• Lara

Feeling The Weight of History at Kitsilano (Vancouver)

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

There is pain in the history of the world that is sometimes just too much to bear. The history of Kitsilano beach is heavy. It is one of those places you wouldn't want to go if you knew it's hidden history. But, many have not read of the horrors that occurred on this land and to the original people who lived here. I cannot bring myself to recount it here. I've said it many times before: the most beautiful places attract the most horrible people. This landmark is no exception.

History aside, Kitsilano is an impressive place to swim in the Pacific Ocean or the outdoor pool with ocean and mountain views. My husband, Mark, has even been known to have telephone business meetings at this location before joining us as we skirt between the play structures, swings and sand.

Kitsilano water front stretches across a great expanse. Easing accessibility with a paved walking trail, it stretches from the sea wall, to a legendary outdoor pool. It is a bustling place any day of the year for people from all walks of life enjoying the view of boats and cargo ships passing by. Take a sweater when you go. I'm always surprised by how much cooler the air is with the wind of the sea around.

Perhaps the area is most famous for its sandy beaches and giant logs that serve as benches and climbing structures for visitors. But, there's much more to discover aside from the sun basking babes, and men with bulging everything doing pull ups on the swing set bars. Some people take their workouts very seriously here.

But for those that come for a different kind of fun in the sun, there is a series of free outdoor summer concerts and multicultural performances and even puppet shows that run on a stage overlooking the ocean. They have been magnificent and very professionally choreographed each time I have attended. With a grassy field directly behind the built-in seating, antsy children have a place to run, play and dance to the music without the confines of a formal concert setting.

If music isn't your thing, join tourists from around the world who come to see the Shakespeare Festival appropriately named Bard on the Beach. Food trucks selling the tastiest of treats waft tantalizing scents through the air.

For me, I enjoy coming to this beach to sit and watch the sunset. I take a moment to reflect on its painful history, the sadness in every grain of sand, as well as every joy it has brought the young and the old from all walks of life for hundreds of years.

Bring a credit card though. If you don't find free street parking in the very limited places, you'll have to pay for parking in one of several parking lots.

Edited to add more photos I found on my phone.

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