Tag Archives: Vancouver

Kitsilano: Green Home with Abundance of Parks

Kitsilano Neighbourhood in Vancouver Townhomes and duplexes are quite common in Kitsilano.

We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, explore Vancouver! After we already covered Vancouver's Strathcona and Shaughnessy neighbourhoods, let's have a look at the next one, Kitsilano, through the lens of Davis Chan!

Kitsilano street with Japanese cherry trees The Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom are stunningly beautiful

Kitsilano: One of the City's Most Popular Neighbourhoods with the Best Beaches

Kitsilano is located in Vancouver's West Side along the shores of English Bay, and it's one of the city's most popular neighbourhoods to live in. Even if you're not lucky enough to call Kitsilano your home, you've probably visited the famous Kits Beach, named one of the "top 10 best city beaches in the world" for its scenic views of the city and great outdoor fitness facilities, or the beautiful Varnier Park. Known colloquially as "Kits," the neighbourhood's name honours the Squamish chief Khatsahlanough, who was a great leader of the Squamish people native to the area.

Kits was known as one of the two hot spots of hippie culture in Vancouver in the past (with the other being Gastown), and property prices here have risen since the 1960s, reflecting the fabulous location just minutes from downtown and UBC, the proximity to Granville Island, Kitsilano Beach, and the abundance of green areas and parks that you'll find in this lively community. The eco-friendly hippie spirit of the community's past is still very visible in Kitsilano today; the neighbourhood is famous for its many organic markets, multicultural restaurants, and specialty shops along the commercial centre, West 4th Avenue and West Broadway. It's where Lululemon, Vancouver’s famous yoga-wear chain, has resided since 1998. The neighbourhood also played a significant role in the history of the environmentalist movement, as Greenpeace had their first office in Kitsilano (at 4th Avenue) and the first offices of the Green Party of British Columbia were originally located on Trafalgar Street in early the 1980s.

This area attracts people who love active life and spending their time outdoors on the close-by beaches and parks, or jogging down the picturesque tree-lined streets. Alongside students, Kits is also home to many famous residents. Environmentalist David Suzuki, writers William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, actors Ryan Reynolds, Jason Priestley, and Joshua Jackson, and hockey players Trevor Linden and Ryan Kesler are just a few who wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

The most prominent landmark in the area is definitely Kits Beach, which features Canada's largest outdoor pool, Kits Pool, and is the spot to be in the summer! When you've had enough of swimming and sunbathing on the beach, take a refreshing walk in one of the two largest parks in the area, Varnier and Hadden Park, and make sure you find enough time to explore the Museum of Vancouver, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (an astronomy museum complete with a planetarium and observatory), and the Vancouver Maritime Museum — three of Vancouver's top attractions.

Kitsilano blue house with front yard
Homes in Kitsilano Neighbourhood in Vancouver Homes in Kitsilano have many shapes and colours
Kitsilano Helens Court Cherry Blossoms
Homes in Kitsilano Neighbourhood of Vancouver
Kitsilano streetscape with townhouses Many students enjoy the proximity to the University of British Columbia
Red brick house with front yard in Kitsilano
Kitsilano Secondary School Kitsilano Secondary School

All visual content is licensed by Creative Commons - you may use individual photos but you need to link them back to this page.

Meet the Photographer

Davis Chan

Davis Chan

I am a Vancouver based photographer. Although I shoot commercially, my real passion lies in landscapes, street and social documentary. Among all the genres in landscape photography, capturing aging urban areas and industrial sites interest me the most.

Top May Events in Vancouver

After months of staying inside where the warmth was, it’s time to see what’s changed and what events are happening in our city. There are countless events, concerts, and markets happening almost every day, but we compiled the top-six list of must-visit May events in Vancouver.

Maplewood Farm’s Sheep Fair — Sunday, May 26, 2013

405 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver

Maplewood Farm is a 20-minute drive north from downtown Vancouver and spreads out across the beautiful two hectares of a rural heritage setting. It is a fun and educational destination for the whole family. The farm has an amazing history. Its tradition has been kept for decades, and now more that 200 domestic animals call it home. At Maplewood, spring celebrations start on Sunday, May 26, when you can watch sheep professionally shorn and worked by a border collie dog, and then you spend some time playing with the domestic animals or take a ride on a pony.

Girl Goat Taylor Having Fun with a Goat Named Taylor

Vancouver International Children’s Festival — Monday, May 27, 2013, to Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival has been educating, entertaining, and inspiring young audiences since 1978 and has become a world-renowned festival of performing arts for kids of all ages.

