Keep Vancouver Spectacular 2012

Monday, April 9th, 2012 — 2:00pm PDT
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Keep Vancouver Spectacular is an annual city-wide cleanup lead by community volunteers to help tidy up our streets and public spaces. From May 1st to May 30th you can organize or be a part of neighbourhood beautification efforts.

after the party
Photo credit: aloalo* on Flickr – Submitted to the Miss604 Flickr Pool.

From the City of Vancouver: “Last year, a record 18,500 volunteers in over 150 groups came together to fill thousands of bags with litter. Our clean streets and shorelines are among the reasons why Vancouver is one of the most livable cities in the world. We need your help to Keep Vancouver Spectacular.”

They are currently looking for block captains and volunteers to lead the charge this year. The City will provide teams with garbage bags, gloves, cleanup tools, and free pickup of litter and debris collected by volunteers.

The official kick-off event is April 28th from 9:00am to 12:00pm at John Oliver Secondary School and there will be a wrap-up event June 6th. You can also find out about year-round efforts including basics for busting litter.

Metro Vancouver Park Series: Royal Kwantlen Park

Monday, April 9th, 2012 — 12:56pm PDT
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It’s one of those days when, as a child, I would grab my bike from our garage and meet up with my neighbour on the corner where our two streets met. We’d spend the next few hours exploring the forest trails of a local park followed by laying out in the sun on a grassy hill speckled with dandelions. Condensation from Slurpee cups cooled our hands as we talked about our next adventure to another park or playground. It’s days like today that remind me how fortunate we are to have so many outstanding local parks and green spaces. As such, I’m adding a new entry to the Metro Vancouver Park Series: Royal Kwantlen Park.

park exploring

Surrey is formerly known at the City of Parks and Royal Kwantlen Park is one of the very first I ever explored as a child. Whether you’re a spectator at a soccer, softball, or baseball game, letting the kids enjoy the playground, or cooling off in the pool during the summer, there are beautiful mountain views to enjoy on a clear day.

How to Get There
The park is located at 13035 104th Ave with a parking lot on the corner of Old Yale Road and 104th (near the lacrosse box) and another parking lot off 106th Ave near the fields. Kwantlen Park Secondary is on the corner of 104th and 132nd, the park is just West of the school. You can take Highway 1, exiting onto 152nd and turning West onto 104th Avenue or turn onto 104th from King George or Scott Road to reach the park that is bordered by Old Yale, 106th, 132nd, and 104th.

Courtesy of

After talks with all parties involved, Surrey purchased the 40 acre reserve in 1954 for $40,000 from the Kwantlen First Nation. The municipality used a 10 acre strip on the east side to give the school board a new school site [KB Woodward — West Whalley Junior Secondary was then built in 1957]. After much planning, hard work and repeated requests, in 1959 Surrey decided to use the remaining portion of the former Kwantlen Reserve to create a park for Whalley.

There are remnants of an old wading pool at the top of the park’s highest hill and in the 1980s an adventure playground was installed along with a fitness circuit in the forest. In the late 90s the adventure playground was replaced with a more modern installation, a skate park was added on the south side and the tennis courts were expanded to accomodate a basketball court.

playground excitement trails johnnnnyyyyyyy


The park has a full playground, washrooms, two soccer fields, baseball diamonds, two all-weather (gravel) sports fields, tennis court, basketball court, skate park, lacrosse box, walking paths and forest trails. In the summer, I believe opening July 1st each year, there is a free outdoor pool on the south side, off 104 Ave. The forest is home to racoons and the occasional bunny, there is a patch of daffodils on the south side that pops up every spring, and the lacrosse box works just as well as a street-hockey venue.

Check out all 50 entries in my Metro Vancouver Park Series for fun, recreation, and local day trip ideas.

Vancouver Street Food Carts 2012

Monday, April 9th, 2012 — 8:49am PDT
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Last year the City of Vancouver approved and expanded street food selection that went beyond hot dogs and chestnuts to fish tacos, brisket, and fresh juice smoothies. As of May 1, 2012, twelve new vendors can now roll out becoming part of the fleet of 103 street food carts around downtown.


Food selections from Ukraine, El Salvador, Thailand and India will join the likes of Roaming Dragon, TacoFino, and Re-Up BBQ. The new trucks include:

French Stew and Sandwiches Ze Bite: North Side of W Cordova, East of Burrard
British Sandwiches Pig: Mid-Blog, West Side of 700 Howe St
El Salvadorian Guanaco Truck: East Side of Seymour, North of West Georgia
Seafood Kaboom Box: North Side of West Georgia, East of Thurlow
Seafood Feastro – The Rolling Bistro: South Side Canada Place Way, West of Thurlow
Chinese Le Tigre: North Side of Alberni, East of Bute
Thai Rimfoodbaht: East Side of Hamilton, North of Robson
Italian Slingers: East Side of Thurlow, North of West Hastings
Perogy Perodie Perogy: East Side of 700 Homer, Mid Block
Indian Soho Road Naan Kebab: South Side of 800 Smithe
Japanese Mogu: West Side of Howe St, North of Dunsmuir
Burgers The Burger Bus: North Side of Davie, East of Seymour

Once again, you can check out two mobile applications to find out where food trucks are located and if they’re open.

The Vancouver Street Vendor App:

Vancouver Street Food Vendor App Vancouver Street Food Vendor App Vancouver Street Food Vendor App Vancouver Street Food Vendor App

The Eat St. App for iPhone & Android:

Eat St iPhone App Eat St iPhone App Eat St iPhone App Eat St iPhone App

About 15 street food carts will be added per year, for the next two years. The City of Vancouver will also be conducting a pilot project to see how well food carts do in public parks. Finalists who applied to the street food cart program and were not selected can apply for the stationary food cart pilot program in Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Vanier Park.

