1. Local
Dana Lynch



Follow me on:

What Sign Should the Vancouver Park Board Use For Gender-Neutral Washrooms?

Monday April 14, 2014

Gender-neutral washrooms are a step toward inclusivity that are a win-win for everyone: Not only are gender-neutral washrooms helpful for people who are transgendered or who don't identify with binary gender definitions, they're great for families and for cutting down on washroom wait times (why wait for your gender's washroom to become available if the other one is free?), and just make sense. As long as they're clean--and don't we want all restrooms to be clean, anyway?--I think they're a fantastic idea.

So does the Vancouver Park Board, which plans to add gender-neutral changing rooms and washrooms to all its recreational facilities. The question for the Park Board is: What will the gender-neutral bathroom sign look like? (Presumably, if there comes a time when gender-neutral is the default, the sign will simply say, "washroom.")

The Vancouver Park Board has several ideas, including a rainbow triangle and an all-inclusive gender sign (pictured) or just a symbol of a toilet. The final report on the issue--including which sign to use--will go before the Park Board on April 28. In the meantime, you can weigh in with your opinion of the gender-neutral signage online, as part of the City of Vancouver's Engaged City initiative.

Which symbol do you like for a gender-neutral washroom? Please comment below!

Image Courtesy of Vancouver Park Board

WSSF, Sakura Illumination & Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade - Weekend Picks

Friday April 11, 2014

Surrey's annual Vaisakhi Day Parade is next weekend, on April 19.

  • World Ski & Snowboard Festival
    Whistler's annual, free World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is a world famous 10-day celebration of snow sports, music, arts, and mountain life, and includes the biggest free outdoor concert series in North America. Runs Friday, April 11 - Sunday, April 20.

  • Sakura Illumination at Sunset Beach
    Part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, this two-night art installation from artist Stuart Ward uses LED and patterned video lights to illuminate a canopy of cherry blossoms at Sunset Beach. Free. Runs Friday, April 11 - Saturday, April 12.

  • Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade
    Vancouver's annual Vaisakhi Parade and festivities include music, food, singing and dancing. Free. Happens Saturday, April 12.

Eating Local in Vancouver, Part IV: Best Farm to Table Restaurants

Thursday April 10, 2014

Here's the next part of my ongoing series on Eating Local in Vancouver: Best Farm to Table Restaurants.

The eating local / locavore movement in Vancouver is so strong that there are many, many options for eating local at Vancouver restaurants. This Guide lists the top Vancouver farm to table restaurants, and has insider tips for finding restaurants serving local foods in your neighbourhood.

Best Farm to Table Restaurants in Vancouver

If you have a favourite farm to table restaurant in Vancouver, please share in the comments!

For more on eating local in Vancouver:

Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

Complete Guide to Easter in Vancouver 2014

Monday April 7, 2014

Easter falls on April 20 this year, and there are lots of ways to celebrate the holiday in Vancouver this year, from family-friendly Easter egg hunts to sophisticated Easter brunches to special Easter events.

Use these Guides to Easter in Vancouver 2014 to plan your holiday:

Photo Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Sakura Days Japan Fair, Nifty for Fifty Sale & Roller Derby - Weekend Picks

Friday April 4, 2014

This is the first weekend for the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, too.

  • Sakura Days Japan Fair
    Part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Days at the VanDusen Botanical Garden celebrates modern and traditional Japan through the tea ceremony, festival food, origami, ikebana (flower arranging), sake tastings, guided hanami tours (flower viewing), and Haiku Invitational. Runs Saturday, April 5 - Sunday, April 6.

  • Nifty for Fifty Sale
    The 7th annual Nifty for Fifty event features wares from 30 local designers and artisans at Heritage Hall on Main Street. Happens Saturday, April 6.

  • Roller Derby Season Opener
    The Terminal City Roller girls open their 8th season at the Kerrisdale Arena this weekend with a double header this Friday, April 5.