There are a lot of different performances and plays planned for this year. One of the highlights of the festival is Cirque Zuma Zuma, a group of performers from Kenya and Tanzania thrust into stardom by their appearance on America’s Got Talent. This unique African circus troupe boasts jugglers, contortionists, acrobats, music, and dancers. They’ve literally travelled the world, wowing audiences with magic, fun, and excitement set to the rhythmic beats of Afro-jazz.

Candy Ladies How Could You Resist Candies From These Candy Ladies?

From toddlers to tweens, kids of all ages can get creative or just have some fun at one of the many creative art stations. If your kids loved Cirque Zuma Zuma, they can join the African Dance and Music station, Making Music with Found Objects, or Circus Skills. Other activities include Face Painting, Shadow Puppetry, Bicycle Spin-Art, A Kaleidoscopic Outdoor Weaving Experience, Origami, Magical Mystery Maze, Sock Puppets!, and Twist & Toddle.

Come down on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, for an exclusive weekend activity — Me On The Map. Make your mark on the city’s first kid-co-created multi-media installation!

SOS Children’s Village BC Run & Walk 2013 — Sunday, May 26, 2013, 8:00 a.m.

6111 River Road, Richmond

Did you know that…
Only 25 per cent of youth in foster care graduate from high school?
Up to 40 per cent become involved in the youth justice system?
Over 50 per cent of the homeless are in or from the social welfare system?

Join the crowd and run on behalf of local kids in need and experience Richmond’s stunning Olympic Oval Plaza while running or walking along the beautiful middle arm of the Fraser River. There are free on-site activities for friends and families and a Kids Zone. You can run as an individual, family, corporate group, community, or school team. Everyone is more than welcome to join, help, and increase our shared value.

SOS Children Village BC Stretching Muscles Before the Run

Bike To Work Week — Monday, May 27, 2013, to Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bike lanes and roads throughout Vancouver

Healthy lifestyle promotion is taking places everywhere, but HUB — a charitable organization that works to make cycling attractive to everyone — has taken words into action. Bike to Work Week encourages new and keen bikers alike to sign up, log their daily commutes, and win great prizes. Cycling to and from work has many undeniable advantages for your health as well as for the environment. Riding a bike to work and leaving your car in the garage improves air quality and reduces road congestion — to name just a few benefits. So, are you up for the challenge?

To participate in Bike to Work Week, you will need to register here.

bike to work Leave Your at Home and Bike!

Vancouver Craft Beer Week — Friday, May 31, 2013, to Saturday, June 8, 2013

1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

The third year of the annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week is back, featuring larger events, more breweries, and special local and visiting guests. The festival consists of a series of signature festival events and independently organized satellite events at venues around town. The festival starts on Friday, May 31, at Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver. You will get a taste of what is to come in the Vancouver brewing scene, as many of BC’s newest craft breweries will be featured together with a number of old favourites. Canapés will be served by presenting partner Craft Beer Market, and as usual there will be a lot of fun stuff including raffles, door prizes, and music. Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.

vancouver craft beer week1 Cheers!

EAT! Vancouver, Food & Cooking Festival — Friday, May 24, 2013, to Sunday, May 26, 2013

777 Pacific Boulevard , Vancouver

Popular local restaurants, wineries, food and beverage manufacturers, cookbook authors, retailers, artisans, celebrity chefs, and everyone else fascinated by the culinary world will meet together for a three-day public extravaganza at the newly refurbished BC Place Stadium. You will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn behind-the-scenes culinary magic from professional chefs, witness dynamic entertainment through celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, and watch exciting culinary competitions. The festival brings fantastic shopping opportunities to 250 exhibit booths and diverse food, beverage, and cooking-related exhibits.

Cold Salon Competition Entry at Eat Festival Cold Salon Competition Entry at Eat Festival

The festival will open EAT! Vancouver’s Bites of Vancouver restaurant pavilion, where the chefs of favourite Lower Mainland restaurants will serve up appetizer portions of their signature recipes. For a nominal charge ($1.00 to $4.00) per item, you will be able to savour the flavours of diverse celebrated eateries.

Tasting Pavilion will be serving a selection of beer, wine, and spirits. Hosted by Daenna Van Mulligen, Vancouver’s Wine Diva, the Grapes & Hops Stage will feature presentations and tastings of local and regional beers and wines by industry experts.

House Security and Residential Break and Enter in Vancouver [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do you want to rest easy knowing your family is safe and your home secure? Luckily, protecting your home and belongings need not be expensive or difficult. When it comes to home security, home owners have many options to choose from. As technology becomes more sophisticated, so too do criminals. What steps should you follow, and how can you make sure your house is safe? What are the safest and riskiest neighbourhoods in Vancouver? And what do statistics say about Vancouver’s residential B&Es rates? See my infographic for more information.

