Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Spots to Visit on Transit

Transit-friendly fantastic Phở and more places in Metro Vancouver

Did you know there are two styles of Phở?

A piping hot bowl of Phở sounds quintessential of rainy Vancouver evenings, or rather late nights. This simple beef noodle soup – traditionally, but you can also get different kinds of stock – from Vietnam has come to be its most-prized culinary assets.

In fact, this humble dish even had Vietnamese poet Tu Mo wax eloquent about it in his poem, ‘An Ode to Phở’. This flavoursome mix of beef bones, charred onion and ginger, spices that include star anise, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom and coriander – all used to make the slow-cooked broth that defines Phở – is the epitome of egalitarianism. The Phở brings the rich and poor together. Period.

Did you know there are two styles of Phở?  Phở bac, which is Phở from the northern regions of Vietnam, is made quite differently from how Phở is prepared in southern Vietnam (Phở Sài Gòn). The northern-style broth is traditional and simple with wider noodles, while the one from the south is somewhat sweeter, with lots of herbs, and even hoisin and chilli sauce. An important takeaway – not all Vietnamese-noodle-in-hot-broth-in-a-bowl dishes are Phở!

And since Metro Vancouver has so many fantastic Phở and more places, we thought we’d list some of those that are easily accessible by transit. Why? Because, we love all things transit, and we sure love us some Phở – Phở-real!

Let us know in the comments below which one is your favourite Vietnamese restaurant!

Note: Restaurant timings, locations, and prices may be subject to change. Check each restaurant’s website for exact details. 

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Transit-friendly weekend Halloween jaunts that’ll haunt!

Happy Haunting, ghoulfriends!

Costume parties, haunted houses, jack-o’-lanterns – you get the gist! Halloween is next week, and you are probably out hunting for that spooktacular costume.

If you’re wondering what Halloween-related events to go to this weekend, you came to the right place. The Buzzer blog is pumped to bring you this list of action-packed events, haunted houses, and all other spooky things in between!

Eat, drink, and be scary!

Note: Event timings, locations, and prices may be subject to change. Check each event’s website for exact details. 

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Transit-friendly things to do in Metro Vancouver this weekend

This weekend’s guide is for activities across Metro Vancouver

The best day of the week is here, and The Buzzer blog is back with its guide for things you can do this weekend in Metro Vancouver!

Don’t have plans and want so? The Buzzer has your back!

Read on to find out what exciting things you can do this weekend that are accessible by transit. The best part? We tell you how to get there!

Note: Event timings, locations, and prices may be subject to change. Check each event’s website for exact details. 

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Fun poll results: Your favourite summer spots to visit with transit

The results are in! We asked you what your favourite summer spot is to visit with transit and with 27 per cent of votes, Stanley Park is your favourite summer spot!

Coming in second and not too far behind with 20 per cent of votes is “Other”. Granville Island and New Westminster River Market both tied for third place with 14 per cent of votes each.

If you answered other, where do you love to go with transit in the summer? Summer isn’t over yet so comment below and let us know!

Following the top three summer destinations are White Pine Beach and Lonsdale Quay, each with eight per cent of votes, Queen Elizabeth Park with four per cent of votes, and Kitsilano Beach and Capilano Suspension Bridge coming in with three per cent of votes.

Thanks to everyone for voting!

If you have an idea for a poll, comment below or email thebuzzer@translink.ca!

Author: Christina Jakopin

Family Day holiday service, February 8, 2016

Transit can take you where you need to go this Family Day!

Transit can take you where you need to go this Family Day!

Monday February 8th is Family Day! Whatever you’re planning to do, why not take transit to do it!

Dont forget! Because Family Day is a holiday you’ll want to know about the change of service below.

Buses, SkyTrain and SeaBus – will operate on the Sunday/Holiday schedule on Family Day, Monday, February 8, 2015. Sunday/Holiday fares will be in effect.

West Coast Express will not operate on Family Day.

All services will be back on their regular weekday schedules, Tuesday, February. 9.

Know before you go!

