A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

You Should Know About Sarah Cassell and ‘Sarah’s Café’

Like any good research rabbit hole, it all started with a single photograph depicting the window sign for Sarah’s Cafe. Local history buff, Christine Hagemoen, set out to learn more. Here is what she found.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 11

In her latest instalment, Christine Hagemoen briefly retails the 114-plus-year-long history of Ernie's Grocery, on Commercial Street.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 10

Discover one of what used to be many Victoria Drive Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood grocery stores: A & B Grocery.

Groundbreaking Eleanor Collins, The City’s ‘First Lady Of Jazz’

Eleanor Collins, celebrated as "Vancouver's first lady of jazz" and recipient of the Order of Canada, passed away on March 3, 2024, at the age of 104. In tribute to her legacy and to extend our condolences to her family, we are republishing Christine Hagemoen's 2017 article that explores Collins' profound impact on Vancouver's music scene.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 9

In her latest instalment, Christine Hagemoen details the progression of Kong’s Grocery in Strathcona.

Kingsgate, the ‘Little Mall That Could’, Turns 50!

A brief history of one of the last remnants of Mount Pleasant’s working-class origins, still standing as an oasis of resistance to the neighbourhood's gentrification.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 8

This time around, Christine focuses on the legendary neighbourhood grocery corner store, located at 2262 Nanaimo Street.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 7

Christine details the story of the iconic Strathcona store at 704 Vernon Drive, through to its current incarnation as the "wonderfully positive community gathering space, store, and cafe", Rise Up Marketplace.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol.6

In this instalment, Christine highlights King Joy Grocery - a once-fundamental part of the local community and newspaper-headline-making business.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol.5

In the fifth edition of this ongoing Scout column, Christine recounts the story of a well-recorded Vancouver neighbourhood gathering place located at 2308 E 34th Avenue: B.K. Grocery.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores Vol. 4

In the fourth edition of this ongoing Scout column, Christine recounts the changing of hands and quirky history of Helena's Grocery, 6319 Main Street.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol 3.

In the third edition of this new Scout column, Christine features Little Cottage Confectionary, at 901 E 11th Avenue - "the cutest corner grocery store both in name and in structure" with a long and at-times-terrible legacy.

Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores, Vol. 2

In the second edition of this new Scout column, Christine hones in on John’s Confectionary, at 33 W6th Avenue, and the property history surrounding it.

You Should Know About Vancouver’s History of Independent Grocery Stores Vol. 1

Whatever you call them — corner stores, mom-and-pop shops, confectionaries, grocery stores, or simply “the store” — these places served as local gathering spaces and encouraged a sense of community. That makes them worth celebrating. Let’s get started…

You Should Know About the Harlem Nocturnes Basketball Team

Sixty years ago this month, one of the region’s most exciting teams was well on their way to overall league victory, and you’ve probably never heard of them.

You Should Know About Vancouver’s Sketchy Past with Poor Quality Beer

Christine Hagemoen tries to get to the bottom of a questionable practice popular in local beer parlours for the majority of the 20th century.

The Hidden Last Vestige of Old Mount Pleasant

In the shadow of a new, 21-storey luxury condo development sits a forgotten piece of neighbourhood history.

You Should Know About Mount Pleasant / Fairview’s Japanese Canadian Community

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese Canadian internment — one of the darkest chapters in Canadian and BC history. To commemorate the occasion, Christine Hagemoen shares some local Japanese Canadian stories and historic community landmarks...

You Should Know About the History of Vancouver’s Once Thriving Comic Book Industry

Local historian, Christine Hagemoen, discovers that Vancouver was once an integral part of the Golden Age of Canadian comics.

How to Familiarize Yourself with Mount Pleasant’s Rich and Little Known History, On Foot

Christine Hagemoen shares a sampling of the many stories haunting this Vancouver neighbourhood, included in her newly published walking guide.

How Mandarin Oranges Once Marked the Beginning of Vancouver’s Holiday Season

An in-depth look at how the role of these little 'easy-to-peel' Chinese oranges has evolved since their introduction to Vancouver circa the late 19th century.

Vancouver’s Cruel and Ridiculous Lack of Public Toilets: A History

Despite its world class pretensions, this city has always made it hard for its citizens to find relief on the go.

How Chinatown’s ‘Ding-Ho’ Once Ruled Vancouver’s Take-Out and Delivery Game

Christine Hagemoen shares how a trailblazing Canadian-Chinese fast food restaurant indelibly changed our food scene.

How Mt. Pleasant Narrowly Escaped Having a Massive Cop Shop and Jail

In early the early 1950s, the City of Vancouver had big plans to build a new police station where Kingsgate Mall is today.

The Origins of Vancouver’s Fitness Fetish

We trace the story of the government-sponsored program that once had Vancouverites sweating en masse.

You Should Know About Vancouver’s Long, Explosive Relationship With Halloween

Christine Hagemoen dials back the local clock to understand how and why our city associates Halloween with fireworks.

Iconic Mt. Pleasant Spot Gets a Name Change

A curious new entry on Google Maps inspired a neighbourhood history lover to learn about the formidable Gertrude Guerin.

How Bikes Liberated Vancouver

In her latest "You Should Know" story, Christine Hagemoen reminds us of how the bicycle first took our city by storm.