Vancouver’s Hidden Waterholes: Exploring Jug Island Beach

Photo credit: ebbandflo_pomomama | Flickr

Photo credit: ebbandflo_pomomama | Flickr

When the weather heats up in Vancouver, the city’s beaches fill up fast.  On hot days, finding a spare square of sand to lay your towel can be a challenge at downtown hotspots like English Bay, Third Beach or Kits Beach.

Thankfully, however, there are a few hidden waterholes left in Metro Vancouver, places where you can enjoy a refreshing dip without the crowds.  But you have to know where to look.

One of the best may be in Belcarra Regional Park, an 11,000-hectare park located on the northeastern edge of the Burrard Inlet.  If you’ve ever been to the North Shore community of Deep Cove, you’ve probably seen the vast forests of Belcarra beckoning from the opposite shore of Indian Arm.

Over the weekend, I decided to finally seek them out.  The park is a bit of a trek from downtown Vancouver, requiring a 45-minute drive east to Port Moody and then some backtracking to the tiny community of Belcarra.  But it’s worth the trip. Continue reading:
Vancouver’s Hidden Waterholes: Exploring Jug Island Beach

Get the Kids Wet: Vancouver Outdoor Pools

Outdoor pool at Vancouver's Hillcrest Aquatic Centre. Photo: Dana Lynch

When I was a kid, there was nothing I loved better than swimming outdoors in the summertime. Heck, any opportunity to get wet outside was the most fun thing ever! When I had my own child, I couldn’t wait to take him swimming, and now that summer weather has finally arrived, we get to take advantage of all the fantastic Vancouver outdoor pools.

Vancouver has five public outdoor pools located throughout the city, all ideal for families and kids.

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Get the Kids Wet: Vancouver Outdoor Pools

Vancouver’s Largest Aquatic Centre Opens July 31, 2010

Inside the new Hillcrest Aquatic Centre

As someone who loves swimming and swimming pools—I’ve written before about my abiding love for Kits Pool and Vancouver pools in general—I cannot wait for the grand opening of the Hillcrest Aquatic Centre. It should be amazing!

During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Vancouver Olympic Centre/Vancouver Paralympic Centre at Hillcrest Park (adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Park) served as an official competition venue for curling and wheelchair curling. The first phase* of transforming the former Olympic venue into a new, public recreation complex will be complete on Saturday, July 31, when the doors open to the new Hillcrest Aquatic Centre, the largest public aquatic centre in all of Vancouver. (Yep, it’s bigger even than downtown’s Vancouver Aquatic Centre.)

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Vancouver’s Largest Aquatic Centre Opens July 31, 2010

Swimming in Winter – Inside the Vancouver Aquatic Centre

Pool and diving boards inside the public Vancouver Aquatic Centre

As someone who loves to swim, every summer I wax rhapsodic over Vancouver’s amazing public outdoor pools—especially the magnificent-to-behold Kits Pool. But those pools are closed most of the year, which means Vancouver swimmers have to head indoors.

Luckily, though they’re not as scenic as the outdoor pools, Vancouver has several public indoor pools for people who love to swim year-round. One of my favourites is downtown Vancouver’s enormous Vancouver Aquatic Centre, where the pool is 50m-long, there are serious diving boards for divers, a separate kiddie pool for very little kids, plus a sauna and whirlpool, too.

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Swimming in Winter – Inside the Vancouver Aquatic Centre

Feeling the Heat? Jump in the Pool!

Size does matter: Kits Pool

Since my life (sadly) does not involve living—like a thirty-something Eloise—at a luxurious downtown hotel with its own, resort-like outdoor pool (Why? Why is that not my life?), I have to get my summer outdoor-pool-lovin’ fix in other ways. Luckily for everyone (luxury hotel dwellers included), Vancouver is home to some of the most magnificent, public outdoor pools on the planet.

Of course, I’m talking mostly about Kits Pool. As Robin pointed out in her profile of Kits Beach, Kits Pool is the longest, biggest salt-water pool in all of Canada—making it beyond ideal for swimmers—and its location is to die for: just off one of our best, most popular beaches and surrounded by views of the mountains and downtown Vancouver.

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Feeling the Heat? Jump in the Pool!