. .

Footloose in


Sea Island

West End -
Stanley Park

Theatre Under
the Stars

Robson Street

Historic Gastown

Granville Island


Commercial Drive
Lonsdale Quay

North Shore
and West Van

Elevated Railway

Vintage Streetcars

Foot Notes
Page Two
Page Three

Footloose on the North Shore
by Jerry W. Bird

There's an part of Vancouver that tugs at my heart strings and has played various tunes on them for decades while I was living east of the Rocky Mountains. There's good reason for this nostalgia, since North Vancouver was home during my teens including studies and activities at North Van High. Unfortunately, like many souvenirs from the past, our beloved Alma Mater is no longer there. However the area is as attractive as ever with live theater and related activities. My family's first home in North Vancouver was near Mosquito Creek on Kings Road West in Upper Lonsdale. I attended North Star School, another icon that has gone with the wind. From our area, you could climb the tortuous trail up Grouse Mountain if so inclined, or freewheel it in the other direction, coasting on your bicycle, daredevil style all the way down Lonsdale for 28 blocks to the Ferry Dock, now part of Lonsdale Quay. As a people-place, the Quay is a story all of it's own, and a massive new complex is taking shape at the old Burrard Shipyards. The transformation will be outstanding as it retains some of the heritage of those heady days of the 40s. I will profile that project and its implications later.

Our second home on the North Shore was a two-story structure, with a giant weeping willow tree out front. It was on Pemberton Avenue near Marine Drive in Lower Capilano. A steep, spiral dirt path led to Upper Capilano, where we played ball and pursued other teen activities. I drove by recently and the dirt path still exists. Down Marine Drive a few blocks at Philips Avenue, was Chic's Barbecue, now known as the Tomahawk. They told me Chic knew half the youngsters on the North Shore byname, and their dads before them. Surprise, surprise - the restaurant's still going strong, and the whole place is like a museum dedicated to the local tribes. Believe me, if you are hungry for a truly Canadian breakfast with ham, eggs, Klondike- size hot cakes that cover the plate, and a coffee pot that never runs dry, that's the place.

City of North Vancouver Website

Mother of All Dagwoods. The Tomahawk's hamburger list is awesome. All the burgers are named after famous Indian chiefs from the area, the top sellers being named for "Chief Dan George," costar of " Little Big Man" with Dustin Hoffman. The Tomahawk is a North Shore icon, even though Chic Chamberlain passed away soon after I returned prior to Expo '86. On the lot our big yellow house once occupied, is the Cactus Club. The Kettners (my friends) home across Pemberton, is now a Macdonalds. Don't we sometimes wish things would never change.

Park Royal, Ambleside and Dundarave
Down Marine Drive, or west on the Upper Levels Highway #1 from North Van (take your choice) is West Vancouver, site of Park Royal Shopping Center. If my facts are correct, this was the first modern shopping center in Canada. West Vancouver, Canada's Beverly HIlls, is home of two great public beaches. They are Ambleside, in the shadow of Lions Gate Bridge, and Dundarave, a friendly seaside village further down Marine Drive. Because it is smaller, more secluded and private, this one brings back the most vivid memories. In the early, early days when there were still rental facilities at the beach, I spent an entire summer there with my grand folks. Small wonder this tiny Shangri-La keeps drawing me back. The twenties-style Beach House Restaurant has gone through several different names and owners in recent years, yet still ranks among my top venues. Not long ago I entertained 30 Kenya based Safari operators and government ministry officials there. We descended on them for lunch with almost no warning, and the the staff performed brilliantly.

Of Love Boats and Float Planes
Talk about a laid back, seaside getaway, Dundarave is it. You can head for the pier, lay on the sandy beach, or park on a camp table and watch the Alaska cruise ships glide by. You can wave to the train passengers heading up Howe Sound or watch the float planes and helicopters winging their way to Vancouver Island or Whistler. When the famous Royal Hudson steam train was still operating, it was even more special.

You will find no shortage of brochures and maps featuring the attractions of Vancouver's North Shore, however here are a few recommended attractions to consider. We've experienced most of them at one time or another and can vouch for their quality.

• Deep Cove • Bowen Island • Capilano Suspension Bridge • Cypress Bowl • Grouse Mountain • Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge • Maplewood Farm • Mount Seymour * Mahon Park • Lynn Canyon Park • Museum and Archives • Presentation House Gallery. Air Highways and BC Scene will comment on shopping centers, golf courses, accommodation and other facilities including transportation later in this section.

For more information, contact:
North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
131 East 2nd Street, North Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada, V7L 1C2
Phone 604.987.4488  Fax 604.987.8272
mailto: info@nvchamber.bc.ca 


BC Scene Magazine: New web site featuring Economic Development, Travel and Tourism in British Columbia-Yukon and Cascadia (Washington-Oregon)

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: http://www.world66.com/vancouver/htm