During the 12 years I’ve lived in Canada I have traveled to many different places in North America, but there was one comment I heard over and over again, “I can’t believe you haven’t been to Vancouver!”. So this year I finally went.
Vancouver is British Columbia's largest city and was in the world's spotlight in 2010 when it hosted the Olympic Games. On the Pacific Coast, nestled in the Coast Mountains, it's natural beauty and temperate climate make it easy to understand why Vancouver has some of the most sought after real estate in Canada.
After doing some research, I chose an area where I could easily walk or bike to many places. I decided on Yaletown and wasn’t disappointed. This converted warehouse neighbourhood has gone through many transformations since its beginnings as a railyard for Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886. Situated on False Creek and offering majestic views of the waterfront, this area has captured the vibrant feel of the city. It's many fantastic restaurants, great shops and lively cafes ensure that there is no shortage of places to see, day or night. And there are many people out enjoying it all.
Here are a couple of highlights from my trip.
I loved that even though I was staying right in the heart of Vancouver, Yaletown is only a 10 minute walk from Stanley Park.
This urban oasis opened on September 27, 1888 and was named after Lord Stanley, who was Governor General of Canada at the time (also the namesake of the NHL's Stanley Cup). The site shown below is the original location of the Seven Sisters, a group of massive rainforest fir trees (Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar) that were a popular tourist attraction. In 1953, these giants had reached their end of life and were removed to ensure public safety. Today, large stumps are all that remain.
This Greek restaurant is a gem. Very simple and inexpensive with fantastic food. Located at 998 Denman (at Nelson) it's the perfect place to stop for something to eat on your way back from a stroll around Stanley Park.
Vancouver is at the top of my list for those seeking a perfect interaction between city and nature. I left with the hope that I’ll come back many times.
Next time I want to explore West and North Vancouver, and definitely visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Gastown and Granville Island. Now that I've had a taste of the city, I am certainly looking forward my next opportunity to visit!