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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Footloose in Vancouver
West End and Stanley Park
Robson Street .
Gastown, Heart of Vancouver
Granville Island .
Kitsilano Beach Community
Commercial Drive .
Lonsdale Quay
North Shore
Waterfront .
Sea Island

SkyTrain .
Vintage Streetcars

BC Lung Association Projects
Go footloose for health or join the Bicycle Trek. Watch for new editorial feature.

Great Spirit Bears
by Muguette Goufrani

Pacific Coast Lobster
Granville Island

World Urban Forum:
UN Habitat Returns

New Look for Hyatt

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Footloose on Commercial Drive
by Jerry W. Bird

During my childhood days and early school years, we lived for a while in Vancouver's Grandview area, which included (east to west) Victoria, Commercial and Clark Drive, and from Hastings Street south to Broadway. Commercial Drive, being on a major streetcar line, was a star attraction. It was one of Vancouver's crowning jewels, with blocks of neat, brightly painted shops and stores. Many of my relatives lived in the area on Grant and Gravely streets, and for weekend family picnic excursions to Stanley Park or Kitsilano beach, we took the familiar Grandview Streetcar. My grade school was Woodland, south of Commercial Drive. The big attractions of my day were Crystal Dairy's spotlessly clean, white-tiled ice cream parlor, Woolworth's firehouse red-fronted 5-10 and 15 cent store and the ever popular Grandview Park, with its acre of lawns, wading pool and playground.

Being one of Vancouver's first suburbs, the city planners named this area "Grandview "for an obvious reason. From my Aunt Mae's stucco clad bungalow (it's still there) on Grant Street, a stone's throw from Clark Drive, you could see past the industrial maze, clear to the heart of the city, with Woodwards big "W" and the Vancouver Sun's tower looming large. At the time, I compared the Sun newspaper to Superman's Daily Planet - and dreamed of working there. Talk about serendipity. those same two classic icons once bathed in neon, are prominent in the front window of our present day Gastown studio.

Being away from Vancouver during the 60s and 70s , I missed its rather abrupt change of character during the Hippy era; yet upon returning a few years prior to Expo '86, the 'Drive' became a magnet from the not so distant past. I quickly discovered several new favorite haunts; places to stroll, dine and shop, such as Nick's Spaghetti House at 631 Commercial and Uprising Breads at 1697 Venables facing BC Electric's interurban tram line). I still visit the health food store on Commercial and Napier, with attached restaurant. There are new and used clothing, ethnic shops and cafes galore, from Italian to Asian. For their home or apartment, you'll find antiques and used furniture. The 'Drive' has its own live theater and entertainment, other than people watching. (Watch this space for a list of recommendations from our editors and friends)

Commercial Drive Business Society
Mercato Plaza
PO Box 21660, 1850 Commercial Drive,
Vancouver, BC V5N 4A5 (604) 251 2884
E-mail: info@thedrive.ca

Tourism Vancouver's Main Website

Tourism Vancouver's Main Website

Visitors requiring assistance for accommodation can call: Tourism British Columbia's 1.800.HELLOBC Tourism Vancouver's Visitor InfoCentre on Burrard Street. 604.683.2000

World66 Vancouver Guide