Message from Vancouver Conference Chair

Dear CACBT-ACTCC 2018 Vancouver Delegates:

CACBT-ACTCC is a couple of weeks away so I thought it would be a good time to send information about the conference and Vancouver.

The program is set and we are excited about the content and hope that you will be as well! In the event that you have not seen the program at a glance, take a few moments to see the overall schedule. In past years we have printed the poster abstracts. This year the program book will only have the titles and authors. The CACBT website has the full poster abstracts should you wish to read more about the posters. The poster session will be Friday May 11, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. British Columbia wine and craft beer will be available for purchase in addition to cheese and other small snacks.

Getting to the conference hotels

If you are flying into YVR (the Vancouver airport) you can take public transit or a taxi. Ride sharing has not yet come to Vancouver, so Uber and Lyft sadly are not possibilities. If Alberta does cut off oil and gas supply to British Columbia, public transit may be the better option! If you are coming from elsewhere in Canada taking transit would be a good opportunity to see your tax dollars at work (light rail to the airport, The Canada Line, was a lasting legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics). Follow the signs at the airport for Canada Line. YVR is the terminus station so all departing trains will be heading into the city. There is no chance of going the wrong direction from YVR! Train tickets are available for purchase from the self-serve kiosk at the station. The journey will be approximately 25 minutes and will cost $9.10. Cash, debt or credit cards are all acceptable methods of payment. The closest station to both the Delta hotel and the Ramada hotel is Waterfront. There are many exits out of Waterfront station. Looks for the signs that say Granville Street. The Delta hotel is 350 meters from the exit and the Ramada is about 2 blocks further, but easily walkable with small luggage. I will leave it to Google Maps to give you the precise directions to either Delta Hotels Downtown Suites on Hastings St or the Ramada Limited Downtown Vancouver on Pender St. Taxi will cost between $35-40 and will take between 25-45 minutes depending upon traffic and road conditions.

Vancouver neighbourhoods

The conference center is located steps from Gastown, which is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Water St. is the main throughfare through Gastown. Following this cobblestone street will take you past many touristy gift shops as well as independent clothing and shoe stores including the flagship store of John Fluevog iconic shoe designer. Gastown is also home to some of the best restaurants in the city. One local vegetarian favourite, MeeT, is owned by the brother of fellow psychologist Marty Antony. There are also a number of place to grab a pint or a glass of wine with colleagues and new acquaintances. Steamworks is 1 block from the conference hotel. Other pubs in the area include the Blarney Stone and the Irish Heather.

Yaletown and Coal Harbour are other districts that are close to the conference center. Both neighbourhoods reflect the newer face of Vancouver. Yaletown came into being after Vancouver hosted the World’s Exposition in 1986. There are two mains streets in Yaletown, Mainland Street and Hamilton Street. Yaletown is home to many wonderful restaurants including Ciopinnos, Blue Water Café and Raw Bar, and for a more upbeat evening, Rodney’s Oyster House.

Coal Harbour is one of the newer neighbourhoods and on the edge of Stanley Park. Jack Poole Plaza contains the Olympic cauldron from the 2010 Olympics. Coal Harbour has many a high-rise condo tower as the views are amazing in all directions. If you are out for a stroll on the Coal Harbor seawall and fancy a gelato, Bella Gelateria in the Pacific Rim Hotel can’t be beat. For those of you interested in vegetarian fare, the Botanist is a new restaurant in Coal Harbor/downtown and it’s been getting a lot of positive attention.

The West End is Vancouver’s most densely populated neighbourhood and is a hub for the LGBTQ community. If you are out for a walk along the seawall and it is near lunch or happy hour, pop into the iconic Sylvia Hotel with its stellar views of English Bay. The two main streets in the West End are Davie and Denman. Both streets have a number of independent coffee shops and restaurants to suit most tastes. If you go for a wander in the side streets of the West End you will discover the charm of the neighbourhood with the tree-lined streets, a mix of old and new construction and pedestrian only walkways.

Further afield from the conference hotel are the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano, Main St and Commercial Drive. Each of these communities has a distinct and unique feel. Kitsilano was the original hippie hang out in the 1960s and has a wonderful beach and pool (an outdoor 137 meter salt water pool) that will unfortunately not be open in time for the conference. Main Street and Commercial Drive (affectionately known as The Drive) are colloquially referred to as East Van, the home of hipsters and counter culture. The Drive is the Italian area of town and has many a coffee shop and, naturally, Italian restaurants. If you have a big appetite and think you can put away The Beast in 30 minutes or less, a visit (and let them know ahead that you are going to attempt The Beast) to the Cannibal Café on the Drive is in order.

