Late July’s heat wave has finally subsided, with the first day of August bringing some cool relief to the Vancouver region. So now that you don’t have to spend all of your free time lounging in Kits pool or standing in the ocean at Third Beach, it’s time to get out and enjoy some of the city’s other attractions.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite Greater Vancouver attractions that would be just a little too hot to partake in during a heat wave, or not that appealing on a bright and sunny day. And with some much-needed rain forecasted for Friday, you don’t even have to feel bad about skipping the beach to check out a few of the city’s indoor attractions.
So take advantage of these mid-summer clouds and go out there and enjoy the city, minus the constant sweat!
The Bill Reid Gallery
Located in the middle of downtown, the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is the only museum in Canada dedicated to Indigenous Northwest Coast art. The contemporary gallery was built in 2008 to celebrate the life and legacy of Haida master carver Bill Reid, and to draw awareness and appreciation for the cultures and values of Indigenous peoples. Alongside the permanent Bill Reid SFU Art Collection, the gallery features special exhibitions and programs that fit its mandate of promoting respect between all peoples. The current exhibitions are Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest, and Home Away from Home: The Carnegie Cultural Sharing Program.
The Bill Reid Gallery is located at 639 Hornby St, across the street from our shop.
The Grouse Grind
Don’t let it’s modest distance (2.9 kilometres) or minimal average hiking time (1.5 hours) fool you, the Grouse Grind is very challenging. Referred to by locals as “Mother Nature’s stairmaster,” this ever-popular climb features an 853 meter elevation gain over 2,830 stairs. While the speed record for completing the Grind is an unfathomable 24:38 minutes, most humans without mountain-running superpowers are able to complete the course in 1-2 hours. The Grind will leave you soaked in sweat even on a cool day, so attempting this hike in the middle of a heat wave is, well, inadvisable to say the least. Now that the weather has cooled a bit, the Grind will be a little more comfortable again. If you’re lucky, the cloud cover will break by the time you reach the peak, so you can reward yourself with a coffee or a beer from the cafe at the top, and sit back to enjoy the view of the city and the ocean below.
The Grouse Grind is located on Grouse Mountain, about 35 minutes on public transit from our Hornby St. location.
The Rennie Museum
You may have noticed it already and not even known what you were looking at. If you’re crossing the viaducts, looking north across Chinatown towards the North Shore mountains, you can see a brick building adorned with a large, block letter affirmation: Everything is going to be alright. The encouraging phrase is an exterior feature of the Rennie Museum, one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Canada. The museum is located in the Wing Sang building, an 1889 Victorian Italianate structure which is the oldest building in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Featuring national and international artists, the museum focuses on works related to identity, social commentary and injustice, appropriation, painting and photography. True to its commitment to make arts and culture accessible, the Rennie Museum is open free to the public through guided tours.
The Rennie Museum is located at 51 E Pender St., just a 10-minute ride from the shop.
Fly Over Canada
Chartering a private plane to fly across Canada’s remote wilderness is out of budget for most people. Fortunately, you can get almost the same experience without leaving the city. Fly Over Canada offers visitors a birds-eye view of some of Canada’s most breathtaking scenery, all from the comfort of downtown Vancouver. Participants hang suspended before a 20-metre screen displaying a journey across the country, and special effects including wind, mist, and scents combine to give the viewer the feeling of genuinely soaring through the scenery.
Fly Over Canada is located in Canada Place, just a short stroll from our Hornby St. location.
The Vancouver Police Museum
One of the city’s smaller and lesser-known museums, the Vancouver Police Museum contains a quirky and fascinating collection of historical and modern artefacts, photos, and archival documents relating to crime and policing. It is located in the original Coroner’s Court, City Morgue and Autopsy Facility, a 1932 building which was a functioning morgue until 1980. The permanent exhibition traces the history of policing in Vancouver, from our lawless “Wild West” origins to our modern-day police initiatives. You can see artefacts such as seized weapons, counterfeit money, and early breathalyzers, while learning about some of the solved (or unsolved) true crime stories from the city. Interactive exhibits such as criminal artist sketching stations, educational video games, mock crime scenes, and more allow you to try your hand at policing, and the autopsy section gives visitors first-hand insight into life (and death) inside the morgue.
The Vancouver Police Museum is located at 240 East Cordova Street, just a 10-minute ride from the shop.