Here in Vancouver, we’ve been looking at that clunky word—in bold neon letters, no less—every time we drive over the Granville Street Bridge, for about a year now. The sign, which means “A Total Work of Art,” was installed by developer Ian Gillespie and is a placeholder for what’s sure to be one of the grandest of architectural statements coming our way: a $200 million tower by Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels; Vancouver House’s cantilevered walls will pull back, like an enormous curtain of glass, to reveal the city beyond.
That sign reminds us that the various elements making up a city like ours (the postcard-perfect mountains, the thriving tech industry, the famously discerning restaurant scene) have come together to create the fantastic, chaotic, and utterly unique place that is here.
Wherever you’ve arrived from, and however long you’re staying, you are part of that. Vancouver is a city of strangers meeting. In fact, you’re about as likely to run into someone born in Shanghai or Calgary or Melbourne, as you are to meet folks from here. And together, we’re forming our own strange and beautiful Gesamtkunstwerk.
These pages were brought together to guide you during your own discovery of Vancouver. We hope they help you find what you’re looking for (and, in the case of the Korean tacos on page 72, maybe things you didn’t even know to look for). Enjoy these hallmarks of the city, and the many more gems we couldn’t fit in.