Metro Vancouver Lakes

May 30th, 2011 @ 3:42pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This weekend I posted a photo on Twitter of a lake in Surrey (Green Timbers) and after several people asked me where it was located, I decided it was time to highlight some of Metro Vancouver’s lakes in a post.

View Metro Vancouver Lakes in a larger map

These urban watering holes provide recreation options for the whole family. There aren’t many suited for swimming but the natural settings and marshland are great for bird-watching, fishing, biking, hiking or an afternoon stroll.

1. Green Timbers Lake Trails, fishing, cycling. No swimming.
2. Surrey Lake Trails, fishing, cycling. No swimming.

3. Burnaby Lake Trails, cycling, rowing (boat launch). No swimming.
4. Deer Lake Trails, cycling, picnicking, playground. No swimming. Concert series.

Trout Lake. Photo credit: ernestvr2001 on Flickr

5. Trout Lake Trails, cycling, dog off-leash area, swimming. Farmer’s market.

Port Moody
7. Buntzen Lake Trails, cycling, picnicking, boat launch, swimming.
8. Sasamat Lake Trails, cycling, picnicking, swimming.

Pitt Lake. Photo credit: GerryT on Flickr

Pitt Meadows
9. Pitt Lake Trails, cycling, rowing (boat launch). Swimming, camping in Golden Ears.

North Vancouver
10. Rice Lake Trails, hiking. No swimming.

I omitted a few lakes (like Coquitlam Lake watershed) as they are not open to the public. In case I missed any though, please feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.

Fly Zone Bodyflight Experience

May 30th, 2011 @ 1:25pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to experience some amazing adventures and stunts, like rappelling down a 20-storey building or ziplining) and now I can now add “vertical wind tunnel skydiving simulator” to the list.


Last Friday I grabbed John Biehler and we headed out to the Flyzone Bodyflight in Delta, along the Fraser River. We were invited to the facility which offers a lounge, TV screens, and viewing area. I can see that they’ve laid it out for groups, team-building, birthdays, or just an exhilarating afternoon with the guys or gals.


Flyzone Flyzone

Before you can “fly”, everyone goes through a safety training class to make sure you know the correct positioning and hand signals that the staff will use. Everyone can then get suited up in the appropriate gear (they have everything from goggles and helmets to ear plugs) you can head outside to begin your flight.

Biehler, who is no stranger to thrilling adventures himself, brought along his GoPro camera and was able to capture some great video.

We went in twice for about 2 minutes at a time, which is the equivalent of about two skydive free-falls. The scariest thing for me was when the wind cranked up and I had to position my head in order to breathe better. I had a brief moment of panic but soon enough the giggles set in and I enjoyed the weightless ride.

Miss 604 at the FlyZone
Me, mid-flight. Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

After “landing” I felt as though I had just rode a really long roller coaster at the amusement park, the adrenaline was definitely rushing.

John Biehler takes a turn

At all times I felt very safe and Flyzone staff were around to hold onto me in the tunnel and make sure my body was in the proper position.

Flyzone Flyzone Flyzone
Staff showing off their skills

The Metro Vancouver paper called it “skydiving minus the sheer terror” which is pretty accurate. Adults start at $62.50, children (5 and up) $52.50 and groups (in packages of 10 to 60 minutes) start at $225. It’s not the cheapest experience but if you’d like to see what skydiving would feel like, and enjoy a genuine thrill, it’s something you should try at least once.

Disclosure: cmp.ly/1

Aboriginal Potlatch Supper at the CCFCC

May 30th, 2011 @ 11:31am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Photo: Chef Ben Genaille
Good Life Vancouver

The Canadian Culinary Federation’s Conference is coming to Vancouver in June bringing with it some of the country’s top chefs and culinary masterminds over the course of 8 days.

One event at the CFCC is the Aboriginal Potlatch Supper taking place June 13th at Vancouver Community College that will showcase indigenous BC Products, cooked with traditional and modern methods.

