When was the last time you jumped into a puddle?  Clearly our 'Wet Coast' rains have arrived.  As Vancouverites, we can choose to stay inside or we can embrace the inevitable and enthusiastically pull on our boots and seek out those puddles.  

The Seaside Greenway, from Spanish Banks to Locarno Beach is a tremendous place to walk and an even better place to puddle jump.  Located near prestigious Point Grey, the University of British Columbia and Pacific Spirit Park, Spanish Banks is composed of 3 different sections.  And yes, the parking is free!  At low tide you can almost reach out and touch a tanker or 2.  

During the winter months there is a certain freshness to the beach.  There are no crowds and there is a sense of calm in the air. 

If you are looking to extend your walk, the 28 km Seaside Greenway runs from Spanish Banks to the Stanley Park Seawall. No, there are no shortages of puddle to jump through in this wonderful area.  Slip on those boots and have fun!!

Discover-Outdoors-Spanish-Banks-Vancouver5

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Are you a loyal 'grinder'?  Without question, the Grouse Grind is a true test of strength and endurance.  However, with winter weather and changing mountain conditions mean seasonal trail closures.  Never fear!  Grab your hiking boots and set your sights on Burnaby Mountain. The Velodrome Trail is Burnaby's version of the Grind.  While it is not quite as challenging, the hike remains a great workout.  The trail begins near the Velodrome on Barnet Highway and cilmbs steeply through the forest on the north side of Burnaby Mountain. You will be welcomed by a series of 500 timber stairs and peekaboo views of the Indian Arm and the Burrard Intlet.

Near the end you wil be delighted by an open meadow and discover the Kamui Mintara poles.  The Playground of the Gods scultptures, created by Nurburi Toko and his son Shusei to commemorate the goodwill between Kushiro Japan and the City of Burnaby.  A beautiful sight perched  atop the mountain framing panoramic views of Indian Arm, Burrard Intlet, Burnaby, downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and the Lion's Gate Bridge.


Some facts and figures:

Grouse Grind                       Velodrome Trail

2.9 km long                          1.4 km long

853 metre elevation gain     240 metre elevation gain

2830 stairs                           500 stairs.

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Deck the Walls - take an art gallery walk and a fun and relaxing day to explore contemporary, modern and historical works at particpating South Granville galleries.  Festivities, refreshments and talks are on throughout the day.  

South Granville from 12pm-5pm tomorrow.

Deck the Walls photo: Kimoto Gallery

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The debut of Canada's largest indoor Christmas festival will happen in Vancouver as the Vancouver Winter Wonderland comes to the PNE Forum, from December 11th  to the 20th.

The event will feature interactive events and activities for the entire family, as well as some very special attractions such as three story Christmas Snow Globe, Giant Christmas Tree, holiday merchants, arts and crafts, food vendors and, of course, Santa and his reindeer.

The event will include over 45,000 square feet of indoor space, and will feature more than 100 unique exhibiors and never-seen-before holiday themed attractions.

Winter-Wonderland

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Are you feeling a little more romantic than usual?  It may be due to the mysterious mistletoe that has been popping up in various locations around Vancouver - all thanks to an anonymous artist group known as #VanKiss.

What started as a small effort of 10 red sign posts with bushels of mistletoe hanging from them has blossomed into a local Christmas tradition.  This year, there are more locations than ever to get your PDA fix with around 40 sign posts being put up across Vancouver.

They may be a bit hard to spot right away, as the sign posts are placed high above the street to offer a little surprise for unsuspecting lovebirds.  Reports of these mistletoe posts have been found in locations including: Yaletown, Denman Street, Davie Street, Robson Street, English Bay and others.

The only motivation behind this spontaneous art work is speading a little holiday season cheer ( and of course a little PDA).

If you don't have a friend, lover, or a dog to smooch with under the mistletoe, you can always just hang out under one and hope that someone comes your way - call it 'Mistletoe Matchmaker'.  If you come across a #VanKiss Mistletoe let us know where it's located. Let's get the word out.  Have fun!!

There's one right outside our building! Next time you're on the corner of Burrard and Canada Place with that special someone, remember to look up!  #spreadingholidaycheer #vankiss #vanconventions #vancouver A photo posted by Vancouver Convention Centre (@vanconventions) on Dec 3, 2015 at 3:09pm PST

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This Sunday share the magic of the holiday season in Steveston Village with businesses decked in holiday style and the arrival of Santa by boat.  There will be a Christmas classic car parade and the Cannery Farmer's Market.

Children can visit Santa at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery for a photo (bring your camera). View the Christmas trees decorated by local businesses inside the Cannery, Santa  photos inside the Cannery from 2-4pm.

Santa arrives at Steveston Public Wharf at 1pm.  Should be a lot of family fun!!

Santa Steveston

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Canada's Finance Minister Bill Morneau faces a delicate decision on housing as his own officials push for tigher mortgage rules to cool Toronto and Vancouver real estate.

The finance department recommended raising the minimum down payment on insured mortgages to as high as 10% from 5% for homes above a certain value, according to people familiar with the plans, speaking on condition they not be identified becasuse the deliberations aren't public  While former Finance Minister Joe Oliver rejected the recommendation earlier this year, department officials raised the proposal again at an October meeting with industry representatives.  Interesting times ahead!

 

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