The Mumbai-Hong Kong-Vancouver flight took us a little less than 32 hours (including the Pune-Mumbai journey by road) to reach Vancouver! Our one bedroom apartment was located at Burnaby, a small city just at the heart of Metropolitan Vancouver. Burnaby is the third largest municipality in British Columbia. This small place with a population of only 2 million is said to be the heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. Lush green enormous parks, Sky Train running through, shopping malls, Golf courses, shoreline lakes, skate parks, outdoor tennis courts and swimming pools really make the outdoor life most happening in the summer months.
Vancouver is rated as the second best livable city in the world after Sydney. It is Canada’s warmest cities in winter. Its marine west coast gives it a temperate climate by Canadian standard. That makes Vancouver, one of the most preferred locations and thickly populated city in Canada. My first impression of the city was the greenery around. The city of Vancouver aims to become the ‘Greenest City’ in the world and have a well etched out Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Today it is definitely the cleanest city in the world. I immensely admired their passion and dedication to preserve nature and wildlife. It’s truly a place where nature lives.
There are few places which were frequently visited by us. Here’s a brief account of our evening gateways…
Canada Place is Vancouver’s cruise (primarily Alaska-bound) ship terminal. It also acts as the trade and convention centre. The building has become a distinguishing architectural landmark of Vancouver which is the Pacific Gateway to Canada.
This is the place to sit, breathe some fresh air and soak in the views. The mesmerizing views of the surrounding North Shore Mountains, Seaplanes taking off and landing, evergreen Stanley Park (just across Canada Place) and the tranquility was addictive. Then you can walk along the seawall into Coal Harbor and down till Stanley Park. It’s within walking distance from downtown Vancouver or you can take a Sky train and get down at Waterfront Station. The ferry terminal serves as the main transportation nucleus to North Vancouver. I could never imagine a place which is so busy yet so peaceful. Even if it is raining, this place is always happening and eventful. Watching the seaplanes from a distant tempted us to take one ride for our day trip to Nanaimo (Vancouver Islands).
Must Visit @ Canada Place
- Vancouver Port Authority Interpretive Centre – For acquiring overall knowledge and interesting facts about shipping this is a must visit for school going kids in Vancouver. It is open to public from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm.
- Self Guided Walking Tours – Absolutely fascinating self-guided tour which will give you a historical insight of the area.
- IMAX Theatre – For an outstanding big screen 3D experience do visit this place.
Improved access to green spaces is one of the top agenda of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 action plan. Burnaby is no exception. It is the home of beautiful parks. Central Park was the closest from our house. It was our destination for evening walks which we had to take in turns (the other person had to push the perambulator). It is quite awesome that how a park of such magnitude, situated at the city center is so well maintained. It is great location for picnic. Central Park is famous for its recreational facilities. There is abundance of greenery to relax your eyes. With a unique undulating terrain, small lakes, short trails, birds, owls and squirrels the park became our evening destination. There, for the first time I came across the idea of dog parks and off-leash areas. People who know me would understand why I was so happy to know that.
Must Do @ Central Park
- Outdoor Tennis Courts – Just take your racquet and start playing. There is no need for registration. It’s free for all.
- Golf Course– The very popular Pitch and Putts provide amazing golfing experience for all age groups.
- Outdoor Swimming Pool – The 6 lane, 50 meter pool is open from the month of May to August. Check the schedule
- Walking and Jogging Trails
A long drive to the Burnaby Mountains with family was always fun. It is a low forested mountain overlooking the city of Burnaby. Simon Fraser University is located here. A quaint walk around the tranquil settings of the Burnaby Mountain Park, the spectacular view of the city and the breathtaking sunset – what else do you want? A perfect evening gateway. Just keep one thing in mind, beware of Bears. They too can hang around with you to view the sunset!! It is one of the popular summer destinations in Burnaby. The hiking and biking trail attract most of the outdoor enthusiasts. From the top you get a bird’s eye view of the city of Burnaby. One can spend hours sitting on these benches enjoying the sunset, mountains, inlet and the city of Burnaby.
Must Do @ Burnaby Mountains:
- Hiking and Biking Trails: The Burnaby Mountain Conservation area has one of the best natural trails in Vancouver that would stimulate hikers and mountain bikers. It ranges from a rigorous to leisurely hikes.
Click to find the Trail Map of Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area.
- Golf Course: The 18-hole Golf Course at the foot of the Burnaby Mountain is an all time favorite of players from all levels. The gently rolling terrain and the serene beauty of the foothills add more charm to this place.
- Clubhouse: Time for wedding bells and you are still looking for a venue? Here’s the Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse. Situated at the backdrop of the deep green forest and the scenic mountains this place is perfect for planning your event.