Use the Trip Planner to check your route and schedule times prior to leaving. The information noted here is subject to change. For the latest and most up-to-date information, bookmark translink.ca on your mobile device so you can know on the go. Customer Information can be reached at 604.953.3333 or tweet us @TransLink.

 

Are you planning on taking transit to Family Day Event on Monday? Comment below and let us know where you’re headed!

Author: Robert Willis

TravelSmart to the FIFA Women’s World Cup

Shuéme is hoping on the system to get to the games!

FIFA mascot, Shuéme is hoping on the system to get to the games!

The moment Vancouver soccer fans have been waiting for is nearly upon us – the FIFA Women’s World Cup is coming to BC Place!!

From June 8 to July 5, 2015 Vancouver will host six soccer matches plus the World Final Game.

Hosting the world’s best female soccer players is an honour that will inspire us all, but especially women and girls who love the sport.

The FIFA matches will bring thousands of additional people to the downtown core, so now is a great time to start thinking about the most TravelSmart mode of transportation to avoid heavy traffic and parking stress.

FIFA matches will take place at BC Place Stadium located at 777 Pacific Blvd. BC Place is easily accessible by SkyTrain, SeaBus, Bus and the Seaside Bike Route.

You have lots of alternatives, so consider leaving your car at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Planning your Trip

You can plan your route online on our trip planner by simply typing in your starting location and final destination. You can also get real-time Next Bus information on your mobile device.

Public Transportation

TransLink’s integrated system of buses, commuter rail, SeaBus, and SkyTrain will get you to the game for a fraction of the cost of driving and parking.

If you take SkyTrain just hop off at Stadium-Chinatown Station and walk South along Expo Boulevard to BC Place.

Park & Ride Lots

Save big bucks on parking by leaving your car at one of TransLink’s Park and Ride facilities available at many transit hubs.

Simply park your car, hop on bus or SkyTrain and relax while we whisk you off to the Game.

Carpooling

Save gas and money by carpooling! Don’t have a carpool buddy yet? Or maybe you want to fill that extra seat in your car? Connect with carpoolers along your route at ride-share.com.

Walk or Bike

Why not build some exercise into your FIFA experience? Walking and biking is a great way to arrive energized and to get home quickly.

Take the Seaside Bicycle Route and enjoy stunning views of False Creek on your journey – and yes it’s family-friendly!

Free Bike Valet service will be available at all matches. You can also lock your bike securely at the Main Street Bike Parkade and then ride the SkyTrain the rest of the way.

For more great tips and tricks for driving less and moving your body more, be sure to check out the TravelSmart homepage.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Friday fun guest post: Crushed Cheerios finds adventure on the Millennium Line

SkyTrain at VCC-Clark Station

Families have endless options for fun on the Millennium Line!

Crushed Cheerios is back for part two of the adventures on the SkyTrain! Last time she took us for a ride on the Expo Line. This time, we travel with Tasha and her boys along the Millennium Line. Stay tuned for the final post in this series about the Canada Line coming soon!


A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of Expo Line adventures. Here is a list of some of my favourites along the Millennium Line!

VCC-Clark

  • China Creek – A great little  area for spending a day at the park. You can play soccer, draw with chalk, have a picnic and play at the playground. It’s a short walk from the SkyTrain.

Commercial-Broadway

  • Trout Lake Community Centre – Like many of the recreation centres in Metro Vancouver, there’s a drop in most days of the week (generally they are Mon-Sat, but vary from location to location) It’s a great place to run off some steam and enjoy some socialization for both kids and adults.
  • Trout Lake – There’s a great playground located next to the community centre. There’s a sandy beach area along the mini-lake that you can splash in during the summer or build sandcastles year round. It has lots of green space to play sports, have a picnic or play fetch with your dog.

