Land of the Giants: Vancouver - Canada - Part 1

We were in Vancouver in October and I wanted to share some of the things we saw and experienced while we were there. I've been to the west coast city before, but this is the first time that I was really seeing the city through an urban nature lens.

It's hard NOT to equate Vancouver with urban nature - the whole city feels lush and vibrant and leafy!  And to be sandwiched in between the sea and the mountains provides such breathtaking views which inevitably draw people outside.  Any clear day, you will undoubtedly encounter large crowds of Vancouverites getting out to take advantage of the great weather but even without the sun, these city-dwellers are active outdoors.  Who wouldn't be with the 22 kilometer-long seawall, amazing paths designated for single use (pedestrians on one path and cyclists on another), tons of bike lanes throughout the city core and acres of Stanley Park to explore!

But what I also noticed is that there is a luxury of double tree-lined sidewalks, numerous water features and an incredible number of covered sidewalks (arcades) or other great public space designs that included landscaping or gardens at street level as part of the built environment.

And it's the land of the giants.  I had forgotten about the large old trees in Stanley Park and I also appreciated the final big blooms of autumn flowers and was amazed at the size of many of the gulls in the city - probably double the size of any here in Ontario.  (And when I ordered mussels one night at a local restaurant - the size of the mussels was shocking - and oh so good!)

So I just wanted to share a short photo essay from our visit in Vancouver.  You can see Viliam's photos over on Instagram!  We spent two full days and a couple of evenings just walking around the beautiful city.


Double tree-lined sidewalks on many downtown streets.

Giant trees in the park!

Positive co-existance messages for urban dwellers.

A variety of wildife (kept a keen eye out for new sightings!)

Many water features downtown - incredible design integration with public spaces.

Did I mention the trees?  We were really lucky to be there basking in all the autumn colours!

Did I mention the amazing wildlife (and cool birds!)

And the amazing vistas (the gulls were as big as the cormorants!)

More great signage about "living with" wildlife in your neighbourhood.

Don't forget to look up (heron rookery)!

And did I mention the size of the gulls??


  1. Wonderful pictures of Canada's most beautiful city. A walk-about anywhere in Vancouver usually affords amazing sights of 20ft hedges and lush gardens. I was lucky enough to live there for a year and now when I return, I appreciate the greenery and wild all the more. Great website.

  2. It's incredibly lush Michael - 20 foot hedges are a sight to see. Very lucky for you to have experienced it as a local. Thanks so much for your comments!