Tap with Interac Debit on TransLink

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Paying your transit fare on every bus and gate throughout Metro Vancouver just got easier! TransLink customers can now pay for transit using Interac® Debit, making TransLink the first transit agency in Canada to fully integrate contactless Interac Debit payments systemwide.

Interac card at a TransLink fare gate

Tap with Interac Debit on TransLink

As part of TransLink’s Customer Experience Action Plan, TransLink,Interac, Moneris, and Cubic Transportation Systems upgraded more than 5,000 Compass Readers throughout TransLink’s system to make transit payments more convenient.

The upgrade allows customers to board transit by using Interac Debit with physical cards or through smartphone digital wallets. This allows customers to pay for transit more easily without having to use an in-station Compass Vending Machine or having to pre-load a Compass product with stored value.

Interac Debit payments is one more addition to the suite of available payment options for TransLink customers. Transit users can also pay with contactless credit cards, digital wallets, Compass Cards, Compass Wristbands, and Compass Minis.

Regional data from participants of a recent Interac Canada-wide survey found that a growing number of British Columbians want more convenient contactless payment options for transit:

  • 66% see debit as a convenient way to pay for transit.
  • 64% claimed that tap payments would save time when paying fares.
  • 56% would be interested in using debit or credit cards to pay for their trips if they had the option.
  • 69% believe it would be easier for visitors to pay for transit using their bank card as opposed to tickets, tokens, or passes.

TransLink reminds customers to please tap their card or smartphone when paying for transit, and not their wallets, to avoid card clash when paying.

Street Food City Food Truck Fest During Dine Out Vancouver

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Dine Out Vancouver Festival’s Street Food City will once again welcome thousands to šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Sample a collection of food trucks and carts in one convenient location from Saturday, January 21 to Sunday, January 29, 2023. Both the vendor lineup and the operating hours have been extended for the 11th edition of this foodie favourite.

Street Food City - Photo submitted
Street Food City – Photo submitted

Street Food City

Saturday, January 21, 2023 11:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday, January 22, 2023 11:00am to 7:00pm
Weekdays: 11:00am to 2:00pm
Saturday, January 28, 2023 11:00am to 8:00pm
Sunday, January 29, 2023 11:00am to 7:00pm

This year’s Street Food City boasts 17 participating food trucks dishing up an array of cuisines including:  Filipino eats; Sicilian-style fried risotto balls; plant-based Mediterranean comfort food; traditional fish & chips; gourmet mac n’ cheese, and more. The trucks will rotate throughout the festival so the best way to find the daily lineup is by following along on Instagram.
Tents provided by sponsor EVO Car Share will ensure that festival-goers can embrace the rain while fueling up, and local radio stations will be onsite (January 21 and 29) to add to the lively beat.

Food Truck Lineup

Disco Cheetah
El Cartel
Green Coast Coffee
Mama’s Fish & Chips 
Melt City
Mom’s Grilled Cheese
Mr. Arancino
Reel Mac & Cheese
Shameless Buns
Slavic Rolls
Super Thai
Taste Malaysia
Tornado Potato
Via Tevere Pizzeria

Also during the fest, The Lantern City will feature a display of lanterns in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery steps. Presented by LunarFest, the lantern installation will feature artists from the diverse communities of Vancouver. Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit through arts and culture.

Dine Out Vancouver 2023

The 21st annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival will take place January 20 to February 5, 2023. Taste the world across the city at more than 350 restaurants with multi-course meals and unique culinary experiences. Tickets for special events are on sale now, and reservations open January 11th.

Vancouver in 1923

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We just started a new year but let’s take a look back a hundred years to get a glimpse of Vancouver in 1923.

Vancouver in 1923

Panorama of Vancouver Harbour 1923 by Dominion Photo Company. Archives # 1399-626.1
Panorama of Vancouver Harbour 1923 by Dominion Photo Company. Archives # 1399-626.1.
Click here to zoom in on the full size version.

July 1923 – Prospect Point Signal Station

The official opening of the Prospect Point Signal Station in Stanley Park. It was installed to regulate all shipping in and out of Vancouver’s harbour. The two-storey structure was also called South Head, Calamity Point, Observation Point and Prospect Bluff. The station was made redundant by the construction of the Lions Gate Bridge, which opened in 1938. According to SquamishAtlas.com, the placename for the south end of where the Lions Gate Bridge sits is “Sch’ílhus”

View from the Prospect Point Signal Station in 1938 when the Lions Gate Bridge was under construction. James Crookall photo. Archives # CVA 260-833
View from the Prospect Point Signal Station in 1938 when the Lions Gate Bridge was under construction. James Crookall photo. Archives # CVA 260-833

August 3, 1923 – Great Pacific Highway

You could now drive on cement (a smooth, unbroken highway) from Vancouver to California along the Great Pacific Highway, which officially opened. It’s still known as the PacHighway crossing today, between Surrey and Blaine. You can find a historical stone marker on the corner of 176th Street and Highway 10 that marks the occasion.

Also in 1923

After the peninsula of what we now call Stanley Park was designated as a park, the City of Vancouver branded the families that lived there as squatters and applied pressure on them to leave. The “Squatter’s Eviction Trial” (1923) forced remaining Indigenous families to leave their homes and traditional land.

The Ballantyne Pier terminal was constructed to help with dock shortages. It was built in the Beaux-Arts style and began as a storage shed as part of a quartet of identical buildings.

