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VanDusen Botanical Garden

Walk This Way: Best Ways to See Vancouver on Foot

We list some of Vancouver’s top spots for walkers, strollers and ramblers of every variety

By Rachel Dunlop, Sheri Radford and Jill Von Sprecken

Stroll and shop along trendy Yaletown's Hamilton Street. Photo by KK Law

Stroll and shop along trendy Yaletown’s Hamilton Street. Photo by KK Law

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Hot Entertainment: All British Classic Car Show in Vancouver

This Austin-Healey 3000 is sure to turn heads

This Austin-Healey 3000 is sure to turn heads

Gentlemen, start your engines. The All British Classic Car Show rolls into VanDusen Botanical Garden on May 18, bringing more than 600 classic cars and motorcycles and attracting thousands of automobile enthusiasts. A swap meet, artists’ gallery, brass band and pipe band rev up the excitement level even more.—Sheri Radford

Eco-Friendly Vancouver

In honour of Earth Day (Apr. 22), we highlight the city’s green scene

Art installation on the Cambie Street Bridge. Photo by KK Law

Art installation on the Cambie Street Bridge. Photo by KK Law

Troubled Water

If you’re afraid of getting your feet wet, this may not be the art installation for you. The bold graphic stripes of chromatic blue on the pilings of the Cambie Street Bridge and nearby lampposts aren’t just for decoration. “A False Creek” by Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky marks the inlet’s future waterline if sea levels continue to rise. The warning holds water: melting ice sheets in the Antarctic and Greenland will have far-reaching consequences on our own coastlines. In effect, the colourful wraps of blue are akin to a wrap of string around your finger: a reminder that the future of our shores may look very different from the present. It’s no longer just water under the bridge.—Jill Von Sprecken

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Hot Entertainment: VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Green Design

VanDusen Botanical Garden's visitor centre. Photo by KK Law

From the top of its green roof to the depths of its geothermal energy system, the new visitor centre at VanDusen Botanical Garden is blazing a path in sustainable design. The building, with its eye-catching undulating roofline that resembles an orchid, uses green strategies such as rammed-earth walls, reclaimed lumber, on-site water capture and treatment, a photovoltaic system to generate electricity, and a giant skylight/solar chimney (pictured) that functions as a natural air conditioner. Designed to exceed LEED Platinum certification, the centre is also on track to be the fourth building in the world (and first in Canada) to meet the stringent Living Building Challenge (www.ilbi.org), which analyzes seven key components: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty. Even for those who don’t know anything about eco-friendly design, there’s no denying the building’s beauty. See it for yourself this month, and be sure to stop by on Plant Sale Day (Apr. 29), when admission to the garden is free. —Sheri Radford

Hot Dining: 5 Spring Flings

Truffles Fine Foods Cafe. Photo by KK Law

Even though it’s not quite patio season, these blooming spots still prime the taste buds.
1 Shaughnessy Restaurant Enjoy bucolic views and West Coast fare in the heart of VanDusen Botanical Garden. Pop by Truffles (pictured) in the dramatic new visitor centre for more casual bites.
2 Seasons in the Park In the tranquil surroundings of Queen Elizabeth Park, savour West Coast cuisine along with downtown and mountain views.
3 The Fish House in Stanley Park Sustainable seafood is on the menu at this quaint house in the heart of the park.
4 Horizons Restaurant Head up Burnaby Mountain for regional cuisine in a stunning, vista-kissed setting bordered by rose gardens.
5 Hart House Restaurant This Tudor-style mansion, nestled among flowering shrubs and manicured lawns in Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park, caters to classic tastes.—Tim Pawsey