Be a Tourist in Vancouver
We think we know quite a bit about the city of Vancouver now that we have lived here for 7 years and we are often out and about, especially in the downtown core. But it is nice when we have visitors come to town to act like a tourist and go exploring. We had read about The Tour Guys on one social media platform or another and decided to give them a try .
The Tour Guys – Free Walking Tours
The Tour Guys operate in Toronto and Vancouver and offer three types of tours – free walking tours, private tours and school tours. The Vancouver walking tours cover various routes including Granville Street, Granville Island, Olympic Village, Chinatown and more. Tours currently run several times per day. The tour guide meets the group at a pre-set location. The guides get paid by the tips that they make so they had better be good if they want to make some money. We chose the Chinatown tour at 11:00am on a Thursday and our guide was great!
Be prepared to walk. The Tour Guys tours range from 50 to 100 minutes in length with the Chinatown tour being 100 minutes. This is partly due to the meeting location at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is a central place to start the tour but requires about 10 minutes walking down Georgia to Library Square before the tour really gets started. Our guide filled the walk with interesting tidbits about other downtown buildings and history – some of which was new to us.
The tour stopped about every block after that with a lot of interesting stories about the buildings, history, people of the neighbourhood, plus fun and strange facts and figures. Our guide had a genuine interest in the topic.
Dr. Sun Yat – Sen Park
The Tour included a walk through Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park . This is the free park next to the classical Chinese Garden and worth a visit even without the walking tour. We had been here several times before but not for a few years and forgot how amazing it is to walk inside the walls and leave the city behind. The park is not a traditional Chinese garden but rather a City of Vancouver public park, designed and built around the same time as the garden by local architects using modern equipment. While all of the materials in the Garden are from China the materials in the park are from North and South America and Mexico. Regardless of the origin of the park it is a place to relax, enjoy the quiet, stroll the paths, and watch the fish and frogs with the city as a backdrop.
Canadian Chinese Monument
The tour ended at the Monument to Chinese-Canadian veterans. It was cast in China by Chinese sculptor and muralist, Shu ren (Arthur) Cheng to recognize the efforts and lives of the both the Chinese who built the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1881-1885 and fought in WWII from 1939-45.
We enjoyed our tour with The Tour Guys and like the idea of paying for the service we receive, which we did. Others in the group also seemed to enjoy the tour, and paid the guide. Next time we have visitors in town we may try another route.
We, Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other a Biz Blog where we comment on business best practices and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf Solutions for 7 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries. We DO NOT get paid for ANY of the blogs on our website. These are the places we visit and the things we do because we want to. When we say that we like or dislike something or have a good or bad experience this is our opinion and the truth as we see it. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us anytime.