Los Vientos Equestrian Centre's hooved tenants include school, sale, and lease horses and ponies that delight pleasure riders and regularly win laurels in a variety of equestrian contests. The assembly of in-house instructors includes accomplished coaches such as Eleonore Elstone—a member of Canada's Paralympic dressage team—and Shelley Mills—a horseback specialist who teaches English riding basics to those interested in both competitive and recreational galloping. The spacious facilities offer boarding service for horses seeking proper shelter, with 31 covered stalls equipped to suit nearly every stallion's need. Sheltered turnout paddocks allow steeds to graze, a total of six hay and grain feedings each day provide nourishment, and individual lockers serve as spot for adolescent ponies to store their saddles and hang Paul Anka posters.
You can only get so much done in 50 seconds: It’s enough time to reheat leftovers in the microwave or frantically dress in the morning. At Top Gun Karting School, however, 50 seconds is all you need to complete one lap on the Greg Moore Raceway, whose 12-corner asphalt surface spans 1,224 metres. Under the instruction of internationally ranked kart drivers Blake and Bryce Choquer—the latter placed sixth at the 2010 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Italy—first-timers and experienced speedsters alike master the track through the school’s intensive programs.
After padding their pupils in complimentary driving gear, the Choquer brothers situate each guest behind the wheel of a Tony Kart EVRR for training sessions that can last a half-day to three-day courses During introductory lessons, Blake and Bryce review karting fundamentals, including throttle and braking techniques. From there, more advanced students learn starting procedures and passing techniques while manoeuvreing a 125 Rotax kart, which can hit a top speed of 125 kilometres per hour, the average pace of a winded cheetah. The three-day course culminates in a practice weekend, in which dedicated racers can test their skills in two heat races.
A riding teacher since 1976 and holder of numerous coaching certifications, Brinna Ellis heads up the instruction and training programs offered at Dip ‘N Run Stables. Whether individually or in small groups, fledgling riders are paired with the school’s trusty horses based on character, experience, and how many Kentucky Derby winners they can name. In addition to Brinna’s coaching of students from all walks, including therapeutic horse-riding sessions, the school also offers leasing programs for its horses, as well as show coaching packages.
Some things about the Clova Cinema have changed over the years; as it passed from owner to owner, it has been a video-rental shop, a youth centre, and a stage for live performances. But despite its numerous incarnations, the rich red facades, the art-deco decorations, and the bright marquee have remained proudly in place. These features hearken all the way back to the theatre's 1947 opening, when Humphrey Bogart dominated the screen and popcorn was popped in gleaming machines instead of Buick-sized microwaves. Now, the cinema's single screen flickers to life with weekly evening and weekend matinee showings of current releases. The theatre is rife with family touches, from the real butter on the popcorn to Cupcake the dog, who is on hand at matinees to entertain guests before the show and sniff out unsilenced cell phones.
Victor loves his three kids more than anything. When he tried to find a play place for them, he realized that every option had some fault, be it losing sight of your children or boring attractions. With his children in mind, he envisioned Fun World Family Playcentre, a haven for kids aged 1–12 that boasts such attractions as laser tag, bumper cars, and a small rock-climbing wall. Between romps through the play areas, kids can burn off energy by playing or climbing atop 1 of 15 video games in the arcade. In the Ballocity arena, tykes man air guns filled with foam balls, and toddlers wander freely in the less intense toddler area. Additionally, an in-house café fuels further gallivanting with hot dogs, pizzas, and chocolate bars.
Chough, a 15-inch-gauge steam locomotive, was an international jet setter before settling down at Bear Creek Park Train. Built in Holland in 1968, Chough went on to serve stints in model-train stores and tracks in London, Kent, and Scotland before rolling onto Canadian soil in the spring of 1996. Today, he and chugging buddy Eddy the Engine haul passengers into the cottonwood forests of Bear Creek Park, passing through a tunnel decorated according to holiday or season. The pair trundles past Bear Creek Floral Garden and across King Creek Bridge before pulling back into the station, where passengers can slurp up ice cream and other treats.
Nearby, the 18-hole mini golf course offers a different way to commune with Mother Nature. Like the tank of a scuba-diving naturalist, the course is filled with fresh air. Each hole incorporates the surrounding landscape so that the putting greens blend into towering cedar, hemlock, spruce, and fir trees, and between holes nine and 10, gurgling water streams from a fountain sandwiched between Squamish basalt-rock columns.
Many little girls beg their fathers for ponies, but only a few fathers succumb to those puppy-eyed petitions. Pam Piddocke was lucky enough to had one of those dads. After getting her first pony at age 5, her riding skills developed quickly—so fast, in fact, that she began earning money teaching lessons as a teenager and was able to put herself through nursing school. Though she spent several years as a registered nurse, her lifelong passion for horses remained, convincing her to start teaching riding lessons again and to open Evergreen Stables.
Since starting her business in 1999, Pam has become an Equine Canada–certified coach whose 25-plus years of teaching riding helps youngsters learn everything from riding techniques to equine anatomy. During lessons, students ride atop one of Evergreen Stables' 10 trained horses and ponies, most of which were born on the property and bred for the show ring. Bordered by a 3/4-mile fenced riding trail, the property's 20 acres also house 18 temperature-controlled stalls, an old-style Western barn, and a large outdoor arena.