We start most big cities with a Hop On/Hope Off (HO/HO) tour with buses which have many stops at all the most frequented tourist spots. Vancouver’s HO/HO allowed us to explore Chinatown, downtown architecture and night life, Stanley Park, and the Vancouver Lookout tower. As Colin had mistakenly booked the wrong day for the ferry crossing, we ended up on the last ferry crossing from Vancouver Island to the BC mainland. We enjoyed watching the sunset over Vancouver Island from the stern on a calm peaceful evening. The next morning started rainy, inhibiting our photographic efforts.
Condos, Condos, Everywhere
When Cheryl visited Vancouver in the early 70’s, the high-rise condo boom hadn’t yet taken place so the city center was smaller, more dramatically exposed to the surrounding water and mountains. So much outside investment in Vancouver made all the land prices skyrocket. More condos are being built even though there is only a 30% rental rate. The investors leave apartments empty rather than lowering the rental or resale price. And yet more and more high-rise condos are still being built. The tax base, which now includes an additional high tax to foreign purchasers, adds to the city’s coffers. But the city’s political structure doesn’t seem to want to control the development pace to maintain aesthetic value of their city.
Vancouver is Highly Ecologically Green
One of the most successful points about Vancouver’s new building craze, is that each building has to be built with a significant percentage of recyclable products used in construction;also the top of the building has to have green space (trees, bushes, flowers and/or vegetables); and the architectural plans have to set aside green space around the complex. This seemed, at least to us, a very wise regulation, somewhat mitigating the effect of the boom. It was fun to look up top of a building and see a forest of trees peeking out.
This large city park was amazingly situated with a harbor wall walkway and spectacular views of Vancouver. In the park, there were totem poles, art sculptures, and beautifully maintained gardens. A lovely place to lose yourself next to the city.
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Steam Clock in Downtown Vancouver
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Vancouver City, British Columbia