Whistler and Vancouver

  • I'm heading off to Whistler for 10 days and then 3 days in Vancouver and I am looking to my Canadian cousins (and anyone else with knowledge) to point me in the direction of a good camera shop. I am also looking for ideas of where I should visit, most of my time in Whistler will be on the mountain but I have no fixed plans for Vancouver.

    Ta much

  • Re: Whistler and Vancouver
    Kerrisdale Cameras is probably the biggest and the best shop in Van as I remember. They have a number of stores, but their main is located at 41st and Arbutus I believe. I am living in Taiwan now, but lived in Van for a number of years. There is another good shop on Granville Street downtown, in a bit of a rougher area (but not terrible), I would guess about 4 blocks north of Pacific Avenue, they are also worth checking out. Interpro and Broadway Camera also come to mind. I am sure I am missing others. Between Vancouver and Whistler, I would also suggest you check out Squamish, especially the Chief. Some great shots to be had there as well. Within Vancouver, I would check out Granville Island, Kitsilano, the North Shore and possibly the downtown east side (if you want to take a walk on the wild side, and see one of the more depressing areas in all of Canada). Even if you don't ski, it is worth taking the gondola up Grouse Mountain (North Vancouver). Chinatown is another attraction, I am told it is the world's largest now. Back in North Vancouver, Lynn Canyon park and the suspension bridge is really nice and not too heavily trafficed, or you could go to the Capilano suspension bridge in West Van, which charges and attracts more tourists.

    If you like greasy breakfasts, I would suggest Bon's Off Broadway at 41st and Nanaimo. It is my favorite restaurant for some strange reason, the breakfast special is only $2.95 cdn and it attracts an interesting crowd. If you want to eat high end, I would recommend Bishop's on West 4th (I think one block west of Arbutus). Vancouver is really a great city, I miss living there and will return eventually.
  • Re: Whistler and Vancouver
    Nothing to add to Darren's post, except to mention that the area near Chinatown is probably the worst I've seen in Canada - the area around Hastings/Main is definitely <i>not</i> recommended, don't talk to them even if they seem OK. Oh, and if you haven't been to China the Sun Yat Sen chinese garden near there is nice :-)
  • Re: Whistler and Vancouver
    There aren't many dodgy areas in central Vancouver but Adrian is right about Hastings/Main and it is very close to the main tourist areas. Be careful and preferrably just don't go there. It's a few years since we were there and then by pure accident, but drugs were being dealt fairly openly in the street. We got back out fast with cameras etc tucked inside our tops.
    Don't let that put you off Vancouver because it is a great city.
  • Re: Whistler and Vancouver
    Hi guys. The area both of you are talking about is called the downtown east side, or East Hastings, which I had mentioned. It definitely is an eye opening spot, but I would suggest you need not be too frightened in that area. I worked in the heart of the downtown east side for a time and the one thing I would suggest is that even though the people there have huge problems by and large, they are not violent. I have seen some well done street photography come out of that area, although I would not be nervy enough to take my camera out and start shooting. The people there are quite safe in an odd way though. The downtown east side basically starts at the edge of Gastown, which is another quite highly touristed area and runs east.

    I wouldn't highly recommend Gastown, other than some good restaurant and watering holes. Steamworks is another favorite of mine, good food and very good beer they brew themselves. If you are travelling on a budget, the Cambie Inn/Hostel is one of the most popular hostels (I only know of a few, never stayed at any) in town, although on the fringes of the downtown east side. The bar at the Cambie is one of the cheapest in Vancouver to drink at, draws somewhat of an international crowd, as well as some very colorful locals. It is another spot I enjoy stopping at when I am back in town.
  • Re: Whistler and Vancouver
    Darren advised many good places. I would add The Lighthouse Park on West Vancouver. If you have time and if it is sunny, you should go there, it is a very nice park (I find it better than Stanley Park because wilder) where you can follow some hiking trails and see a beautiful sunset; without all the industrial ships...
    Also the top of Grouse Mountain is just amazing, especially by night...bring your tripod!
  • Re: Whistler and Vancouver
    Having lived & worked within the downtown eastside of Vancouver I would give this advice. Travel there as if you are traveling in any developing country of the world. The issues of poverty are extreme, people are de-sprited. Day time is best, night time is the hardest. If anyone says,"Pss, are you lookin" pass on by they want to offer you drugs and guess who else are lookin, the police. This goes for anywhere in the city.
    I know the city best by night and if in company it's a wonderful time to walk and photo opts are brillant. Spanish Banks is also a wonderful area for shots and just a bus ride away. Vancouver is a walking city and wonderful
    Vancouver is full of cultural enclaves, Fraser & 49th, Commercial Drive, Davie Str. Best camera stores have been mentioned.
    Have fun, cheers
    Jeannie of momshu