(Marty) #1


Exploring Vancouver

The Fairmont Pacific Rim
(fairmont.com; doubles from
$413) has 367 rooms with a sleek
but warm design and a focus on
contemporary art. There’s a bus-
tling lobby bar with live music, a
separate cocktail bar, and a res-
taurant. For a more intimate
experience, check in to the
Loden (theloden.com; doubles
from $285), on a quiet downtown
street. The Parq Vancouver
complex houses two splendid
hotels—the serenely luxe
JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
(marriott.com; doubles from
$234) and the nature-inspired,
design-savvy Douglas (marriott.
com; doubles from $234).

Restaurants and Bars
Nero Belgian Waffle Bar (nero
wafflebar.com) has two loca-
tions that serve the signature
dish with sweet and savory top-
pings. Oddfish Restaurant
(oddfish restaurant.com;
entrées $11–$64) is an airy sea-
food joint in the Kitsilano neigh-
borhood. Down the street,
AnnaLena (annalena.ca; tasting
menu $57) offers contemporary
dishes in a pared-down environ-
ment. Its cool little sister café,
Their There (theirthere.ca),
serves some of the best coffee
in the city by day; at night, it
turns into a burger bar. Gastown
has two spots from restaurateur
Lee Cooper: L’Abattoir (labattoir.
ca; entrées $29–$33), an
intensely romantic restaurant
housed in a converted stable
that pays homage to the neigh-
borhood’s meatpacking past;
and Coquille Fine Seafood
(coquille fine seafood.com;
entrées $23–$32), which serves
dizzyingly fresh fish in an ele-
gant corner storefront. In South
Main, a humbler neighborhood
south of downtown, Osteria
Savio Volpe (saviovolpe.com;
entrees $16–$38) offers some of
the best food in the city, mostly
Italian-inspired. In Mount
Pleasant, Tacofino Ocho (taco
fino.com; entrees $13–$21)

combines cheerful industrial
style with a laid-back beach
spirit—try the pork-belly
tacos and the perfect churros.
Nearby, Liberty Bakery & Café
(liberty-bakery.com) is a cozy
spot owned by three Vancouver
artists. The thrift-shop vibe is
more homey than high-art, and
the pastry is world-class.

Galleries and Museums
On the industrial waterfront of
Downtown Eastside, Catriona
Jeffries (catrionajeffries.com),
Vancouver’s most prestigious
gallery, shows the work of top
Canadian artists like Myfanwy
MacLeod in a pristine white
space. With its dynamic design,
stunning location, and ambi-
tious programming, the Polygon
Gallery (thepolygon.ca) in
North Vancouver is a must-visit.
In Chinatown, the Rennie
Museum (rennie museum.org)
has a cutting-edge private col-
lection in a historically signifi-
cant building; e-mail ahead for
an appointment. While in
Chinatown, visit Access Gallery
(access gallery.ca) to view work
by emerging artists, and the Dr.
Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese
Garden (vancouver chinese
garden.com) to see one of the
few authentic Chinese gardens
outside China. Situated on one
of the most beautiful pieces of
land in the city, the Museum of
Anthropology at the University of
British Columbia (moa.ubc.ca)
has an outstanding collection of
art by Canada’s First Nations
peoples. More First Nations
work can be seen downtown at
Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest
Coast Art (billreid gallery.ca). If
you like to view art in the fresh
air, take a tour of the challeng-
ing public installations of the
Vancouver Biennale (vancouver
biennale.com), which sprawls
through downtown and across
False Creek. Another outdoor
pleasure: the irrepressibly joy-
ous permanent works made for
the Vancouver Mural Festival
(vanmuralfest.ca). — C.D.

meant mountains, ocean, and natural beauty,” he
said. As the city grew, public art—like the murals
of Mount Pleasant—came to play a more
meaningful role.
We stopped at an unprepossessing clump of
shrubbery and trees. Mowatt pushed back his
helmet and gazed upward. “Heron rookery,” he
said. “Nesting season.” Sure enough, the trees held
a cluster of shaggy nests, and from those nests
peeked the beaks of baby herons. It was the
unlikeliest, and tiniest, of urban neighborhoods.
One of the birds launched into flight, headed to
the bay for provisions. Vancouver in that moment
was all these things at once: a cosmopolitan,
inexorably expensive grid; a tangle of trees; a
stubbornly interesting community of artists. We
stood astride our bikes, smack-dab in the middle
of a contradiction.

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