Ambleside Amble

Photo: Rob Weiss

Welcome! Gazing up at the glorious Coast Salish Welcome Figure in Ambleside Park I felt humbled. This iconic gift from the Squamish Nation, carved from an old growth cedar log, honours the teachings of our Squamish Nation grandmothers. Intended to foster respect for the land, animals and people in the area, the figure spoke to me. Silently, I stared across the water at Stanley Park, a Vancouver treasure, and reflected once again on how unique our city is. Vibrant and bustling, yet so intimately connected to nature.

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Ambleside Amble

Under the Boardwalk – Deer Lake Park

Deer Lake Park Photo: Flickr Ann Hung

Home to the Burnaby Art Gallery, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby Village Museum and Century Gardens, Deer Lake Park has much to offer. This cultural hub, perhaps best known for the historic village and the C.W. Parker Carousel is a family favourite, especially during the holidays. Of course, my passion for nature and all things green always leads me to the great outdoors, so you can imagine my surprise and delight in discovering a scenic and relatively secluded nature trail around the lake.

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Under the Boardwalk – Deer Lake Park

Moody Skies on the Shoreline Trail

Pier in Rocky Point Park, Port Moody Photo: Rob Weiss

No matter where I travel in the Greater Vancouver region, I continue to be amazed and delighted at our proximity to natural spaces. Recently, I jumped on the sky train and ventured out to the Shoreline Trail in Port Moody. To call this a hike would be misleading, but without question, it is a fabulous, gentle nature excursion. Extremely popular with the locals, the Shoreline Trail packs a lot of punch!

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Moody Skies on the Shoreline Trail

Strolling in Shaughnessy

Stately homes in Shaughnessy Photo: Rob Weiss

When you think of destinations for the rich and famous and the world’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, what comes to mind? Fifth Avenue in New York, Kensington or Chelsea in London, England, or perhaps Nob Hill in San Franciso? Well, closer to home, with prices as high as the Lions, immaculately maintained gardens, and a vibrant past lies Vancouver’s very own Shaughnessy. Steeped in history, this residential area was first conceived in the early 1900’s as an elite neighbourhood by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). In fact, this exclusive residential area is named after CPR President, Sir Thomas Shaughnessy and many streets like Angus and Marpole are named after former CPR Directors.

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Strolling in Shaughnessy

Please Walk on the Grass – the Gardens at Stanley Park

Photo: Rob Weiss

Although the days may be getting shorter, and there may be a tinge of fall in the air, the gardens at Stanley Park are still a blaze of colour, and there remains plenty of summer to be enjoyed!  Certainly, most visitors to Stanley Park will gravitate to the totem poles at Brockton Point, world famous Vancouver Aquarium or the spectacular Seawall, however, I often enjoy venturing off the beaten track to stop and smell the flowers at the parks’ dazzling Rose Garden.

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Please Walk on the Grass – the Gardens at Stanley Park

Stepping Out at 1001 Steps

Fishing from the shore at 1001 Steps Photo: Rob Weiss

I didn’t count, but as I descended the bluff side stairway in Ocean Park towards the beach I was confident there were close to 1001 steps, at least my knees seemed to think so. In truth, this fantastic zig-zag staircase consists of only 284 steps; all of them are marvellous. Dropping 40 metres from the trail head to the ocean, the pathway offers a short trek through a natural area to the beach, with peekaboo ocean views of Boundary Bay across to Point Roberts.

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Stepping Out at 1001 Steps

Granville Island’s Green Spaces

Green space and marina views Photo: Rob Weiss

What comes to mind when you think of Granville Island? Vibrant art spaces, fantastic live music, the famous and always popular Public Market featuring a wide array of bakeries, butchers and colourful produce or perhaps the tremendous assortment of restaurants, pubs and bars catering to the foodie in all us? It sounds cliché, but Granville Island has something for everyone! I can easily spend a day soaking up the colours, aromas and atmosphere of this magical place “under the bridge.”

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Granville Island’s Green Spaces