Coal Harbour ................. 16
An elegant waterfront residential enclave between downtown and Stanley Park, Coal Harbour is a neighbourhood for taking in vistas. Spot them across the inlet or reflected in the glittering glass high-rises, which are mostly stylish hotels and upscale condos (suites in Three Harbour Green can go for up to $22 million). In summer, traffic picks up, with pleasure boats coming and going from the marina and throngs of languid tourists replacing the seawall’s wet joggers
The waterfront Cactus Club Cafe ( 1085 Canada Pl., 604-6207410. Cactusclubcafe.com) boasts the best sunset-viewing in the ’hood and dishes out all the classics for which the chain (under Iron Chef Rob Feenie) is famous: rocket salad with parmesancrusted chicken, tuna tataki with papaya slaw, and rich butternut squash ravioli. Excellent wine list; no reservations (but then, it seats 500).
Unwind atop a tawny leather banquette in retro-Parisian Tableau ( 1181 Melville St., 604639-8692. Tableaubarbistro.com). Survey pop art while jazz curls around your 1181 apértif. It’s worth meditating over the menu: onion soup is an obvious starter, but the range of tempting mains and seafood (think crisp roasted duck breast and fresh-caughtlobster lyonnaise salad) challenges even the most decisive.
Claim a sidewalk table at Bella Gelateria ( 1001 W. Cordova St., 604-569-1010. Bellagelateria.com) and linger over the authentic Old World gelato that comes in classic fior di latte and stracciatella as well as on-trend flavours like salted caramel and saffron-rosewater. Round the corner to luxe Giovane Bakery ( 1038 Canada Pl., 604-695-5501. Giovanecafe.com) for espresso and a shouldn’t-butwill vanilla sugar bun.
The Urban Tea Merchant ( 1070 W. Georgia St., 604-692-0071. Urbantea.com) is an exquisite boutique purveying luxury teas by the Singapore-based TWG. Soaring ceilings allow for a mind-boggling library of 250 loose-leaf-tea tins stored in the shop’s walls. Staff are as knowledgeable as museum curators. Fine accessories such as 18-karat-gold-plated teapots and bone china cups complement the exclusive blends. Coal Harbour pups could learn a thing or two about a seriously pampered life from Yorkville pooches. Lucky for them, Toronto-based Bark & Fitz ( 561 Cardero St., 604-568-6096. Barkandfitz.com), purveyor of all things decadent for dogs, has touched down in town. Stop in for biscuit brownies and grooming services for your jet-setter best friend.
Loll around on coconut-shaped day beds on the city’s largest private patio, with a day pass at the Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim ( 1038 Canada Pl., 604-695-5300. Fairmont.com/ pacific-rim-vancouver).
Wander the Coal Harbour seawall and take in the bustling traffic of floating gas stations, gargantuan cruise ships, and purposeful ferries moving past the serene, land-bound sails soaring from the visually arresting Canada Place, which was command central for the 2010 Olympic Games.
Douglas Coupland unveiled his public art installation Digital Orca ( 1055 Canada Pl.) to national acclaim. The iconic pixel-inspired whale is illuminated with 950 LED fibre optics inside over 1,500 powercoated steel cubes. A few metres away smoulders the famed Olympic Cauldron.
The convention centre location of Club 16 ( 1055 Canada Pl., 604558-1600. Trevorlindenfitness. com), a gym founded by beloved Canuck Trevor Linden, features a 100-metre bank of windows where rows of equipment are positioned so members gaze at ocean and mountains. Drop-in fee for visitors: $10.
Cactus Club Cafe