Located mere steps from its eponymous body of water, English Bay Bike Rentals pairs patrons with myriad modes of transportation, from hybrid and junior mountain bikes to inline skates. All rentals include locks, helmets, and maps for navigating to nearby sights such as Yaletown. If English Bay’s hour- to month-long rentals don’t offer enough riding time, consider purchasing a used bike from its selection. The shop’s expert technicians can also repair and tune-up any malfunctioning bike, as well as deck it out in accessories such as lights and baskets.
When doctors told Joey and Darryl Simon that their son Jet’s premature birth could result in learning disabilities, the couple immersed him in the world of art as a means of helping him overcome any educational obstacles. Their tutelage and care paid off, resulting in an impressive array of paintings from their child at a very young age. Jet’s talent and creativity inspired his parents to establish 4Cats Arts Studio in hopes of unleashing the inner artists of other children as well as adults. The Simons accomplish this mission through hands-on sessions in mixed media, painting, and Artist Focus classes, which concentrate on the histories and styles of certain artists, such as Picasso’s cubism and Andy Warhol’s self-portraits of soup cans.
Drawing inspiration from a centuries-old German tradition, wherein people would warm away their winter blues and welcome the holiday season with uproarious festivities, the Vancouver Christmas Market fills the night air with mirth. Rows of lighted evergreens and more than 45 wooden huts lined with pine branches and twinkling lights spread out under the sky, allowing guests to duck in and examine European-themed, often handcrafted, wares. In addition to traditional German foods—bratwurst, fruitcake-like stollen, and mugs of hot mulled glühwein—the huts also house vendors slinging all manner of gifts and decorations. Woodcarvings, knitted scarves, and ornate beer steins perfectly slip into stockings, populate the space beneath a Christmas tree, or serve as spot-savers in the local hot tub, and delicate glass ornaments or nutcrackers help bring Christmas cheer into homes.
While guests peruse the collection of edible and giftable goods, they can also enjoy the sights and sounds of performances by traditional European choirs and dance troupes. At the on-site Kids' Market, a variety of age-appropriate activities entertain younger children, including a festive carousel, chocolate-lollipop-decorating stations, and gingerbread mascots.
Vancouver native Jewel Taylor envisioned Taste Vancouver Food Tours as a fun and informative introduction to some of the finest restaurants in her historic city. Centered on the city's oldest neighbourhood, Gastown, these tours are designed for groups or private parties and are guided by none other than Captain John "Gassy Jack" Deighton, as played by professional actor Tom Daley. Tours take in such historic landmarks as Rogers' Chocolates, established in 1885, and the city's only steam clock, where guests can get seconds for free.
Rain or shine, for 362 days out of the year, Vancouver's streets teem with Big Bus's fleet making their daily stops around the city's sites. Customers pile aboard for 90-minute hop-on, hop-off tours that trek down a route that wends past Vancouver's most compelling attractions, enabling guests to create flexible sightseeing outings that proceed at a convenient pace. Tour captains ferry passengers past 22 city landmarks, such as Stanley Park, Granville Island, and Gastown, letting passengers spring out of their seats before picking up ticket-holders and tumbleweeds eager to make their way across the city. Champions of making the city accessible to visitors from around the globe, Big Bus tours are available in seven languages, including English and German.
Rustic wood cabins interconnected by wooden walkways stand amid a network of fountains, mountain streams, and small waterfalls. Dense forest and blooms of emerald ferns spread out in all directions. The train whistle and drum beats echo through the trees. At Klahowya Village in Stanley Park, natural scenery opens up to authentic representations of British Columbia's First Nations and Métis cultures through its attractions, performances, and artisan marketplace. As guests arrive, knowledgeable First Nations guides in native dress usher guests into the park, where they can start by taking in the sights or boarding the miniature covered Spirit Catcher train for storytelling journeys past forest tableaus.
Young dancers and actors in traditional dress stage cultural performances every Friday through Sunday throughout the summer, and coffee by Spirit Bear Coffee Company keeps visitors warm year-round. In the indoor marketplace, First Nations and Métis artisans proffer pieces of handmade visual art, jewellery, apparel, and other crafts. The nonprofit Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia operates the park as part of its aim to create a sustainable and educational showcase of Aboriginal culture for visitors and local residents.
What's proper etiquette for the Queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for Prime Ministers, Presidents, Provincial Premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre 'd. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Laliberté and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating Scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.