I visit Vancouver about once every two of three years, but it is always as a brief stopover in the summer as I come in from or got out to Asia. Consequently, I don’t get to see a lot of the city. I tend to spend the time recharging—walking around and getting some fresh air. Thus, my view of Vancouver is a little distorted—it’s all blue-skies, sunshine and relaxation all the time.
To see higher resolution (2048 x 1365) versions of the photos, you can view the full galleries and Flickr and Google Photos. The links are at end of the article.
English Bay and Burrard Inlet: View from Kitsilano Beach
Kitilano Beach is a popular beach just east of the downtown area (across False Creek). I think the following photo sums up the relaxing vibe of a summer morning in Vancouver—a shirtless guy on a sailboat playing guitar to the sound of the waves.
In the evening, the beach provides lovely sunset views.
False Creek is an inlet (not a creek, hence the name) separating downtown Vancouver from the southern part of the city. It is a very picturesque area with lots of parks and walkways, luxurious high-rise apartments, and a restaurant and arts center—Granville Island.
The area has a relaxing vibe with people strolling and jogging on the waterside paths, dining in cafes and pubs. sunbathing and playing in parks and canoeing and rowing in the inlet itself. Two bridges span False Creek: the Burrard Street Bridge and the Granville Street Bridge.
At the end of the inlet is the geodesic dome of Science World and the crown-like silhouette of the BC Place stadium.
The city has a vibrant art scene and you can find a lot of public artwork around. The following photo shows an art installation on a barge moored in False Creek.
Granville Island is an arts and leisure hub, with boutiques, cafes, markets pubs and a theater. In the picture following picture you can see one of the tiny False Creek Ferries.
A pair of artists known as OSMEGEOS created this massive mural on the silos in a cement factory on Granville Island. The murals wrap completely around each silo.
Granville Island is also home to artist studio. In this one, a totem pole is being carved.
View of English Bay and Burrard Inlet form Stanley Park
The west side of Stanley Park offers nice beaches and a gorgeous view of English Bay and Burrard Inlet, with massive cargo ships loitering on the horizon.
The sunset views can be spectacular.
This huge park is one of Vancouver’s main attractions. You can take the cycle and pedestrian paths that run along the periphery for views of the harbor and sea or explore the many trails than run through the park.
The west side of the park boasts beaches and playgrounds. On the east side, you can view a collection of totem poles and see views of the downtown Vancouver skyline.
Capilano Lake and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Across the harbour from the downtown area, you can find North Vancouver. In this heart of this district you find Capilano Lake and the privately-owned Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, the latter of which is famous for its 140-meter long suspension bridge over the Capilano river and the fir forests on its banks.
Culture Saves Lives Community Centre
I didn’t take any photos in Vancouver’s main tourist district—Gastown. During the last trip, I was busy taking video of my daughter for her vlog.
Just a few blocks north of Gastown, is an incredibly rough district—Downtown Eastside—with addicts slumped in the street, syringes on the ground and boarded up shops. The Culture Saves Lives community centre aims to help indigenous people come together and find support and get in touch with their cultural heritage. When I was there, there was a drum circle and an exhibition by Artist Alexa Black.
I shot this video there:
The artwork by Alex Black is discussed in my art blog: Art by Alexa Black
Downtown & the Vancouver Art Gallery
On my next visit, will have to explore the urban areas a little more. I haven’t taken many photos of the downtown area.
During the summer, it is quite common to see live music performances downtown.
While downtown, I stopped by the Vancouver Art Gallery and viewed an exhibition by Canadian art and writer Douglas Coupland.
Douglas Coupland’s exhibition focused almost entirely on the Canadiana (toys, junk food, heroes, pop culture, urban landscapes and art) of my youth (the artist is just a couple of years older than me), so I found it interesting, but I wonder what people who didn’t grow up in Canada made of it. Outside the gallery was a massive bust of the artist. That isn’t paint on the surface; it is thousands of pieces of chewing gum. People were invited to stick gum to the head. You can view the more photos of the exhibition at my Flickr gallery: Douglas Coupland at the Vancouver Art Gallery: everywhere is anywhere is anything
I have a separate article on this at my art website, Artjouer: Vancouver Street Art. It features works in the Gastown area, on Granville Island and on Beatty Street.
The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
I also visited the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, a public gallery showcasing the works of indigenous artists. I have a separate article on that: A Visit to the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.
Below is a view of the airport terminal with the mountains north of Vancouver in the background. I have been to one of the mountains there—Grouse Mountain—but that was before I owned a camera.
The next two pictures were taken using the camera’s (a SONY NEX-7) automated tilt-shift function. This creates a strong blur in the foreground and/or background making it look like the object you are focusing on is a toy. When taking photos of very small objects, there is often a very shallow depth of field. The tilt-shift function imitates this effect.
In the departure hall of the airport, you can view Bill Reid’s most famous sculpture—The Spirit of Haida Gwaii.
For higher definition (e.g., 2048 x 1365) images, you can go to the full galleries at:
- Flickr: Vancouver
- Flickr: Vancouver Street Art
- Flickr: Douglas Coupland Exhibition
- Flickr: Indigenous Art (e.g. Bill Reid Gallery, Alexa Black)
- Google Photos: Vancouver Gallery
- Google Photos: Vancouver Street Art
- Google Photos: Douglas Coupland Exhibition
- Google Photos: Bill Reid Gallery
For more information about some of the artists in this blog post, you can go to my art blog—Artjouer—and read about:
- Vancouver Street Art
- Alexa Black & Culture Saves Lives
- A visit to the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art (and the Spirit of Haida Gwaii