Our last visit to Vancouver was a quick one. We had little time to explore this striking Pacific metropolis during a brief stopover after an Alaska cruise, and on this occasion, determined to give the city its due, I booked a weeklong stay. I rather wish it had been longer.
Although Vancouver now counts as Canada’s third-largest metropolitan area, the pedestrian-friendly city is quite young, with a founding date of July 1, 1867, the day “Gassy Jack,” a man known for his loquacity, erected his tavern in what is now the neighborhood of Gastown. Vancouver appears its age, with only a few historic enclaves, Gastown among them. Taken individually, most of the buildings lack architectural distinction. But the city as a whole looks magnificent on its peninsula, a gleaming forest of glass and steel surrounded by water and deep-green mountains.