Sunday, December 04, 2005

Vancouver's Spectacular Off Season

One of the best things about Boot Camp is that it gets us out into different parts of Vancouver, regardless of the weather. This has reconfirmed my belief that Vancouver is more beautiful in the winter than most cities are at any time of the year.

I highly recommend Queen Elizabeth Park in November. The colors of the autumn leaves are rich and varied. As leaves fall, more views are opened up. On a clear day, the view of the city and the North Shore mountains is great, especially when there is snow.

Recently, we were at Spanish Banks on a rare snowy day. We regretted not having a camera because the scenery was dazzling, wherever we looked. The sky was bright blue and the mountains were frosted with fresh snow. In Pacific Spirit Regional Park, we trotted past a shady brook surrounded by snow-capped bushes and stumps.

Today, we strolled the banks of the Fraser in Richmond, while big wet snowflakes dressed the ground in a fresh white coat. Various buds and flowers were poking through the thin layer of snow.

In most parts of Canada, winter is associated with brown lawns, lifeless gardens, cold, wind, and ice. In Vancouver, it's just a brief interlude, more like a very late autumn or an early spring.


TODAY'S VANCOUVER HEADLINES

Federal tourism agency opens here Monday
Months of political wrangling over the location of Canada's most important tourism marketing agency will end Monday when the Canadian Tourism Commission officially opens its new head office in downtown Vancouver.

Provincial jobless rate hits 30-year low
British Columbia's booming economy produced more than half the new full-time jobs in Canada last month.

Robinson faces his toughest fight
OTTAWA - Svend Robinson's extraordinary skills as a siphon of public attention was obvious from the day he, as a young MP in 1980, sneaked a large pop bottle into the House of Commons at a time when consumer advocates revealed that the new 1.5-litre glass containers might explode at any moment.