Fancy a fright? Vancouver’s tour guides have plenty of spooky tales to tell. Here are a few local ghost stories to haunt your holidays.
By CHLOË LAI
Have dinner with ghostly guests at The Old Spaghetti Factory (Photo © Jerry Coli/dreamstime.com)
If you’re checking into the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and there’s a strange woman in a red gown in your room, you haven’t been double-booked. According to local legend, you’ve just met the ghost of Jennie Pearl Cox—aka the Lady in Red—a regular at the hotel’s ballroom dances until she was killed in a car accident in 1944. Guests report seeing her pass through elevator doors, particularly on the 14th floor. When an episode of The X-Files was filmed at the hotel, she hovered outside the window, frightening a cameraman so badly that he fled the set and refused to return.
By SHERI RADFORD
ALL YEAR Vancouver is known as the modern and sparkling City of Glass, but it also has an ancient forest right in its heart. Stanley Park is a must-see, and to experience it in an unusual way, Talaysay Tours has teamed up with Arc Restaurant in the Fairmont Waterfront to offer Talking Trees. This unique cultural experience takes visitors into the heart of the park with an Indigenous guide, in order to learn about traditional uses for local trees and plants. Afterwards, dinner at Arc features an Indigenous-inspired menu that brings the day’s lessons to life—in the most delicious way possible. Who knew local history could be so fascinating, and taste so good?
By SHERI RADFORD
The Really Gay History Tour led by Glenn Tkach
To Nov. 2019 It’s hard to miss Glenn Tkach. Dressed head to toe in pink, he leads groups around downtown and the West End on The Really Gay History Tour. He tells the wild history of Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community, from outrageous drag queens to the gayest beer parlour in town. The tour celebrates gay pride but doesn’t shy away from Vancouver’s less-than-perfect past, including police raids and bookstore bombings. Forbidden Vancouver runs the tour on Sundays until Nov., plus every day during Pride (to Aug. 7).
By SANAM ISLAM
Foodlab, a stop on the Local Montreal tour (Photo: Sébastien Roy)
Bored of the CN Tower and Parliament Hill? Already seen Mont-Royale and the Vancouver skyline? If you’ve been to the usual tourist spots and want to explore new sights the next time you travel or you’re simply looking to rediscover your city, check out our list of unique tours across the country that are guaranteed to give you a fresh perspective.
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By SHANNON KELLY
West Edmonton Mall (Photo: courtesy West Edmonton Mall)
You know the ones: they have lines around the block, tacky souvenirs for sale, overpriced everything and/or locals warning you to stay away because they’re tourist traps. We beg to differ. These attractions and events may be big, bold, brassy and firmly marked on every tourist map, but they’re also unique experiences not to be missed. Plus, they’re just plain fun, if you don’t let a too-cool-for-school attitude get in the way. (more…)