Vancouver usually has a fireworks show for Canada Day on July 1st, but there are other fireworks displays that happen in the summer! Usually near the end of July and beginning of August, Vancouver hosts a firework competition called the Celebration of Light. Usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a different team puts on a firework show choreographed to music at English Bay each night. This is a very popular festival with as many as 500,000 people attending. This year, the nights are July 23, 27, and 30.Honda_Celebration_of_Light_-_Canada_Aug_1st,_2015_(20211593382)

Each night, the fireworks show starts right at 10pm and lasts for about 25 minutes in sun or rain! But before the show starts,
there is a lot to do on the beach. The radio station LG104.3FM hosts events at English Bay, which include ShoreFest, free concerts right on the beach, and the Sunset Beach Festival, more free concerts and giveaways at Sunset Beach. On top of having lots of free stuff to do, there are always a lot of food carts at English Bay with delicious food to try! And there will be vendors giving away free things at these events, so it is worth checking out!

The beach at English Bay starts to fill up really quickly in the afternoon with people reserving the best spots to watch the fireworks. Its best to get there early to make sure you have a good spot. Don’t forget to bring a blanket, sunscreen and/or an umbrella; the show happens even if its raining! It’s also a good idea to bring a beach ball or something else to do on the beach. Card games are fun too! If you don’t want to go to English Bay, you can also watch them at Vanier Park, Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach, and Kitsilano Beach.

7722575904_c1ce4d34fb_bThis year, teams from the Netherlands, Australia and the United States are competing! Its very special this year because the team from the US is actually Disney! This promises to be a good show! Since the fireworks are set to music, the radio station usually plays music on its speakers so you can hear it while you watch, but if you don’t get a seat close to the speakers, its a good idea to bring your own radio.

The Celebration of Light is a really fun fireworks festival in Vancouver! It’s a good opportunity to see beautiful fireworks shows, and you get the chance to sit in the sun and enjoy the view at English Bay! Be sure to go see it!



Another free event this summer! Saturday July 9th, in Kitsilano, there’s a free street party that will have free music, food trucks and more!

Khatsahlano is a street festival celebrating local artists! Along with many musical performances, there will also be market stalls for local artisans to sell their products, as well as street performances. There will be lots of things to see and do.

The celebrations starts at 11am until 9pm on July 9th on West 4th Avenue between Burrard and MacDonald.

Go check it out for some free fun on the weekend!



With Canada Day  on July 1st, let’s learn more about Canada! It’s important to know that Canada is a multicultural society.

This means that Canadians are people that come from different places. You will find a lot of people who are from countries like China, India, Brazil, Japan, France, and the Philippines living in Canada that are Canadians. When someone moves to Canada, they do not have to give up their cultures for Canadian culture. Many Canadians have parents that were not born in Canada, or were not born in Canada themselves. Multiculturalism makes it easier for new Canadians to adapt to their life in Canada and allows others to experience different cultures than their own. Because we have so many different people living together, we have a large variety of food/restaurants, and different festivals all year. It’s never boring in Vancouver!


In Vancouver, you can get almost any type of food you want. There are so many different restaurants, so you can always find something new! The best part is that often, the restaurants are run by people from that country, so you get the best food, and you may learn some new words! Also, throughout Vancouver, there are many different grocery stores you can visit that will have food from all over the world. If you ever miss a food from your home country, there may be a place to buy it somewhere here in Canada!


In Vancouver, throughout the year, there are many different festivals that take place around the city. Everyone is welcome and it is a great way to get out and have some fun! For example, in February, there is a big parade for Chinese New Year, and in April, there’s Vaisakhi, an Indian spring festival, as well as a Cherry Blossom Festival. In May, there’s the Victoria Day long weekend, and July 1st is Canada Day! Throughout the summer we have fireworks and other great festivals. These are just some examples! Be sure to check them out!

It can be shocking to come to Canada and see all kinds of faces, but our differences are what makes us Canadian. We hope you feel welcome and enjoy your time in Canada 🙂


Whistler is famous for its winter sports and beautiful snow covered slopes. However, it can be a wonderful place to visit in the summertime too!

There’s something for everyone to do, including hiking, golfing, zip-lining, shopping, swimming and bear watching. You can also ride the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and see how beautiful Whistler is in the summer months.Aerial_View_Bike_Park

If you book a tour with ClubEsl, you’ll get to enjoy the scenery along the Sea to Sky Highway and stop at Shannon Falls and the Tantalus View Point.

Shannon Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in BC and when you go, you can take a short hike up to the view point and get a good look at the falls.

Whistler is beautiful all year-round, so why not take the opportunity and go see it this summer? I promise you’ll have a great time!


translinklogoWe have plenty of transportation options here in Vancouver. There are lot of busses and the Skytrain to get you where you need to go. Here is what to expect when you ride the bus, Skytrain or Seabus.

Depending on where you are, busses come at different times and it is important to know when to catch the bus. You can find bus schedules and other information at:

This is the website for all of Vancouver’s transportation. It can tell you where to catch a bus, or if there is a major delay.

