Trying to live life with sandy toes and laughter
One of my resolutions this year is to explore my home province as a tourist would. So here’s my first blog on my ‘Tourist in BC’ adventures…
What better way to start than by taking a bus tour of Vancouver BC? I hopped on at Canada Place where all the cruise ships dock. It was a gorgeous day so I got on the open roofless tour bus, pulled out my sunglasses and worked on my tan. You can hop off and on the bus and explore the city at any of the stops. some of my recommended must sees:
The new Vancouver Convention Centre – Yes the inside is huge and amazing, but take the time to explore the grounds and the great ‘green roof’. It covers six acres and is landscaped with more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses from the Gulf Islands. In addition to acting as an insulator expected to reduce the roof’s summer heat gains and winter heat losses, it also provides natural bird, insect and small mammal habitat (Source: BC Hydro). What I thought was cool was that a key element of the design was the restoration of the shoreline and marine habitat. Working with marine scientists, an underwater habitat skirt or artificial reef was developed as part of the centre’s foundation and now provides new habitat for barnacles, mussels, seaweed, starfish, crabs and various fish species (Source: World Architecture News).
From the Convention Centre take a walk along the Coal Harbour shoreline. I was amazed at how much this area has changed. I remember when it used to be all old rail cars. The cool thing about Coal Harbour is that the land was purchased by one developer so they worked with city planning and slowly developed the area with a lot of thought and planning as a whole. If you are lucky enough to live there you don’t need a car – there’s green space, walking distance to grocery and shops, lots of cool restaurants and clubs to hang out and a great walk/run/Rollerblade/bike route along the shoreline.
The other must see in the Coal Harbour area is the Marine Building. Completed around 1930 it’s considered one of the best art deco buildings in the world. I’ve lived in Vancouver all my life and took a step into the lobby for the first time and was in awe. More info and pics here.
My next ‘don’t miss’ stop would be the Bill Reid Art Gallery. Most people are familiar with Bill Reid from his jade sculpture on display in the Vancouver International airport but he’s done so much more than that. From the chalk that he carved into a mini tea set for his sister when he was 12 years old to the cool wire sculptures he created towards the end of his life while he suffered from Parkinson’s, his body of work is vast, gorgeous and inspiring.
OK… I don’t have time to write anymore so stay tuned for Part 2 – adventures in Richmond. Seriously… I was pleasantly surprised.