Eating Local in Vancouver, Part III: Where to Buy Local Seafood

Wednesday April 2, 2014

Here's the next piece in my on-going series on Eating Local in Vancouver. This one tackles the question of where to buy local seafood, and includes info on shops and markets that specialize in local, in-season seafood as well as fish markets where local fishermen sell their catches.

Earlier entries in the series include:

If you have more tips on where to find fresh, local seafood in Vancouver, please leave a comment!

Image Courtesy of Daily Catch

New 'Nightbound' App Tells You What Vancouver's Nightlife Scene is Like in Real-Time

Monday March 31, 2014

Ever paid a cover charge for a club that looked great on the outside but, once you got through the doors, was disappointingly empty? With the new, Vancouver-based app Nightbound, you won't have that problem again: the app--which uses info from real-time users--tells you what's going on inside the club before you get there, including the gender ratio, size of the crowd, and entrance wait times.

Developed by Vancouverites Matt Gu, Rahul Jiresal and Deepak Azad (two of whom are recent UBC grads), Nightbound is a free, crowd-sourced app for iPhone and Android that is designed to help you navigate Vancouver nightlife. Released in February 2014, the app currently focuses on Granville Street nightlife (downtown's Granville Street has long been ground-zero for hard-partying nightlife in Vancouver), but there are plans to expand the app to more Vancouver nightlife venues, as well as (eventually) other cities.

Nightbound also partners with clubs to offer users free cover charges and complimentary drinks.

Download Nightbound for free here: Nightbound: Real-Time Nightlife Guide.

Find more apps for Vancouverites here: Useful Apps for Living in Vancouver.

Screen grab from Nightbound app

Sonic Boom, Game of Thrones Burlesque & Stanley Park Easter Train - Weekend Picks

Friday March 28, 2014

Can't wait for the new season of Game of Thrones? Check out the Game of Thrones Burlesque this weekend!

  • Sonic Boom Festival 2014
    This annual music festival highlights B.C. composers and music. Runs through Sunday, March 30.

  • Game of Thrones Burlesque at Rio Theatre
    Burlesque troupe Tourettes Without Regrets performs Game of Thrones - Live! "an interactive Vaudeville show of live music, comedy and burlesque." Runs Friday, March 28 - Saturday, March 29.

  • Stanley Park Easter Train
    The Stanley Park Miniature Train transforms into the Easter Train twice this year: once for Spring Break (now) and again in April for Easter. The Spring Break run ends Sunday, March 30.

Eating Local in Vancouver, Part II: Grocery Stores & Markets

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Here's Part II of my ongoing Eating Local in Vancouver series: Grocery Stores & Markets. (Part I is here: Local Produce & CSA Delivery Services.)

We all want to eat local--eat locally-grown and harvested foods--as much as we can, but it can feel like a daunting task. Most of us don't have the time to run around town getting a few groceries here and there (and then still have to go to Canadian Superstore for our toilet paper.) To make it a little easier to eat local, this Guide lists both neighbourhood groceries and markets that carry local foods and tips for finding local foods in your specific area.

Eating Local in Vancouver: Grocery Stores & Markets

Know of more local markets that carry local foods? Please let me know in the comments so I can expand the list!

Image Courtesy of East End Food Co-Op

Tickets for VanDusen's A-Mazing Egg Hunt on Sale March 31, 2014

Monday March 24, 2014

Easter falls on April 20 this year, and there are a lot of special Easter events happening throughout the city (see below). One family favourite is the Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt at VanDusen Botanical Garden, where kids between 2 and 10 can enjoy an old-fashioned egg hunt, live music, magic, games, and more.

The Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt takes place on April 19, 2014 (the Saturday before Easter), and there are four time slots to choose from: 9am -10am, 10am - 11am, 11am - 12pm, and 12pm -1pm.

This event always sells out, so get your tickets as soon as possible: ticket sales start next Monday, March 31. Tickets can only be purchased in-person at the Visitor Centre's Admission Desk at the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Plan ahead for Easter in Vancouver with these Guides:

Image Courtesy of VanDusen Botanical Garden

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.