The menu, complete with two BC wine pairing options for each dish, has already taken shape, thanks to Chef JC Felicella and Chef Ben Genaille from the Aboriginal Culinary Class at Vancouver Community College.

Aboriginal Potlatch Supper
Traditionally smoked salmon parsnip dumpling, pumpkin sauce
Spot prawn, poached in bentwood box sweet onion, garlic cream
Spiced seafood cakes, corn puree dandelion salad
Smoked trout apple salad young cress, wild mushroom vinaigrette
Rabbit sausage king oyster ragout, blueberry pine nut chutney
Braised bison brisket roasted squash salad, roasted onions, natural sauce
Roast venison loin sweet potato sauce, savory bannock bread pudding
Cinnamon bannock fritters Brown sugar cranberry sauce
Bannock bread pudding, sundried berry egg sauce

The menu will be served at food and beverage pairing stations so you can make your way around to sample all and any of these offerings – and visit the R and R Brewing beer station. Tickets are available online for $100.

Thanks to Cassandra from The Good Life Vancouver, I have a pair to give away. If you would like to attend this unique culinary event, here’s how you can enter to win your way in:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
  • I entered to win tickets to the #ccfcc2011 Aboriginal Potlatch Supper from @GoodLifeVan & @Miss604 http://ow.ly/565b3

    I will draw one winner at 10:00am June 9th. Must be 19 years or older to enter and win. Please enjoy responsibly.

    Update The winner is @melaneyglyall!

    Vancouver History: Japantown

    May 30th, 2011 @ 9:59am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I read an old headline last week that on May 27th 1902, Vancouver’s baseball team defeated the University of California on the Powell Street Grounds (now, Oppenheimer Park). Seeing this tidbit on the Vancouver History website made me realize that I have never actually talked about Vancouver’s Japantown before and the significance of the Powell Street neighbourhood.

    1906. Vancouver Japanese Language School. VPL Accession Number: 85994

    The history
    In the early 1900s Powell street (300-400 blocks) and parts of Alexander were Vancouver’s Japantown. Immigrants setup shops, markets, and their homes in this community that was a part of a very young Vancouver at the time. The Vancouver Japanese Language School, the Vancouver Buddhist Church, and Japanese Hall were established in the thriving neighbourhood.

    1929. Vancouver Asahi Baseball Team. VPL Accession Number: 11750. Photographer: Stuart Thomson

    The Asahi
    “The Asahi Baseball team competed against other groups in their community and eventually expanded to take on external teams. To make up for their smaller size, the players developed a new brand of game that used speed and intelligence. This led to five-straight Pacific Northwest Baseball Championship wins leading up to War World II. The accomplishments of the team have been recognized with introduction into both the BC and Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.” [source]

    The Riots
    In 1907 the “Asiatic Exclusion League” marched on Chinatown, then Japantown, smashing windows and attacking residents – considerable damage was done to the community. In 2007 a “Riot Walk” through Chinatown and former Japantown was staged to remember this violent act of racism.

    1915. Japanese Canadian Soldiers Serving in WWI. VPL Accession Number: 86045A

    The Perseverance
    “Despite this setback, the community had extended well beyond the original Powell Street corridor to encompass a much larger area, extending into Strathcona and — by the 1930s — beyond into many other neighbourhoods in the city. The community was forced to become more self-sufficient, and Powell Street became the economic, social and cultural focus of Japanese-Canadians, not only those in Vancouver, but for those across the province.” [source] The Powell Street community had expanded and began to prosper, with a strong commercial core including the Maikawa Department Store at 328 Powell.

    1942. Japanese Canadian Relocation Notice.
    VPL Accession Number: 12851

    The Shame
    More injustices occurred during the second World War, when those of Japanese decent were shipped off to internment camps around BC.

    “On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Hong Kong. Twelve weeks later the Canadian federal government used the War Measures Act to order the removal of all Japanese Canadians residing within 100 miles of the Pacific coast. They had been prompted to do so by B.C. politicians who had long been looking for an excuse to rid the province and Canada of the Japanese minority.” [source]

    They lost their homes, their businesses, their possessions, cars, boats, and families were torn apart. Not many could return to Japantown as the government limited their post-war freedom.

