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August 28, 2005
Things had changed. Faint echoes of the Expo reverberated within my brain. Ah, yes! French Creek, where the game arcades had been, where our then 14 year old son holed up more often than not, mystifying our parent minds, which were dumbfounded that he would most enjoy activities he already engaged in frequently at home. North Vancouver October 1986 had been so swamped by visitors like us, who had wrongly waited till the last month of its run, that we had to book a hotel way out east, a 7-block walk to Naimono station, and commute a half-hour each day.
No doubt about it. The Expo had impelled further revitalization of Vancouver that in the years since has increasingly lured more and more tourists. My roommate searched for a gag gift for an upcoming pre-wedding event for a friend. She didn’t find that "special something" she had in mind, but not because there weren’t a lot of off-beat shops here. We paused at shore side before the magnificent view of downtown Vancouver and took photos of each other. We paused before a finger-nail product vendor to allow her to demonstrate her strengthening system. I served as guinea pig and have to admit that for about a month later, the nail she had worked on DID look shapelier, but the price was a tad high and I’m not into nails anyway.
On our return, we met guides samepenny and Kocka Dianka, who were riding several ferries that day just to indulge in the special sea-sky ambience of a lovely September Vancouver day. Check out www.translink.bc.ca for a comprehensive list of ferries serving the city. From Lonsdale Quay, you can connect to Grouse Mountain to see that wonderful view, though Grouse is not the tallest of the beautiful mountain peaks that girt Vancouver Bay and help to make it so beautiful. Ironically named Little Mountain, bordering Queen Elizabeth Park at West 33rd and Cambie Street is tallest at 500 feet, so that’s where view-seekers should go. In the park itself is the Bloedel Conservatory, a 49-foot-high Plexiglas dome worth a view also.
From journal VIBRANT VANCOUVER - 2004 IGOUGO MEETING
October 6, 2004
Lonsdale Quay Market and Shops has the feel of a generic suburban shopping center, but its waterside location rescues it from this ignominious fate. The striking white exterior, with its bright red trim and X-bracing, glimmers in the occasional Vancouver sun. The giant revolving Q signals commerce the way a hamburger stand sign might. The big and bold Q tops a red self-serve "observation tower" that is basically a big stairway. Climb up to one of the landings for a cool catbird view of Vancouver and its friendly relationship with its waterways. Otherwise the skyline of Vancouver is equally impressive and expansive along the wooden boardwalk, albeit a bit less elevated. The stepped central plaza with a modern fountain is a gathering place for people-watching. The occasional musician will perform in the plaza area, for better or for worse.
The first level features food and drink outlets in various formats, some with an emphasis on international variety. There is a market area selling fresh seafood and produce, and scrumptious baked goods. There is also a food court, casual cafes, and restaurants too. I had a snack at Cheshire Cheese Inn on the second level, designed to look like a traditional English pub and restaurant. I bought a flaky Cornish pasty, filled with bits of meat and potatoes, and it was fine and typical. Watch out for some nice views from its patio.
The second floor features another way to spend your money: shopping. There are about 90 stores and galleries, and perhaps the goods are a tad more expensive here than in central Vancouver. I took a roll of film in for one-hour processing, and I am sure it would have cost less just about anywhere else in downtown. Kids Alley includes a playland for hyperactive youngsters as well as shops. The building also supports a boutique hotel on the upper levels, named (what else?) the Lonsdale Quay Hotel.
Lonsdale Quay Market and Shops is open every day. The shops have extended hours on Friday evenings, and the restaurants generally close even later. Sure it is a shopping mall, but it is a shopping mall with a view!
From journal Bill in Canada - VANCOUVER
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
December 29, 2000
From journal In the Shadow of Vancouver