CheeriosMill1Brentwood

  • Brentwood Mall – There’s an indoor play area that is fun for little ones at the mall. It can sometimes get really busy, though – and parents will sometimes allow their older, rambunctious children to terrorize through there. Avoiding peak times is ideal! If you go first thing in the morning or during the typical nap time, it can be pretty peaceful.
  • Confederation Park – this is a bit of a walk from the SkyTrain station but so definitely worth it!! I used to live about a 40 minute walk from here and would go often with my first, when he was only ten months old. It’s got a library, swimming pool/recreation centre, running track, trails, water park, playground and big open fields to play on. There’s also a model steam train close by (seasonal, I believe – check before going!) It’s a great park to spend an hour – or the entire day.

Sperling-Burnaby Lake

  • Burnaby Lake – This was a favourite walking place pre-baby and pre-mobile baby. We lived close by and would venture there once a week to walk about 10km. There are duck ponds and plenty of paths to choose from (you can walk anywhere from 2km to 15km following the different paths) There’s also a handful of bathrooms along the route.

 

CheeriosMill2Lougheed

  • Lougheed Mall – Coming in March 2015, is an indoor playground inside the mall. I am not talking the little tiny play areas meant for young children. I would say this is aimed for 5-8 year olds. Great for rainy days (though I would much prefer to get my child outside to play, I like the idea of a park in the mall for rainy days/running errands) This mall also has an indoor play area for younger kids.
  • Blue Mountain Park – Again, not quite immediate SkyTrain area, but worth the 30 minute walk! It’s a fun little playground and spray park. I’ve gone a few times with my oldest, the most recent time at almost two years old, and he’s loved it every time. He enjoyed the “bumpy slide” and sitting atop of the horse statues.

 

CheeriosMill3Braid

  • Hume Park – Another day-trip park. There’s a spray park, a couple of playgrounds, a dog-park, fields and an outdoor playground. There are some paths for exploring and a creek you can splash in.
  • IKEA – Not to be totally nerdy, but this is MY favourite place. And D actually asks to go here at least once a month. It may not sound exciting, but it’s the perfect place to explore on a rainy weekday. Cheap breakfast, fun little areas to explore and if your kids are tall enough, you could drop them off at the play area while you do a bit of shopping. Don’t forget the frozen yogurt on the way out (which I swear is the only reason D requests to go! HA!)

Sapperton

  • Sapperton Landing Park – Enjoy a scenic walk along the water, just steps from the SkyTrain station. There are viewpoints as you walk the stretch to sit and look out at the Fraser River – two out of the three times we’ve gone, we got to see seals (or maybe they were sea lions?) swimming past us! My oldest loves watching the train cross the bridge from this walking trail. There are bridges to cross, which is also another huge hit for my two year old!

There’s many other things to do at the SkyTrain stops along the Millennium Line. Do you have any other favourites?

Author: Adrienne Coling

Friday fun guest post: Crushed Cheerios finds adventure on the Expo Line

Lots to see and do along the Expo Line!

Lots to see and do along the Expo Line!

We’re very pleased to have a guest post this week, which is part one in a three-part series. Tasha, the author behind the mommy blog Crushed Cheerios, took her two boys along the Expo Line to see what they could see and do what they could do! She has some great ideas and suggestions for loads of fun that can work for families using the TransLink system around Metro Vancouver. Stay tuned for her adventures on the Millennium and Canada Line coming soon!


SkyTrain Line Adventures: Expo Line

Looking for fun things to do around town?

Hop on the train and pick one of the many stations along the line to explore!

Waterfront Station :

  • SeaBus – The SeaBus runs every 15-30 minutes and goes from Waterfront to North Vancouver. The ride itself is a favourite of my toddlers but there’s also the Lonsdale Quay to explore, including a ball pit (free entry!) upstairs and some shops to browse. A short walk away is a park with views of the water with many boats and container ships going past.
  • West Coast Express Train – While we’ve never gone on the train, we love watching it arrive and depart the station! It’s a commuter train and only runs during weekdays in peak directions so we’ve never taken it. It also has a (separate from the SkyTrain/bus) fee and from what I’ve heard, not stroller friendly. You can watch it from the walkway that leads to the SeaBus.
  • Harbour Centre – Take a trip to the top and view Vancouver from high above the crowds!
  • Canada Place – Stroll around Canada Place / Seven Sails. Depending on the time of year, you can see the cruise ships coming into port. The Olympic Cauldron is a short walk. And there’s access to the Sea Wall if you’re up for a longer walk.

