6 Amazing Things You Might Not Know About Vancouver

I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon here with my own “Six (or 3 or 10) ____ (amazing/crazy/scary/weird) Things you Might Not Know About ___”. I grew up around here and that gave me some time to notice a thing or few about Vancouver. So here are Six Amazing Things You Might Not Know About Vancouver…

#1 Amazing Thing You Might Not Know About Vancouver

Every evening as the sun sets, the skies darken…with thousands and thousands of crows. They all fly east to their collective roost in the neighbouring municipality of Burnaby. They go out every morning and return home at night. My friend who works by their roost says it’s pretty creepy in the winter mornings when they are just getting up and she’s arriving for work. Never mind the smell when rain and crow poo mingle. But it’s a stunning sight overhead all across Vancouver, a steady stream of cawing crows.

As Crows Fly By

# 2 Amazing Thing You Might Not Know About Vancouver

Jimi Hendrix used to stay and play here in Vancouver. More specifically his grandparents lived here (Jimi was born in Seattle cuz his dad left Vancouver and met Jimi’s mom in Seattle). There’s a shrine to Jimi, in what used to be part of the building where his grandmother ran a restaurant called Vie’s Chicken and Steak House. It was in a predominately African-Canadian neighbourhood called Hogan’s Alley – full of jazz music and soul food. Like Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong. For real! That neighbourhood was destroyed with the excuse that the government needed to build giant concrete overpasses to connect to a highway through Vancouver…which funnily enough was never built, because the politicos changed their minds later about that. Why is there a shrine? So the story goes…years later after Jimi Hendrix died, there’s this Italian guy who is a huge fan of the late Jimi. He visits a museum on Jimi down in Seattle and sees a letter from Jimi addressed to the apartment building the Italian guy owns…in Vancouver’s now-Chinatown. Why would Jimi Hendrix mail to his building? He dug a little deeper and learned about the connection. And made a shrine.He still maintains part of it as housing for students, and keeps one part as a shrine, which is run by volunteers.

IMG_31801Jimi Hendrix Lives On In Vancouver!


#3 Amazing Thing You Might Not Know About Vancouver

When there was a gold rush near Vancouver (up in the Fraser River canyon), the common language was not English or French – it was something often called “Chinook Jargon”. When the City of Vancouver was starting to call itself as such, in the late 1800s, the language generally spoken there for both for social and business reasons among all the different peoples was Chinook Jargon, also called Chinuk Wawa or the old trade language.  It originated from the Chinook language, but also was influenced by other languages and spread across the Pacific Northwest. The height of use of this language was the 1800s, and many Europeans adopted the Chinook Jargon as the language at home and work. This was back in the day when there was a gold rush in BC, following the gold rush in California. People went cray cray for that stuff.

Hard work, panning for gold! Many people died following the gold rush dream.

Hard work, panning for gold! Many people died following the gold rush dream.











#4 Amazing Thing You Might Not Know About Vancouver

Cypress is not a mountain. Yes, there is a snow sports resort called Cypress Mountain, but there is no mountain called Cypress. The resort, where people ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and sled, is in between three mountains, none of which are named Cypress – they are Mount Strachan, Black Mountain, and Hollyburn Mountain.

Cypress "Mountain"

Cypress “Mountain” has natural features such as a parking lot

#5 Amazing Thing You Might Not Know About Vancouver

Vancouver has fewer rainy days than Abbotsford. Vancouver has the reputation of being a very rainy place (and it does rain a fair bit here, and that means beautiful rainforest!) But while the City of Vancouver averages 168 days of precipitation, the nearby City of Abbotsford averages 179. If it rains less than .2 mm it doesn’t count as a rainy day, in this measure, and this number includes snow, but that’s pretty rare on the west coast. Abbotsford is about an hour to 1.5 hour drive in light traffic to Vancouver. It’s eastwards into the Fraser Valley (the valley of the Fraser River).

Wet rainforest hikes are pretty awesome

Wet rainforest hikes are pretty awesome

6) Okay, admittedly this list of things is getting less interesting. I can only think of five right now. The sixth amazing thing is for you to discover! But, catchy title, right?


About cerawen

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