Best Rainy Day Refuges


The labyrinth at St. Paul’s Anglican Church is a secret some won’t want us to share. A walk through this painted maze can occasionally become a bizarre traffic jam (there aren’t wrong turns, though; everyone reaches the flower-motif centre). On the last Friday of each month there’s a candlelit evening walk (7 to 9 p.m.) featuring live music. A perfect decompression. Just breathe. 1130 Jervis St., 604-685-6832 (ext 17).


The indie bookshop 32 Books in North Van is home to the city’s single best chair for a lazy perusal of the new
Miriam Toews. The generous, tan deal is often occupied by Jem, the store’s dog, though; your second-best option is the scarlet armchair (for people only) around the corner. 3185 Edgemont Blvd., 604-980-9032


Bacchus Lounge at the Wedgewood Hotel is replete with the sort of burgundy furnishings that seem to order the brandy themselves. Settle in just to the side of their carved limestone fireplace. Slip a bill to the piano player so he’ll quit with the Andrew Lloyd Weber routine and you’ve bought yourself an hour of firelit rumination. 845 Hornby St., 604-608-5319.


Ever since its vaulted ceiling was refurbished (and pews were replaced with movable seating, in the old style), Christ Church Cathedral at Georgia and Burrard has attracted more offbeat culture vultures. Our favourite: every Sunday at 9:30 p.m. (January through November) a firstrate Gregorian chant is sung for the Compline service, an ancient wonder for religious and secular folk alike.


For a highbrow punctuation in a drizzled weekend, watch a live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera’s productions on select Saturdays at Scotiabank Theatre. True, you’ll miss out on the champagne New Yorkers enjoy at La Bohème’s intermission, but those attending high definition screenings get behind-the-scenes interviews during breaks. All performances start at 1 p.m. For details:


Atop Queen Elizabeth Park, a climate-controlled geodisic dome stands sentry against the monotone local vegetation. Pools of koi, over 50 brightly feathered birds, and dazzling exotic plants are huddled inside this gem at the city’s “other” great park. (Then take in the view, the fountain installation, and a bottle of something swell at Seasons in the Park, just steps away.) 604-257-8584.