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WHERE TO SHOP, EAT, AND DRINKThe neighbourhood revolves around Douglas Park, a lively community centre and 13-acre city park with three jungle gyms (the smallest one ideal for toddlers), a basketball court, soccer pitches, baseball diamonds, and a running trail around the perimeter. 801 W. 22nd Ave., 604-257-8130.
The intersection of Broadway and Cambie is poised to become Vancouver’s version of Yonge and Bloor, connected to two subway lines (one completed this fall; a second in the planning stages), and a series of urban-scale big-box stores. Whole Foods opened their massive new location here in the spring, joining Save-On-Foods, Canadian Tire, Best Buy, Home Depot, and London Drugs.
Finally! A beer and wine store that organizes their inventory the way most of us actually think about it, not by varietal or country, but adjective—spicy, sweet, fruity, even “black teeth.” Still lost? Friendly staff are happy to lend their expertise. Firefly Fine Wines and Ales, 2857 Cambie St., 604-875-3325; Fireflyfinewinesandales.com.
Cambie Cycles has the city’s best selection of recumbent bikes—and they’re certainly visible in these parts—plus futuristic-looking velomobiles, old-fashioned urban bikes, and everything in between. Rent a bike for the day (prices from $20) and ride up Cambie Street to view-friendly Queen Elizabeth Park. 3317 Cambie St., 604-874-3616; Cambiecycles.com.
Shop Cocoon is an innovative retail collective, showcasing clothing, jewellery and crafts from up-and-coming local designers. It’s a fine place to snag a unique gift (kids’ tees from co+lab2, West Coast-inspired pendant necklaces from Janae Chiu), or to browse tomorrow’s trendsetters. 3345 Cambie St., 778-232-8532; Shopcocoon.com.Intimate 30-seat room, gracious service, and classic dishes like steak frites, coq au vin, and cassoulet: noted chef and restaurateur Andrey Durbach has created the quintessential French bistro in Pied-à-Terre. Lovely selection of French wines available by-the-glass. 3369 Cambie St., 604-873-3131; Pied-a-terre-bistro.ca.
Once a month, the historic Park Theatre screens films before they premiere in Vancouver. Complimentary breakfast (bagels, muffins, juices, coffee, and tea), and Q&As with guest speakers are included with the price of admission. Check their website for upcoming events. 3440 Cambie St., 604-709-3456; Festivalcinemas.ca.
EiO! stocks a fun mix of children’s toys in a variety of price points—we love the beautifully made lacquered wooden toys by Maya Organic, a sustainable initiative benefitting micro-entrepreneurs in India. 3404 Cambie St., 604-873-4543; Eiokids.ca.
Walrus’s retail philosophy is based on the interactive atmosphere of small European shops, where items aren’t just purchased, they’re adopted. In addition to art and design pieces for the home, there’s jewellery from Broken English, Swiss Velo-re belts (handmade from recycled bike tires), and whimsical ceramics inspired by take-out containers from NYC designer Lorena Barrezueta. 3408 Cambie St., 604-874-9770. Walsrushome.com
We love the Kino Cafe, with its scuffed wooden floors, sticky pitchers of sangria, and soulful flamenco performances. This is one of the best ways to spend an evening, and reservations are highly recommended; see their website for complete schedule of performances—and bring small bills for the hat. 3456 Cambie St., 604-875-1998; Kinocafe.ca.
The stunning, if name-challenged, Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre (Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park) will host curling events during the 2010 Games, and if you’re not into our national pastime, go to check out the brilliant architecture by local firm Hughes Condon Marler. 4601 Ontario St.
Coming soon: Stella’s Tap & Tapas Bar
MARKET WATCH 661 W. 20th Ave. Asking price: $879,000. Specs: 2227 sq. ft., five-bedroom, two-bath home, on the edge of Douglas Park. Coved ceilings, refinished oak and fir floors, and new cedar deck. MLS#: V737031