.

In modern times the Mansion has been used as a restaurant (formerly run as the Romano’s Macaroni Grill) and as it stands today it is empty but has been bought out by The Keg Steakhouse.

The Gardens are certainly a place to visit in high summer and still well kept even if the building is derelict at the moment, we do encourage that you head down there to look at the grounds and the beautiful building, it is a perfect setting for a warm summers evening.

The mansion is called Gabriola as the Stones were all carved from the sandstones of Gabriola Island under the design of architect Samuel Maclure – it was known as the most Lavish home of its day. The Windows are gorgeously glass stained too and were designed by the Bloomfield Brothers.

In the 1970s the building was in very poor state at that time and was very close to being demolished, but thankfully, other people saw the light and saved the day, it was then under some major reconstruction to refurbish and renovate the building close to its former glory.

Below is link on the Mansion and some spooky extras to go with it!

The Sugar refinery building really stands out on its own down in the middle of the Port of Vancouver, it has a look that resembles the Industrial revolution of the late 1700s and 1800s in the UK. The Refinery opened in the late 1800s just 4 years after the city of Vancouver was born – and it still makes the Rogers brand of sugar to this day.

The complex itself was built in 1980 and at the time it had employed between 12 to 15 staff, by 1901, the monies that Mr Rogers had made enabled him to build his dream mansion. In modern times, the refinery is still running well and now employs up to 300 staff.

We also recommend that you take a long meander around the West End district, as there are some really stunning buildings still in existence from the turn of the century – Barclay Square and The Roedde House Museum is certainly worth a look, and also check out the gorgeous red brick buildings that resemble the Manhattan style Mansions of its day, the West End Architecture is really steeped in history – there will be future blogs about these buildings.

Davie Village and The West End Gay District.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The Sunset Inn and Suites is located in the gorgeous West End Community of Vancouver – this area fills the void between the Downtown core of the city and Stanley Park.

Our location is situated in an area called Davie Village which is in the heart of the Vancouver Gay District of Vancouver. The Village spans over 3 blocks along Davie St beginning from the Eastern Side at Burrard St and ending around Jervis Street to the West.

In 1999 The Davie Street Business Association decided to phrase the area as ‘Davie Village’ and in the process they decided to give the neighbourhoood an uplift by installing colourful Rainbow flags (the official symbolic flag for Gay Pride)on one side of the post, with the other side showing artwork from a local artist called ‘Joe Average’.

We will like to highlight the very best of the Davie Village area so you know where to go for good food and entertainment right on your door step.

Davie Village is absolutely teeming with fantastic restaurants, so much so that it is very difficult not to find anything that you won’t like.
Here we will recommend some of the Staff best picks that we hope you will enjoy! We will begin with the High end right down to the cheap and cheerful!

High end/Fine Dining
A fantastic experience of Tapas in style with a Canadian twist accompanied with an extensive Wine List and local Craft Beers.
A great alternative to BIN 941, this has is Franco/German comfort food in style!
If you like Italian Food and specifically Pasta, then Cafe Luxy is the place for you! Excellent Daily Specials.
A very busy restaurant and an excellent choice if you have a preferance for Latin American style foods, and like the others it has an excellent choice in Fine Wines and Craft Beers.

Mid Range/Affordable
This place is a huge hit among the staff here, if you like Thai, Indonesian style foods, you will love this!
Vancouver Sushi is world renowned and EVERYWHERE! The Staff do gravitate to this establishment, excellent portions!
There are 2 Greek Restaurants in the area, this is great for a dining out experience and directly behind the hotel on Davie St.

Cheap and Cheerful!
Very very busy restaurant for a good reasons, excellent price and huge portions…there is a very long line up, we suggest that you order for pick to skip the line.
PHO GOODNESS (VIETNEMESE) They sell excellent Subs here at the price of $4.75 including Tax, so cheap yet so so good.
MONGOLI GRILL (MONGOLIAN) This is great, you just pick your food and watch it get cooked Ghengis Khan style, suitable for Vegetarians.

