5 ways Vancouver has changed since I left

unnamed

It’s been a year and a half since I left my beloved adopted home of Vancouver for my hometown of Toronto. It was a tough choice to make, as I’d never imagined I would leave a place I felt so enamoured by.  But it was work related decision and an offer that would have been silly to turn down. I made a commitment to return as often as I could, which is why I’ve been here since mid-June.

A few months ago, I decided to take advantage of the freedoms of freelancing and spend some time out West during its prime season: Summer. I arranged a month’s worth of house and cat sits in different parts of town, packed a small suitcase and booked a one-way ticket.

Continue reading:
5 ways Vancouver has changed since I left

Vancouver Ranked Top 10 in the World for Skyscrapers

Photo credit: MagnusL3D | Flickr

Photo credit: MagnusL3D | Flickr

It turns out downtown Vancouver really is a concrete jungle.

Vancouver reached lofty new heights this week, when it was ranked one of the world’s top 10 cities by number of skyscrapers.  With 663 highrises, Vancouver ranks ninth on the list prepared by skyscraperpage.com, between Mexico City and Montreal (full list below).

The top city overall on the list is New York, with 5,894 highrises.  The highest ranking Canadian city is Toronto (2nd overall) with 2,005 highrises. (A highrise is defined as having at least 12 storeys.)

But what sets Vancouver apart is its population.   Continue reading:
Vancouver Ranked Top 10 in the World for Skyscrapers

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

Pint Controversy Spills Over in Vancouver

Photo credit: Tim Dobson | Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Tim Dobson | Wikimedia Commons

Are you getting enough beer for your buck?

Maybe not, according to a sobering new investigative report in the Vancouver Sun. Reporters scoured the city’s bars and discovered that some are shortchanging their patrons on pints.

By law, a pint of beer must be 20 ounces.  However, some establishments are serving up “pints” that are anywhere from 18 ounces to 14 ounces.  The total loss to thirsty beer drinkers is estimated to be equivalent to two Olympic-sized swimming pools or, in monetary terms, $50 million.

Discovering the under-pours required some creative sleuthing (video here) by newspaper staff. Reporter Larry Pynn ordered pints in dozens of bars and secretly measured the volume, pouring the beer out of the glass and making use of special measuring containers.

Many of the worst offenders are listed on the Vancouver Sun website.  In fairness, however, many bars did serve full, honest-to-goodness pints, including the Alibi Room on Alexander Street, Rogue in Waterfront Station, the Whip just off Main Street and Library Square on West Georgia.

Continue reading:
Pint Controversy Spills Over in Vancouver

Dine Al Fresco with 3200 Friends: Diner en Blanc Comes to Vancouver

Photo credit: Maurice Li | Flickr

Photo credit: Maurice Li | Flickr

Vancouver’s biggest fancy picnic just got bigger.

Diner en Blanc is back this Aug. 21 and this year 3,200 tickets are up for grabs.  The unique al fresco dining event sees thousands of people dressed entirely in white converge on a secret location for the mother-of-all picnics.

Past Diners en Blanc in Vancouver have proven exceedingly popular.  In 2012, a “diner” was staged at Jack Poole Plaza at the Vancouver Convention Centre, drawing 1,200 guests.  Last year, 2,600 diners in white took over the grassy park in front of Science World on False Creek.  The location for this year’s event is, of course, a secret: Attendees will only find out on the day of the dinner.

Continue reading:
Dine Al Fresco with 3200 Friends: Diner en Blanc Comes to Vancouver