Vancouver Canucks Playoff Schedule: Round 1 vs LA Kings

Sunday, April 8th, 2012 — 11:07am PDT
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The Vancouver Canucks are President’s Trophy winners for the second year in a row, finishing at the top of the entire league thanks to the shutout victory last night. Roberto Luongo had his 5th shutout this season, his 60th of his career. Shortly after our game against Edmonton ended last night, the LA Kings lost to San Jose, making them our opponent for the first round of the playoffs.

The schedule was released this morning so be sure to warm up the BBQ, get your car flags installed, bust out the white towels, and prepare to celebrate our team.

Western Conference Quarter Final

Game 1: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Los Angeles at Vancouver 7:30pm, Rogers Arena (CBC)

Game 2: Friday, April 13, 2012
Los Angeles at Vancouver 7:00pm, Rogers Arena (CBC)

Game 3: Sunday, April 15, 2012
Vancouver at Los Angeles 7:30pm, Staples Center (CBC)

Game 4: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Vancouver at Los Angeles 7:00pm, Staples Center (CBC)

Game 5*: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Los Angeles at Vancouvr, TBD Rogers Arena (TBD)

Game 6*: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Vancouver at Los Angeles, TBD Staples Center (TBD)

Game 7*: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Los Angeles at Vancouver, TBD Rogers Arena (TBD)

Elsewhere around the league, in the West the it’s Blues vs Sharks, Coyotes vs Blackhawks, Predators vs Red Wings. In the East, it’s Rangers vs Senators, Bruins vs Capitols, Panthers vs Devils, Penguins vs Flyers.

Follow @VanCanucks and @LAKings on Twitter this round along with @CanucksGame during the games. Please enjoy responsibly.

Vancouver Parks Golf Guide

Friday, April 6th, 2012 — 10:04am PDT
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Vancouver Parks Golf has a variety of courses across the city that offer great greens, fresh air, and a fantastic excuse to get outside and enjoy our gorgeous west coast scenery.

Vancouver Parks Golf Guide

Golf at Fraserview The scene

Full Courses

Location: 7800 Vivian Drive
Features: Par 72, driving range, home of the The Golf Institute, lessons available, pro shop
Green fees: Starting at $17 and going up to $45 depending on date and time of play
Twitter: @VPGFraserview

Location: 7188 MacDonald Street
Features: Par 71/21, driving range, lessons available, pro shop, Golf Academy
Green fees: Starting at $13.25 and going up to $35 depending on date and time of play
Twitter: @VPGMcCleery

Location: 6706 Alberta Street
Features: Par 71, pro shop, clubhouse
Green fees: Starting at $13.25 and going up to $35 depending on date and time of play
Twitter: @VPGLangara

In 2004 all three courses received designation as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries recognizing their high environmental standards. Birds chirping and dive-bombing worms, squirrels scurrying, and curious (but harmless) coyotes are on the prowl among native plant species and thick groves of trees.

Pitch and Putt

Queen Elizabeth Park
Location: Enter off 37th from Main or Cambie
Green fees: Regular 18 holes $12.95 (see full schedule)
Hours: Open February to November, 8:00am to dusk daily.

Rupert Park
Location: 3402 Charles Street
Green fees: Regular 18 holes $12.05 (see full schedule)
Hours: Open year-round, 9:00am to dusk daily.

Stanley Park
Location: Enter off Beach Avenue
Green fees: Regular 18 holes $12.95 (see full schedule)
Hours: Open year-round, 7:30am to dusk daily (winter), 9:00am to dusk (summer)

Starting April 15, 2012, Fraserview, McCleery and Langara golf courses will begin selling a summer golf savings program. The VPG Summer Golf Card will be available for $49.95 in all three golf shops and will provide loyal golfers with the opportunity to save up to 10 times their investment in green fees over the summer.

The green fee prices stated in this post do not include HST.

Starbucks Canada iPhone Application with PayPal

Thursday, April 5th, 2012 — 11:24am PDT
Comments 315

Last Christmas Santa included a Starbucks gift card in my stocking because he wanted to show me that I could use it on the Starbucks Canada iPhone application.

After downloading the app, you can enter your gift card information and pay with your phone the next time you order your venti, grande, or tall beverage. Yesterday PayPal announced that you can now set your Starbucks application to auto-reload your Starbucks card.

Starbucks iPhone App

From PayPal Canada: “Last summer we asked Canadians to tell us the ways that making money more digital could make their life simpler and more convenient. The results were that a third of you said you would happily use your mobile device to buy a latte. Thanks to the latest update to the Starbucks Canada app for iPhone and iPod Touch, being able to use your smartphone to buy a coffee without having to ever open your wallet just became reality!

Now you can directly reload or auto-reload your Starbucks Card balance using PayPal right within the Starbucks app, and pay for your beverage simply using a digital barcode that gets scanned at the cash.”

To promote this seamless digital coffee purchasing system, Starbucks Canada and PayPal Canada have offered up three $50 gift cards for my readers. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment here naming your favourite Starbucks item (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a $50 @StarbucksCanada gift card from @PayPalCA & @Miss604 #PayPalLovesLattes

I will draw three winners at random from all entries at 12:00pm next Thursday, April 12, 2012. Follow PayPal Canada on Facebook and Twitter for more information about their payment solutions.

Update The winners are Jodi, James, and @SarahSaysStuff!