Riding the Bus or SkyTrain

If you ride the bus or Skytrain, you will need a ticket. We have a re-loadable card called the Compass card, and you use it to tap in and out of the Skytrain, or onto the bus. You can buy Compass cards at any Sktrain stations, or at any store that sells translink tickets, like convenience stores. If you don’t have a Compass card, you can still ride public transit, but you will need to buy a ticket. On the bus, you must insert the correct change (cash) as you get on the bus. A paper transfer will be printed for you.

Vancouver_TransitUnfortunately, you cannot use that paper ticket on the Skytrain, so you must buy another ticket at the ticket machine at the station. You can buy one use tickets at the Skytrain if you don’t want a Compass card. The ticket you buy at the Skytrain station can be used on the train or on a bus as many times as you want for 90mins.

The Skytrain has different zones, and you pay depending on where you are and where you’re going. If you travel anywhere in one zone or on any bus, you pay $2.75. If you’re on the train and you travel into a different zone, you must pay different amounts depending on how many zones you travel to, so be careful and make sure you buy the correct ticket. There are signs at every station and workers that can help you.

 Usually, Vancouver’s busses are on time, but it is still important to get to your bus stop early. You can never be quite sure when your bus will come because they are not always on time. It is also not unusual for busses to be 3-10 minutes late. Despite this, public transportation is actually quite reliable in Vancouver. The Skytrain usually runs every 5-7 minutes, so if you miss your first train, the next one will soon follow.

What to Expect on the Bus

On Vancouver transportation, there are some things you should expect that may be different from your home country. For example, you can eat, talk on your phone and even bring a bike! When you do these things, it is important to be polite to the people around you.

Make sure your food is not too messy. You do not want to spill food everywhere. Also make sure it is not too smelly. It can bother other passengers.

When talking on the phone, try to speak quietly. Do not yell into your phone. Because it can be hard to hear the person you are talking to, it is best to use your phone before you get on the bus, or after you get off. maxresdefault

Also, people are allowed to bring strollers or bikes onto public transit. Busses have bike racks on the front. So if you want to take your bike on the bus, you first put your bike on the rack, then get on the bus and pay your fare. There is no extra cost.

You can also bring your bike on with you on the Skytrain, but not during rush hour. On Mondays to Fridays, between 7am to 9am heading west, and 4pm to 6pm heading east, you cannot bring your bike on the Skytrain because it is too crowded. On the weekends, you can bring a bike with you at any time. Perfect for heading downtown to Stanley Park. 🙂

Taking public transportation in Vancouver is usually very safe, but it is best to be careful. If you ever feel threatened by another person while on the bus or skytrain, talk to a transit staff member. They will be able to help you.

Public transportation like busses, Skytrain or Seabus are great ways to see the city of Vancouver and are quite reliable. How does it compare to the transportation at home?


maxresdefault (2)Canada is known for its stunning natural landscapes and British Columbia has its fair share of these beautiful sights. If you want to get out and see just how beautiful Canada is, I suggest visiting the Rocky Mountains!

Not only are the Rocky Mountains some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, but they’re easy to get to from Vancouver!

There are a few different companies you can go on tours with to see the Rocky Mountains, including clubesl and West Trek. These tours will allow you to fully enjoy the Rocky Mountains in a safe way! The tours are usually 4 days, which is the perfect amount of time to see this beautiful area!

You get a chance to see smaller cities like Kamloops, Banff, and Kelowna, and see what life is like in these smaller cities. Besides the mountains, you get to see Lake Louise and the Okanagan region on your journey as well!

Why not experience the full beauty of British Columbia for a few days! There are plenty of tours in the summer, so see the pamphlets in the student lounge, or the reception for more information!


Summer is fully upon us, and in the wake of last week’s heatwave I’m sporting a rather lovely bathing suit tan. In the spirit of the upcoming gorgeous weather, I thought I’d write a quick post about the best beaches in Vancouver and their pros and cons.


Located on the edge of Stanley Park, accessible from the Seawall, English Bay is the urban beach. Sandwiched between Denman and Davie in the West End, English Bay is one of the best swimming beaches in Vancouver. It’s the most popular beach in Downtown Vancouver English_Bay_First_Beachand is always packed with people relaxing on the gorgeous sand or frolicking in the beautiful water. With a nice slope to get into the ocean, access is very easy, even for littler kids. There’s also a big slide and a swim dock that floats just off the beach during the summer.

Parking isn’t great, but English Bay is easy to get to by foot, bike or bus. Amenities include bathrooms, changing rooms and showers.

Address: Beach Ave. and Denman St., Vancouver

KITSILANO (KITS) Fish-eye_view_of_Kitsilano_Beach

Kits is a family friendly, swimming friendly beach, boasting the longest outdoor pool in Canada if ocean swimming isn’t your thing. There’s a swim-out dock in the summer, gorgeous mountains to look at, and it’s one of the ‘coolest’ beaches meaning that it’s always a good spot for people watching. There’s tennis and basketball courts, a playground, and swathes of grass if you’re not into lying on the sand. Bring a blanket, some snacks, lay back and enjoy the sights.

