Friday 19 April 2019

Off to the Big City

I hadn't been to Vancouver, British Columbia for a few years so I only thought it best to correct the situation by spending a week in my favourite city.

Above and directly below . . . over the Rocky Mountains.

I arrived in Vancouver by mid-morning . . . just in time for a late breakfast. This is Canada Place with its sail-like roofs.

A detail from the historical Saint Paul's Hospital. The hospital is still open but is scheduled for shutdown in about five years. I hope the Emergency Unit at this location remains open,  lots of elderly people in the neighbourhood.

Out for a walk in the rain . . . a cascading water fountain and vibrant green grass.

The view from my hotel room on a clear day.

A seagull hanging out in the harbour on Granville Island.

In 2010 there were many handmade mosaics set into the sidewalks in the City of Vancouver. This one shows a fireworks display over the Burrard street Bridge.

I love Pacific Northwest Coast art. Several clans/tribes have lived in the area for thousands of years and each clan has an art style specific to their culture. 

This carved mask was on display in an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The mask, carved in 1998, represents the supernatural being Puk'mis who is the keeper of lost souls who have drowned. The carver, Tim Paul, is of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation and has been carving since he was a child. He attained "head carver" status decades ago and I'm honored to know him; I can still remember the first time I phoned him...five minutes into the conversation it was like we'd known each other for a lifetime's a rare and cherished relationship. He is currently working on a sixty-five foot totem pole that will be installed at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island. All the best carvers in the area will be helping him work on the pole. If things work out, he will be carving me a small totem pole later this year.

I enjoy visiting the native art galleries and a trip to Vancouver inevitably means I'll find a carving that I "just can't live without" in one of them.  This traditional "Otter Bowl" was carved by young Talhtan (northern British Columbia) artist Sage Nowak. (Photo courtesy of the Douglas Reynolds Gallery.)

Right next door to my hotel...a pair of seagulls sitting on top of Saint Andrew's Wesley United Church (which is undergoing extensive renovations to make the church "earthquake-proof.") These pink-blossomed cherry trees were on a roof-top garden across the street from my hotel . . . there are hundreds of roof-top gardens in the city. During my visit there were an estimated six thousand cherry trees in full bloom on that day.

Out for a walk later that day and on the way back to the hotel I met an elderly lady who was cleaning up the gardens in front of the church and was making things look fine and presentable to everyday passers-by. Kudos to this sweet lady!

The view from my hotel room on a "big-white-puffy-cloud" day . . .

. . . and the view on a "threatening rain" day . . .

. . . and a night view.

On the little ferry (about twelve passengers per trip) from Granville Island to the foot of Burrard Street.

The "crazy building" that hangs over a very busy thoroughfare. There is a concrete pillar inside that holds the building upright. I heard that the penthouse is going for fourteen million dollars . . . imagine that!

On the way home . . . the Rocky Mountains.

The trip from Calgary to Medicine Hat on a small Beechcraft prop plane. It's really noisy inside the plane but the view is pretty good...nice turquoise-coloured engines and fins too.

It's good to be home.  Can't wait for the "Otter Bowl" to arrive.  Cheers and Happy Gardening!

- Michael Truman


  1. This post makes me want to visit Vancouver again! It's been a few years since I've been there too. Very cool that you know the artist Tim Paul!

  2. Great images of the city! I'm no engineer but that building doesn't seem right lol.