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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Video Vancouver Original: Winter Solstice Beat

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The HD version is highly recommended and available at its Vimeo page.


Winter in Vancouver is not quite like winter in other Canadian cities. There is a unique beat that arrives in the city as the days get longer and the nights get shorter.

Even on cold days, Granville Island is bustling with people. Les Finnigan, a regular busker with a gentle demeanour, plays his soothing acoustic tunes as our eyes wander out to sea.

Sometimes it only takes a bit of skipping – preferably in your bright pink snowpants – or bouncing on your feet side-to-side to warm yourself up. Robson Street is where many of us use shopping as an excuse to walk while spending time with friends and family.

Whether young or old, skaters at Robson Square do not tire of their happy round-a-bouts. Since reopening after the Olympics, the outdoor rink has returned to locals. The rink fills up during the day and well into the night.

Who said bright yellow ponchos are cumbersome? Beaming a nice glow as you ride down Dunsmuir will get you enough attention no matter how heavy the rain pours down. The Dunsmuir and Hornby lanes are continuing to be used by cyclists throughout the wet months. Once in a while, a jogger can even be spotted using the lane. It’s the lanes’ first full winter and a successful one at that worthy of high-fives amongst our fellow riders.

The last week of December ended with bitter blasts of chilly air, followed by intense rain showers. Vancouverites bear this kind of weather triumphantly, year after year, saving the evenings to be outdoors discovering their very own winter solstice beat. We find the time to be colourfully lit skaters in Robson Square, blinking cyclists with white front and red rear lights, and most popular of all, joyful walkers exploring our downtown community.


Kathleen Corey likes tiny apartments over shops, hikes with panoramic city views, and flowing urban landscapes. While in the San Francisco Bay Area, she led design processes for the India Basin community farm and Wilkie Creek outdoor classroom. Kathleen completed the Urban Design certificate at SFU’s City Program and is working toward her Master of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph.