Category Archives: Vancouver

Outdoor activities in Vancouver proper

Stanley Park seawall construction to be completed by the end of April

Seawall enthusiasts have reason to rejoice!

After approximately seven months of construction, the Stanley Park seawall is set to reopen completely by the end of April.

Since summer of last year, runners, pedestrians and cyclists have been forced to detour onto gravel paths and to share lanes, making the whole seawall workout experience somewhat less inspiring.

Barb Floden, Vancouver Park Board communication coordinator,

Pedestrians stroll along a newly repaved section of the Stanley Park seawall on the north side of the park.

said overall the project has run smoothly.

“There were some weather delays earlier in the project, last fall, but everything has run smoothly since then,” Floden said. “We’ve been getting compliments about [the completed sections]. It’s new and it’s smooth.”

Floden acknowledged they received complaints about noise from night construction work necessitated by the tides, but said measures have since been taken to muffle the din, allowing people in neighbourhood buildings to sleep soundly.

Stanley Park seawall

At the end of January, construction on the south side of the Stanley Park seawall wrapped up and the reconstructed pathway opened to the public.

But on the north side of the park, fences remain in place at the lookout point facing the North Shore, blocking visitors’ views and pushing bikes, rollerbladers and pedestrians onto the same narrow sidewalk. Floden said the northern lookout point is due to open by the end of April.

Tall fences still block off the viewpoint that looks out over the North Shore. The work at this site is expected to be completed by April.

English Bay seawall

Reconstruction work on the English Bay seawall from the stone Inukshuk statue east to approximately Jervis Street is ongoing.

“The northern lookout point and English Bay sections will be open by April,” said Floden.

Currently, fencing and detours are in place to direct cyclists and pedestrians

Work is ongoing on the section of seawall between the Inukshuk statue and Jervis Street, but should be completed by April.

around the work zone. The construction team will remove the existing concrete and granite stones, and the Park Board said most of the granite would be reused elsewhere in Stanley Park.

As of Feb. 18, significant progress has been made on the project:

  • Excavation and demolition: 100% completed
  • Dowel installation: 100% completed
  • Concrete seawall: 95% completed
  • Granite facing: 50% completed
  • Backfill: 60% completed

An ideal outdoor workout

The newly paved sections of seawall are smooth and a little wider than before, ideal for rollerblading, cycling, running or walking.

While it can be crowded on warm sunny days, the seawall is the cheapest way to burn some calories and breathe in fresh air. Bring a camera and snap some shots: herons can often be found wading in the shallows, and the northwest side of the park has beautiful views of the North Shore.

If you haven’t been for a while, check it out! The park has a lot to offer.

Seawall gives cyclists a safe and scenic route through Vancouver

The cold, snowy weather today is making me think nostalgically about warmer, drier weather – ideal weather for cycling.

In case you didn’t know, it’s possible to cycle from Lost Lagoon all the way around Stanley Park to the Telus World of Science (via English Bay and Yaletown) and end up at Granville Island without having to ride on the road. A few Saturdays ago I set out to do this ride, one of my favourites.

I started at Lost Lagoon. This is a great place to start if you’re renting a bike or tandem bike, because there are three bike rental shops nearby. The best known is Spokes, which is on the corner of Georgia and Denman, right next to the park.

I looped Stanley Park on the seawall (counter-clockwise direction), dodging confused pedestrians in the bike lane and construction areas. The seawall has been under construction since summer 2010 as they upgrade the pavement and walls where the ocean meets the land. Third Beach was bustling with morning sun-seekers despite the chilly temperatures.

I cruised through Yaletown toward Science World. The sun was in my eyes the whole way there in the morning, but that didn’t stop me from speeding past slower cyclists. My favourite section is when the path passes a group of waterfront cafes. It’s definitely an area to go slow, not only to avoid killing someone but because it’s a prime people-watching spot. People of all ages lounge on heated patios sipping morning caesars and dining on some truly delicious-looking brunch. There are dogs all over the place, tied to the balcony railings and sniffing at their owners’ meals. I can usually pick up a few brief snatches of gossip as I pass by, and it’s almost always salacious and

Looking back at the city from the seawall.

amusing.

From here it’s not too much further on to the Edgewater Casino (another great spot for people watching, as gamblers stumble bleary-eyed out into the daylight). In the summer, you can see the tents of Cirque du Soleil just past the casino, but on a fall day it’s just a vast empty lot.

The next section of seawall is picturesque, but it is not ideal for bikes because of the cobblestone in some sections. Watch out – it’s slippery and quite bumpy at times.

The path continues on to Granville Island, where you can stop for a visit (bike parking is decent) or continue on through the townhouses, duck ponds and dog parks. I turned off the seawall at the connector to the Burrard Street Bridge. Hey, we’ve got these great bike lanes, we might as well take advantage of them! It’s just a quick jaunt back across the bridge and I arrived back downtown.

A perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a beautiful afternoon.