Granville Station :

  • Vancouver Public Library – They have an expansive kids section with a small little play area (best for the younger-than-3-years group) and have many story times or activities for children.

Stadium Station :

  • Chinatown – Take a walk and get immersed in the culture. There are night markets during Summer months.
  • False Creek – A great place to walk to see the boats and dragon boaters. You can walk for kilometres in either direction along the smooth, flat, paved paths that have many parks along the way.

Main Street / Science World :

  • Science World – We have memberships for Science World and we go frequently. There is lots to do and see and touch!
  • Ferry Ride – A fun ride! You can take the ferry from next to Science World and go to Granville Island (technically not walking distance from a skytrain station – so I won’t go into much details but there’s the Kids Market and lots of buskers, magic shows, etc to look at. In the summer, there’s a water park. And there’s a few playgrounds to visit throughout the year)

Broadway Station :

  • Commercial Drive – Plenty of interesting shops to browse through. There’s a few kids stores that carry things that aren’t found in the big box stores, like TRU and Target etc.
  • Trout Lake – Community centre with drop ins, pond and playgrounds.

Patterson Station :

  • Central Park – Playground, walking trails, duck pond and an outdoor swimming pool. Lots to do!

Metrotown Station :

  • Metrotown Mall – We love to go on the train that goes from one end of the mall to the other. A few times, we’ve gone to the mall JUST for the train ride! It’s small though – no strollers allowed on busy days. Sometimes when it’s quieter, the conductor will allow you to fold your stroller and put it in one of the train cars. We also like to go wander through Toys R Us and the Disney Store. There’s also three Starbucks and two Tim Horton’s there… Just saying.
  • Bonsor – There’s a playground and skate park. While we’ve never found the skate park empty to let Dean roam, he does enjoy watching people do tricks (and bails!) on the ramps. The playground is perfect for his age (2.5 years old) but also challenging enough to keep older kids busy!

Edmonds :

  • Taylor Park / Byrne Creek / Ron McLean Park – Just off of Edmonds SkyTrain station is three park areas combined in one place! Playgrounds, wading pool (summer months when a park leader is on site), trails and fields!
  • Edmonds Community Centre – It’s about a 20 minute walk, but well worth it! There’s a great indoor pool – We drive past two pools from our house to this pool because it’s amazing! It’s warmer than most and it has a lazy river and a kids play area. There’s drop in programs there. And they also have a free indoor playground that’s not usually too busy.

New Westminster Station :

  • Shops at New Westminster – Right at the SkyTrain station, there is numerous shops and places to eat. Spud Shack is one of my favourites! There’s also two Starbucks and a Tim Horton’s at the station. On the concourse level, there is a play area for children with slides. It’s covered from the rain and has heaters for those cooler days.
  • Quay boardwalk – This is our “go-to” outing. We take a walk along the boardwalk to any (and sometimes all) of the three parks. There’s sand volleyball fields, sandy “beach” (think a gigantic sandbox) to sit under umbrellas, lots of benches and chairs to stop for a snack. It’s flat and paved so my son LOVES speeding along with his bike. It’s decently straight so I can keep sight of him, even when he leaves me in the dust. And there’s frequently trains that go by – we always love watching them from close up! There’s also the…..
  • River Market – There’s a few shops and some places to get food. There’s an upstairs area for younger kids (0-4 years old, I would say) The Circus School is great, but they don’t have very many drop-in time slots. Though, it’s still neat to watch the classes as they learn to do fancy aerobatics!

Surrey Central Station :

  • City Centre Library – This library is walking distance from us. We LOVE going here, even if we don’t have our books to return to get new ones! There’s lots to do and explore inside. The library’s children section has fun rocking chairs, benches with treasures to view through peepholes, activity wall-mounts and pillows to cozy up on.