THE SCORE – A popular Sports bar with excellent food Specials, even if you are not a sports fan this place will still do the job! Great staff and great atmosphere.
THE SPEAKEASY – A dark and moody setting which is a great place to watch sports with friends and it also boasts a fantastic balcony that can get busy in the summer
1181 Trendy Bar on Davie
THE FOUNTAINHEAD – One of the more popular Gay bars in the area, with a fantastic patio and pool table. This is in institution on Davie Village.
OASIS – Recently renovated this is a gem, it has a club vibe to it and excellent theme nights, Sundays are a great day, with Karaoke on Tuesdays – great fun and great patio space in the summer months too that double the size of the venue.

CELEBRITIES – One of the most popular night clubs in the district and recently renovated, a big hit among the younger crowd.
NUMBERS – Boasting 3 floors, the dancefloor on the main level and more of a pub vibe at the top, it also has a fantastic Karaoke Box where you can scream like a banshee and not annoy the rest of the bar!
THE JUNCTION – A quiet pub in the day and night club after nightfall, hosts quiz nights and drag shows.

JOES GRILL &HAMBURGER MARYS, NEIGHBOURHOOD DINER People tend to like one over the other, both are very very good at breakfast. Hamburger Marys has been a staple in the Davie Village area and in many Gay Districts along the West Coast of North America (it was orginally a Drag Bar diner).
MELRICHES COFFEE HOUSE A local Community Coffee house right in the heart of the village.
BLENZ & STARBUCKS Canadian Vs USA you choose!

This is an institution that has been in the West End for the past 20 years, it sells books, DVD’s Toys and more, certainly for someone with an open mind on books regarding Gender, sexuality and more…

Qmunity is an excellent resource centre for the LGBT community…

Pride Festival

A few ideas for Easter in Vancouver 2013

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Easter weekend is fast approaching. Check out the events that are happening in the area and if you wish to find a place for worship there will be a list of churches at the end of this blog.

STANLEY PARK MINIATURE RAILWAY – All, $8.75 per child and includes train ride and Easter egg hunt / $3.50 per adult to ride the train
Spring has sprung at the Stanley Park Miniature Train. Ride the train, hunt for Easter eggs, enjoy Easter themed crafts and visit with the Easter Bunny. Easter egg hunts take place throughout the day. Bring your own Easter basket.

March 25 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

EASTER ON GROUSE MOUNTAIN – Easter Brunch, Easter Egg Hunts & the Easter Bunny
This year’s Easter festivities will feature delicious brunch classics for all ages and an exciting Easter Egg hunt led by the Easter Bunny himself.

Between 10am and 2pm, we will be offering a 3-course prix fixe and a children’s buffet menu. Call 604.998.5045 to reserve your table.

Churches in the DOWNTOWN AREA-

Churches in the WEST END

The Cherry blossoms are starting to dominate the streets of Vancouver.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival gets under way this April, but that does not mean that you have to wait until then to enjoy these spectacular trees in bloom. Some of the trees are beginning to bloom quite nicely as many have actually started to show off their pink and whites during the middle of January.

As of this date (March 18th) and under gloriously Sunny skies, some of the blossoms in the West End, notably along Jervis St and Beach Avenue are already reaching full bloom on either sides of the streets, and if the weather holds up like this for a few more days, we can expect to see more signs of the mass awakening that is Spring in the city.

The link below is an interactive map that you can scroll your mouse over, so you can specifically pick and choose the area you will be in and what kind of tree is there.

The festival is a great appreciation of these majestic trees, and if you go and check out their official Webpage page, you will be able to track the progress of these trees at their locations all over the city. Some of the best places to see them are in the West End, Kitsilano and at The Burrard Street Sky train station – at this location, once these trees are fully blooming you find yourself under a canopy of startling bright pink and whites, a stunning welcome in the heart of Vancouver.

See the listings below for more events regarding the festival and for further reading on the blossoms.

These are the 5 best spots to view the blossoms….

And if you really want to get serious about plants and more, look no further than Queen Elizabeth Park and The UBC Botanical Gardens.

Signs that Spring is approaching.