Address: Cornwall Ave. and Arbutus St., Vancouver

THIRD BEACHthird beach

The best place for lying around, sunbathing and swimming in Stanley Park, third beach sports some gorgeous tidal pools for exploring, great sand for sand castling and a skim boarding facility. Really family friendly, the water here is warmer than the other beaches in Stanley Park, but like them it has excellent facilities- parking, food and drink, bathrooms, changing rooms and easy access to the seawall.

Address: Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver (near the Tea House)


Far away from the more packed urban beaches, Spanish Banks wheels across the west coast of the city, and it’s a favourite with the locals. At low tide, in the morning and early afternoon, you can walk far out to see when the water is pulled back. Even though it’s next to Jericho and Locarno, Spanish Banks is the quieter end of the stretch of sand and offers a relaxing time away from the hubbub of the busier beaches.

There are two concession stands that provide a wide variety of meals and snacks. Other facilities include bathrooms, showers and changing rooms.

Address: Northwest Marine Drive and Tolmie St., Vancouver


Jericho_BeachJericho has a lovely expanse of grassy fields, and picnic benches, as well as football fields the public are able to play on. While there is a paid parking lot, you can easily find street parking close enough to walk, which makes driving a good choice. The views across the bay to the mountains are spectacular, and Jericho has a nice concessions stand that serves everything from icecream to f
ish and chips. Bathrooms are also available.

Address: Point Grey Road and Wallace St., Vancouver




Vancouver’s famous clothing-optional beach, widely considered to be one of the top of its kind in the world, Wreck Beach is wreck
equally famous for it’s gorgeous scenery as well as for the nudity. Clothing can be kept on, mind you, there’s no requirement for nakedness, but don’t be rude and stare or take pictures!

Wreck is pretty far off the beaten path, on the point of UBC’s campus, you do have to take a short hike through the woods to get there. As such, there are no facilities or food and drink stands, although many locals do sell snacks there. Be careful what you’re buying, there are a lot of marijuana edibles floating around.

If you’re headed there, go early- the high tide in the afternoon covers the beach almost completely.

Address: Northwest Marine Drive, University of British Columbia, Vancouver


In Vancouver, the drinking laws may be a bit different than your country, so be careful. Here are a few things you need to know:

  • You must be 19 years or older to drink in British Columbia.
  • You will need 2 pieces of ID. One with your picture, name, and birthday on it, like a Passport or Driver’s License. The other must have your name and signature or photo.
  • You cannot drink alcohol while you drive.
  • You cannot drink in public, in parks or on beaches! This means you cannot walk or sit on the street while drinking alcohol, or drink while at the park or beach. If caught, you will get a $230 fine.

If you use common sense and don’t drink too much, you will have no problem!

Enjoy yourself responsibly!



Long Beach, surfing, whale and bear watching, and hiking. You can find it all in Tofino!

Tofino is a beautiful, quiet town located on the west side of Vancouver Island. Like most of British Columbia, it’s known for its natural beauty.

If you’re looking for a weekend adventure, why not check it out? On top of the chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat, Tofino is home to some beautiful beaches, including the famous Long Beach. These beautiful sandy beaches provide the opportunity to see marine wildlife in the tide pools, or catch some waves while surfing!

Tofino is a great place to go if you’re looking for a quiet vacation, relaxing on the beach, or if you’re looking for adventure through surfing, whale watching or hiking! Tofino even has its own brewery.

ClubEsl and West Trek host tours all the time if you’re looking to check out Tofino. Check out the websites, pamphlets(in the Student Lounge) or the reception for more details! If you’re interested, register soon to make sure you have a spot!


Jar_for_tips_at_a_restaurant_in_New_JerseyWhen you go to a restaurant, and get your bill, you pay what you see, right? No! In Canada, we give tips! On top of your bill, you usually pay a bit extra as thanks to your server. It can seem complicated, but it’s not.

Typically, when you go to a restaurant, you tip 15-20% of the price of your bill. If you don’t, it’s considered rude. However, if the service was not good, then you should tip less, like 5-10%. You get to decide how much you tip, but remember, if you don’t tip enough, it is considered rude.
When you get take-out, like coffee, fast food, or other foods where you pay at the counter, you do not have to tip. Often, the shop will have a little jar for tips, but you do not have to give them anything if you don’t want to. Many Canadians choose to not tip in this situation. However, if you get food delivered to your house, like pizza, usually you give a $5 tip.

If you’re at a bar or club, you should tip the bartender. This is an exception to the counter rule. Canadians don’t have a set rule for how much in this situation, but usually you let them ‘keep the change.’ For example, if your drink is $4, or $4.50, you give them $5 and that will be enough. Otherwise an extra dollar will do.

Tsalad-569156_960_720ipping can be expensive on top of already expensive costs in Canada, but it has a purpose. Tipping is used as a way to show thanks for good service. It also helps waiters and waitresses because their wages are lower than other workers. This is an important thing to remember when you are deciding how much to tip because some workers depend on tips to increase their low salaries.

Next time you go to a restaurant in Vancouver, enjoy yourself, and don’t forget to tip!