I spent many years on and off in Vancouver. It is one of the many places I call ‘home’. Take a look at the places I enjoy!
Named after its British discoverer, Captain George Vancouver, who, in 1792, realised it had already been discovered by the Spaniards from 1592-1774. (Does it explain why there are Spanish & British names for our streets & sites?) Originally a town established in 1867, it eventually became a city in 1886 and was renamed “Vancouver”. Read more about Vancouver’s history here and here.
Calendar of Events
A: annual N: nationwide
March: Week-long CelticFest & St. Paddy’s Parade
April: 10K Sun Run A
May: Victoria Day (Monday before 24 May) A/N
June – September: Bard on the Beach – Vanier Park A
June – July:International Jazz Festival A
1 July: Canada Day A/N
July/August:HSBC Celebration of Light – English Bay A
August: BC Day (1st Monday in August) A
August – September (Labour Day): PNE Fair A
September: Labour Day (1st Monday in September) A/N
September – October: Vancouver International Film Festival A
- Spring/summer –
- Do the Grouse Grind and see how long it takes you to get up! 😉
- Visit Playland (April-Sept)
- Canoeing, kayaking – Horseshoe Bay, False Creek
- Cycling – Stanley Park, Granville Island, etc.
- Winter activities –
- Ice skating – community centres, Robson Square
- Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, sledging – Grouse, Cypress, Seymour
- Where to go shopping – Metrotown has the most stores, Pacific Centre is conveniently located downtown, Oakridge Centre is quieter
- Where to go vintage shopping
- Did you know there’s a collection of antique corsets?
- Where to shop for beauty products, including this place
- My favourite beauty salons
- Hair services –
- Where to take ballet classes in Vancouver
- Activities for old-fashioned people like me – i.e. operas, ballets, theatre, classical concerts at the Orpheum, and races at the Hastings Racecourse
- Get discounted tickets to performances and sporting events at Tickets Tonight!
- BC Sports Hall of Fame
- Britannia Mine Museum
- Burnaby Village Museum
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
- Museum of Anthropology (UBC)
- Museum of Vancouver
- The Old Hastings Mill Store Museum
- Roedde House Museum – Queen Anne-style house
- Science World
- Steveston Britannia Shipyard – Free to visit
- Vancouver Aquarium – Buy an annual adult membership which gives you 1 free guest pass, discounts at the aquarium shop, and pays off in 3-4 visits.
- Vancouver Art Gallery – Entrance by donation after 5PM on Tuesdays!
- Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Vancouver Police Museum – Read my post.
These ratings are based on tea/food quality and service.
- The Urban Tea Merchant (Downtown) – BEST afternoon tea (TWG tea) and BEST macarons. SUPERB service. Read my posts here and here.
- London Heritage Farm (Steveston) – Delicious lavender scones, charming heritage house. Read my review.
- Patisserie Für Elise (Downtown)- charming afternoon tea venue. Read my review.
- Faubourg (Kerrsidale) – Delicious souffle. There is another Faubourg across from the Vancouver Art Gallery.
- High Tea at the Castle (Fairmont Hotel Vancouver) – Once my favourite hotel (it looked like Vancouver’s castle), the interiors are now uber contemporary and not to my taste. Read my review.
- Neverland Tea Salon (Kitsilano) – Peter Pan-themed tea salon with charming interiors. A bit pricey. Read my review.
- La Petite Cuillere (Mount Pleasant) – Another budget-friendly afternoon tea salon with charming interiors and excellent service. Read my review.
- Rose House (Kerrisdale) – Read my review.
- Secret Garden (Kerrisdale) – Charming interior and exterior but service was not particularly friendly.
- Soffee Cafe – Read my review.
- Soirette – Read my review.
- Fairmont YVR Airport (Richmond) – Read my review here.
Places I have yet to visit:
- Adonia (Kerrisdale) – $17-27 for afternoon tea
- Adorabelle (Steveston) – Host your party there and there’s a box of hats and tiaras available for dress-up. 😉 $25 (W-Su).
- Butter Baked Goods (Dunbar) – $14-28 for afternoon tea (W-Su).
- Xi Shi Lounge at Shangri-La Hotel – Similarly priced as Urban Tea Merchant, which is a block away.
These ratings are based on my experiences.
- Le Crocodile – Best service for French restaurant with no strict clothing code (but still formal).
- Market at Shangri-La – Excellent service, best lavatories
- Diva at the Met – Excellent service
- Joe Fortes – Best creme brûlée in Vancouver! Food is delicious, service goes down if no alcohol ordered.
- Hawksworth at Hotel Georgia – Generally busy, 2nd best lavatories
- Griffins Restaurant at Hotel Vancouver – Food not particularly exceptional, very nice lavatories (public access)
- The Boathouse – Beach-view dining
- The Blarney Stone (Gastown) – Best shepherd’s pie in town! It’s one of my favourite pub/restaurants in Vancouver. I enjoyed their Celtic music nights but I’m not sure if they still have it.
- Wings – Highly recommend Canadian Maple Bourbon wings.
- Old Spaghetti Factory (Gastown) – Family-fun restaurant with historical artefacts around the restaurant. Affordable lunch and dinner menus.
- Milestone’s – Mondays are girls’ night out: 4 drinks, 4 appies for $40 (before taxes and tips).
- Alpen Club – Best German food in town, also hosts Oktoberfest in October and many other activities & events throughout the year. THE venue to cheer on German teams during World Cup and European Championship (Euros) and other German football (soccer) matches.
- Earl’s – similar to Milestone’s
- Elephant & Castle pub (Marine Building) – 2nd best shepherd’s pie in town with charming Art Deco interior
- Red Robin’s – Family dining. Freckled strawberry lemonade comes with free refills!
- Cactus Club – similar to Earl’s and Milestone’s
- Joey’s – similar as above
- Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug – small charming Irish pub (but no longer has the cute exterior) with Celtic music
- Irish Heather – Irish pub near Blarney’s with mixed Guinness drinks!
- Doolin’s (Granville) – cute interiors and the male servers are nicer.
- Caffe Artigiano – The best Chai Tea Latte in town.
- Caffe Cittadella – A heritage house in a quiet neighbourhood, perfect place for having coffee/tea and homemade treats!
- Blenz Coffee – The best hot chocolate made from real Belgian chocolate!
- Tim Hortons – This is where I go for Timbits, cookies, and cheaper breakfast and lunch/dinner.
- Beauty Night Society – Volunteer your time to make someone feel beautiful and dignified in a society that looks down on them.
- Canadian Cancer Society – Why not donate hair to Cuts for Cancer?
- With a huge gap between rich and poor, why not help out the homeless? You may find that your views will be quite changed!
- Universities/colleges: offers continuing ed courses
- Community Centres (through City of Vancouver site) – affordable/cheapest classes for all ages with gym, ice rink (some), and dance rooms. Language courses are cheaper. I used to take ballet classes here. There are loonie/toonie day skating days (check schedule).
- VBS Continuing Ed – affordable classes for all ages held in various secondary schools. I take sewing classes here.
- Little Europe in Vancouver – European-related events, restaurants, etc. in Vancouver.
- City of Vancouver – incl. links to community centres for programmes, activities, and events
- The Vancouver Sun
- 24 Hours / @24hoursvan
- Metro Vancouver / @MetroVancouver
- The Georgia Straight (new issue every Thursday)
- Vancouver Observer
- Miss 604 / @Miss604 – tips, events, history, etc.
- Vancouver is Awesome / @VIAwesome
- Vancouver Events Gal / @catherinebarr
- Tourism Vancouver / @MyVancouver