Vancouver’s Best Pumpkin Patch? You Make the Call!

untitled-7For the next two weeks or so, you’re going to be seeing a lot of pumpkins for sale.

They’re in every grocery store, usually not far from the check-out counter so you can make an impulse buy on the way out.  They come in all shapes and sizes – from 20-pound monsters to petite little gourds meant for centrepieces.

But true Halloween fans know there’s only one real way to pick out a pumpkin: by wandering through an honest-to-goodness pumpkin patch.

Now, you’re unlikely to find many pumpkin patches in downtown Vancouver.  In fact, you have to expand your search radius quite a bit before you get to pumpkin country. Head east to Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, even Surrey – These are all prime pumpkin towns, with plenty of farmland and open spaces.  To the south, Richmond, Delta and Ladner aren’t slouches either in the pumpkin department.  (This handy list of corn mazes is a good indication of where the pumpkin hotspots are.)

In fact, when you get down to it, the Lower Mainland offers a veritable cornucopia of pumpkin patch options, which is why I need your help: Do you have a favourite pumpkin patch in or around Vancouver? If so, let us know by leaving a comment below. 

I’ll get things started with my personal favourite, the Westham Island Herb Farm, in Delta. Continue reading:
Vancouver’s Best Pumpkin Patch? You Make the Call!

Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver

NightPhotoClass-52If you’ve ever looked up at a night sky from downtown Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed a lot of nothing.  Even on a clear night, you’re unlikely to see stars.  The city lights are just too bright for stargazing.

So what’s a star lover to do? Get out of town.

There are some incredible starscapes out there. The key is finding a dark place, far from the ghostly glow of city lights, which can carry for miles and miles.  The usual suspects for great Vancouver views – like Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour – won’t do because the sky is still too bright. But one of the most popular spots for hobbyists and amateur astronomers – and people who just like to spot the Big Dipper – is Porteau Cove Provincial Park, approximately one hour northwest of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway.

I checked out Porteau Cove on a recent night, which happened to correspond to forecasts of Northern Lights … the wavy green streaks in the night sky common at higher latitudes and on rare occasions even visible in the Lower Mainland.   Continue reading:
Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver

Seacycles: Burrard Bridge to Point Grey Road

seacycle

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False Creek’s oldest bridge, Seaforth’s spreading trees. Joined by paths like those between Jericho and Kits Beach.

A dozen cars for every bicycle? A dozen bikes for every car. What was louder than the waves is but an eddy in the wind.

Gentle ripples lapping at the wall, trickles open up a crack. The waves were out there waiting, and now they’re rushing through.

As the ships sail Burrard Inlet, the seacycles ply Point Grey.

Music: Dexter Britain, The Time to Run (Finale)
Waves: Tim Kahn, Arcadia Beach

Five Fun Vancouver Off-leash Zones

Fraser View Park || Photo Credit: Flickr/Ruth Hartnup

Fraser View Park || Photo Credit: Flickr/Ruth Hartnup

We all know that Vancouver has some stunning parks – 220 city green spaces, gardens and parks to be exact.

Visiting these parks with your pooch is generally an on-leash affair, but for those wanting to let their hairy best friends run free, 36 off-leash areas exist across the city. To optimize your off-leash explorations, Vancouver Parks Board  has conveniently mapped out all of the parks, including off-leash areas here.

There is one dog for every six Vancouverites, so doggy/owner etiquette is paramount when hanging out dog off-leash parks. Common sense and Vancouver Park Board guidelines remind dog owners to: license your dog, clean up, keep him/her in control and stay in the designated off-leash areas.

Below you’ll find a little anthology of some of my favourite dog off-leash zones. I would love to hear about yours – where do you take your canine best friend for an off-leash frolic? Continue reading:
Five Fun Vancouver Off-leash Zones

New exhibit finds romance in Vancouver city streets

Near and Distant Influences (2013) by David Wilson.

Near and Distant Influences (2013) by David Wilson.

Vancouver is a favourite subject of artist David Wilson. Capturing the city’s streets in all their rainy, romantic and sometimes noir-ish aspects, Wilson shows us the city in new, exciting ways.

You can see Wilson’s latest batch of Vancouver-centric works beginning tonight (Sept 25). Intersections, David Wilson’s exhibit of new paintings, opens with a reception (6 – 9 p.m.) at the Kimoto Gallery at 1525 W. 6th. The show runs until Oct. 11.

Continue reading:
New exhibit finds romance in Vancouver city streets