Haunted Vancouver – Scare Me

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I admit, I’m a sucker for a good ghost story. Although I have never experienced any paranormal activity (that I’m aware of) a good chilling tale will put me on alert and make my pulse race.

Best way to take in a story about hauntings and messages from beyond the grave? Take the Ghostly Walks tour in Victoria, the West Coast’s most haunted city. As for Vancouver, well there are haunted trolley tours and a few walking tours but they just don’t have the same effect since I’m fairly familiar with the ‘same old stories’… the Lady in Red at the Hotel Vancouver and the mysterious passenger in the trolley car inside the Old Spaghetti Factory… but are there any more tales out there? Something new, something recent?

Blood Alley – Photo credit: kk+ on Flickr – Static Photography

Matt from Metblogs wrote about the Century Restaurant last year and this morning I saw a little write up in the Metro about the Irish Heather in Gastown. They could just be rather timely marketing ploys, but who knows.

Here’s a quick write up I’ve heard before about a place I honestly never plan on visiting:

The Irving House Museum was the former home of the Irving family from 1862 to the 1950s. Staff and visitors have seen the ghost of Captain William Irving, the man who built the house, sleeping in his old bed where he passed away. Sometimes, the imprint of a body can be seen on the bed. Footsteps can be heard for no apparent reason and some staff members have heard a voice calling their name. Several visitors have reported animal heads on display turning their heads. [suite101]

If my aunt read my blog she could probably say a thing or two about working at Woodlands in New West. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.

Since it’s the day before Halloween and I’m all costumed-out, lets share a few stories. Leave your best personal experience with eerie happenings in Vancouver (and surrounding cities) in the comments below, and I’ll be sure to read them all tomorrow night, by candle light, with a baseball bat on standby.

Notes of the Passive Aggressive Variety

Comments 7 by Rebecca Bollwitt

A while ago we moved into a new office space. Since we have a fancy new kitchen the issue of dishes, garbage detail, and fridge cleaning arose. This was soon addressed civilly, which was rather amazing. I’ve been in office environments before where passive-aggressive notes (or emails) will appear every week, for weeks on end, with no resolve in sight to this mildly annoying and somewhat amusing standoff.

Recently after reading Tod’s post about the CBC’s new garbage cans, I came across a photo he posted from CBC Toronto. This immediately reminded me of another posted note, in fact it’s one of BR’s most viewed entries.

Like the four shining heroes raising Old Glory at Iwo Jima, like Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the chapel door, like John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising their hands at the Olympics in defiance; every act of resistance is a battle won, no matter how big or small. That is why, to my delight, walking past Blenz on Hastings to the Spartacus Books grand re-opening, I discovered a few notes taped to the door. Four employees, sick of slave wage labour and an ungrateful boss, up and left. Walked out, en masse, in the ultimate act of defiance against corporate middle management. [Beyond Robson]

Although clearly blunt and actively aggressive, this combined with the recently avoided note-incident at work and Keira’s toothpaste lady post, all initiated my Google search for notes. And just what are the best kind of notes? Passive-aggressive, most certainly.

I was so totally in luck because there does in fact exist a site at www.passiveaggressivenotes.com. WARNING! You may spend a LOT of time browsing the archives, giggling, agreeing, and remembering when you wrote that note to that dude about the towel. Enjoy.

Fireworks Time and Surrey’s New ByLaw

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

There are two sounds heard downtown on occasion that remind me of suburbia-living: lawnmowers and firecrackers. Around this time of year it sounds just like you’re living in the ‘burbs with all the explosive warzone-like symphony of firecrackers and fireworks outside your window every night until Halloween (and these ain’t comin’ from a barge off English Bay).

I swear sometimes when I look over at John there’s a part of him that thinks it’s something more than a holiday flare that just combusted outside the window.

Photo credit: svacher on Flickr

When I was little, after Trick or Treating we’d always head across the street to my friend Anne’s house and bundle up on her front steps. Her dad would proceed to light one of the twenty fireworks that came in a variety pack and soon we’d be “Ooohing” and “Aaaahing” with every colourful mini-explosion. The roman candles were pretty cool and sparklers are a crowd favourite however, there was always one pyrotechnical wonder shaped like a schoolhouse that would never light properly and leave us feeling a little ripped off.

With a hefty $5,000 fine it could be rather expensive to have a similar experience in Surrey this year.

Fireworks in Surrey are outlawed for all except those who have federal certification. With Halloween coming this week, Surrey’s fire department is reminding residents that a bylaw passed this year makes it illegal to let off or sell fireworks in this city.
[Surrey Leader]

Do bottle rockets count as fireworks/crackers? Geez I hope so, and I bet my mom’s cat hopes so too. I bet it will be a nice break for Surrey residents anyway… downtown now, eh.

Stanley Park Update

Comments 6 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Last week, a tree that John and I have passed many time on the Third Beach Trail was toppled by Mother Nature.

Lions Gate Trek

…Staff report that likely the heavy rains on Sunday morning weakened the root mass, and the severe easterly winds that followed later in the day were the cause of the demise of the ancient Western Red Cedar.

When the tree fell on Sunday, it split in half, falling across Third Beach Trail. The tree will be left where it fell and the trail around it adjusted to allow safe public access.

The Western Red Cedar gained widespread recognition when it was featured in the October 1978 edition of the National Geographic magazine. [Vancouver Parks Board]

The last time I walked by that tree it was during one of our early morning walks. I was huffing and puffing up a hill with John leaning back, “almost to the top!” when suddenly we heard the faint sound of music coming from the bushes below. It grew louder and more audible and I soon made out the lyrics, “And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto – For helping me escape just when I needed to…”. That park is always full of surprises.

This morning’s update is that the Sea Wall is expected to re-open next week.

The opening will finally afford public access to the most heavily damaged area of the park, 15 hectares of sloped terrain between Third Beach and Prospect Point. Merilees trail, which runs southwest for about 1.5 kilometres from Prospect Point to Third Beach and Ferguson Point resembles a disaster zone. [VancouverSun]

The article ends by saying more closures will come in the spring, but as for opening next week? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Strombo Coming to CFOX

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Is there politically, socially and culturally aware a female in Canada between the ages of 16 and 36 that doesn’t love this guy? Former MuchMusic VJ, and current host of the award-winning show, The Hour on CBC, George Stroumboulopoulos is coming to Vancouver airwaves starting next week.

Kicking off November 4th, between the hours of 2:00pm and 5:00pm, Canada’s beloved pierced and leather-bracelet wearing media hunk will be spinning tunes (although on-air personalities don’t actually spin the records anymore… and well they’re called “on-air personalities” instead of DJ’s again, for that reason), conducting interviews and leading discussions on 99.3 The Fox.

Strombo is no stranger to radio, it’s actually where he got his start.

Since hosting Punkorama and Live In Toronto on 102.1 the Edge in the late 90’s, George has gone on to interview the biggest newsmakers in the world… [CNW]

I must admit that even though all the AC/DC they play drives me nuts, I do love the “rock talk” content the Fox provides; from Taggart’s Take to my personal all time fave… Alan Cross’ “Ongoing History of New Music.” The fact that Cross is one of the executive producers of The Strombo Show definitely means I’ll be checking it out.

If you’re not in Vancouver you can still tune in on these other stations: Power 97 (Winnipeg) from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm CT and 102.1 the Edge (Toronto), FM96 (London) and Y108 (Hamilton) from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on Sundays.