Best Way to Beat the Rain in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

Sanafir-Bloedel-Little-India-VanAq-078-CustomWell, we had a good run.  But it looks like the wet stuff is finally here.

After an uncommonly mild spring, exceptional summer and very sunny fall, the clouds and rain have returned to Vancouver.  Sure, we’ll have a few bright, sunny days in the next few months … but don’t count on too many of them.

But that’s no reason to hunker down inside until next spring.  Vancouver is a city that comes alive once the liquid sunshine starts falling. With so many museums, great shopping, cafes and pubs and live entertainment options, there are plenty of ways to wile away an otherwise dreary afternoon out in the city.

In fact, the choices can be overwhelming, which is why I need your help.  What’s your favourite rainy day activity in Vancouver (apart from sitting on the couch watching Netflix)? Do you have a go-to place in the city when the skies are clouded over and the rain is falling? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

I’ll get things started with my top, all-time-favourite rainy day spot in Vancouver, a place where it’s warm and balmy 365 days a year – the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.

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Best Way to Beat the Rain in Vancouver? You Make the Call!

The Vancouver Convention Centre’s Six-Acre Living Roof Gets its Annual Haircut

photo: The VCC's living roof gets a haircut.

photo: The VCC’s living roof gets a haircut

The Vancouver Convention Centre’s six-acre living roof gets a haircut once a year in the fall. The honey produced by the bees living on the roof is also harvested at this time of year. Here are some interesting facts and figures about the annual mowing of the living roof and the VCC’s resident bees.

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The Vancouver Convention Centre’s Six-Acre Living Roof Gets its Annual Haircut

Vancouver Mini Escapes: Half-Day Trip to Bowen Island

BowenIsland-8Summer’s almost over … but not quite yet.

If you’re looking for one last getaway from the city but are short on time, consider the little island that’s practically in Vancouver’s backyard: Bowen Island.  You get a taste of Gulf Island living, beautiful forests, a small town and pristine beaches – and you can be back home in time for dinner.

I checked out Bowen over a recent weekend and was amazed at how much there is to do. Getting there is relatively easy.  Ferries leave regularly from the Horseshoe Bay Terminal in West Vancouver.  The quick, 20-minute trip will set you back $11.65 for a roundtrip ticket (add an extra $32.90 if you bring a car).  I drove on this time, but I’ve biked on in the past. (Bowen’s mountainous topography makes for dramatic – if somewhat exhausting – cycling.)

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Vancouver Mini Escapes: Half-Day Trip to Bowen Island

Compost City: Vancouver to Ban All Food From Trash

Photo credit: Alfred Hermida | Flickr

Photo credit: Alfred Hermida | Flickr

Vancouver’s trash is about to get a little greener.

City council has just approved a new composting policy that changes the way the city’s condo dwellers throw out their trash, as reported by the Vancouver Sun. Starting in January 2015, all compostable materials from privately-serviced residential buildings – not to mention restaurants, hotels and other commercial operations – have to be separated for trash collection.

Currently, food scraps recycling programs are already in place for single-family homes and city-serviced buildings.  Special green bins are the final resting place for everything from egg shells and banana peels to cooked foods, coffee filters and lawn clippings.  After pick-up, the scraps are taken to central facilities and composted into soil for use across the region.

The overall goal is to reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills.   Continue reading:
Compost City: Vancouver to Ban All Food From Trash

Saving Vancouver’s Secret Railway: The Arbutus Corridor Controversy

Photo credit: donkeycart | Flickr

Photo credit: donkeycart | Flickr

Do you know about Vancouver’s hidden railway?

It’s actually not much of a secret.  The Arbutus Corridor is an 11-kilometre-long unused rail line that stretches due south from False Creek, cutting across neighbourhoods from Fairview to Kerrisdale before ending at the Fraser River.

While officially owned by CP rail, the line has not been used since 2001.  During that time, the tracks and the 50-foot-t0-65-foot strip of land they sit on have become one of Vancouver’s more distinguishing features.

Community gardens have proliferated along the idle land, as well as informal walking and biking paths that run its length.  Elsewhere, brambles and vegetation have reclaimed the old industrial space.  In short, the old railroad has become a giant strip of green slicing right through the heart of Vancouver.

ArbutusCorridor-map

Image sourced from germainekoh.com

And – at least for the moment – it looks like the unique greenway on the Arbutus Corridor is here to stay.   Continue reading:
Saving Vancouver’s Secret Railway: The Arbutus Corridor Controversy