Hiking to Crooked Falls, Squamish, BC

The hike to Crooked Falls is a scenic 1.5 hour drive from downtown Vancouver. The challenging 3km ascent (6km round trip) will take you past a scenic outlook of Squamish Valley then two stunning views of Crooked Falls. Plan about 3 hours for the trip.

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Lighthouse Park – an exploration of shapes and textures

I’m continuing my exploration of the beautiful hiking trails easily accessible from Vancouver. Today I went to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. With its dense forest, steep cliffs, and shoreline trails, it’s no wonder many photographers hit these trails to capture that perfect view.

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New in town: My First Impressions of Vancouver

I moved to Vancouver in late summer last year. New places can be exciting and isolating as you find your pace in the rhythm of a new city. This short video captures some of those first few weeks and months of discovery.

There’s a feeling of home starting to creep in but there’s still a palpable foreignness. Having lived across Canada, I sometimes feel like an unofficial cultural ambassador. There are obvious differences in landscapes, languages, and cultural diversity across the country but there are also social subtleties that take a little more time to understand. I haven’t quite been able to put into words some of the moments here in Vancouver that catch me off guard so I’ll start by letting these images do the talking. Continue reading

Vancouver: Uncovering the Secrets of a New Home

I moved to Vancouver in late summer last year. New places can be exciting and isolating as you find your pace in the rhythm of a new city. However, if you keep your heart open, even just a little, the secrets that make a city great slowly reveal themselves.

This short video captures those first few weeks of discovery, the first few weeks of finding myself within a new home. The music played by pianist Sanaz Sotoudeh was recorded at the public concert at the Vancouver Facade Fest 2015.

Hope you enjoy TheTravelingUrbanite.com’s first video!

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Vancouver in pictures: there’s still time for bretzel, haxen, and schnitzel at the Vancouver Christmas Market!

School’s out and wondering where to take the family? You might want to check out the Vancouver Christmas Market at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza open until December 24th. On the corner of Georgia and Hamilton, it is one square block of Christmas magic that is accessible by transit and car. Check out the website here for hours, prices, and vendors.  Continue reading

The temperate rainforest awaits less than an hour away – Lynn Canyon, Vancouver

 

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Just a short drive from downtown Vancouver (or a less than a one hour bus ride), Lynn Canyon Park is a great place to take the family exploring. Located in the temperate rainforest, this park’s 241 hectares makes for a perfect day getaway from the city.

I spent last weekend exploring Lynn Canyon’s trails (pretty much all of them and it won’t take you more than an afternoon to do it) and was happy to find many fellow walkers, runners, hikers, and four-legged friends enjoying a crisp autumn day! Continue reading

Vancouver’s Hidden Treasure – Pacific Spirit Park

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It’s no secret that Vancouverites love being outdoors and why wouldn’t they? It is literally at their doorstep. Everyone knows about Stanley Park but if you’re wanting to go on an easy hike away from the city without having to travel too far, then Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a good bet!

I had the pleasure of discovering Pacific Spirit Park myself this weekend and it was a welcome escape from the city. What a great place to discover things great and small at your own leisurely pace.

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BuskerFest and 5 seconds of billboard fame – things to do in Toronto

I spent a great afternoon today at BuskerFest. I love a good street festival but BuskerFests are a special breed of street festivities. They remind me of childhood weekends spent in Montreal’s old port. If you’re lucky, you can attend an intimate magic show and an acrobatic spectacular all in one day. Perhaps one of the best parts is that you pay what you can – $1, $5, $100 – it’s up to you!

Toronto’s BuskerFest 2015 opened today and continues to August 30th 2015. Check it out if you have the chance. There is plenty of street eats, artists from around the world, and you’ll be supporting Epilepsy Toronto. Plus, how often does Yonge street (which was mistakenly thought as the longest street in the world until 1999) close for your pedestrian enjoyment?

Commuting by transit is probably your best bet but if you’re driving, the Eaton Centre parking remains open from both the Yonge and Bay street entrances.

Also, don’t forget to bring lots of change to support all the great artists whose work you’ll be enjoying!

Here’s a sample of what you might find at BuskerFest TO 2015:

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Close Act – Saurus

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Nathaniel Rankin

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Witty Look

Bonus: if you tweet your post with #SamsungBusker, it’ll appear on the the Samsung billboard screen in Dundas square and a $1 will be donated to Epilepsy Toronto. 5 seconds of fame for a good cause? Why not! I was super excited to see my tweet up on the screen 🙂

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Have fun travelers!

Ill-Abilities at Panamania – a great show to check out

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It’s summer and I’m really making an effort to enjoy the city and try to share some of my favourite sites with you! The Pan-Am games are in town and along with being able to witness great athletic accomplishments, there’s lots to do as part of the Pan Am festivities.

Fellow blogger at MyTorontoLife recently had a great summary of the events happening at Pan Am – check it out here. However, as many of the big-ticket events are already sold out or will be very crowded, I’d like to suggest an event that still has great seats available. Continue reading

Check out the Canada Day (eve) fireworks – things to do in Toronto

So yesterday I told you about strawberry picking, today, I’m continuing the trend on fun things to do in Toronto. While this one doesn’t seem so exotic, I would suggest checking out the Canada Day fireworks in Toronto. They take place at the Harbourfront and the great thing is that they actually happen on June 30th, Canada Day eve so everyone can stay out late and enjoy them. I’ve seen a lot of Canada Day fireworks (and a lot of fireworks in general thanks to Montreal’s annual fireworks festival) and Toronto’s is definitely among the more impressive. So if you’re in Toronto, and you’ve got July 1st off, why not go soak up some Canadian pride on June 30th?

Pro-tips:

  1. Get to the Harbourfront a little early and if you have a big group, plan to stick together or find a very specific meeting spot. It gets very crowded.
  2. Remember that the fireworks take place June 30th, not July 1st, which is when Canada Day officially starts.
  3. To get to the Harbourfront, take the TTC to Union Station then walk south towards the waterfront or you can take a street care one stop south from Union Station which will take you to the Ferry docks.
Toronto's annual Canada Day eve fireworks.

Toronto’s annual Canada Day eve fireworks.

 

 

Take the kids (and adults) strawberry picking – things to do in Toronto

2015-06-27 12.42.35I’ve now lived in Toronto for 2 years and I realized that I never post about the fun things travelers can do here! So to celebrate the start of summer, I’m going to post about some of my favourite things to do in and around Toronto that may not be on the typical traveler’s radar. If you’ve already done the CN Tower, the Royal Ontario Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium, Casa Loma, and the like, or just want to do something a little different, I’ve got some ideas for you. Fellow Torontonians can partake as well! Continue reading

Happy New Year – Postcard Monday

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Not quite at the international date line, Cape Spear is the most easterly point in Canada and will therefore be first in Canada to greet the new year. It is also at Cape Spear in St-John’s that you will find the oldest surviving light house in Newfoundland and Labrador built in 1839. I’ve been to St-John’s very briefly and found it beautiful. It was during a snow storm and the kind gentleman who had waited past closing time for me at the car rental because my flight was delayed gave me some helpful advice: avoid the highway late at night to avoid any unplanned encounters with moose on the road – it felt very Canadian. So here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year from eastern Canada! May 2015 be filled with more travel adventures! Happy travels!