Vancouver is the third-largest Canadian city, with about 631,000 people living within its vicinity. It’s one of the greatest cities in all of North America for a number of reasons. Not only is it one of the most famous cities because of it’s sporting culture, but it’s also one of the most recognised metropolises around the world. Often thought of as the modern Atlantis, it’s situated right by the water of the Burrard Inlet. Nestled neatly in the Strait of Georgia, it’s got a lot of water activities to enjoy, as well as waterfront hotels to sleep in. Exploring the nightlife is awesome, with lots of bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. But, in the winter the entire city changes. It becomes much more stylised in a particular way. Canadian winters are something you need to witness in order to believe. They are not as bad as you think, and very inviting in the big cities like Vancouver.
Deep in the Lynn Canyon, there is a remarkable suspension bridge that is just 50 meters but it goes straight over the treetops of the forest. It’s toll-free so you need not pay anything, but it can only be accessed through Lynn Canyon Park. You start off high and then slowly melt into the trees. The forest is very dense, with tall trees encompassing you like a towering inferno. They are ancient, some of them. The trees in this park haven’t been abused by logging and so, you could be walking by a tree, a tree stump or a fell tree that is hundreds of years old. The forest is also connected with the First Nation peoples that made their home here and hunted in the area.
The suspension bridge is open even during winter, because it’s so stable. Despite being made out of wood and rope, it can withstand snowfall very well. Lynn Canyon Park is open during the winter, and it becomes an ancient winter wonderland when it has been covered in snow. You should visit here with a flask of hot chocolate and some tasty flapjacks packed in your pocket.
Catch the Canucks
A Vancouver visit wouldn’t be complete without going to a Canucks game. It’s a world-famous team that has lifted the Stanley Cup trophy many times. It’s also the nickname people give to Canadians because of its popularity. Did you know that it’s on the list of 32 things that crazy fans have done for their team? The Green-skinned fans have been coming to the games for many years now. Fully painted in green, they come to the stadium and take up their position of pride. Everyone knows the green-skinned fans as they have become a fixture of the games, riling up the other team, starting off Mexican waves, singing songs while playing instruments and just being the living embodiment of the team itself.
Canucks are also one of the best hockey teams to enter into the Olympics and are already training to be the champions for the next Winter Olympics in France 2022. Come to the game and you can find a vendor that will make your customised jersey for you. It’s one of the most recognised jerseys in all of the sports, let alone just ice hockey.
Go skiing or snowboarding
Vancouver is usually blessed with about 10-15 cm of snow during any given week of the winter. This allows for the snow to build and build, even if it is also raining sometimes. This means you have several places where you can go skiing and snowboarding. There are about three particular courses which you can go to. You have the Grouse Mountain with up to 33 ski runs. This is actually the lesser of the three but usually the most popular because it’s easier to get to. It’s right by the city so you can ski right next to the best views at night, watching over the night lights. Then you have Seymour Mountain which has 40 skiing runs. It’s a little harder to get to but it’s seclusion is worth the journey. Finally, the largest of them all, is Cypress Mountain with a staggering 53 ski runs. Bear in mind, all of these places have snowboarding as well.
We recommend that you go to Whistler Blackcomb which has 200 ski runs and it’s one of the best resorts in the country for any kind of winter sport. However, it’s about 2 hours away from Vancouver so if you can make the journey out that far, then you should give it a try.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is unmissable. It’s got some of the best First Nations artwork in the country. Maybe because of the history surrounding the area, such as the communities that lived in the forests and the mountains, it’s so rich with indigenous paintings and sculptures. The building itself looks very British, with the classic British lion sculptures outside and the neoclassical and Georgian architecture looking beautiful. Inside you will find some great past and present takes on Canada. The artists that have featured in the gallery are Emily Carr, Claude Monet, and some other local big names too.
The gallery is currently running the Uncommon Language exhibition. This is all about creating a common language, not verbally but with aesthetics in mind. It explores the human desire to understand beauty, commonality and expressive body language. You’ll find that many of the areas are experimental and it’s pretty much the calling card of modern Canadian art. It’s very thought-provoking and it’s one of the best things that we did on our trip.
The festive market in Vancouver goes on past Christmas so don’t get turned off by the name. It will carry on selling some awesome winter items. You can find everything from warm under layers and top layers, as well as some nice hot food and drinks. The best winter clothes can be bought here, with fleeces, woollen joggers and some synthetics made for hiking and mountaineering.
One of the best vendors they exhibit is called Cheese Me Raclette. They are from Switzerland and they serve hot melting cheese over cold cut meats, bread and salad. They have some awesome selection of cheeses, mainly European. Try the gouda and the gruyere with some cold cut meat, spicy or smoked.
They also have Winterbourne Alpaca. One of the top brands selling winter clothing, they have coats and fleeces made from real alpaca wool. Soft, silky smooth and very warm, this kind of wool is highly prized for its ability to keep you warm well below freezing. If you would like some comfortable and very powerful winter clothes, this is where you need to shop. If you live in another country, you probably can’t get these products where you normally shop. So take the chance to buy yourself an alpaca jacket.