Stanley Park Rose Garden Path

Stanley Park Rose Garden

Stroll along the paths and take in the aroma of dozens of blooming flowers in the Rose Garden in Stanley Park. While summer is nearly over, it’s not too late to enjoy the colour, depth and selection of the roses, whatever the time of year may be. A collection of photos over the years are available for viewing on Gallery.

Interurban car 1207

A look back at the interurbans

Even though the Downtown Historic Railway is out-of-service, you can still experience the heritage interurbans online. Browse through pictures and brush-up on the routes these versatile rail cars took on their journeys through the Lower Mainland.

Anime Conventions

What is an anime convention?

Curious about what goes on at an anime convention? Ever wondered why people wear costumes to these events? Where can I find one that’s nearest to me? It’s my first time, what do I need to bring? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the all about anime conventions and the convention checklist articles.


Bright Nights in Stanley Park returns November 26

Santa's reindeer are ready for Bright Nights in Stanley Park!

Santa’s reindeer are ready for Bright Nights in Stanley Park!

Light up those dark evenings with Bright Nights in Stanley Park! Opening Thursday, November 26th, some three million colourful Christmas lights will be strung up around the Stanley Park Train Plaza for everyone to enjoy.

The Stanley Park train will be decorated in a Christmas theme with live performers alongside the tracks. While the displays in the plaza are free (a donation is recommended), tickets are required to ride the miniature railway. As it is a popular destination, advance tickets are advised. Donations and portions of the ticket proceeds go towards the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park runs until Saturday, January 2nd, 2016. Tickets for the Miniature Train and schedules can be found on the City of Vancouver web site.

Digimon Adventure Tri. to stream on Crunchyroll November 20

The original DigiDestined have reunited! Fans in Canada, United States, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand can catch the first four episodes of the long awaited Digimon Aventure Tri. on Crunchyroll starting at 7:00 am PST on November 20th, 2015.

Six years after their first foray into the Digital World over summer, the DigiDestined have grown up and moved on. The tranquility since the portal to the Digital World closed is not to last as a monster appears in Taichi Yagami’s hometown of Odaiba. Taichi is helpless; unable to stop the destruction of his neighbourhood caused by Kuwagamon. But when Kuwagamon’s attention turns towards Taichi, the teenager’s long silent Digivice activates…

Digimon Adventure Tri. is a six-part theatrical anime release as a sequel to the original Digimon Adventure which aired back in 1999.

Source: Crunchyroll

Twilight Princess gets HD treatment for Wii U, includes new amiibo

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD with amiibo

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD with Wolf Link and Midna amiibo bundle package.

During the Nintendo Direct live streaming event, it has been revealed that the gaming company will be giving The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess a visual overhaul for re-release on the Wii U just in time for the 30th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda series.

In addition to the graphics update, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD will also be able to interact with the amiibo mini figures. A special amiibo has been created just for the game: Wolf Link with Midna. In addition to this, the five existing Legend of Zelda amiibo from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U are also compatible allowing data to be shared between titles.

Growing up in a remote village, Link leads an ordinary life. When mysterious creatures from another world attack his home, he is dragged into a ghostly rendition of Hyrule and transformed into a wolf. Teaming up with the enigmatic Midna, Link must use his shape-shifting abilities to seek out the goddesses and save his friends and Hyrule.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was originally available for the Nintendo GameCube and Wii consoles in 2006. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD will be available on March 6th, 2016.

Source: Nintendo

Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud to appear in Super Smash Bros.

In the first Nintendo Direct since the passing of Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata this past July, a new challenger for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U is joining the already diverse cast. Cloud Strife, the spiky-haired, massive sword-wielding protagonist from Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy VII, will be a downloadable character.

Cloud appears in the uniform he wore in Final Fantasy VII, A purple collared tank, metallic shoulder guard, brown leather belt and suspenders, and baggy pants. Of course, Cloud does bring his extended wardrobe with him including the outfit worn in the spin-off movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. This includes a charcoal outfit adorned with buckles, a wolf brooch on his left shoulder and partial cape.

In terms of fighting skill, the ex-SOLDIER makes use of his hefty Buster Sword. Watch out for the Limit Breaks Braver and Climhazzard — they can deliver a powerful punch. However, these all pale in comparison to his Final Smash: Omnislash.