House Security Residential Break and Enter in Vancouver infographic

House Security and Residential Break and Enter in Vancouver Infographic

I’ve divided home security tips into three major categories:

  • DIY Break and Enter Prevention
  • Community Safety
  • Home Security System

DIY Break and Enter Prevention

It’s true that burglars are becoming smarter every second, but some security tips will always help you protect your home. Before you even look at any webpage selling home security systems, go through this checklist and the infographics below to make sure you’re not throwing your money away.

  • Have you closed and locked or secured all your windows?
  • Have you locked the back door, cellar door, garage door, and terrace window?
  • Did you change the locks when you moved in? If not, change them ASAP!
  • Does your front yard look neglected? Not only do unkempt yards suggest that your house is unoccupied, but also burglars can easily hide in bushes that are not trimmed or well maintained.
  • Do you have a room with a view? Don’t let burglars see your valuables or electronics from outside. They invite burglars to search for even greater treasures inside.
  • Clean up your garage. Removing unwanted boxes, old bikes, and broken kitchen appliances will create space for your car, and you won’t have to park on the driveway. It will then be more difficult for thieves to tell if you’re home or not — and your car will be safer.
  • Let lights reveal the burglar. This is a cheap and effective way to scare off unwanted visitors. The light should be bright enough to light the pathway to your doorstep and back door.
  • Consider getting a dog — a natural alarm system. It’s not really important whether she’s large or small, as long as she likes to bark at strangers on your property. Of course, for scaring a burglar off, the bigger, the better.
  • Going to the corner store? Never leave windows open. Really, never!

Leaving on vacation soon? Make sure your home stays safe during your trip. Besides checking that you’ve completed everything on the checklist above, there are more tricks you can do to create the illusion of an occupied house.

  • Don’t let mail and newspapers accumulate. Burglars are very cautious, and believing they won’t notice your two-week-old mail lying on the floor is a mistake. Ask a neighbour to pick up your mail every morning, and offer to return the favour later.
  • Light up the night. If you’re going to be away from home for any length of time, use timers on lights inside the house so the place looks occupied. Make sure the timers are used in multiple rooms automatically.
  • Just in case, get a safety deposit box. It’s a foolproof way to protect your valuables when you’re gone.

Social Insecurity

The Burglar by Eastlaketimes
The Burglar by Eastlaketimes

We’re living in the digital age, but have you ever thought about it as the age of the digital criminal? Burglars take advantage of social media to access information about would-be victims. We even announce when we’re going away on holidays or when we’re not in. We basically invite criminals to our houses through public updates of our whereabouts.

Seventy-eight per cent of burglars have said that social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare are used to select properties.
Moreover, 54 per cent also said that posting their status and whereabouts on social networking sites was a common mistake made by homeowners. A further 74 per cent said that Google Street View played an important role in today’s home thefts.

Don’t use social media to report that you left your home or check-in or tweet about your location. Also avoid posting photos of expensive items in your home, and refrain from announcing that you’ll be out of town for an extended period.

Community Safety

The easiest way to deal with problems is to prevent them. One of the greatest ways to prevent B&Es is befriending the neighbourhood gossip. He’s the person who knows everything happening on the street. He’ll let you know if there’s been a stranger lurking around, or if someone is snooping about your house when you aren’t there.

Neighbourhoods are safer when citizens act together. Safety is a shared responsibility for which both police and citizens play important roles.

Block Watch

Block Watch is all about neighbours helping neighbours, preventing homes from break-and-enters. Participants watch out for each others' homes and report suspicious activities to the police and each other.

Block Watch is celebrating its 24th anniversary this year as a VPD community-based prevention program.

Patrollers use their own cars or walk in civillian clothes, making them indistinguishable from the general crowd. Volunteers observe the activity around them and call in to report any criminal or suspicious activity. Patrols pay extra attention to neighbourhoods that frequently experience vandalism, arson, or auto theft.

With each day I have been out volunteering for the CCW, I am having a better grasp of policing standards in Canada and feel more associated with this kind of work. My role might be too little in the entire effort, but eventually it gives me a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment for something positive that I am doing for our society,

said Sukhbir Dhaliwal.

The program currently includes approximately 594 participating active blocks, including 1,000 captains and co-captains monitoring the individual neighbourhood Block Watch programs. Including all of the participating households that each team has recruited, that's an additional 15,600 extra pairs of trained eyes and ears reporting suspicious activity. And you can be a part of it too! Don't sit back. Get involved by contacting your local police department to see if there's a Block Watch in your area. If your street doesn't have an active Block Watch, someone from your area has to volunteer to become the Block Captain and enlist the help of Co-Captain(s).