As you might have been beginning to suspect from the hyperlinks to eating opportunities, Vancouver is a foodie city. The Vancouver magazine recently held its annual restaurant awards. A full listing of the winners will provide an excellent overview and suggestions for dinner. Additionally, the CACBT-ACTCC registration desk will double as the local arrangements table. Please feel free to stop by for a suggestion. We are happy to help. We will also have on hand a list of restaurants favoured by our volunteers, broken down by category (ethnicity and price).

Attractions

Vancouver is a world-class city (and it’s not just our biased opinion). Some of what makes Vancouver a destination is the natural beauty of the landscape and the combination of the ocean and the mountains. There are not many places in the world where you can ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon.

Granville Island is a very popular destination for visitors and locals alike. It’s a fast and easy trip by public transit from the conference venue. Walk to Granville Street and take the 50 South. Navigating in Vancouver is easy when you realize that the mountains are North. It will take about 15 minutes on the bus and will cost $2.85 one way. There is much to explore on the Island. Go when you can take some time and get into the nooks and crannies of the Island.

A visit to Vancouver is not complete without a trip to Stanley Park, a 400-hectare rainforest in the middle of the city. Renting a bike for the 8.8 km journey about the seawall is a nice way to spend some time. Perhaps going to the aquarium, wandering the Rose Garden, take a horse-drawn carriage ride or walking one of the many interior paths. If you are a runner, the trails and seawall of Stanley Park await.

Vancouver has a thriving craft beer scene. There are a number of tour companies where you can arrange to join a public tour or if you have a group of friends and would like to do a private tour, that also might be a possibility. The public tours leave from Canada Place which is a 10-15 minute walk from the conference venue. A private tour will arrange a pick up and drop off at a location of your choice. A typical tour will visit 3 breweries and may include dinner and a behind the scenes look at the brewery.

Taking an sunset dinner cruise is a unique way to view the Vancouver skyline and the surrounding North Shore Mountains on the MPV Constitution. Departing from the Coal Harbour Marina at 7pm, it is a leisurely way to spend an evening.

 

If you have not been to Vancouver and would like to get an overview of the city, a hop on/hop off tour will give you an opportunity to get to know the city in a couple of hours.

Farther afield and over the bridge on to the North Shore, there are many outdoor things to do including a trip up the gondola to Grouse Mountain. A very popular activity is to hike up Grouse, colloquially known as ‘doing the Grind’. Unfortunately the Grind will likely not be open, as we will not have had sufficient snow melt. The gondola will have to suffice. There is public transit that goes to Grouse Mountain. Translink will help you to plan your journey. Another population destination for visitors on the North Shore is Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and park

I could go on for several more pages, as there are so many fantastic things to do in Vancouver. CACBT-ACTCC volunteers would be more than happy to provide suggestions of where to go and things to do when you are in Vancouver. Tourism Vancouver is also a treasure trove of information.

Shopping 

Robson St is a short 15-minute walk from the conference venue and has numerous high- end shops. Pacific Centre Mall is approximately 5 minutes from SFU Harbour Center and contains a cross section of shops. All of the communities discussed earlier (e.g., Main Street, Kitsilano) all have their own independent shopping areas with a variety of clothing stores.

Weather

Spring will be well underway. Unfortunately for those who are visiting Vancouver, the cherry blossoms will be finished but the rhododendrons will be in full bloom. For those who are interested, Van Dusen Botanical Garden puts on an impressive display.

Predicting the weather is not an easy job. As such Vancouverites are never far from an umbrella. The temperatures are typically around 15-18 C (in the low 60s for those of you not on the metric system). If you are outside, layers are often helpful. It does cool down at night though.

Hopefully this guide provides some assistance for people not familiar with Vancouver. Please don’t hesitate to ask any of the CACBT-ACTCC volunteers for tips and recommendations. As a Vancouverite I can say that we are proud of our city and the surroundings and are happy to share it.

Maureen Whittal
2018 CACBT-ACTCC Conference Chair (Vancouver)