The Sights of Downtown Vancouver

This post is part of my “Farewell, Downtown Vancouver” blog series in which I’ll be writing short reflections on certain aspects of my time downtown.

Downtown Vancouver is so beautiful and picturesque because of its many different sights (and sites).

Near my workplace at Robson and Cambie, we’re right next to the remodeled BC Place Stadium. Walk a few blocks south and you’re in trendy Yaletown; walk a few blocks north and you’re in historic Gastown.

BC Place
BC Place

Head down Robson from my building and you’ll pass the Public Library before hitting Granville Street (which actually looks better at night than during the day). Go a couple of more blocks and you’ll find yourself in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Traverse a bit more past Burrard and you’re right in the middle of the Robson shopping district.

Turn right and you’ll get to the beautiful Vancouver Convention Centre and Jack Poole Plaza. Or keep going down Robson and eventually you’ll hit English Bay. Or head east on Georgia and you’ll make your way to scenic Stanley Park with Coal Harbour on your right side.

English Bay
English Bay

Along the way, you’re bound to pass a plethora of fancy hotels, expensive restaurants, casual eateries, clubs, and shopping centres.   And of course, there’s beautiful Holy Rosary Cathedral at the corner of Dunsmuir and Richards.

But the one sight I’m going to miss the most is actually one I see BEFORE I get downtown. It’s the view I see as I head north on Cambie as soon as I begin my descent after crossing West 12th Avenue.

My favourite view
My favourite view

On a clear day the view is breath taking. You see the tall office buildings along with BC Place and the Harbour Centre tower. Rising above the buildings are the North Shore mountains. And if the time is right, the mountains will have snow on them.

An older picture...but check out the snow-capped mountains
An older picture…but check out the snow-capped mountains

Even when it’s not a clear day, it’s still a good view…especially when the mountains emerge through the low-lying fog.

When bringing visitors downtown via Cambie, they always react favourably to what they see – either with a gasp, a smile, or they whip out their cell phone to take a picture. And they keep taking pictures as we drive over the Cambie Street Bridge with the great view of False Creek on the right.

While our new area won’t be as scenic, I look forward to exploring a little bit to discover new favourite sights.

But I anticipate making the quick 10 minute trip downtown a number of times in the upcoming months to visit.

After all, it’s been like my second home for the past 22 years.

What are your favourite downtown Vancouver sights?

Saying Sayonara to Downtown Food

This post is part of my “Farewell, Downtown Vancouver” blog series in which I’ll be writing short reflections on certain aspects of my time downtown.

One thing I’m going to miss about working downtown is the food.

Now I’m certainly not a foodie (sorry Debbie and Megan). And the ONLY time I’ll take pictures of my food is to poke fun at people who do such a thing regularly (sorry Debbie and Megan…haha).

But I certainly appreciate a good meal.

The beautiful thing about working downtown is that there’s an abundance of food choices on every block. Craving pub food? No problem. Steak? Take your choice. Soup and salad?   Pick your spot. Not to mention the plethora of food courts and fast food joints.

Continue reading Saying Sayonara to Downtown Food

Farewell, Downtown Vancouver

My run of 22 years of working downtown Vancouver will end at the conclusion of February, as the JP II Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Vancouver will move to its new location at 33rd and Willow in central Vancouver. As I will be out of town next week, for all intents and purposes this week is actually my last week downtown.

I worked at CIBC Mortgage Corporation (at the corner of West Hastings and Burrard) for the summers of 1993 and 1994. It was a great summer job for me as I got my initiation into working downtown and in a corporate environment. Needless to say, it was a far cry from serving as a busboy at La Pergola Italian Restaurant in Richmond. Continue reading Farewell, Downtown Vancouver

Revisiting the 2010 Winter Olympics: My 5 Favourite Video Blogs

Today (February 12) marks the 5th anniversary of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.  It was a magical 17 days filled with dramatic sporting moments and special encounters.

I did a daily video blog to chronicle my experience and it had a bit of everything.  The footage ranged from events to medal ceremonies to scenes from our Catholic Hospitality Centre.  My 23 videos have a total of just under 50,000 views.

Here are 5 of my favourite videos:

1. February 17:  Learning the Lyrics to “I Believe” (Winter Olympics Theme Song)

On Ash Wednesday, I took a detailed look at the Winter Olympics theme song “I Believe” by Nikki Yanofsky.

Continue reading Revisiting the 2010 Winter Olympics: My 5 Favourite Video Blogs

First Impressions: For Better or For Worse

At a meeting at work today, each participant was asked to answer three simple questions as part of a quick ice-breaker:

  1. Where did you grow up?
  2. How many siblings do you have?
  3. What was one interesting or challenging thing from your childhood?

It was a nice and easy way to get to know some of my work-mates a bit better. When it came to me, I answered like this: Continue reading First Impressions: For Better or For Worse