Watch Krenz on Krime as Constable Dave Krenz gives tips on preventing crime in your neighbourhood.

Community Safety Tips:

  • Get to know each other. Residents should be familiar with routines in their neighbourhood. This doesn’t mean spying on each other — just take notice of your neighbours’ usual activities (like running in the morning, coming home for lunch on weekdays, or leaving the city for the weekend).
  • Be aware of strangers. When you know people living in your neighbourhood, it’s easier to spot strange cars or unknown people wandering around.
  • Leave keys and phone numbers with a trusted neighbour. Agree to check each other’s house while on vacation or outside the city. A vacant house is an easy target.
Burglar Alarm by erix B&E Alarm by erix!

Alarms and Monitors

Installing an electronic security system is one of the most popular methods of protecting your home. One of the disadvantages of this approach is that the majority of residential entry alarms are false and therefore waste police resources and reduce the system’s integrity.

Installing an alarm system can help to detect a burglary, but it can’t prevent burglars from entering. The system is only as good as its user and should not replace good physical reinforcement, such as deadbolt locks, adequate lighting, secure basement windows, and strong exterior doors.

When looking for a home security system, choose one that can monitor all your doors and that comes with a quality motion detector. ADT is a free home security system from Apex Direct Canada that can provide your house with full coverage and monitoring.

The system comes with three permanent door contacts as a starting point. The free package comes with two motion sensors as well. Each motion sensor covers a 1,200-square-foot area, which guards against someone breaking in through your windows. There is also a monitored smoke detector as part of the package that is linked to the monitoring centre, and it’s always on. There is also a keychain remote that you can use to turn your system on and off. All of that equipment is provided at no charge, and there is no charge for the installation,

explains an ADT representative.

Motion sensors are sensitive to pets heavier than 60 pounds. So cats and small dogs can come in and leave unnoticed. As the representative told us,

The is no fine for false alarm through ADT. Each municipality has its own false alarm policy. Usually they give you two or three free of charge and then you pay for any additional.

And the costs? “The monthly rate if you use wireless devices is $33.99 per month and it’s based on 36 months monitoring with ADT.”

Surveillance Camera by John of Austin Surveillance Camera by John of Austin

When someone triggers the alarm, the system will send a signal to a monitoring centre, and a monitoring station will call your home number and three other emergency contact numbers. If they can’t get hold of anybody, they will dispatch the police. You can change the numbers at any time.

One of the greatest advantages of home security systems is deductible insurance coverage. “ADP covers up to $500 if somebody breaks in while our system is on. And you save around 20 per cent from your home insurance.”

Residents can choose from two types of alarms: monitored and unmonitored.

  • Monitored alarm: This alarm is linked to a police department and alerts them that someone has entered your house. Thieves can cut the phone lines before they enter and disable the alarm.
  • Unmonitored alarm: This alarm will sound, but the police won’t be notified automatically. Residents need to rely on neighbours or passers-by to call the police, which may or may not be effective.

Acquiring and maintaining a home alarm and monitoring system can be pricey, and many households wonder if the investment is worth the price. Robert Krughoff, president of Consumers’ Checkbook, which rates home security companies, explains his point of view:

I think the most important advice is to think twice before even bothering with a system. There are a lot of things you can do that would probably be more powerful than any home security system.

Burglars often take advantage of unlocked doors or windows that are easily jarred open. Krughoff says, “Most of the time they get in through very unartful means.”

If you don’t want to invest in security alarms and monitors, you can install a camera monitoring the main entrance doors.

Install a camera with motion detection that will automatically begin recording at 30 frames per second in the event it is triggered, while simultaneously sending an email alert to the homeowner with a JPEG attached,

says Sergio Collazo, sales director at Toshiba America Information Systems in Irvine, California.

Motion detection works by the camera sensing video pixel movement. This will trigger the recording, thus saving storage space and the time it would take to search or playback the video,

Collazo says. “Once motion is no longer detected for a programmable amount of time, let’s say say 30 seconds, the recording stops.”

No security alarm or monitor can prevent breaking and entering. This is very important to keep in mind. Certain neighbourhoods are safer than others, and for those who don’t want to rely solely on their neighbours’ vigilance, an alarm and monitor system is a great idea as an addition to target hardening.

Watch Dog by feverblue Watch Dog by feverblue

Target Hardening

Target Hardening is a term used by police officers and security experts that refers to securing your home. As mentioned before, alarms won’t protect your home; they simply report the problem. By following the steps below, you can check whether you’ve done everything you can to secure your house properly.


