Go West, Day 16 – Vancouver, 2nd Day

Author: Larry St Aubin

This morning we head back to explore a less busy Stanley Park. Once the pugs were settled, I took the gondola to Grouse Mountain in the hopes of walking to the peak lookout for a bird’s eye view of Vancouver. We are now at the half way mark of our trip.

Stanley Park itself on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (as is most of greater Vancouver).

I was right. At 6 am there is no one around except for a few joggers and cyclists passing by. Not only are the parking lots empty, there are in overnight mode so won’t accept payment.

The Rose Garden was created in 1920 by the Kiwanis Club. It has over 3,500 perenials, annuals, and bulbs.  There are many roses of many different varieties.  There are little signs in each bed that says what type of rose are planted there.  It’s amazing how many the different colours of roses there are here. And it was easy to push the stroller around so Greta was happy, resting her chin on the edge.

Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain. Located in Stanley Park near the Vancouver Rowing Club, this drinking fountain memorial was erected a year after Queen Victoria’s death. The memorial, constructed with Nelson granite at the top of a flight of steps, was unveiled by the Premier Sir Richard McBride in 24 May 1906 (the Queen’s birthday).

“On each side of the memorial are pillars embedded with a crest. The shield on the right hand side is the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom and may be used only by the Monarch. On the left, the shield displays entwined serpents; the coat of arms for the City of Vancouver until 1969, designed by James Blomfield.”

“The drinking fountain flanked by stone seats is embedded in a granite column. The bronze bas-relief was designed by James Blomfield and cast in England. The left facing cameo of Queen Victoria’s head is the same image used on the 1897 Diamond Jubilee medals and medallions. Beneath the inscription is a lion with flowing mane that spouts water into a demi-lune basin. The original drinking cups suspended by chains are no longer present.”

Rock Garden. “The Rock Garden is the city of Vancouver’s first public garden.  Built from 1911 to 1920 by gardener John Montgomery it became the most popular attraction in Stanley Park.  Over the years, it became less popular and became overgrown until it was completely forgotten.  In 2006, there was a big windstorm that hit Stanley Park and knocked down many trees.  This clearing of trees, revealed part of the rock garden.  The great-grandson of the gardener, Chris Hay, found what remained of the garden and has worked ever since to have it partially restored and recognized.”

In the background is the Stanley Park Pavilion. Built in 1911, it has a restaurant and is used for weddings and events. And, there is no one around to get in the picture.

Robert Burns Memorial. In 1928, a memorial to this celebrated Scottish poet was dedicated in Stanley Park. It was the first statue erected in Vancouver. In February 1924, inspired by a recently published critical analysis of Burns’ work, the Vancouver Burns Fellowship was formed to encourage the study of Burns’ life and works and the singing of his songs. The group also hoped to erect a statue of Burns in Stanley Park.

Eve is not impress with all the pigeon poop.

“Attempts were made to commission an original statue but the organization thought that the designs submitted did not look enough like Robert Burns. They decided to purchase a replica of the Burns statue designed by George Lawson in Ayr, Scotland. The cost was $5,000, and the statue was shipped from England to Vancouver via the Panama Canal.”

Hallelujah Point. This plaque unveiled by Colonel Harry Read, Chief Secretary for Canada and Bermuda on Saturday, May 1, 1982 to commemorate the Salvation Army’s Canadian Centennial 1882-1982 “To God be the Glory”. On October 3, 1948 this spot was officially named Hallelujah Point in honor of the Salvation Army’s 60 years of service in B.C.

The Nine O’Clock Gun is a large old cannon that fires every night at exactly 9pm in Coal Harbour in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This cannon has fired almost every night for about a century! It is a Vancouver tradition and people still gather nightly to see and hear it fire!

We managed to get there just as a cruise ship was coming into the frame.

The Nine O’Clock Gun has quite a history. It has been kidnapped, has actually fired upon a floating fuel barge and has it’s own Twitter account! In February, 2022 it stopped firing due to a shortage of black gun powder. A new supply was obtained in March and the gun began firing again.

Marine Building. Walking by this place I heard a tourist guide with a group of people talking about the building. It was completed in 1930 , was the tallest in the city. Listed as one of the best Art Deco buildings in the world. It had the fastest elevator west of New York. It was used in the movies Timecop, and Fantastic Four. And was the Daily Planet in the Smallville TV series

Back at the car, we follow the one way road around the park to the west side and parked near English Beach. Left the pugs in the car while I walked down to the beach, before I got there though, I had to walk under the nests of the Great Blue Heron.

I could hear them above me but couldn’t see anything. Guess that is the point.

There was the usual morning waterfront trail traffic but, again, not busy. Enjoyed a peaceful lookout until my tummy started to rumble. Time for breakfast.

