Vancouver Sunset Sailboat Cruise with Simplicity Sailing Charters

July 30th, 2014 @ 9:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

We walked down to Coal Harbour from our place in the West End on a simmering, sunny afternoon and reached Harbour Green Park just as the Blue Heron pulled up to the dock. Cody from Simplicity Sailing Charters had reached out to me about coming for a sunset sail and I couldn’t possibly turn down the opportunity to get out on the water in Vancouver, especially on a spectacular summer evening in July.

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Vancouver Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Owners Cody and Jared Doolan were our crew for the sail and after a brief safety message, we left the city behind and took the water as a light serenade from Jack Johnson wafted from the galley’s radio.

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

We soon learned that Cody and Jared — brothers from Bend, Oregon — aren’t your average crew or tour guides. Jared’s background is in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering, and Cody’s is in Chemical Oceanography and Ecology. They can tell you everything about the Aloha model boat you’re in to air foils, head sails, and the 150% genoa good for light winds, to why sails move the way they do.

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise Sunset Sailboat Cruise

On the tour, your involvement with the sailing is entirely up to you. You can learn to sail or refresh your skills, or simply sit back and relax. Since we were with John’s two nephews who are visiting us from Iowa this week, we did a bit of both (well, the boys did). John was, for lack of a better term, geeking out because in that short time he learned so much about the mechanics of sailing.

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise Sunset Sailboat Cruise Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

We all sat in the calm waters off English Bay as the motor was cut and our movements were left up to the wind. It was peaceful, even as we looped between anchored tanker ships which were fun to look up on Google to see what they were carrying.

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Cody brought up a nautical map from the galley to show us the shipping lines and I learned quite a few new things, including that the thoroughfare between Bowen Island and West Vancouver is the Queen Charlotte Channel.

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

A sunset sailboat cruise sounds romantic, and it is perfect for such occasions — gliding over waves, watching the sun slip behind the mountains — but what made me swoon was seeing our city and our gorgeous region from another perspective.

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

As the sky turned orange and the Third Beach drum circle began to pipe up, echoing from the shore, we made our way back around the Sea Wall, under Lions Gate Bridge, around Brockton Point, and into Coal Harbour. The salty sea air that was tickling my nose was suddenly pierced with the warm and familiar scent of Douglas Firs and Cedars, emanating from the green slopes of Stanley Park. I said aloud, “I love this city.” My nephew from Iowa replied, “I love this city, and I’ve only been here for 6 hours.”

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise Sunset Sailboat Cruise Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Sunset Sailboat Cruise

Packages, for groups up to 6 people, start at $450 and they are all 3 hours or more. Enjoy a late morning sail, afternoon sail, sunset sail (like we did), a sail to Granville Island, a sail to Bowen Island, or a fireworks sail during the Honda Celebration of Light. We’re already planning our next trip out, which will most likely be to Bowen Island to find some great cafes Cody told us about.

Non-alcohol beverages are provided, you can bring your own food and beverages, and when you book the boat it’s entirely yours during your time slot. If you’re ready to go, you can book online and prepare for your lovely experience of Vancouver from the sea. Following Simplicity Sailing on Facebook and Twitter for more information.


This is not a paid post. Views are my own. Our cruise was compliments of Simplicity Sailing Charters.

Archive Photos of the Day: Cordova Street

July 29th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Cordova Street, which runs through the most history-laden part of Vancouver, was once called Willow Street and Oppenheimer Street, before eventually being named after Don Antonio Maria Villaces y Cordova, Spanish Viceroy of Mexico thanks to L.A. Hamilton.

1886: View of Granville [Townsite] looking west from Westminster Ave (Main Street) and Oppenheimer (Cordova) Street. Archives# Dist P8.3.

