• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Jill Von Sprecken

Adventure in Relaxation

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Ayurvedic Podikkizhi massage. (Photo: Ayurvedic Podikkizhi)

Ayurvedic Podikkizhi massage. (Photo: Ayurvedic Podikkizhi)

In truth, no daring is required to enjoy CHI, The Spa’s Sense of Adventure massages. Inspired by Shangri-La spas across Asia, signature treatments from Thailand, India, China and the Philippines transport visitors to exotic locales. Try the Wushu Massage, inspired by Chinese martial arts, to relieve stress and toxins. Or the Ayurvedic Podikkizhi Massage from India, with its coconut-stem compresses and aromatic oils that ease tension and lightly exfoliate skin (pictured). It’s an adventure in relaxation, all wrapped up in a terry-towel robe.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola’s Record-Breaking Ride

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The greatest mountain range (Himalayas) and the flattest country (Maldives) have something in common with the Peak 2 Peak Gondola: they’re all record-breaking. In the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, the engineering marvel claimed fame as the “highest cable car above ground” and for the “longest unsupported span between two cable car towers.” Gondola cars hang 436 m (1,427 ft) above the valley floor, suspended by towers 3 km (1.8 mi) apart. It all adds up to one unbeatable ride.

Bill Reid Gallery: Bold and Beautiful

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Hamatsa mask, at Bill Reid Gallery. (Photo: Jill Von Sprecken)

Hamatsa mask, at Bill Reid Gallery. (Photo: Jill Von Sprecken)

Come face-to-face with an astonishing cast of characters at The Box of Treasures: Gifts From the Supernatural. The masks and regalia on display are made by master carvers, including Kwakwaka’wakw artist and chief Beau Dick. The eye-catching creations have a short lifespan—they’re worn in dances four times, then burned to send them back to the spirit world. Meet these masterpieces at Bill Reid Gallery, to Sep. 27.

Get the Scoop

When temperatures rise, Vancouverites chill out with the frozen treat that’s synonymous with summer

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Soft Peaks offers an array of toppings for their delicious soft serve

An array of toppings adorn the delicious soft serve at Soft Peaks

SOFT PEAKS
The greatest testament to Soft Peaks’ popularity may be the lengthy line-ups when the shop first opened—in February. Frozen-treat purveyors (and brothers) Dan and Ken Kim introduced soft serve to Gastown, but added an artisanal twist. Organic Avalon milk is churned into creamy, slightly sweet swirls, and finished with an array of toppings: local honeycomb is a favourite, but the more adventurous opt for matcha powder, Himalayan pink salt or yuzu marmalade, for an indulgent grown-up sundae. (more…)

Top Timepieces: Global Watch Co.

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Longines shop-in-shop at Global Watch Co.

The Longines shop-in-shop at Global Watch Company

A trove of treasured timepieces can be found at Global Watch Company, a boutique devoted to haute horology and fine diamond jewellery. The swish space is home to three unique shop-in-shops, including 165-year-old German watchmaker Glashütte Original—one of the few showrooms to carry the brand in BC. Rounding out the collection: a range of sophisticated sparklers, some featuring rare coloured diamonds. Adore adornment? Then this venue is a must-visit.

cesna?em: the city before the city

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Ancient artifacts from

Ancient artifacts from cesna?em

Vancouver officially became a city in 1886, but the area’s history goes back much further—nearly 5,000 years, to be exact. For millennia, the Musqueam Nation has called this land home, and the remains of the ancient village and burial site still lie beneath the modern city. Delve into the rich history at cesna?em: the city before the city, a trio of long-term exhibits that explore oral histories, examine artifacts and highlight contemporary Musqueam culture. It’s a history buff’s dream. At the Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre & Gallery, Museum of Vancouver and Museum of Anthropology.

Sea Monsters Revealed at the Vancouver Aquarium

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

A sand tiger shark, at the Vancouver Aquarium

A sand tiger shark, at the Vancouver Aquarium

Songs, stories and even statues have been devoted to the monstrous beasts lurking beneath the ocean’s surface—and now, the Vancouver Aquarium is adding an exhibition to the list. Sea Monsters Revealed (to Sep. 7) brings creatures of the deep onto dry land through a preservation technique called plastination, which displays the insides and outsides of the ocean’s most fascinating residents, including a sand tiger shark, Humboldt squid and metre-long ocean sunfish. The stuff of legend? This exhibit certainly is.

