Originally from South Africa, David Labistour, CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op, has called Vancouver’s North Shore home for the past 16 years. Below, the avid hiker and mountain biker shares a few of his favourite spots in the city.
Off the beaten track
“Grouse Grind is the go-to [trail] for many hikers, and for good reason. But the entire North Shore is full of great trails. One of my favourite areas is Lynn Headwaters Regional Park; it has some amazing hikes that aren’t as well-known.”
“When I first came to Vancouver, I stumbled across Deep Cove and it looked like a movie set. It’s a small community and it’s absolutely gorgeous, nestled between the ocean and the mountains—it’s very good for recreation, like paddling and boating. It also has good hiking: the Quarry Rock Trail leads to a huge lookout point.”
“The North Shore is a mountain-biker’s paradise. It has some of the most extensive and wonderfully maintained trails in the world—there’s a mountain that’s appended to Grouse called Fromme. That and Seymour Mountain are the two largest biking trail networks on the North Shore; I can ride onto Seymour Mountain from my house.”
Favourite craft brewery
“You fall over craft beer [everywhere] in Vancouver; it’s fantastic. There’s too much beer and too little time. My local is Bridge Brewing Company on the North Shore. I’m an IPA drinker and Bridge does a good one—it’s called Hopilano [after the Capilano area]. They do a great pale ale, as well.”
“JJ Bean is my default coffee shop. I generally order a latte. The coffee is always fresh-roasted and it’s good quality. None of the stores look the same; they’re all individual. The one in Olympic Village has an industrial interior with a lot of steel.”
“Ask for Luigi [in Railtown] is one of my favourite Italian restaurants. It’s a little spot and there’s always a lineup to get in.”
“Blue Water Cafe has a [raw bar], with sushi and oysters, and a full kitchen. The service and the quality of the food is outstanding.”
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