Always lock the doors — the front doors, back doors, garage doors — if you see a door, lock it! Meanwhile, check your doors’ quality. Outside doors and frames should be made of solid wood or steel. These doors are harder to force open than hollow-core doors. Frames in outside doors should fit snugly (within 6 millimetres) against the door, and any glass around an outside door should lie at least 40 inches from the lock or be unbreakable. For extra security, you can also consider having a floor-mounted doorstop installed. A doorstop is much more effective than a door chain.

Hinges should be part of the door. They should go through the doorframe into the supporting stud and should not be visible from the outside. Your door should definitely also include a wide-angle viewer.

Don’t forget to change the locks when your keys are lost or when you move into a new residence.


Garages are a burglar’s favourite place because they promise easy targets such as power tools and bicycles.

  • Secure garage windows with bars or plexiglass.
  • The door between your house and attached garage should swing inward, have a solid core, and include a deadbolt lock.
  • Keep your garage locked — even when you’re at home.
  • If the overhead garage door is roller-and-track–operated, install a lock in the track to block the roller, and disconnect your automatic garage door opener before you go on vacation.


Deadbolts are the most secure door locks at the moment. If your house has security locks with key holes in the knob, change them; they are unreliable. The bolt can’t be slipped with a card or tool but can only be disengaged with a key.

Another type of bolt that can be used is the bolt rim lock, which has two vertically moving deadbolts that lock into a frame-mounted striker above and below the door. These locks are suitable for wooden frames or where there are windows on the sides of the door preventing proper installation of a deadbolt.

For additional security, have a steel reinforcement device installed to both the door and the frame. This increases strength greatly, and it’s easy to install and cost-effective.


Broken Window by Joelk75 Broken Window by Joelk75

Windows are generally a weak link, as they can be easily opened, broken, or lifted. To secure your windows, all you have to do is to have a proper look and take a quick survey. Consider the following questions:

  • How can I access the window from the outside? Is there a tree, fire escape, or porch nearby? Is the window easily accessible from the ground or roof?
  • Is the glass shatter-resistant?
  • Are the locking mechanisms functional, and are they engaged?
  • Is the surrounding area well lit at night?

Casement windows can be closed with a door-bolt–like device that operates with a key. Screw the lock to the window and slide the bolt into a metal cup that mounts in the sill. Drive a screw into the top of the upper track to keep thieves from lifting a gliding window out of its track. To keep the window from sliding, drive a screw horizontally through the track. A key track stop is a locking stop that you can attach anywhere on the track. You can position it to lock the window shut, or so that the window opens only a limited amount, providing ventilation and safety. A keyed turnbuckle replaces the normal latch, so you’ll need a key to open the window. A child-safety latch also replaces the original latch. It’s similar to the childproof caps on medicine but easier to use. To open the window, you have to be able to squeeze a lever while turning the latch.

On double-hung windows, you can install a locking pin that goes through one sash and into the next to keep intruders from lifting the sash. Some pins screw through a hole you drill, while others drive in and out with a special key included with them.

The Safest and Riskiest Neighbourhoods in Vancouver

According to statistics, there were 5,339 B&Es (households) in Vancouver in 2012.

District 1192 break-and-enters

District 1 comprises the West End, Yaletown, Coal Harbour, and the Central Business District of Vancouver. The residential population of District 1 is over 80,000 people, mostly in high-rise apartments.

District 2415 break-and-enters

District 2 comprises Strathcona, Grandview-Woodlands, and Hastings-Sunrise. The residential population of District 1 is approximately 75,000 people.

District 3830 break-and-enters

District 3 comprises Sunset, Renfrew-Collingwood, Mount Pleasant, Killarney, Victoria-Fraserview, and Kensington–Cedar Cottage.
The residential population of District 3 is approximately 175,000 people.

District 41,234 break-and-enters

District 4 is the largest of the patrol districts, encompassing West Point Grey, Kitsilano, Fairview, Dunbar-Southlands, Arbutus Ridge, Shaughnessy, South Cambie, Riley Park, Musqueam, Kerrisdale, Oakridge, and Marpole. The residential population of District 4 is approximately 221,000 people.

City (offences coded as “location unknown”) – 2,670 break-and-enters

Top April Events in Vancouver

Vancouver Sun Run

Winter is finally over, and the first month of spring is just few days away. What could be better than celebrating the warm days to come outside with our family and friends? Not sure where to go? Check out our list of top must-attend events in April and you will surely find some inspiration.