Aerial view of Ballantyne Pier in the 1940s. Archives # Air P29.3
Aerial view of Ballantyne Pier in the 1940s. Archives # Air P29.3

The BC Government approved contracts to complete buildings at UBC, following The Great Trek and the student-run “Build the University” campaign in 1922. The Science building (today part of the Chemistry building), the Library, a power plant, and nine “semi-permanent” buildings (Arts, Agriculture, Applied Science, Administration, the Auditorium, and four laboratory/workshop buildings) most of which are still in use today.

Read more from 1923 in the History of Metropolitan Vancouver by Chuck Davis.

The Lantern City Lunar New Year Lantern Installations Return

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The Lantern City returns to light up the new year featuring pieces from Indigenous and South Asian artists at three sites across the city. Ringing in the Year of the Rabbit, these lanterns will also highlight Vancouver’s beautifully diverse communities.

The Lantern City 2021 - Miss604 Photo
The Lantern City 2021 – Miss604 Photo

The Lantern City

Visit these stunning installations at the following locations:

Lost in Nature – Coastal Lunar Lanterns
Location: Jack Poole Plaza
Dates: January 20 to February 15, 2023
Ovila Mailhot (Nlaka’pamux & Sto:lo Nation); George Littlechild (Plains Cree); Walis Labai / Diingwuu Wu (Sediq Tribe); Arucangli Rusagelet (Paiwan Tribe)

The Cycle – Forever Young
Ocean Art Works (Granville Island)
Dates: January 20 to February 20, 2023
Artists: Arts Umbrella – Patrick O’Neill; Rachel Smith (Kwakwa’kawakw & Wuikinuxv First Nations); Jessie Sohpaul (South Asian); Richard Hunt (Kwakwa’kawakw)

Our Wonderland – We Are Family
šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (North of the Vancouver Art Gallery)
Dates: January 20 to February 7, 2023
Artists: Arty Guava (Malaysian Canadian); Angela Aujla (South Asian Canadian); Phyllis Poitras-Jarrett (Métis); Ocean Hyland & Jesse Recalma (Tsleil-Waututh Nation & Qualicum First Nation)

LunarFest presented the first edition of these lantern installations as Coastal Lunar Lanterns a few years ago and thanks to interest from both artists and the public, it has expanded to more sites than ever across Vancouver as Lantern City. “The plan is always about engaging artists who don’t always celebrate the Lunar New Year, but who are passionate about sharing their stories with one of the most important Asian traditions,” say organizers. In 2021 there were lanterns at English Bay, and at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s north plaza. Last year, the program expanded to Granville Island.

Follow The Lantern City on Instagram and Facebook for more information.


Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival 2023

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Now in its 13th year, the Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival will feature over 140 hot chocolate designs featured at 95 locations. Try out some new neighbourhoods, and experience as many of these exciting, time-limited flavours as you can January 14 – February 14, 2023.

Greater Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival will feature over 140 hot chocolate designs featured at 95 locations January 14 to February 14, 2023
(L to R) Honolulu Coffee, Super Veloce, Honolulu Coffee (Bottom) Giovane

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival 2023

When it launched in 2011, The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival was the first city-wide initiative in the world to use hot chocolate beverage as a way to support small, local business.  Now bigger and better than ever, it features the region’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes and ice cream makers joining forces to make the humble hot chocolate hotter than it has ever been before.

Flavours & Chocolate Creations Galore

Sort your search by gluten free, dairy free, vegan option, and by which places are open late or have takeout/dine-in. View the full List of 140+ Flavours & Location Map »

At Giovane Caffè (1049 W Cordova St & 418 W Georgia), the modern take on an Italian coffee bar, you can try these two flavour: The Mandorlata Calda has rich cocoa powder and creamy almond butter. With a hint of cinnamon, topped with cinnamon sprinkles and crushed almond bits, the drink highlights the traditional Italian Almond flavour. Served with a side cantucci cookie. And the second option is the Amarena Calda, a dark chocolate cherry-infused hot chocolate made with plant-based milks, topped with chantilly cream and dusted with chocolate shavings. This drink is a nod to the Italian Tartofu – served with a vanilla amaretto cookie. 

Super Veloce (in the lobby of the Shaw Tower) will have the Testa Arancione (shown in photo above) which features house-made sugar-free orange zest syrup with cocoa powder and steamed almond milk, topped with vegan coconut cream and fresh orange zest. The drink comes with a Coconut Rocher Protein ball for some extra energy. Their second offering is the Miura SV/ Alfa Romeo Farina, a Macadamia Maca Dark Hot chocolate topped with cocoa and maca, served with a Pistachio Power Ball.

Honolulu Coffee (888 Nelson St, 2098 W 41st Ave, 97 W 2nd) has crafted two whimsical and tantalizing creations set to whisk Vancouverites away for a sweet escape: The Donut – A donut-shaped hot chocolate using 70% dark chocolate mixed with a single shot of espresso and finished with a sea salt cream cheese frosty topping. (Can be made decaf, but cannot be non-dairy). The drink is paired with a donut-shaped fudge chocolate cake glazed with refreshing raspberry icing. And Raincouver – This fun, 70% dark hot chocolate comes with pink Himalayan salt melting a cloud of suspended cotton candy.

Enjoy these and many, many more!

Enter The Fest’s Contest

Enter into the festival’s Instagram contest for sweet, sweet prizes, consisting of gift certificates valued at $1,500 from participating chocolate makers and cafes.  Tag your hot chocolate photos with #HCFphotocontest on Instagram and you could be enjoying chocolatey treats all year long. Winners will be drawn and announced on Valentine’s Day.