Lauchlan Alexander Hamilton was a CPR land commissioner and surveyor that arrived in Vancouver in 1883 where he surveyed and named streets from English Bay to Hastings and as a city councilor he proposed Stanley Park and laid out its perimeter. Lisa Smedman of the Vancouver Courier writes:

A map of the township published in August 1885 shows only four streets, each little more than a block long. The mapmakers gave these streets arbitrary names: Front (now Water Street), Willow (now Cordova Street), Water (now Carrall Street), Wood (now Abbott Street). The map shows three hotels-Sunnyside Hotel, Granville Hotel, and “Gassy Jack’s” Deighton Hotel-as well as a dozen smaller buildings including shops, a meat packing plant, boarding houses, cow barn, real estate office and Chinese wash house.

Cordova Street

Hamilton helped shape and name the streets of Vancouver as we know most of them today. As for Cordova, it starts in Coal Harbour, splits past Gastown’s Water Street, runs past longstanding shops like Woodward’s and Army & Navy, borders the south of Oppenheimer Park, and leads into Powell to the east. As far as the archives go, it’s one of the most photographed streets in Vancouver history.

Taking a closer look at Cordova, it’s the theme for today’s collection of photos from the City of Vancouver Archives:

1886: June right after the The Great Vancouver Fire. H.T. Devine. Archives# LGN 455.

1886: Cordova, 5 weeks after The Great Vancouver Fire. Archives# Str P7.1.

1887: Inauguration of Vancouver, upon occasion of the terminus of the CP Railway being completed and arrival of first train from Montreal. Archives# CVA 677-25.

1890: George. T. Wadds. Archives# CVA 677-777.

1890s: Looking east on Cordova from Cambie. Canadian Pacific Scenery R.H. Trueman and Company. Archives# Str P89.

1890: Bailey Bros. Photo. Archives# CVA 1376-91.

1901: Arch on Cordova, between Cambie and Abbott, erected for visit of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. Archives# SGN 928.

1902: Looking east on Cordova. Trueman Photo. Archives# CVA 2 – 143.

1960: Cordova at Carrall. Archives# CVA 780-768.

1914: Construction of the 3rd CPR building (at Seymour). Price Family. Archives# CVA 152-1.100.

1981: Cordova at Seymour. Archives# CVA 779-E04.03.

Public Tours of BC Place

July 29th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

BC Place is one of the easiest landmarks to spot on a map of Vancouver aside from Stanley Park. It’s an icon of our fair city, opening in June of 1983 and again in 2011 following $150 million in major renovations, it has hosted everything from the CFL, MLS, and the NHL Heritage Classic to Madonna, U2, and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Now thanks to the BC Sports Hall of Fame, you can go behind the scenes to get unique views of this legendary venue.

Skyline Sunset
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Eskimos vs Lions | Elevate
Photo credit: Ed Ng & Stephen Chung on Flickr

The history of BC Place, and overall sport in BC, can be found at the BC Sports Hall of Fame, right inside the stadium doors at Gate A. This important attraction is full of history, interactive displays, games, the hall of inductees, and galleries including tributes to some extraordinary Canadian heroes like Terry Fox and Rick Hansen.

BC Sports Hall

BC Sports Hall BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

BC Sports Hall BC Sports Hall

BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Public Tours of BC Place

This summer, the BC Sports Hall of Fame is hosting a new All Access Experience providing an enhanced visit and behind the scenes tour of BC Place. You’ll visit the media lounge, premium suite areas, team locker rooms, and have field access.

I tagged along for a tour earlier this month, joining visitors from Mexico and The Netherlands. It was interesting to see their reactions to facts and information, and to see how incredibly impressed they were with the BC Lions’ locker room.

BC Place Tour BC Place Tour

BC Place Tour BC Place Tour

On the tour you’ll learn things like why the seats have a colour pattern, how long it takes the roof to open and close, what is the pitch made of, player history, and other tidbits of information about BC Place as a building and venue.

BC Place Tour

BC Place Tour BC Place Tour

BC Place Tour BC Place Tour

Each tour has room for 20 guests and the cost is $20 per person. A group rate, for 10 or more, is available for $13.50. Current available tour dates are Tuesday, August 5, 2014; Wednesday, August 6, 2014; Tuesday, August 26, 2014; and Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Time slots are 10:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Call the BC Sports Hall of Fame at 604-687-5520 to secure your time today.