 

There’s plenty of other parks, walking distance from the SkyTrain stations that I haven’t listed but there’s just too many!

Do you and your family have any other favourites?

Author: Adrienne Coling

Family Day holiday service, February 9, 2015

Transit can take you where you need to go this Family Day!

Transit can take you where you need to go this Family Day!

Monday February 9th is Family Day! Whether you’re into hitting the slopes or just up for enjoying some free hot chocolate, the region has something for every family and transit can get you there. Check out all these great events going on in Metro Vancouver!

Dont forget! Because Family Day is a holiday so you’ll want to know about the change of service below.

Buses, SkyTrain and SeaBus – will operate on the Sunday/Holiday schedule on Family Day, Monday, February 9, 2015. Sunday/Holiday fares will be in effect.

West Coast Express will not operate on Family Day.

All services will be back on their regular weekday schedules, Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Know before you go!

Use the Trip Planner to check your route and schedule times prior to leaving. The information noted here is subject to change. For the latest and most up-to-date information, bookmark translink.ca on your mobile device so you can know on the go. Customer Information can be reached at 604.953.3333 or tweet us @TransLink.

 

Are you planning on taking transit to Family Day Event on Monday? Comment below and let us know where you’re headed!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Five Christmas things to do this weekend – Dec 12 to 14, 2014

The Christmas season is in full swing! Santa Claus is now at malls around Metro Vancouver and surely you’ve started your Christmas shopping. The Reindeer Bus and Community Shuttle are spreading the holiday cheer for the entire month of December.

If you aren’t already, here are five Christmas things to do this weekend to get you into the Christmas spirit!

West Coast Express Santa TrainThe West Coast Express Santa Train runs once more this Saturday, December 13!

In exchange for a new unwrapped toy, you get a ticket to ride the train.

The train departs Mission at 10 am and stops at all WCE stations before arriving at Waterfront Station at approximately 11:15 am. The train makes its return trip from Waterfront at 4 pm.

All donations support the Northeast sector Christmas Bureau.

Holidays with Scuba Claus at Vancouver Aquarium

Photo by Vancouver Aquarium

Photo by Vancouver Aquarium

Scuba Claus is back for his annual visit at the expanded Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.

Enjoy the return of nostalgic memories as you rediscover the wonders of the electric eel-powered holiday tree. Hop on board a 4-D theatre adventure of THE POLAR EXPRESS and get swept away to the North Pole through an exhilarating sensory experience of wondrous sights, sounds and more.

The event runs until Christmas Eve.

Get there by taking transit! The Vancouver Aquarium is located inside Stanley Park, so just take the 19 Stanley Park bus there.

Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park

Head down to the Bright Nights Train and Plaza at Stanley Park and immerse yourself in three million twinkling lights. It is open until Sunday, January 4 and is closed on Christmas Day.

Entrance to the Bright Nights Train Plaza to see the holiday lights is by donation and will be accepted at the front gate. A minimum $4 donation is suggested.

Admission to ride the train is $11 for adults and $8 for seniors (65 years old or older) and children & youth (3 – 17 years old). Purchase your tickets online in advance at TicketLeader.ca.

Partial proceeds benefit the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, which helps burn survivors and their families. Over the past 16 years, $1.4 million has been raised.

For full hours of operation and more information, visit the City of Vancouver website. Get there by taking the 19 Stanley Park bus.

Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum

The illuminated displays are back at the Burnaby Village Museum this holiday season for Heritage Christmas!

Bring your cameras for a photo opportunity with Father Christmas and an old-fashioned sleigh. Enjoy daily entertainment from theatre and marionette performances, choirs and musicians to craft for children, storytelling sessions and baking in the Farmhouse!

Heritage Christmas is open now until January 2, 2015. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 1 pm to 5:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm to 9 pm – until December 12. Then it’s daily from 1 pm to 9 pm (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) until it closes. Admission is free and carousel rides are $2.50.

The 123 New Westminster / Brentwood Station and 144 SFU / Metrotown Station both stop right outside the Burnaby Village Museum.

Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is transformed into the North Pole for the holiday season. See the SOS Children’s Gingerbread Village, visit Santa’s Workshop for a photo opportunity, meet Santa’s reindeer, embark on a mountaintop sleigh ride (weather permitting), and go for some outdoor ice skating!

Peak of Christmas runs until Christmas Eve. Admission is $41.95 for adults (19 to 64 years old), $37.95 for seniors (65 years old and up), $23.95 for youth (13 to 18 years old) and $13.95 for child (five to 12 years old). A family pass for two adults and two children/youth is available for $109.95.

Catch the 236 Grouse Mountain from Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver and take the scenic SkyRide from the base of the mountain to get to the Peak of Christmas!

Vancouver Christmas Market

The annual Vancouver Christmas Market is back for a fifth year! Find a mix of traditional food and beverages, as well a selection of authentic wood carvings and toys, knitted goods, nutcrackers, pottery, and other unique gifts. Stop off at the special children’s area, the Kid’s Market, to make Christmas gifts and ride downtown Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel.

The market is open daily until December 24 from 11 am to 9 pm at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza, 650 Hamilton Street in downtown Vancouver. Admission starts at $7 for adults, $6 for seniors over 60 years of age, $3 for youth between the ages of seven and 12 and is free for kids up to six years old. You can purchase your tickets in advance online!

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the market is easily accessible by transit! It’s located a block away from Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain station and many bus routes stop nearby including the 4, 6, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17, 50, 240, 246 and 257.

Know of any other awesome Christmas activities that start this upcoming weekend? Let your fellow Buzzer readers know in the comments section! 

Author: Allen Tung

Viva Vancouver

Main Street Vancouver

2009 Summer Spaces pilot project on Main Street

Remember Robson Street during the 2010 Winter Olympics? Or maybe you’ve visited the numerous car-free streets of Strøget, Copenhagen, Denmark or the Cinque Terre in the Liguria region of Italy. These are all examples of streets not used for cars but for pedestrians, festivities and just hanging out. The City of Vancouver has been experimenting with shutting down streets for community purposes since 2009, and starting this weekend through to the end of the summer, you’re going to see a lot more of it.

Commercial Drive Car-free day

2009 Summer Spaces pilot on Commercial Drive

Viva Vancouver is the department of The City of Vancouver mandated to:

  • Create a variety of public spaces for a mix of engaging activities and sojourning
  • Increase neighbourhood livability benefiting residents, businesses, community groups and visitors
  • Encourage sustainable and active transportation by creating more safe and interesting spaces for walking and cycling

There’s a long list of events they have planned in different communities in Vancouver starting this weekend on Granville Street. Actually, Granville between Hastings and Smithe will be closed every weekend this summer. Here’s exactly when events will be going on there:

  • Fridays after 9 p.m.
  • All day Saturdays/Sundays/holidays
  • All day Friday, July 15 and Friday, August 19

As noted in the June service changes, buses on Granville Street are being rerouted during Viva Vancouver event times.

Besides Granville Street, there are smaller events in other areas of the city like the Livable Laneway project on Main Street, a community artists plaza on Cambie Street and much more. Check out the spaces and activities section of the Viva Vancouver website for all the info.

I spoke with one of the coordinators of the events, Daniel Fortin, to find out more about Viva Vancouver.

How long has Viva Vancouver been in existence?

The brand was launched this summer. In 2009, there were summer spaces. And then there was the Olympic Pedestrian Corridors and Rediscover Granville in 2010. Viva Vancouver is sort of an amalgamation of these precursors with an aim to do this sort of thing into the future.

How many people work for Viva Vancouver?

There are five of us, although we draw on other City workers from other departments since there’s a lot of work to do.

Where does the money come from to pay for Viva Vancouver?

The money comes from a grant from the Vancouver 125 celebration, and the rest is funded through the city. If we’re unable to meet all of the requests, the community groups we work with will often come up with the money through fundraising and other means.

You’ve never shut down Granville Street for so many consecutive weekends before. Is there a challenge in doing this?