Friday, February 8th, 2013

After spending a great evening with a friend and reminiscing over our usual catch up on nature, (the Crows are always on top of the agenda in this conversation), it inspired that time should be spent on some walking in and around the West End. The forecast was for an improving picture as the day would go on, and judging from what we have seen so far, it indeed is improving, the conditions are certainly what is more akin to late March as opposed to where we are at the moment – February!

We were also debating and comparing predictions about the weather as it had been pretty mild for this time of year, we were wondering if this is game over for Winter, the clues are there, such as the sound of the Spring birds arriving during their migration, it does seem that there is a good chance that it will be a Green Winter, or are we being fooled? Will there be chances of brief snapping stabs of Winter like conditions at the turn of Spring?

The next afternoon was spent sitting in one of the small Inner city Parkways that are used by Pedestrians and Cyclists to pass through, a nice place to take a break and have a moment. This small little Oasis is one of many dotted all around the West End and the rest of Vancouver, they are really cute spots to use and enjoy, you can easily be occupied by all the trees and plant life that have been cultivated around you. There is also no shortage of wildlife to entertain and enthrall as they go about their lives (you will be no stranger to Squirrels, and overnight Skunks and Raccoons), it is easy to actually hear the wildlife even as the city noise buzzes near by, it is really actually not that audible and more of a quieter background hum, the birds conversations really are the dominant sounds of this environment at this time of listening.

On a really beautiful Spring day as today, in this small park alone you can see and hear the hints of a spring stirring up, it is waking the hibernating plant life and other creatures from their long slumber. The sounds of the birds are beginning to change, it is a sure sign that the first birds of Spring are arriving in the city, the area of Canada and the US that is known as the Pacific North West is their regular stop at this time of year. It seems like their migration is a never ending cycle, its almost unfathomable to comprehend at how large the distances some of these birds cover – some spanning the whole globe. The noises of their language is really fascinating to hear, some are like songs, some have the sound that is spoken as if in some Science Fiction setting -as if it came out of the mouth of a robot. Others are not so glamorous, some sound threatening, some sound horrifying and kind of scary, its certainly not dull up there and is a life that is constantly on the go.

It really is quite the sight to see the abundance of trees and plant species around the West End, there is quite the variety to take in. On days like these it is a good time to absorb the colours of the plants as they become illuminated by the sun, marking a vivid contrast among the colours of brown and green. The mountains are also awash with colours that the Sun is beaming its light upon and in between the towering columns of cloud. It seems like an age since Vancouver last saw the sun, yet, when it does make an appearance it has this uncanny effect on us in the city. People seem to have this extra skip in their step and a grin on their faces, with the seawall beginning to get busier with the leisure walkers and joggers making the most of a beautiful day, its quite nice to get a glimpse of Spring in the winter time. Hopefully this is a sign of a good things to come.

So if you are staying at the Sunset Inn and Suites this Spring, make sure that you have a nice stroll around the streets of the West End, it maybe the city, but the nature is all around us, and Spring Season is quite stunning in this area.

Click on the following link from Tourism Vancouver, it explains what you need to do in Spring in Vancouver

Open Air cinema and other summer film events

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The festivals have really knocked our socks off in the area, what with the culmination of the fantastically colourful Pride Parade and the grand finale of the Celebration of lights fireworks display, the West End really showed us all what a Vancouver Summer festival is all about, and what about that weather! Absolutely perfect sunshine and great warmth to please the masses.

August is a great month to check out some free events in the city, our highlight today are the free outdoor movies.

Head down to Stanley Park at Second Beach near the open air pool, here you will find the location for the Fresh Air Cinema.

Every Tuesday there will be an awesome movie for you to enjoy, so get out there, bring a picnic and sit back and enjoy the show!

Also, if you are into something a little different, check out the Pacific Cinematheque. Here they are showing a spotlight on Alfred Hitchcock and his works, and during mid to end of August, the cinema will be showcasing Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 years.

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.

@Sunset Beach, 11am to 6pm The festival is a great place to check out before, during and after the parade.

Starts @Robson and Denman and ends at Beach and Thurlow, with an expected attendance of over 700,000 spectators.

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.