BC Sports Hall BC Place Tour

The BC Sports Hall of Fame is open daily at Gate A of BC Place from 10:00am-5:00pm. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter for more special event and exhibit information.

Celebrate Your Birthday with Capilano Suspension Bridge

July 28th, 2014 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Capilano Suspension Bridge, almost as old as the City of Vancouver itself, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, and spread the joy, everyone with a birthday between August 1st and November 29th is invited up to Capilano Suspension Bridge to enjoy free admission on their own birthday. Just show your government-issued ID when you visit.

1900s: Archives# CVA 371-460.

Capilano Suspension Bridge
1906: Archives# CVA 677-891 and 2011: Photo by Bryan Garnett-Law on Flickr

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, including the Treetops Adventure and Cliffwalk, is currently open 8:30am until 8:00pm for the summer. BC Residents get special perks and deals on admission and you can enter to win a $20,000 dream wedding at the park as well. Share your Capilano Suspension Bridge memories and stories by following and contributing to the tag #CapBridge125 on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge This Summer

It’s not often enough that we get to be tourists in our own hometown but the Capilano Suspension Bridge wants to change that. They are offering an awesome summer staycation package to one lucky Miss604 reader and their family. The prize includes: 4 tickets to the bridge, 1 pound of homemade birthday fudge, 2 baseball hats and two stuffed animals (valued at $225). Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment sharing your best birthday memory (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a #CapBridge125 prize pack from @CapSuspBridge + @Miss604

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, August 5, 2014. Contest is open to all, not just those with a birthday between August 1st and November 29th (they just get the free admission on their special day).

USA Vancouver Fireworks Photos

July 28th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The USA kicked off the first night of the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks in Vancouver on Saturday as 250,000 people packed English Bay and the surrounding shores to watch. Thanks to those who shared their photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram, I have a wonderful collection of images to share that give you just a sample of what summer fireworks nights are like in Vancouver:

USA Vancouver Fireworks Photos

Celebration of Light Vancouver 2014, Team USA
Photo credit: Thomas Bullock on Flickr

Photo credit: David Evanochko on Flickr

Celebration of Light ~ Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

Bursting in Air
Photo credit: Brigitte Mueller on Flickr

Sun Flower
Photo credit: Daniel Mejia on Flickr

Honda Celebration of Lights 2014
Photo credit: Don Janus on Flickr

Celebration of Lights Celebration of Lights
Photo credit: Claude Martin & Claude Martin on Flickr

Honda Celebration of Lights 2014
Photo credit: Don Janus on Flickr

Celebration of Light Fireworks - Day 1 - Team USA
Photo credit: Alan W on Flickr

Celebration of Light, Day 1: USA
Photo credit: Alexis Birkill on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here.

Win a Trip to France!

The Honda Celebration of Light is also hosting a photo contest with KLM, here are the details: Upload your best picture of the fireworks at the 2014 Honda Celebration of Light in the Entries section of this website. When voting opens, get your friends (and friends of friends) to vote for your picture. They can vote once a day for one week. Once voting has closed, a panel of industry experts will decide who gets to go on the trip.

Vancouver Pride Parade 2014: Route, Viewing, Road Closures

July 28th, 2014 @ 8:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s Pride Week in Vancouver and that means there will be no shortage of events for the LGBTQ community and beyond. From Pride Trans Youth Night to the Davie Street Block Party and the Vancouver Dyke March, these diverse and inclusive events showcase not only Vancouver Pride but they invite the world to our fair town to celebrate as well. The biggest of all events is the world famous Vancouver Pride Parade, which draws over half a million spectators downtown each year.

