How many cities can say they have a beach park downtown?  Well, Vancouver can… here at English Bay Beach.

From the late 19th century, the legendary lifeguard, Joe Fortes, taught Vancouver residents how to swim right on this beach.  In 2015, some 2700 liters of cargo ship oil spilled into the bay. That hampered swimming on the beach as testing still continues yet some people still swim. Specially on January 1 for the annual Polar Bear Swim when some courageous citizens swim in the freezing water!

Today, English Bay remains a bustling, vibrant go-to spot for relaxing—-you can picnic, suntan, hike, run, bike, fly a kite; watch the sunset or ducks mingle with people, or flocks of birds flying to and fro without a care, and take in the stunning views.

CACTUS CLUB. You might want to either begin or end your English Bay visit with a meal at Cactus Club. Below was my scrumptious snack:  Tuna Stack (Oceanwise Albacore, Citrus Tamari Vinaigrette, Nori, Sesame, Avocado, Micro Cilantro, Wonton Chips) and Caramel Mousse.

SYLVIA HOTEL. The Sylvia Hotel is a historic landmark of the city.  Built in 1912, it was originally an apartment building for Mr. Goldstein whose eldest daughter was named Sylvia. In 1936 during the Depression, it became an apartment hotel. During World War II, rooms were used to house crews of the merchant marines. By 1954 post-war, it became entirely a hotel.  Until 1958, it used to have the distinction of being the tallest building in the West End of Vancouver with the slogan “Dine in the Sky.” It is a famous spot for appreciating autumn foliage for the Virginia creeper crawling on one side of the brick building. By 1975, it was designated as a “heritage building.”

Sylvia Goldstein grew up at the Sylvia Apartment which was named after her.  She married Harry Ablowitz and together, they were active in Jewish community groups, Sylvia sitting on the board of many of them. She helped set up the Jewish Community Centre and the Louis Brier Home. Until she was 90, Sylvia still volunteered for the Jewish Family Service Agency to check on isolated seniors by telephone. [SOURCE]

MORTON PARK. A-maze-ing Laughter is a 2009 bronze sculpture by Yue Minjun, located in Morton Park: [The engraved sign says, “May this sculpture inspire laughter, playful happiness and joy in all who experience it.”

BIKE PATHS

BIRD WATCHING

… and just taking in the lively vibe here…

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