Accompanying Cloud is a new level, based on the dystopian city of Midgar. The stage seems docile enough, until the trademark summons from the Final Fantasy series show up. There’s Ramuh, Leviathan, Ifrit, and Bahamut — all interact with the stage to increase the challenge.

Cloud is not the only non-Nintendo character to appear in the Super Smash Bros. franchise: Sonic, Mega Man, Pac Man, Solid Snake and Ryu.

No date for Cloud’s release has been made available.

Source: Nintendo

Remembrance Day 2015 Ceremonies

On Wednesday, November 11th, communities around Metro Vancouver will be holding ceremonies to honour the men and women who serve and have given their lives for Canada.

The Veterans Affairs Canada Calendar of Events web site has a searchable listing of additional events and memorials recognizing the sacrifices Canadians have made.

  • Vancouver – Ceremony and Parade at Victory Square (West Hastings Street between Cambie and Hamilton streets). Starts at 9:45 am PST.
  • Burnaby – Remembrance Day Ceremony at North Burnaby Cenotaph in Confederation Park (Willingdon Avenue and Penzance Drive). Starts at 10:30 am PST, followed by the ceremony at 11:00 am PST.
  • Burnaby – Remembrance Day Ceremony at South Burnaby Cenotaph in Bonsor Park (Imperial Street and Nelson Avenue). Parade starts at 10:30 am PST, followed by the ceremony at 11:00 am PST.
  • New Westminster – Ceremony at the Cenotaph in front of New Westminster City Hall (511 Royal Avenue). Starts at 10:30 am PST.
  • Delta – Parade and Ceremony at Ladner Memorial Park (5010 47th Avenue). Parade starts at 10:15 am PST followed by the ceremony at 10:45 am PST.
  • Delta – Ceremony at North Delta Social Heart Plaza (11415 84th Avenue). Starts at 10:40 am PST.
  • Surrey – Ceremony at Cloverdale Cenotaph at the Surrey Museum and Surrey Archives (17710 – 56A Avenue). Starts at 9:30 am PST.
  • Richmond – Ceremony and Parade at Richmond City Hall (6911 No. 3 Road). Parade leaves Minoru Park at 10:20 am PST followed by the ceremony at 10:40 am PST.
  • Coquitlam – A Remembrance Day service will be held at the Como Lake Middle School Auditorium (1121 King Albert Avenue) beginning at 9:30 am PST, followed by a parade from the Como Lake Middle School to the Cenotaph at 10:00 am PST and concluding with services at the Cenotaph in Blue Mountain Park (975 King Albert Avenue).
  • North Vancouver – The JP Fells Pipe Band will march from the Armories on 15th and Forbes Avenue at 9:30 am PST towards the Cenotaph at Victoria Park (100 East Keith Road) for the ceremony starting 10:30 am PST.
  • White Rock – A parade will start at 9:30 am PST leading to the wreath-laying ceremony at the White Rock Cenotaph (15322 Buena Vista Avenue).

Vancouver’s vision for the viaducts

Georgia Street Viaduct

The Georgia Street viaduct with Concord Pacific Place and Creekside Park in the foreground.

Last week, Vancouver city council voted to remove both the Georgia Street and Dunsmuir Street viaducts just east of the downtown core. Over the past few years, council has crafted an elaborate proposal towards the demolition of the two elevated concrete roadways and their approaches to open up the space for new parkland and housing developments.

Originally part of grandiose scheme to create a massive freeway system into Vancouver’s central business district under the unimaginative label “Project 200“, the Georgia Street and Dunsmuir Street viaducts were the only part of this that were weld into reality (the other is the international-style tower at Granville Square, home to the offices of the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers). Project 200 would have connected to the Trans-Canada Highway that runs through the city’s eastern border and include a new tunnel under Burrard Inlet to the North Shore while running through Gastown and the waterfront. Nothing more from this project was built.

Though these viaducts are not the first as another structure for Georgia Street dated back to 1915 crossed what was then marshy industrial land. Historic communities, including Hogan’s Alley, were destroyed to make way when the new viaducts opened in 1972. The Georgia Street viaduct handles all eastbound traffic while the Dunsmuir Street viaduct handles all westbound traffic.