Vancouver Pride Parade 2011

Vancouver Pride Parade 2011 Vancouver Pride Parade 2010
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Vancouver Pride Parade 2014

Ever since we have lived in the West End (going on 9 years now) John and I have enjoyed watching the pride parade because it is so cheerful, inclusive, fun-filled, and vibrant. It has great music, exciting floats, happy faces, giveaways, and everyone from church groups and bands to community organizations and businesses take part. In fact a few years ago I was on the London Drugs float, which was such a fun experience. Here’s all you need to know about this year’s Vancouver Pride Parade:

When Sunday, August 3, 2014 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Where The parade begins at Robson Street and Thurlow Street, heads west to Denman Street, follows Denman to Pacific Street and Beach Avenue and finishes at Sunset Beach Pride Festival and Market.

Click to View PDF

2014 Pride Parade Grand Marshals

The Pride Parade Grand Marshals are: “remarkable individuals who represent an inter-generational perspective on PRIDE, celebrating the people who have shaped its spirit with their passion for equality.” This year they are Dean Nelson, Gwen Haworth, and ted northe (Posthumous Grand Marshal).

Vancouver Pride Parade Viewing Areas

You can find a spot on the curb along most of the route although it does get very packed, going about 8-10 people deep on some sidewalks. The starting points on Robson are frequently less densely packed as Denman, as the parade turns and heads towards the beach. You may also want to head toward one of the hosted locations: The Unstoppable Conni Smudge at Safeway on Robson; Caryl Dolinko at Denman Place Mall; and Joan E! at the Boathouse.

Vancouver Pride Parade 2010

Vancouver Pride Parade 2011 Vancouver Pride Parade 2011

Vancouver Pride Parade 2011 Vancouver Pride Parade 2011
Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Vancouver Pride Parade Road Closures

Road closures will run anywhere between 8:00am and 4:00pm on Sunday, August 3, 2014.

  • Alberni Burrard to Thurlow 1000 block: 7:00am to 3:00pm
  • Alberni Bute to Thurlow 1100 block: 7:00am to 3:00pm Local Traffic Only
  • Robson Burrard to Bute 1000 to 1100 blocks: 7:00am to 3:00pm
  • Thurlow Georgia to Nelson 700 to 900 blocks: 7:00am to 3:00pm
  • Robson Bute to Denman 1100 to 1600 blocks: 10:00am to 3:30pm
  • Denman Robson to Beach 800 to 1200 blocks: 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Beach Denman to Jervis 1300 to 1700 blocks: 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Pacific Jervis to Burrard 1000 to 1200 blocks: 11:00am to 5:00pm

Vancouver Pride Parade Etiquette

Tips on being a good spectator from parade organizers:

  • Please stay off road – let marchers come to you to get free swag.
  • No spraying water or throwing object at entries. Their costumes and sound equipment is very expensive.
  • Use recycling and garbage bins provided around the venue. Help our event become zero impact.
  • Parking along the Parade route is extremely limited so leave your car at home and take transit to the Parade.
  • Open alcohol is prohibited on streets and parks so leave it at home. Come to the beer garden at Sunset Beach after the Parade and have a toast with us.
  • Remember to practice sun safety by wearing a hat, applying sunscreen, and staying hydrated.
  • Stay off the Parade route to give floats and marchers lots of room to move. Take all pictures from the side of the road.

Sunset Beach Festival

Following the parade there is the Sunset Beach Festival at the very end of the route: “This is a pedestrian event for the general public to come and enjoy the day, watch live performances on the main stage, sample great food at the food zone and dance to DJ’s in the 19+ beer garden area.”

The Vancouver Pride Society has all of the information you need to have a safe and happy Pride in Vancouver. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter along with the tags #VanPride + #PrideParade2014.

Oakridge Style: The Occasion

July 25th, 2014 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

If your summer has been anything like mine, it’s been filled fun at weddings, festivals, barbecues, and dinner parties. Oakridge Centre has just unveiled a new online resource for these happenings called The Occasion, which is the good guest’s guide to attending any event in style.


The Occasion provides ideas for different events including themed and cultural weddings, parties, and dinners. What to bring, what to do or expect, gift giving tips, what to wear, and more.

To celebrate the launch of this online, magazine-style guide, Oakridge Style is hosting a contest where you can enter to win a brilliant Birks freshwater pearl necklace valued at $750. To top that off, they are also offering a $100 Oakridge gift card to one lucky Miss604 reader. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment naming a tip you have for being a good guest at a summer event (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a $100 @OakridgeStyle gift card from @Miss604 #OakridgeStyle

I will draw one winner at random from all entries on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 12:00pm. Follow Oakridge on Twitter and Facebook for more information. Oakridge is located on the south west corner of the intersection at Cambie Street and 41st Avenue, 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver or Richmond. Get there by car or via the Oakridge Canada Line stop.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

July 25th, 2014 @ 8:39am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This weekend is all about the return of the sunshine, Pride Week Kicking off, and the Honda Celebration of Light fireworks. There are also some great festivals, markets, and outdoor movie opportunities. Here’s the full list and be sure to send me a note if there’s anything to add this weekend or the rest of the month.

Beach Ave + Fireworks
Photo credit: colink. on Flickr

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Events that run for longer than three days in a row are highlighted in green below.

Friday, July 25, 2014
Sponsored by Miss604: Late Night Movie at the Rio Theatre
Potential Apparel Charity Hockey Game
Music at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery
The 21st Century Saxophone
Alicia Tobin’s Come Draw With Me
Free Admission: Teen Shakespeare Program’s Love’s Labour’s Lost
Take Off Fridays at YVR
Feel Good Fridays at Lougheed
Shipyards Tours in North Vancouver
Richmond Night Market
Surrey Night Market
Vancouver Early Music Festival
Circle Craft Summer Market at Jack Poole Plaza
Theatre Under the Stars: SHREK The Musical
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Klahowya Village & Spirit Catcher Train in Stanley Park

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Stanley Park Noir, a Historical Walking Tour
Concord Pacific Seawall Challenge
Honda Celebration of Light Fireworks: USA
Free Festival at the Honeybee Centre in Cloverdale
ArtStarts presents Story Fabrics with Ewa Sniatycka
Mount Pleasant Family Festival
Vancouver Pride: Picnic in the Park
Relax in Style; Eileen Fisher Store Event
Artifact Vancouver: West End Art and Craft Fair
Slam For Hope
Caribbean Days Carnival Dance
Caribbean Days North Vancouver
Summertime Free Family Days at the Contemporary Art Gallery
Free Outdoor Movie in Surrey
Free Outdoor Movie in Tsawwassen
Trout Lake Farmers Market
West End Farmers Market
Kerrisdale Farmers Market
Richmond Night Market
Surrey Night Market
Vancouver Canadians Fireworks Night
Orpheum Tours
Coquitlam Watershed Tours
Circle Craft Summer Market at Jack Poole Plaza
Theatre Under the Stars: Legally Blonde the Musical
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Klahowya Village & Spirit Catcher Train in Stanley Park

Sunday, July 27, 2014
Free Sunday Salsa at Robson Square
Free Swing Dancing on Granville
Jog for the Bog
Free Festival at the Honeybee Centre in Cloverdale
Portobello West: Viva! Granville Market
Concert Sundays at Lonsdale Quay
Shakespeare & The Rose Gardens Stanley Park Historical Walking Tour
Pride Night at the Whitecaps Match
Caribbean Days North Vancouver
Vancouver Early Music Festival
Vancouver Food Cart Festival
Steveston Farmers Market
Kitsilano Farmers Market
White Rock Farmers Market
Coquitlam Farmers Market
Richmond Night Market
Capilano Watershed Tours
Circle Craft Summer Market at Jack Poole Plaza
Theatre Under the Stars: SHREK The Musical
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Klahowya Village & Spirit Catcher Train in Stanley Park

View the full monthly event list to plan ahead at any time. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates about local events and community happenings.

Related: 8 Vancouver Apps for Summer, Stanley Park Picnic Ideas, Where to Camp in Washington State, Where to Camp Around Metro Vancouver.