Day Out

QE, Bloedel, Murals On Main

i. Today’s day trip starts at Queen Elizabeth Park – a destination that is particularly stunning on a sunny day. That said, you will likely encounter fewer tour buses in a downpour.

If you drive straight east on 33rd Avenue from Oak Street, you’ll find yourself in a pay parking lot from which you can head up the paved hill to start your sightseeing. Queen E has long been a beautiful backdrop to wedding photos, be they in the Rose Garden, the sunken Quarry Gardens, the charming wooden bridges above, or the Dancing Waters Fountain atop the hill.

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This 52 hectare park also features a selection of outdoor sculptures including ‘Knife Edge – Two Piece’ by famed sculptor Henry Moore. If you’re visiting with your beloved, you can also bring a love lock to the ‘Love in the Rain’ sculpture, created by Vancouver artist Bruce Voyce. Standing 14 feet tall and welded from 5,000 pieces of handcrafted stainless steel, Voyce’s Queen E sculpture features four couples, each of whom can bear thousands of locks. Also on site is a drop-box, where couples can leave their keys. The metal from each #throwawaythekey is to be melted down to create future works of art.

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ii. Next up and on the same property is the Bloedel Conservatory, a tropical sanctuary which houses more than 500 tropical plants and 100 plus exotic birds. This iconic Vancouver destination – built from 2,324 pieces of aluminum tubing and 1,490 triodetic plexiglass bubbles – was Canada’s first geodesic conservatory.

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iii. Hungry? If you’re looking for a sit-down meal in a dressier setting, Seasons in the Park – a restaurant just up the hill from the Conservatory –– offers a varied menu and, on a clear day, a stunning view from the heated, chandeliered patio.

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iv. If you’re ready for a new setting – and a diverse range of cafes, restaurants, and snackeries – drive over to 33rd and Main. From here, all the way down Main past Broadway (Broadway = 9th), you’ll find coffee shops, restaurants, antiques, vintage clothing, and locally run stores featuring Canadian fashion designers and B.C. artisans.

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v. As you walk down Main, you’ll also see plenty of hand-painted murals on buildings and in laneways. Main is home base for the Vancouver Mural Festival where, each summer, artists local and international create new street art. Check out the maps on the VMF site and hunt down murals painted in out of the way nooks. As you’ll see, these murals extend beyond Main in all directions across the city.

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www.creatorsvancouver.com

Header Image: Mural By Ilya Viryachev

 

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Elizabeth Newton

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