Streetcar back in Business
Today (January 21st) marks the official first day of operations for Vancouver’s 2010 Streetcar. Called the Olympic Line, the service will be free transit system and will run between Granville Island and the corner of 2nd Avenue and Cambie Street from January 21st to March 21st. The Olympic Line is a state-of-the-art, accessible and sustainable transportation project. Two modern and fully accessible streetcars have been borrowed from Brussels. All trips on the Olympic Line will be free and the line will operate 18 hours a day for the 60 days from 6:30am to 12:30am daily with service every 6 to 10 minutes.

Cultural Olympiad Begins
Tomorrow (January 22nd) marks the official start of the ‘2010 Cultural Olympiad” which will run until March 21st although exhibits have been appearing all over the city in recent weeks. World-class theatre and musical works have also begun already including a must see for locals. ‘Beyond Eden’ runs from now until February 6th at the Vancouver Playhouse. Based on the explorations of renowned Haida artist Bill Reid, ‘Beyond Eden’ is the story of two friends who set out to rescue dilapidated totem poles from a deserted village off the north coast of British Columbia. The world première of this musical stars Spirit of the West singer John Mann. Tickets are still available.

Where did all of the garbage cans go?
Starting in December the City began removing permanent street furniture (primarily litter containers and news boxes) due to the security requirements of the Games. This removal was requested by the Vancouver Police Department and Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. Temporary litter receptacles (rings with plastic garbage bags) have been and will be installed around venues and along major pedestrian corridors. Several free-standing newspaper boxes and multiple publication news racks will be removed from high-security areas. Some bicycle racks in certain high-security areas may also be temporarily removed. The City will be setting up bike parking stations around competition and celebration venues to encourage people to consider cycling to events. All of the items that are removed will be returned to their original locations at the conclusion of the Games, in as timely a manner as possible.

Free Yoga
Lululemon Athletica and YYoga will be providing the gift of yoga to the world from February 12th to 28th to both residents and visitors. Up to 1,200 complimentary classes will be available across all six of YYoga’s centres located in Downtown Vancouver; Yaletown; Burnaby; North Vancouver; Richmond; and Whistler. More detailed information, including the launch of the website, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Need a place for your family or friends to stay during the Olympics? The Sunset Inn & Suites located in the West End is giving away one free room every day from now until February 12th as well as a grand prize three night package. Check out the contest on their website.

Did you know
There have been 1.8 million pairs of Red Mittens sold so far, and still counting!