Sport events

Vancouver Sun Run — April 21, 2013

The Vancouver Sun Run is Canada’s largest ten-kilometre road race. The route begins in Vancouver’s downtown at Burrard Street and Georgia Street. If your New Year’s resolution was to get fit and healthy, this is your time. The ten-kilometre race is the perfect start to working toward your goals. You’re capable of finishing the race if you can manage to run around 70 per cent of the distance — seven kilometres in this case. The rest will follow, as you’ll be driven by the atmosphere and energy around you.

Vancouver Sun Run2

Team Spirit!

No more boring team building activities! Lace up, stand up, and compete with other teams from the industry. The minimum number of team members is ten, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a walker, jogger, runner, or wheelchair user: if you share the will and power, step right in to this fun team-building initiative of the Sun Run.

Burning tires

The wheelchair division of the Vancouver Sun Race is the most inspiring part of the event. Wheelchair athletes can compete for a $2,000 prize and awards in Men’s and Women’s Open and Quad categories.

Top Male Wheelchaird Racer 2011 Kelly Smith
Top Male Wheelchaird Racer 2011 Kelly Smith

Running (with) the Family

It’s never too early to introduce your kids to a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating and exercise prevent obesity and cardiovascular problems. Get your kids into running shoes and step up to the starting line with them. The Vancouver Sun Run team has prepared a 2.5-kilometre Shaw Mini Sun Run for you and your family this year. Kids of all ages can join and run on their own, in teams, or with their families. It’s recommended that parents or older siblings accompany kids aged 8 and younger.

Vancouver Sun Run Mini Shaw Mini Sun Run

Every registered runner will receive a Vancouver Shaw Mini Run T-shirt, and the names of all participants will be printed in The Vancouver Sun on Monday, April 22, 2013. The Vancouver Sun Run is famous for its energizing atmosphere and vibe, and you should definitely attend — as a runner or as a supporter!

Davis Cup — April 5, 2013–April 7, 2013

Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre

Davis Cup Group I and Group II second rounds are scheduled from April 5, 2013, to April 7, 2013. There are two matches to be played. The first will be Chile versus Ecuador, and the second one will be Uruguay versus Colombia. Both matches promise a great spectacle, and the winning nations will than advance to the World Group play-offs.

Davis Cup Davis Cup

The second round of Davis Cup in Group II will take place at the same time. Two matches can be seen here as well, between Mexico and El Salvador and between Venezuela and Peru. Winners won’t advance to the play-offs this time, but they will move up to Group I.

Tickets can be bought online via Ticketmaster.

Arts and Performances

CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps — February 16, 2013–June 9, 2013

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street

CO-MIX is the first retrospective exhibition of the world-famous comic artist Art Spiegelman. More than 400 preparatory drawings, sketches, studies, and panels are displayed.

Co Mix Vancouver Art Gallery Co-Mix at Vancouver Art Gallery

The exhibition contains panels showing his early underground comix period in the 1970s, his most widely known work, Maus, and his more recent illustrations, as well as his response to 9/11 events, In the Shadow of No Towers.

Art Spiegelman was born in Stockholm and immigrated with his family to Queens, New York, in 1951. This is the first major exhibition of Spiegelman’s work since the MoMA exhibition of Maus in 1992.

My Turquoise Years — April 4, 2013–May 4, 2013

Granville Island Stage
1585 Johnston Street

My Turquoise Years is a book-inspired play. It is the eighth book from Victoria writer M.A.C. Farrant — a memoir of the summer of 1960, when the writer was 14 years old. The play presents a vivid picture of 1960 — of the wonders of plastic, Fun-O-Rama, on a black-and-white television, the wonderful optimism, sea of turquoise, and of the desire to remain detached from world events and focus on day-to-day living.

The theatre will host a talk on April 18 for every turquoise enthusiast, and organizers have promised the event will be great! You can get tickets for the talk here.

Family Time and Charity

Vancouver Lego Games — April 28, 2013

Firefighter’s Club
6515 Bonsor Avenue

We all love Lego — regardless of gender or generation. Love of Lego and love of helping others brought five students from the University of British Columbia together to organize a charity LEGO building event to benefit the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice as part of a class project.

They hope to bring together 300 participants — both competitors and spectators — for Canada’s largest charity Lego building event.

There are two separate competitions, Ready, Set, Build! and My Own Creation.

Vancouver Lego Games Vancouver Lego Games

Ready, Set, Build!

No preparation is needed here. You are given Lego bricks and when the theme is announced, you have up to one hour to build the best and most creative model. Judges will choose a winner from each age category and award them prizes.

My Own Creation

Competitors can work on their creation at home, and on the date of the event, they will bring their masterpieces in to showcase them. The are no limitations besides the size of entries, 12 inches by 12 inches, so that all pieces can be displayed properly.