There are logistical challenges like if we should leave barricades in place over night. And then there’s getting into people’s minds that every weekend this summer will see the street shut down. Hopefully, people will get used to it by the end of the summer.

In light of what happened on and around Granville Street after the Stanley Cup playoffs, will you be doing anything different with your plans to shut off the street?

Myself and fellow staff were on Granville the day after cleaning the street up. We don’t see these events as related since we believe there’s a different spirit behind them.

Why not just permanently close Granville Street?

Because Granville is a destination spot, there are things like transit and private businesses that service it. Some businesses want vehicle access. However, closing down Granville Street permanently is something to look into in the future, and there’s a lot of public support for that idea.

I noticed you’re converting some alley ways (a.k.a. lanes) and parking stalls into event locations. How did you decide which spaces to chose, and will the same ones be chosen in the future?

None of the concepts come directly from the City. Rather, we put out a call for ideas in December, and from those applications, we decided which ones to go forward with. We were looking for areas of the city that have fewer parks than other parts of the city. We also looked for residential streets just off of main streets. We worked with these community groups to make sure locations they chose were suitable. We had to make a few tweaks in some cases, but we tried as best as we could to stay true to the original ideas.

When the end of the summer comes, how will you measure success?

The big thing that we’re focused on is not the number of events we have, but how they were received. We won’t be looking just at how many people show up to these events. We want to make sure they are of good quality. We’re actually doing two or three baseline studies on Granville Street and incorporating behavioural mapping to decide if they were a success or not. Stuff like if people are stopping at the event or just walking through it.

Will this happen every summer?

Yes, we’re hopeful that it will. We’re looking at hopefully doing more each year and that there is more community interest every year.

Thanks Daniel!

It goes without saying, that with street closures and special events like these, finding a place to park your car in Vancouver will be that much more difficult. So taking public transit is probably not a bad idea. It will be interesting to see how the change in traffic and transit service will go over with the public. How do you feel about changing transit service to accommodate Viva Vancouver and their impressive list of events this summer?

Friday fun post: what are some fun summer activities you can reach on transit?

For this Friday fun post, let’s pick up a topic we’ve explored a bit over the years: what are some fun summer activities can be reached by transit?

Here’s one—a little while back, Dale McGladdery sent a tweet to the Buzzer pointing out that some North Vancouver walking trails are very easily accessed by transit.

Check out the North Vancouver Guide to Walks and Trails for the walks — walks E1 and E2 in Bridgman Park are close to bus stops 53963 & 54011. And walk E10 starts at Lonsdale Quay, right near the SeaBus terminal.

This Buzzer blog post from 2009 also lists some great summer getaways reachable by transit.

For example, Cow suggested these trips (make sure to bring your passport for the Point Roberts trip!):

* Point Roberts — visit the US’s geographical mistake by bus: take the 601 to 2nd and 54th in Delta, walk (or bike) through Diefenbaker Park and across the border
* Powell River — catch an early-morning 257 to Horseshoe Bay, board the Nanaimo ferry, and catch the ViaRail train in Nanaimo. (12:50pm Sundays, 10:50am the rest of the week.) The train takes you to Courtenay, and then it’s a short walk or bike ride to the Little River ferry dock. (It also works in the other direction!)

Here’s Reva:

Deer Lake in Burnaby is a happy little spot. Take the #144 SFU from Metrotown Station, get off at Canada Way & Sperling, walk a couple blocks south, and you’re there! You can walk the boardwalks & trails around the lake, rent canoes & rowboats, go fishing, or have a little picnic on the beach. There is all kinds of wildlife to see including herons, eagles, turtles, squirrels, raccoons, ducks, geese, fish, etc. It’s so quiet & pretty it’s hard to believe it’s barely a 10 minute drive from Metrotown. When you’re done at the lake, you can always walk over to the Burnaby Village Museum, Burnaby Art gallery, or the Shadbolt Centre for some arts & culture too.

And here’s Dan B:

Ooh! I’m surprised no one mentioned Bowen Island! You take the 257 to Horseshoe Bay then BC Ferries to Snug Cove on Bowen Island. You can even use your ticket/pass from the bus to get you around the island via the C10 and C11!

