Forget just looking at Vancouver’s mountainous bounty. A quick drive to the North Shore deposits you at the foot of the city’s famous gauntlet-on-the-urban fringe. The Grouse Grind packs more than 850 metres of elevation gain and ends at about 1,120 metres above sea level. The steep trail is just shy of three kilometres, with 2,830 stairs and twice as many gnarly tree roots, rock faces and verdant alpine canopies. Mercifully, there are three restaurants up top and a gondola to ride back down.
“On Saturdays and Sundays, I usually leave around 9 a.m. and go for a nice long walk around the seawall and watch people go by. I love people-watching, so I get a coffee, usually from JJ Bean on Granville Island, and I just wander aimlessly.”
—Vikram Vij, co-owner, chef and proprietor (with his wife, Meeru Dhalwala) of the globally renowned side-by-side Indian dining rooms Vij’s Restaurant and Rangoli
“Whistler Mountain Bike Park, hands down. It starts right in the valley and goes about two-thirds of the way up the mountain. It’s all old-growth forest up there, and it’s so beautiful. Most people don’t realize the park has a lot of variety in degrees of difficulty; there’s something for everyone.”
—Ashleigh McIvor, gold medal winner in women’s ski cross at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games
“Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park is located in such a great place… and it’s a great indoor activity when it rains in Vancouver, which can happen quite often. My two kids love going. They get very excited to see all the marine life and the interesting shapes and colours. My favourite part about going is seeing how excited the kids get to see new things.”
—Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks left-winger