Fish lego Get Inspired by Lego Creations!

Everyone 5 years old and up can join, and that makes Lego Games truly family event. Contestants and creators are split into several categories:

Junior Levels

  • 5 to 7 years old
  • 8 to 10 years old

Upper Levels

  • 11 to 13 years old
  • 14 to 17 years old
  • 18 years old plus

The more family members and friends join, the higher the chance of winning a great prize and the bigger your contribution to charity. The Vancouver Lego Games are the must-attend event in April. See you there!

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

cherry blossom Cherry Blossom Tree

Finally, spring is oficially here! As the the rainy season fades, Vancouver packs away its coat and takes its turn in the spotlight thanks to 55 varieties of cherry blossom trees, creating a wonderful sea of pink and white. Like they do every spring, the pink blossoms suddenly emerge, and for a brief moment Vancouverites pause and marvel at the yearly renewal of nature.

The Japanese cherry blossom tree does not yield fruit like other cherry trees, and why should this born aristocrat produce a market crop anyway when its single mission is to be beautiful? We collected some interesting facts about cherry trees and cherries to share before we all go outside to celebrate this natural phenomenon.

There are 40,000 cherry trees in Vancouver (37,000 cherry trees were gifted from Japan, and in 2010, the city planted 3,000 new cherry blossom trees in celebration of Vancouver’s 125th birthday).

  • This year, Japan’s representative tree ended up opening already on March 16, setting a new record for earliest opening since the beginning of the record taking in 1953.
  • The VanDusen Botanical Garden boasts more than 100 cherry trees, representing 24 varieties.
  • VanDusen Botanical Garden VanDusen Botanical Garden
  • Canada holds the record for baking the biggest (18 kilograms) cherry pie in the world.
  • The world’s heaviest cherry was grown in Italy and weighed 21.69 grams.
  • There are 7,000 cherries on an average tart cherry tree.
  • cherry pie Cherry Pie by Vancouver Bytes
  • It takes 250 cherries to make a cherry pie.
  • A single slice of a cherry pie prepared from a recipe contains 486 calories.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record distance in cherry-pit spitting is 28.51 metres.
  • A cherry fruit is packed full of healthy nutrients and unique antioxidants.
  • cherries
    Cherries by jayneandd
  • Cherries can relieve pain, help you avoid premature aging, fight diseases, help you sleep, or add years to your life.
  • The double-petal blossoms are preserved in salt for making a refreshing drink called akura-ya served on felicitous occasions by floating a few blossoms in a cup of hot water.

The Festival

Cherry blossom trees were gifted to the City of Vancouver in the early 1930s to honour the Japanese-Canadian soldiers who fought in World War I. Vancouver was given another gift of cherry blossom trees in 1958 to symbolize the friendship between Japan and Canada. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a perfect way to express gratitude for this gift and to celebrate the beauty and joy the cherry trees bring to Vancouverites.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Like every year, the festival introduces many interesting events like dances, art classes, bike rides, and lunches to celebrate the blooming. Events take place from April 4 to 30 at various locations. You don´t want to miss the following events!

Plein-Air Blossom Painting

Saturdays, April 7–28, 11:00 AM–2:00 PM
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Plein-air instructors will lead watercolour, pastel, oil, and acrylic painters in art-making sessions right inside the garden, helping painters to capture the garden’s cherry trees and other plants in their work.

Cherry Jam Downtown

Thursday, April 5, 12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Burrard Skytrain station (there will be a new installation created by a team of local architects involving balloons and haikus)

The official festival kick-off will be a rockin’ good time with performances that honour Vancouver’s multicultural heritage. As a preparation for the grand happening, the Shiamak Vancouver Performance Team will be giving free World Umrella Dance lessons under the Burrard SkyTrain Station cherry blossom trees from 11:30 to noon. Don’t forget to pick up your bento box lunch from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM created by Master Chef Hidekazu Tojo and other local chefs.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Tree Festival1

Tree Talks & Walks

Various times and locations (check the schedule)

Nine walks through some of Vancouver’s spectacular spring gardens are led by notable tree enthusiasts who help visitors find the city’s most beautiful blooms, talk about their origins, and help identify different varieties.

Sakura Days Japan Fair
Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Celebrate Vancouver’s longtime friendship with Japan at this family-friendly festival within a festival. Don’t miss tea ceremonies, the Haiku Invitational reading, ikebana, sake tasting, anime, taiko drumming, Japanese cuisine, hands-on workshops, and much more.

Bike the Blossoms
Saturday, April 28, 10:30 AM
China Creek Park South

Visitors are invited to view the cherry trees from atop two wheels. Join Velopalooza for a guided ride that weaves through Vancouver’s most blossom-laden neighbourhoods.

