Celebrate earth hour Vancouver style

Vancouver will slip into obscurity this Saturday, March 29 at 8:30pm, as residents and businesses across the city switch off their lights for Earth Hour – the largest environmental event in the world.

Given that Vancouver a) knows how to celebrate, b) plans to be the world’s Greenest City by 2020, and c) is the 2013 winner – and host of the 2014 awards for – the “We Love Cities” Earth Hour City challenge, there’s no shortage of ways to spend Earth Hour in the city.


You might notice some local landmarks looking a bit darker than usual this Saturday…

Some of our most iconic attractions and hotels have committed to turning down non-essential lighting for Earth Hour:

  • Canada Place will dim the lights on its iconic sails
  • BC Place has pledged to shut down its award-winning, multi-coloured LED lighting
  • Pacific Centre plans to power down all escalators and non-essential lighting
  • H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is the place to be during an hour of complete darkness with visitors able to peer through telescopes into the night sky and catch a special screening of “Universe in a Night”
  • Four Seasons Vancouver Hotel will shut off all non-essential lighting to host an evening by candlelight at YEW seafood + bar, including the introduction of “Highway 99” – a “100-mile cocktail” featuring ingredients and spirits sourced within 100 miles (or 160 kilometres).

Other businesses taking part in Earth Hour include:

Museum of Vancouver

Vancouver Harbour Centre

Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Art Gallery

Telus World of Science

Grouse Mountain

Pan Pacific Hotel

Park Inn & Suites Vancouver Broadway

Hyatt Regency Vancouver

The Burrard hotel

Rogers Arena

As for Inside Vancouver? We’ll be spending Earth Hour (unofficially re-dubbed “Earth Cocktail Hour”) dining, sampling and sipping at local eateries that have come up with creative ways to participate. With 32 of Vancouver’s finest establishments on board, the hardest part is deciding where to go first. Our top picks:

LIFT – Bar Grill View will dish up a special Earth Day feature: Fraser valley ostrich and Alaska octopus Carpaccio with garlic chips, micro greens, shaved radishes and dry-cured chorizo sausage.

Yaletown KegThurlow Keg and Dunsmuir Keg will serve dinner by candlelight.

P2b bistro at Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel will feature two flaming cocktails for the day as well as free dessert with the purchase of an entrée (between 8pm-10pm).

Graze Restaurant  will serve dinner by candlelight during Earth Hour while eliminating non-critical power consumption. The beer may be warm, but the music will be live!

Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel will host a cocktail reception “under the stars” in the foyer and Pavilion ballroom with local beers, wines and an acoustic performance.  Solar-powered lighting will illuminate the walkway from tower to tower.

Sylvia Restaurant & Lounge will turn off the lights and spark up the candles to enhance the view of English Bay.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread will feature a three-course candlelight dinner for just $18. Ask the staff about the restaurant’s new green initiatives like growing greens and mushrooms on-site.

Five Sails Restaurant will turn down the lights, all the better for guests to admire the view of a dimmed North Shore and Grouse Mountain.

The Parker  will dim the lights while continuing their usual zero waste operations.

The Fairmont Waterfront’s ARC Food + Drink will go dark for Earth Hour and offer a special four-course 100-mile tasting menu ($59).

Other participating restaurants are:

Spencer’s (at Delta Vancouver Suites Hotel)

Mosaic Bar & Grille

West Restaurant

CinCin Ristorante

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

Observatory and Altitudes Bistro at Grouse Mountain

Araxi Restaurant + Bar

The Edge Social Grille & Lounge

Max’s Restaurant 

Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Lobby Lounge

Riverway Clubhouse

Cafe Pacifica and Cascades Lounge (at Pan Pacific Vancouver)

Bacchus Restaurant

Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro

Cavino Coffee & Wine Bar

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro

Sol Sun Belt Eatery

Fresh Restaurant

So there’s your excuse to dine out on Saturday, March 29 (as if you needed one). Just don’t forget to turn off the lights before you head out!

Lions Gate Bridge with the lights dimmed. Photo: WWF


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