By Pamela Cyr
The Conference Planning Work Group is excited to welcome NALP members to the Vancouver Convention Centre for the Annual Education Conference April 25-28. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, foodie, or looking to hit the shops and take advantage of the lower Canadian dollar, Vancouver has you covered! The city is very walkable and has accessible public transit (www.translink.ca) as well as taxis, ride-share (Uber and Lyft), and bike-share. Remember to pack your walking shoes, layers and a rain coat! Your hotel should have an umbrella you can borrow for any April showers. The following is an insider’s view for the top three activities from 1 hour to half a day, some ideas that will take a full day. Some of the best restaurants, bars, and shopping are listed for any NALP members who plan to stay longer — something I highly recommend!
Top 3 Activities, 1-4 Hours
Activity 1: Bike Around Stanley Park (1 min walk from Vancouver Convention Centre)
Activity 2: Walk on Robson Street (10 min walk from Vancouver Convention Centre)
Take a stroll down Robson Street (start at Hornby St. and walk to Jervis St.) as a great intro to Vancouver’s history, fashion, food, and culture (www.robsonstreet.ca). Suggested stops include:
Activity 3: Go to the Beach
A top stop on any trip to Vancouver is one of our many beaches. A few local favorites include:
Other Top Sites/Neighborhoods
The cobbled streets of Gastown, Yaletown, Commercial Drive (Vancouver’s “Little Italy”), and the Granville Island Public Market are popular and quick excursions. For more info and to browse what might appeal to you see:
If You Have a Full Day (or More)
North Shore: Only about a half-hour Uber from
downtown Vancouver, step into the rain forest at Lynn Headwaters, where you can stroll along the Varley trail (named after a famous
“Group of Seven” Canadian artist) and finish at the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge.
Insider’s tip: The Lynn Canyon suspension bridge is much less busy than the more touristy Capilano Suspension bridge. Uber is the fastest way to get there, but another option is to take the 12-min sea bus downtown from Waterfront Station (about a 5-min walk from the convention center) and grab an Uber on bus on the other side: www.translink.ca/schedules-and-maps/seabus. Lower Lonsdale (where the sea bus docks in North Vancouver) is a great place to have lunch and admire amazing views of downtown: www.theshipyardsdistrict.ca
Whistler: Home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and only about an hour and 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, Whistler is known for its skiing and snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking and hiking in the summer: www.whistler.com
Victoria: The quaint capital of the province of British Columbia located on Vancouver Island, Victoria is one of the most British-influenced cities in North America, with an abundance of tearooms, antique shops and galleries: www.tourismvictoria.com
Travel to Victoria from downtown Vancouver in about a half-hour by float plane or heli-jet or take the longer, more scenic ferry (about 4 hours total travel time, including 1 hour 35 minute crossing time):
Other Day Trip Ideas:www.destinationvancouver.com/plan-your-trip/day-trips
A list of some of the Local Host’s favorite (top picks highlighted) restaurants and bars frequented by the Vancouver legal community are below by neighborhood.
Some other great resources include:
Basic mid-range Canadian chains popular with lawyers and also great for a drink + snack
Local host’s favourite area for restaurants. Generally safe to Uber there and back, however note downtown eastside has people experiencing homelessness, as well as substance use and mental health issues.
East Vancouver/Mount Pleasant
Hotel - Downtown
Late/Open until 3 a.m.