Cherry Blossom Flash Mob
Saturday April 14, 2012, 2:00 PM

Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia side

It wouldn’t be a flash mob if we gave away the details. Wait for it, it will be a surprise!

2013 Haiku Invitational
Submissions accepted until June 4

Let your creativity bloom witnessing the bloom of cherry blossoms. Poets and non-poets alike are invited to submit haikus on the subject to festival organizers. The winning poets’ works will be published on the festival’s website.

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival1
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Tree Festival

Don’t forget to check the map that shows where to find trees and when they are in bloom. Bring your camera with you, take some photos, and don’t forget to share them with us!


Top Whiskey Bars in Vancouver

Whisky by Kyle May
Fancy a glass?

Vancouver has had a long-lasting relationship with whisky. It has been shipped up and down the Fraser River since the early 19th century. Thanks to the variety of Canadian society, we had easy access to the Irish and Scottish brands, and a lot of Vancouverites fancy a glass of these old-timey traditional brands even today. Most Canadian whiskies are a bit different from the traditional European varieties. Our traditional home brands are blended, multi-grain liquors containing a large percentage of corn spirits, and they’re typically lighter and smoother than other whisky varieties. Let’s visit the best of the local places that serve whisky in Vancouver together and enjoy this unique spirit.

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Best Brunch Places in Vancouver

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Sometimes there is nothing better than staying in bed on Sunday morning until 10:00 or 11:00 and skipping breakfast (which we are too lazy to prepare anyway). Lunch happens to be a quick bite to eat, and dinner with family or friends might be quite a financial commitment. The solution? Brunch. Over the last few years, brunch has become very popular among Vancouverites, and it still feels like a special outing — despite over-crowded restaurants, long waits, and other (sometimes hungover) customers. That all may be as frustrating as reading James Joyce’s Ulysses; however, brunch somehow remains the most popular meal of the week. Moreover, brunch gives you a reason not to be ashamed to drink champagne in public before noon. Here is our list of the best brunch places in Vancouver.

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Top Chocolatiers in Vancouver


Gone are the days when chocolate was a mere confection. Over the years, the chocolate industry has developed so much that chocolatiers around the world take great pride in their creations, each using the best cocoa and best-quality ingredients. If people say that food is art, then chocolate is a masterpiece! If you want to taste some of Vancouver’s finest chocolates, you may just have to tour some of the city’s best chocolate shops with us!

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Shaughnessy: Vancouver’s Good Address Photo Essay

Shaughnesssy architecture white house Shaughnesssy has many heritage house that date back to the first half of the last century.

We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, explore Vancouver! This time, let's have a look at Vancouver through the lens of Davis Chan!

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Top Private Clubs in Vancouver

vancouver club bar Gentlemen at The Vancouver Club

Private clubs were first formed in the 18th century in London for aristocratic gentlemen as a place where they could relax, do business, or mingle with their friends. As Britain’s middle classes became richer, they wanted their own clubs. These days, many private clubs are cosmopolitan affairs, counting women members and seeking creative professionals for an edgy atmosphere. Canadian private clubs also have a long history, with a few longstanding clubs with wide-ranging membership criteria. Here’s our pick of private clubs in Vancouver.

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Vancouver Real Estate Market Sales Cool in January

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The Greater Vancouver Area and the City of Vancouver have been witnessing a slowdown over the last couple of months. There are several reasons for the Vancouver real estate market cooling, such as the changes in mortgage rules (introduced by the federal government in July 2012), as the maximum amortization has been reduced to 25 years from the previous maximum 30 years. This move obviously generated a reaction from buyers, as they experienced difficulties getting new mortgages from banks.

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Biggest 2013 Concerts in Vancouver (January-June)

rihanna4 Rihanna

Whatever your preferences, there’s nothing quite like experiencing live music and shows in Vancouver. A ton of great artists will blow through our city in 2013, ready to attract a crowd and prove to their fans that there’s a reason to love them even more. Here’s our pick for upcoming performances of the first half of the year, so get ready, Vancouverites — this is going to be a hell of a ride!

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Top Organic Restaurants in Vancouver

acorn Squash Chestnut and Amaretti Agnolotti Brussel Sprouts Leeks Beets Kale Fried Sage Cherry Gastrique The Acorn´s organic meal

It’s time to get hungry again, Vancouverites! Our city has one of the most developed organic food cultures in Canada, proving once again that Vancouver is often one of the trendsetters in the dining and culinary culture business. The importance of organic dining is very easy to advocate. Foods made from organic, local, and seasonal products are healthier, taste much better, and support our economy.

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