Metro Vancouver Park Series: Belcarra Regional Park

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was inspired to create an entry for my Metro Vancouver Park Series after my recent kayaking trip so here’s what you’ll need to know about exploring Belcarra.

Metrics: 1,100 hectares (2,718 acres) with 22 km of hiking trails and 9.5kms of bike trails.

Lake Sasamat – Photo credit: jkaneda on Flickr

How to Get There: There are three main destinations in Belcarra Regional Park that include Buntzen Lake in Anmore, White Pine Beach at Sasamat Lake, and Belcarra beach / day-use recreational area.

If driving, head into Port Moody and take Ioco Road North/West, continue to 1st Ave and turn right following 1st as it becomes Bedwell Bay Road where you’ll find White Pine Beach (often crowded since it’s so popular). Continue on Bedwell Bay Road to the three-way stop, turn left, then keep right to the picnic area parking lot. By transit you can take the C26 community shuttle from Port Moody Station to Belcarra Road right down to Midden Road or hop off earlier if you have another destination along the way.

Belcarra Picnic Area & Ocean Beach – Photo credit: bchow on Flickr

Features: Dogs are allowed on-leash, there are picnic areas (two covered), concession, swimming, tour bus access, boat launch, and many more facilities.

History: On August 22, 1979 the Village of Belcarra was incorporated but the history of the region runs far deeper. “Belcarra was a traditional camping area for the Tsleil-waututh, the First Nations people whose territory it is in.” [wiki] Mr John Hall from Ireland purchased the a land in 1882 (Lot 229), which included the entire present-day Belcarra picnic site, more than half of the Belcarra Peninsula and all of the Turtlehead and Whiskey Cove areas [pdf]. Hall got caught up in a murder and promised his attorney, William Norman Bole, all of his land in exchange for his defense. “William Norman Bole gave Belcarra its Celtic name that means “the fair land on which the sun shines”. In 1886 he became an MLA and in 1889 a judge of the County Court of New Westminster. In 1908, he subdivided Lot 229 and it was registered in the name of Belcarra-Bedwell Bay Land Company.” [pdf]

Photo credit: Cheryl_J on Flickr

Notes: When I was little I used to affectionately call Belcarra’s picnic area the “goose poop” park because of all the Canadian geese that would hang out on the lawn. There’s plenty of wildlife, from geese to sea stars, and it’s the ideal beach for an afternoon nature walk. Take a stroll along the water’s edge, making discoveries in tide pools, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Death Cab for Cutie at the Pacific Coliseum

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

If you’re a long-time reader of you’ll probably know that the band Death Cab for Cutie has a special place in my heart. John introduced their music to me when we were dating and a song by Ben Gibbard will forever remind me of him. We even played Death Cab at our wedding and we walked out to the receiving line to a song by The Postal Service (one of Gibbard’s side projects).

It just so happens that Death Cab for Cutie will be playing the Pacific Coliseum on July 16th, and we’re going to be there. Here are some tunes from their latest album, Narrow Stairs, that you might have heard on that fine local radio station, The Peak.


I Will Possess Your Heart

Ra Ra Riot from Syracuse, NY along with Vancouver super-group The New Pornographers will be opening up the show.

Ra Ra Riot

The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers are comprised of solo artist Neko Case, members of Limblifter, Age of Electric, The Evaporators (I swear that’s Nardwuar in the video above) and other talented individuals. Tickets are still available for the concert on July 16th so if you’re planning on attending I’d be all for a Death Cab Tweetup.

Ride to Conquer Cancer 2009

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This weekend thousands will set out on their bikes in support of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. For months participants have been training to ride from Vancouver to Seattle while raising funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.

The Ride kicks off with an official opening ceremony this Saturday at 7:00am in the Guildford Town Centre parking lot (adjacent to Empire Theatres). There are also designated cheering sections so that the public can encourage participants while they face this two-day, 200+km challenge. The first cheering station will be over at Enver Creek Secondary, from 7:00am until 9:00am and from there other cheering stations include Marine Drive in Bellingham, Cady Park in Snohomish, and DeYoung Park in Woodinville, Washington on June 21st.

Metropolis at Metrotown's Dinosaurs Unearthed

Comments 7 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The new Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at Metropolis at Metrotown is designed to inform and entertain kids and adults alike throughout these school-free summer months. I stopped by recently with my sister and my nephews to check things out and take their free guided tour.

Dinosaurs Unearthed... in the mall

Dinosaurs Unearthed

We started off at the Grand Court (where I have previously experienced the World Vision exhibit… and Santa Claus) where they had two impressive animatronic dinosaurs on display. This included a feathered tyrannosaurus, the first one of its kind ever to be displayed in Canada.

Dinosaurs Unearthed... in the mall

Our Tour Guide & Feathered T-Rex

The dinosaurs are interactive, meaning kids can sit at a control panel and push buttons that will make them roar, move their tails, blink their eyes and move their limbs.

Feathered T-Rex

Our guide was great with the kids and she shared some basic dinosaur know-how, leading us from the Grand Court to another exhibit over in the Atrium (on the Metropolis side).

Cameron... still as T-Rex

Dinosaurs Unearthed

Dinosaurs Unearthed

The kids had fun and love dinosaurs (they’ve both been to Drumheller, Alberta to boot) and Cameron insisted on acting like a T-Rex most of the time, which seemed fitting.

Cameron as T-Rex

Booth and Cam... I think he's T-Rex again

Dinosaurs Unearthed will be on display (at both locations) in Metropolis at Metrotown until mid-September. While you’re there, the kids might also enjoy the Metropolis Express miniature train that runs through the mall. Rides are by donation and proceeds go to local charities.

Most Grouse Grinds in a Day Record to be Challenged

Comments 12 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Local realtor, and Twitter contact to many, Sebastian Albrecht (@salbrecht) will attempt to break the record for the most successful Grouse Grind climbs in a day on June 22nd. He shares the current record of 12 with Jason Chong however he’s taking it upon himself to break it — and all for a good cause.


Albrecht is taking pledges and donations to help support the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation (@RLPShelterFdn) in the hopes of raising $10,000.

According to the news release I received, “Each hike up the Grouse Grind is 2.9km or 9514 ft. When Albrecht hikes up the Grouse Grind 13 times, he will have hiked 37.7km or over 123,000 ft. The equivalent of walking up the Eiffel Tower 116 times, Toronto’s CN Tower 68 times or climbing the altitude of Mount Everest more then one and a half times in one day!” … and here I thought blogging for 24-hours straight for charity was a challenge.

Photo credit: cpirate on Flickr

You can visit Albrecht’s website to learn more about this campaign and donate to support his run. He’s added incentives such as an iPod Nano prize draw for one lucky supporter and if he doesn’t break the record, he’ll donate $500 out of his own pocket for each climb he didn’t make*.

*see website for details


Update: HE DID IT! Last night around 11pm Sebastian posted to Twitter: “Finished #grousegrind # 13 in 1:06. Woo hoo!”. He broke the world record and was updating his Twitter status along the way. He is still in the process of raising his goal of $10,000 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation so please his website to donate and support this amazing feat.