East Van walks with Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Regular readers of my blog may know that I am a big fan of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. However, I have been notably absent from their walking tours for the past couple of years. Timing and poor planning on my part have contributed to me not showing up.

credit: Stevie Wilson

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The Vancouver Special

Vancouver Special on Keefer St. (photo from sillygwailo on Flickr)

If I remember correctly, I spent about 2 years of my childhood in a Vancouver Special. Most of my years in Vancouver were actually spent living in post-WWII bungalows built in the 1950’s. The Vancouver Special didn’t come to exist until the 1970’s.

I do know quite a few people that grew up in Vancouver Specials and who actually live in one now (a few of them are actually homes in Burnaby). I guess they are the quintessential Vancouver home. It was almost cliche in the 1980’s when you’d drive around town and see tons of Vancouver Specials. The 1980’s version that I grew up with had red Spanish roof tiles. I later realized that Vancouver Specials were not just the Spanish roof homes, but they included a variety of other 1970’s homes that dotted the east side of Vancouver.

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Hong Kong’s Yuen Long

Chinese calligraphy in Ching Shu Hin house in Yuen Long

Yuen Long is a large district in the northwest section of the territory. It was one of the largest town centres in the New Territories outside of the urban core of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. I had been meaning to visit this part of Hong Kong on many occasions. I actually got there this time with my sister, parents, and mother-in-law in tow.

First off, you should know about the special day pass for the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun areas of Hong Kong. This pass is not very well advertised on the MTR website. There are only two stations from which you can buy such passes – Nam Cheong and Mei Foo. The pass allows for unlimited travel on the West Rail, the Yuen Long/Tuen Mun LRT, and MTR-run buses in the area.

Tuen Mun – Nam Cheong Day Pass

This was also the first time I ever rode the West Rail. This line was the last of all the Hong Kong rail lines for me to travel upon. I could finally check it off my list.

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Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Wednesdays in Hong Kong are free admission days to the public museums and art galleries. My sister and I are big into museums. So our last Wednesday in Hong Kong was a perfect opportunity to hit up a couple of museums. The first on the list was the Hong Kong Cultural Museum in Sha Tin.

Buildings along the Shing Mun River in Sha Tin

Along the shores of the Shing Mun River, you can find the HK Cultural Museum about a 10 minute walk away from Sha Tin MTR station. We had to walk through the mall to reach the river and then walk along the river to the museum.

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VHF Yaletown Walking Tour

The Walking Tour season for Vancouver Heritage Foundation has just finished.  If you would like to go on these tours, contact the Foundation or check their website some time next year to see what tours they have in store for us in 2014. Here’s the last of the 3 walking tours for 2013 that I attended. We started off this Friday afternoon at the Roundhouse … Continue reading VHF Yaletown Walking Tour

VHF Railtown Walking Tour

The Walking Tour season for Vancouver Heritage Foundation has just finished.  If you would like to go on these tours, contact the Foundation or check their website some time next year to see what tours they have in store for us in 2014. This time our Railtown walking tour actually started in or at the edge of Gastown.  I guess it depends who you talk … Continue reading VHF Railtown Walking Tour

VHF West End Walking Tour

The Walking Tour season for Vancouver Heritage Foundation has just finished.  If you would like to go on these tours, contact the Foundation or check their website some time next year to see what tours they have in store for us in 2014. In August, I had the pleasure of joining the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and Maurice Guibord on yet another wonderful walking tour. This … Continue reading VHF West End Walking Tour

Layers of Human Experience

I have heard the term “layers of human experience” used a few times recently. I’ve actually heard it mostly from Gordon Price. He talked about it on his talk at Creative Mornings in July. He also used it during the recent Viaducts Heritage Walk put on by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. Gordon mentioned that when a building or structure has been around long enough that … Continue reading Layers of Human Experience

VHF Burrard Street Walk – Nelson to Davie

This is the last part of the Vancouver Heritage Foundation‘s walk along Burrard Street.  We went south down Burrard Street past Nelson Street.  Maurice pointed the two hotels near Nelson and Burrard.  There was the older Century Plaza Hotel on the west side of the street and then the Sheraton Wall Centre, which stands on the tallest point on the Downtown Peninsula.  He retold the … Continue reading VHF Burrard Street Walk – Nelson to Davie

VHF Burrard Street Walk – Robson to Nelson

After the Christ Church Cathedral, we headed south to Burrard and Robson.  Burrard and Robson is the busiest retail intersection in the city.  It’s the start of the Robson Street shopping area with all the big name retail chains.  It’s also where playoff hockey celebrations tend to happen as cars with crazy Canuck fans honk their way up and down the road (but not this … Continue reading VHF Burrard Street Walk – Robson to Nelson