6th Annual Vancouver Draw Down

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Budding artists at the Vancouver Draw Down

Budding artists at the Vancouver Draw Down

Delighted by design? Enchanted by illustration? Then make your mark at the 6th annual Vancouver Draw Down (Jun. 20), a day-long celebration of creativity. Sketch and scribble at over 30 free hands-on workshops found in art galleries, museums, community centres, parks and more. Plus, keeners prime their skills to Jun. 19 with the online daily drawing challenge. So go ahead: dare to doodle.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Every summer, colourful tents pop up for Bard on the Beach

Every summer, colourful tents pop up for Bard on the Beach

All the world’s a stage—but perhaps none is more picturesque than seaside Vanier Park, where open-air tents pop up every summer for Bard on the Beach (Jun. 4 to Sep. 26). The popular Shakespeare festival features four different shows: The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Shakespeare’s Rebel. Lectures and family nights, plus a peekaboo panorama of ocean and mountains, make this fest a dream that doesn’t end midsummer.

Craft Beer Circuit

Easy drinking, hoppy or just plain experimental—a bevy of brews can be found around Vancouver. Explore the options at these breweries, all just a hop, sip and jump away

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

The beautiful interior at Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall. (Photo: KK Law)

1. BIG ROCK URBAN This Alberta outpost’s proximity to the SkyTrain makes it an ideal starting point. On tap: the brand’s stalwart brews alongside sips such as Hollow Tree Pacific Northwest Red Ale, inspired by the Lower Mainland and developed to please West Coast palates.

2. 33 ACRES The pristine aesthetic at this brewery and tasting room is a design buff’s dream, and the perfect locale for sipping 33 Acres of Sunshine, an unfiltered white ale, or 33 Acres of Life, a smooth California Common–style beer. Refuel with food truck fare or an espresso-based bevvy.

3. MAIN STREET BREWING Tucked away just east of Main Street, this industrial heritage space serves a rotating menu of cask-conditioned beer alongside a solid selection of regular draft options such as the Westminster Brown and the Saison No. 7, with its subtle splash of pepper and citrus.

4. BRASSNECK Reclaimed wood and zany artwork line the walls, while the frequently rotating taps attempt to keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new and inventive brews. Nano batches keep the pours fresh and eclectic, reflected in the eight or more offerings on tap.

5. STEEL TOAD This refurbished industrial space boasts an airy mix of glass and wood, and brews that range from the authentic Yorkshire Best Bitter to the more adventurous East Coast “Nineties” IPA with spicy rye undertones. Stay for inventive bites from the menu, then hop the SkyTrain for a quick—and perhaps wobbly—exit.

Eco-Friendly Eatery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Fairmont Waterfront's ARC restaurant boasts a beautiful dining room and bar

The Fairmont Waterfront’s ARC restaurant boasts a beautiful dining room and bar

Curvaceous ARC brings local fare full circle: fresh ingredients are only an elevator ride away, cultivated on the Fairmont Waterfront’s rooftop garden. The bounty of fruit, honey, herbs and edible blossoms elevates cocktails, desserts and more, and complements Ocean Wise seafood and offerings from local purveyors. Plus, the seasonal bites are served in a sleek space with harbour views. It’s not easy being green? This swish eatery makes it look simple.

Fabulous Finds at Renew Gallery

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Renew Gallery's showroom is chock-full of elegant pieces

Renew Gallery’s showroom is chock-full of elegant pieces

If any shop should be stocked with treasures, it’s hidden gem Renew Gallery. Tucked away near Main Street, this bright showroom is the perfect setting for the collection of stunning antiques, vintage decor and beautiful period lighting. The carefully curated pieces range from furniture to stained glass to glittering chandeliers, and each is one of a kind. Consider Renew the pearl of second-hand shopping.