Ten On The Cheap

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Contrary to what some might believe, Vancouver doesn’t have to be expensive.  By international standards it is still a pretty good deal for a world-class city.  But in case you want to spend a little less on your next trip to the city (or just looking for something to do on the weekend between pay cheques), check out our list of “ten on the cheap” courtesy of Tourism Vancouver.

  1. Dip into the environment at North Vancouver’s fascinating Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre (www.dnv.org/ecology), complete with hands-on displays, scale models and summertime nature programs.
  2. Watch a movie being made on the streets. Just look for the large white trailers or cut to the chase by checking out the current productions listed on the BC Film Commission website (www.bcfilmcommission.com).
  3. Plunge into the rainforest at Lighthouse Park on the North Shore. The park’s winding trails pass among some of Vancouver’s oldest trees and lead to the landmark Point Atkinson Lighthouse, built in 1912.
  4. Hike the Grouse Grind (www.grousemountain.com), a steep 2.9 kilometre (1.8 mile) uphill trek through the forest. It can take up to two hours, but you can take the gondola ride back down for $5.
  5. Get in a swim at two of Vancouver’s unusual public pools. The outdoor Kitsilano Pool is one of the largest heated saltwater pools in Canada and is open May to September. Stanley Park’s Second Beach pool is also outdoor – complete with shimmering views across the waters of English Bay.
  6. Observe one of the greatest life‑cycle stories in nature at North Vancouver’s Capilano Salmon Hatchery. Juvenile salmon are raised on site, and you can see them before they return to the river. During the fall, returning salmon struggle up the fish ladders to spawn.
  7. Take a watery spin around False Creek on a tiny Aquabus (www.theaquabus.com) ferry – head straight across to Granville Island or enjoy a leisurely cruise around the area.
  8. Hit the bike trails around the University of British Columbia’s forested Pacific Spirit Regional Park, the busy Stanley Park seawall or atop Richmond’s western dike to the old fishing village of Steveston.
  9. Head out for a summer picnic at Burnaby’s tranquil Buntzen Lake, a natural reservoir surrounded on three sides by steep, forested crags.
  10. Check out the region’s colourful seafaring heritage at Vanier Park’s Vancouver Maritime Museum (www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com) – complete with the dry-docked RCMP ship St. Roch, the first vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage in both directions.
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