Dunsmuir Street viaduct

The Dunsmuir Street viaduct seen from a passing SkyTrain headed east.

Underneath the viaducts the land has remained relatively barren. A skate park resides beneath Dunsmuir Street at the intersection Union and Quebec Streets, while a parking lot for Rogers Arena lies to the east of the building, surrounded by Pat Quinn Way, Expo Boulevard, Carrall Street and Pacific Boulevard. The afore mentioned Rogers Arena is squeezed between the overpasses and takes advantages of the upper sidewalks to funnel visitors in and out of the stadium. At the eastern ends of the viaducts, on and off-ramps occupy two blocks of city-owned land, which would open up for further development.

Bounded by the SkyTrain tracks and Georgia Street viaduct is Concord Pacific Place, a paved lot that hosts a number of events throughout the year including the giant tents for Cirque du Soleil, staging areas for filming and other community affairs. Part of this spot would become home to an expanded Creekside Park, while the remainder becomes a potential residential zone.

Council has put forth that with the viaducts gone Georgia Street will slope down between BC Place Stadium and Rogers Arena before connecting into re-aligned Pacific Boulevard. Dunsmuir Street will terminate at Beatty Street; traffic will be flow along Pacific Boulevard, up Georgia Street and then onto Beatty Street to reach Dunsmuir Street. Improved connections to Abbott, Carrall, Quebec and Main Streets are being touted as benefits along with seismic stability, beauty and reduced maintenance costs.

A map outlining road re-alignment after removal of the Dunsmuir and Georgia Street viaducts.

A map outlining road re-alignment after removal of the Dunsmuir and Georgia Street viaducts. Source: City of Vancouver

In terms of cost, the removal was originally estimated to be $130 million, but recently, that number has spiked to $200 million; a hefty sum for the tear down, road reorientation and development. A Business in Vancouver article mentions that TransLink could be footing at least $10 million as part of its mandate to support the region’s roads and transit infrastructure. In a CTV report, acting city manager Jerry Dobrovolny stated that taxpayers won’t be shouldering the costs and that the money would come from the developers building on newly available land.

Of course, there’s two sides to every argument; an article posted on Van City Buzz expands on the effects of losing the viaducts including the change in traffic flow, concerns over bicycle and pedestrian safety (Dunsmuir Street carries one of the city’s many dedicated bike lanes), and overall costs regarding demolition of the viaducts. The article even provides examples on how the land underneath the existing viaducts could be put to better use, comparing cases from around the world.

While city council may have voted towards removal, the provincial government doesn’t agree with the decision. The CBC reported British Columbia’s Transportation Minister Todd Stone has voiced concerns over plans that impact the movement of commodities and people should be considered at a regional level. Minister Stone added that many users of the viaducts don’t reside within the city of Vancouver, but are average commuters.

However, you have to give some credit to the city for opening up the discussion on the future of the viaducts. On the city’s web site, there are interactive maps with before-and-after images, technical documentation and assessments, and feedback forms for input from citizens. A number of open houses were held to allow citizens to voice their concern and ask questions regarding the plans for the removal of the viaducts and usage of the space.

Even though the fate of the viaducts is sealed, it’s only a matter of time for the road closures to begin as the scaffolding rises to bring down these monolithic transportation arteries.

BC Ferries to discount vehicle fares on select Nov/Dec sailings

BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay arrives at the Horseshoe Bay terminal.

BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay arrives at the Horseshoe Bay terminal.

BC Ferries has announced a new promotion that will cut 50% off the cost of standard vehicles travelling all routes on select off-peak sailings. Cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, campers and vans under 20 feet (6.09 meters) are eligible for the half-price fare.

For routes between Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands, the discounted vehicle fare takes effect only on Monday to Thursday, and Saturdays from November 16th through December 19th, 2015. Northern routes including the Inside Passage, Haida Gwaii, Discovery Coast, and between Skidegate and Alliford Bay, the discounted fare will be available on all sailings November 15th through December 20th, 2015.

For a list of sailings that qualify, frequently asked questions and terms, visit the BC Ferries web site.

BC Ferries held a similar promotion for 50% off passenger fares on its routes. While the discount for major routes between Vancouver and islands ended on October 15th, 2015, travellers on the northern routes can still take advantage of the price reduction until October 31st, 2015.

