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Embrace Spring with a Walking Tour of Mount Pleasant’s Boulevard Gardens

Photo credit: Zara Moffett

With trees blossoming and flowers blooming, it’s a particularly pretty time to be outside. Luckily, Saba Farmand, a local landscape architect and the person behind Blvd Gardens of East Vancouver, is back with his popular series of Earth Day Boulevard Garden Walking Tours, April 13th, 14th and 19th.

During each of the walks, Farmand will lead attendees through the unique boulevard gardens of Mount Pleasant, teaching about their significance to the community and environment overall. So, just what qualifies as a “boulevard garden”? Farmand describes: “A boulevard garden is any sort of garden that a citizen installs on the boulevard, which is the public (or city-owned) strip of land between the road and sidewalk. Typically planted with grass, adjacent residents sometimes plant their own ‘gardens’ on these boulevards, which imparts many benefits for neighborhoods. Notably, they can help increase the environmental, social, and even the economic sustainability of the surrounding community.”

What began in 2019 as an Instagram passion project documenting the various boulevard gardens of East Vancouver, quickly and organically grew and evolved into a full-on environmental education and nature awareness community movement. Walking tours followed in 2021, taking off faster than Farmand expected, speaking to the desire for Vancouverites to connect through everyday beauty and enhancements in our community. Last year’s sold-out tours welcomed a whopping 200 attendees over four sessions. Take that as a sign to lock in your spot at one of this year’s sessions ASAP!

The spring tours include seven stops, beginning at the Windsor Street and East 13th Avenue intersection, and finishing at Windsor and East 11th with a Q&A. Attendees to each of the walks will learn all about boulevard gardens – including their personal health and well-being benefits – as well as urban design, different architectural styles, and the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood’s local history. For Farmand, his project is about so much more than just gardens; it’s also about promoting urban literacy, which includes learning about the spatial design of our city, using boulevard gardens as a framework for these lessons. This weekend’s tours (April 13th and 14th) kick off at 11:30am, whereas the following Friday, April 19th will begin a bit later, at 5:30pm. Weekend times are already near-capacity, though! Don’t sleep on this cool opportunity. Registration is available by filling out this form. Tours are by donation, with all proceeds going to Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House.

Bonus: A bunch of rad, local businesses/folks like DL Chicken Shack, Anh and Chi, Flourist, Windfall Cider, and artist Priscilla Yu, have donated some mighty enticing “door prizes” for the tours; and, whether you score one of those or not, all attendees will receive a seed packet from West Coast Seeds to help inspire your own garden planting.

A Look Inside ‘Lila’, Now Open on Main Street

With its innovative menu, sustainable practices, and unique ambiance, Lila brings Vancouver a fresh hit of modern Indian cuisine and a playful garden party room, perfect for a summer debut.

The 2024 Vancouver Short Film Festival is Kicking Off May 31st!

The 2024 edition is keeping it concise, with three days of short and sweet big-screen entertainment (plus another week of small-screen virtual screening time).

The Tequila and Agave Festival Cocktail Competition Happens on Monday – You Should Come!

Expect a line-up of some of Vancouver’s most talented bartenders challenged them to capture the spirit of Guadalajara, Mexico in a glass – be it highball, rocks, or coupe.

Four Super Tasty Spots to Catch a Canucks Game in East Van

It’s been over a decade since there’s been “can’t miss” hockey in Vancouver! As the playoffs approach, here’s a list of a few of my favourite spots with great food and full-volume sound to catch a game.