    In 1945 they were told they could stay in Canada if they moved East of the Rockies, settled in Ontario, Quebec, or the Prairies. A few returned to the Powell Street community in 1949, when they were permitted to do so, however the neighbourhood was never the same, and it lost its distinction.

    1942. Men’s Temporary Dormitory at the PNE Forum. VPL Accession Number: 14918.
    Photographer: Leonard Frank.

    “The only piece of property ever returned to the community was the Vancouver Japanese Language School.” [source]

    1942. Japanese Canadian Relocation, Seized Fishing Boats. VPL Accession Number: 3191A

    The Legacy
    While Japantown no longer distinctly exists, as Chinatown does, Canadian Japanese heritage is strong, proud, and has pushed through to continue to be an integral part of our society and our city. The Powell Street Festival Society started up in 1977 to celebrate Japanese Canadian culture in the heart of where all began. This year’s Powell Street Festival will take place July 30th and 31st but the society presents performances and special events throughout the year.


    During the summer months you can go on a Japantown walking tour, departing from the Vancouver Buddhist Temple at 220 Jackson.

    For more information, please read and visit these excellent resources:
    Japanese Canadian National Museum
    Powell Street Festival Society
    Powell Street Festival.
    Open Doors Project

    West Coast Hockey History

    May 28th, 2011 @ 1:13pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    This morning I had the opportunity to chat with Jon Mikl Thor, a hockey historian and archivist who sold the rights to the Vancouver Millionaires to the Vancouver Canucks back in October. Aside from knowing all there is to know about hockey history on the West Coast (and owning the Millionaires brand since 1977), Jon has also written and performs a rock opera with which he’s going out on tour in a few days.

    Jon Mikl Thor Millionaires 4
    Photo credit: Barb Coates, Coast Communications

    Although he’ll be in Europe, he’ll still be checking in on the Canucks from afar. You can listen to our conversation, where we talk about when Vancouver won the Stanley Cup in the clip below:

    The background music clips on the call are from How The West Was One by Kyprios. It’s available for $0.99 on iTunes and it’s become an anthem for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Vancouver. You can follow Kyprios on Twitter, and Facebook.

    BC Bike Race 2011 & Adera’s seven35

    May 27th, 2011 @ 1:45pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    The BC Bike Race July 2nd – July 9th is a 7-day cycling adventure that will take riders from the North Shore, to Vancouver Island, down the Sunshine Coast and up to Whistler. From ferry crossings to mountain passes, cyclists will go through places like Nanaimo, Cumberland, Powell River, and Squamish on their daily rides.

    Source: BC Bike Race

    As a gold sponsor of the event, the seven35 development in North Vancouver by Adera has offered up a prize pack for one of my readers. seven35 is the first multi-family LEED for Homes platinum development in Canada and was certified BuiltGreen Gold. This green building and double-certified sustainability “first” in Canada.

    Aside from being built green, the homes feature everything from a bicycle washing station, motion-sensor light switches and water-efficient irrigation. Featuring native plant species and numerous water features, they’re also located along the entrance to the Trans Canada Trail, and nearby Mosquito Creek.

    The seven35 presentation centre is located at 735-15th Street West, North Vancouver. You can find out more about Adera’s developments by following them on Facebook on Twitter.

    The prize pack offered up by seven35 includes a gift card for The District (value $100) in Lonsdale and a Helly Hansen rain jacket from the BC Bike Race (value $120).

    To enter to win the gift card and the jacket I’d like to know what you love about the North Shore. From Grouse Mountain’s views to gelato at the Quay, events like the BC Bike Race, or kayaking in Deep Cove. You can also enter to win by posting the following on Twitter:

    I entered to win a BC Bike Race prize pack from @AderaHome & @Miss604 http://ow.ly/54L2l

    I will draw a winner at random from all valid comment entries on June 1st at 12:00pm.

    Update The winner is Aimee!