This means that folks from Surrey or Coquitlam and the like can take a train (SkyTrain or the WCE) then a catamaran, then a bus, then a big ‘ol ferry, then a baby bus (or Community Shuttle, to use the technical term)! Plus, who wouldn’t want to go to a little island that receives more foot traffic than cars and has romantic, picturesque-sounding places like Eagle Cliff and Snug Cove? What a peaceful, relaxing way to spend a lazy summer day…

I also put together a summer getaway special in a 2008 print Buzzer, plus there’s always the Destinations to Discover section on the website. Are there any more suggestions for summer fun reachable by transit?

Take transit to the Vancouver Aquarium and save $2 on admission

A beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium. Photo by Leto A.

If you hadn’t heard yet, the Vancouver Aquarium is teaming up with us to encourage visitors to travel smart!

You’ll get a $2 discount on admission to the Aquarium if you show:

  • a valid transit pass, such as a FareCard, U-Pass, or Employer Pass,
  • or a DayPass (adult or concession),
  • or a FareSaver ticket or farebox ticket valid for that day.

Plus you can visit all year for the discount — this special offer is a permanent new policy!

As the Aquarium says on their special offers page, the discount “helps the Aquarium reinforce its commitment to conservation. By leaving your vehicle at home and taking public transit, your visit to the Aquarium becomes even easier, more economical and lighter on the environment.”

To get to the Vancouver Aquarium by transit, just take the #19 Stanley Park/Metrotown, which ends just a brief walk from the Aquarium. During the summer months, the regular bus service is supplemented by “short-turn” shuttle buses running between Pender and Cambie and the Stanley Park Loop. Visit our Trip Planner to plan your trip.

Find out more at the Vancouver Aquarium’s special offers page, and the TransLink press release about the new offer.

You can also find more tips for travelling smart on our TravelSmart page, and find local attractions reachable by transit at Destinations to Discover.

Ride Canada Line to the Apple Store opening at Oakridge Centre

The Apple Store is opening in Oakridge Centre this weekend.

The Apple Store is opening in Oakridge Centre this weekend.

Kate sent word that a new Apple Store opens Saturday in Oakridge Centre, along with this note:

I noticed that Apple’s website provides driving directions to Oakridge, but has nothing on the Canada Line! I wonder if they know…

Maybe they don’t know? But certainly, as Kate alludes to, Oakridge Centre has a Canada Line stop right in front of it: Oakridge – 41st Avenue Station! So you can certainly use the Canada Line to make it there on Saturday.

To plan your exact journey, try our trip planner or Google Transit to map out your specific route. And here’s the station map for Oakridge-41st Avenue.

Four spots for shopping along the Canada Line

We’re highlighting spots along the Canada Line, if you need reasons to explore! Check out earlier posts in this series, and if you have spots to share, e-mail me with photos and I’ll put it up. (Fewer spots are fine too, and they can all be at one station or spread out.)

This entry is by Erica Lam of TheStyleSpy.com, a fantastic style blog based in Vancouver! They’ve always got fresh looks for inspiration and the inside scoop on deals and events.

Now that the Canada Line is open, there’s a whole new range of possibilities for accessible shopping. As a city shopping expert on TheStyleSpy.com (my credit card is also my best friend), I wanted to share a few of my favourite spots.

Station: Yaletown – Roundhouse

Fine Finds, 1014 Mainland Street, Vancouver
www.finefindsboutique.com

Known for its top-notch restaurants, Yaletown is also an area with undiscovered boutiques. I get my regular fix at Fine Finds Boutique, a store filled from top to bottom with women’s shoes, clothing and handbags, along with a whimsical mix of jewellery, accessories, baby items and fun gifts. What’s on my wish list right now? The cute and colourful umbrellas from Cheeky Umbrella. A trusty blazer from Lily + Jae. And sustainable jewellery from Dotted Loop. To the guys – this is the perfect boutique to visit for girlfriend/wife gifting.

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