Dropped the pugs at the hotel and gave them their kibble. It had been a lot of walking around the park so they were ready to sleep. Checking Google maps for a breakfast place, I headed over the a Belgian waffle restaurant. It opened at 8 am. I got there at 8:15 and already it was packed. There must have been a lineup. The only seat available were patio tables outside. It was cool, about 12 degrees but I had on my warm hoodie.

Blackstone Benny on a waffle. Very good. No wonder the place was full.

Walking back to the hotel, a flash of orange caught my eye. It was the Vancouver Centre II’s window. It was a really, really large salmon. The security guard was eyeing me suspiciously when I went in but pointed to the fish and gestured “photo”

It is by renowned author, visual artist Douglas Coupland. The piece is entitled “Spawn” giving the sense of the fish swimming through the building. It is 30 feet long made of stainless steel.

Grouse Mountain is one of the premiere attractions when visiting Vancouver. It is a gondola lift up to the top of the mountain. There is a zipline company, lumberjack show, birds of prey, Grizzly Bear habitat. Also there is the spectacular view of Vancouver. That is, when there isn’t cloud cover

I had planned to walk to the peak but there was no reason now. I had bought my ticket in advanced so had no choice. I would suggest to check the weather on the day you plan to go. If it will be clear, then buy your ticket.

Totems in the mist. I was going to watch the birds of prey show. After talking with one of the presenters, he said it would be a short show because of the fog. I decided I’d had enough and headed for the exit.

They are building a new, more advanced gondola system. It will be ready in 2024. Going down I could see the path of the new addition.

When I got back, to the pugs to Gastown. I was wearing my Pug Sushi t-shirt – getting comments from people on both the pugs and shirt.

There were people all around the Gastown Steam Clock. However, after I picked up Greta, placed her in front, then called Eve over to sit, people knew I was serious about taking a photo.

It was built in 1977. I thought it was older. It runs on steam and the whistles were playing Big Ben on the hour.

Water St. Cafe. Across the street was a restaurant with a big sandwich board sign saying Live Music. Went in with the pugs to ask the host. He explained there was a show at 6:30 and 8:30. It was a jazz trio led by a faculty member of Simon Fraser University.

It was then that the manager came over and said – love your shirt, love your dogs. It was around lunch so I enquired about a pet friendly patio. Sure enough, around on the side street, was a little sectioned off area for the pugs. No sooner had we sat down then the host brought out not one, but two bowls of water – one for each. Now that is a dog friendly place.

But it didn’t end there. The chef came out, along with the manager, with a “plate” of cookies. He explained that he bakes them in the restaurant and started listing the ingredients. Made sure to tell me there were no onions. Obviously a caring individual. I picked one up and it was still warm from the oven.

Ordered a salmon burger and Russell Brewing IPA. Usually a salmon burger is smashed salmon formed into a patty. The one was a char grilled fillet. Delicious. Both Eve and Greta gobbled up the cookies. They were also delicious, I gather.

Heading back to the hotel, this was outside a gallery.

I’m staying at the Delta Marriot Downtown hotel. Back at the hotel, I opened the curtains to check out the view. Usually I don’t care about the view but, seeing as we were downtown, wanted to see what was out there.

On the left of the window is the Harbour Centre building. It has the revolving restaurant Top of Vancouver with glass elevators going up.

On the right was a heritage building of sorts. It was one of the campuses for Simon Fraser University. The Faculty of Communication Arts is located there. I wrote them to ask if they had any info on the building but, it is the weekend so I’ll update the blog when I hear back.

I decided to head back to the Water St Cafe for dinner and jazz. It would be a counter balance to last night’s April Wine concert.

Soup of the day was a chicken creole style.

I decided on the sirloin with a side of mushroom ragu. Figure steak and jazz were a good combo. I was half way through the ragu when I could feel this grit in my mouth. I couldn’t finish it. Called the waitress over and told her to let the kitchen know in case something got into the mushrooms.

The jazz trio were easy to listen to. They did not introduce themselves while I was there. I wrote to the restaurant to ask. It wasn’t the best table for viewing. While I was videoing, I had to put the phone on the table.

After I walked back to the hotel, decided to check my iPhone pedometer. Definitely got my steps in this week.


  1. Omg! What an amazing trip you’re on, Larry!! Stay safe and keep ’em coming!

  2. Well another day’s worth of exploring! You do get around the sites Larry! Always such information and interesting stories! Love ‘em all! Had fun with the stolen Nine 0’clock Gun and the Marine Building (me being a thespian and all…Ha!). LOVE that fab “T”-short and ya wear it well kiddo! Ok Larry, onward the three of you go! 👏❤️🐾🐾

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