Source: BC Ferries

Symphony of the Goddesses adds more tour dates, including Canada, Mexico, Europe

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses: Master Quest performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, BC.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses: Master Quest performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, BC.

The wildly popular The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is on the road again! With success around the world, the live musical concert based on the Legend of Zelda video game series had added more dates to its schedule as it tours the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Portugal and Germany.

A full orchestra performs the four-movement symphony with selections from titles in the franchise including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Visuals from the franchise accompany the music, bringing more impact to the experience.

Unlike traditional symphonies, fans are encouraged to cosplay and wear their favourite Legend of Zelda gear to the concerts. Posters, t-shirts and music books will be available for purchase at each venue and through the symphony’s online store.

The 2016 leg of the concert will stop in 26 cities. Tickets can be purchased in advance through The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses web site.

  • Nashville, TN at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on January 21st and 22nd, 2016
  • Boston, MA at the Symphony Hall on February 23rd, 2016
  • Costa Mesa, CA at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on March 8th, 2016
  • Toronto, ON at the Sony Centre on March 19th, 2016
  • Jacksonville, FL at the Moran Theatre on March 24th, 2016
  • Kansas City, MO at the Music Hall Kansas City on March 26th, 2016
  • Memphis, TN at the The Orpheum on March 31st, 2016
  • New Orleans, LA at the Saenger Theater on April 1st, 2016
  • Columbus, OH at the Ohio Theater on April 3rd, 2016
  • Charlottesville, VA at the JPJ Arena on April 8th, 2016
  • London, UK at the SSE/Wembley Arena on April 23rd, 2016
  • Guadalajara, Mexico at the Auditorio Telmex on May 11th, 2016
  • Monterrey, Mexico at the Arena Monterrey on May 13th, 2016
  • Mexico City, Mexico at the Arena de Ciudad on May 15th, 2016
  • San Antonio, TX at the Majestic Theater on May 21st, 2016
  • Los Angeles, CA at the Dolby Theater on June 13th, 2016
  • Austin, TX at the Long Center on June 23rd, 2016
  • Montreal, QC at the Place des Arts on June 25th, 2016
  • San Francisco, CA at the Davies Symphony Hall on August 21st, 2016
  • Atlanta, GA at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on September 10th, 2016
  • Edmonton, AB at the Southern Jubilee on September 21st, 2016
  • Vancouver, BC at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on September 23rd, 2016
  • Paris, France at the Palais Des Congres on October 8th, 2016
  • Lisbon, Portugal at the Coliseu de Lisboa on October 14th, 2016
  • Essen, Germany at the Grugahalle on October 15th, 2016
  • Chicago, IL at the Chicago Auditorium on November 12th, 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is a joint production between Nintendo and Jason Michael Paul Productions, Inc.

Symphony of the Goddesses to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The popular The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses will be making a stop at the Ed Sullivan Theater for a guest performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert scheduled for broadcast on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015.

Nintendo made the announcement on their Legend of Zelda Facebook page, adding that the concert will include selections from the upcoming Nintendo 3DS title, The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes.

The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes will be available for purchase October 23rd, 2015.

Source: Facebook

Sword Art Online movie announced on US SOA web site

A Sword Art Online movie has been authorized and will feature a new story by series author Reki Kawahara. Tomohiko Ito has been named as director, with character designer Shingo Adachi and produced by A-1 Pictures. Both Tomohiko Ito and Shingo Adachi have worked together on the anime series Sword Art Online and Sword Art Online II as director and character design, respectively.

Dates for release in Japan or elsewhere were not included.

Source: Sword Art Online II US Official Website

Popular Articles

Naruto Shippuden Jacket at Hot Topic

For the Naruto fan, Hot Topic is now selling the Shippuden version of the blond ninja’s jacket. Ripple Junction, manufacturer of tees based on anime, cartoons and movies, has faithfully… Read the rest of this article…

Anime Footwear

Most anime series have loads of merchandise featuring images of the main characters or logos and replicas of items used in those series. There’s a lot of apparel from some… Read the rest of this article…

Common Misconceptions About Canada

I have quite a few friends in the United States and a few days ago, one of them asked me if Canadians used different electrical outlets than Americans. Not sure… Read the rest of this article…