National Geographic : 1972 Mar
articulate Jim McLellan, a city bus driver, explained over a leisurely cup in a downtown coffee shop. "Why, for 25 cents you can ride a bus on one of the most scenic drives imagin able." From the heart of Vancouver, he ex plained, the route goes past the high-rise apartments of the West End, through the virgin forest of Stanley Park, and across the Lions Gate Bridge that connects Vancouver's peninsula with the other side of the harbor. "You pass hillsides that make you wonder how houses can hang on, and out to Horseshoe Bay with its docks and boats. All in 13 miles! "Lots of places can offer the sea, or moun tains, or big-city attractions. But few con centrate them like we do. Where else can you go skiing in the morning and golfing or boat ing in the afternoon-all no more than a 20 minute drive from downtown?" Snow does coat the tops of Vancouver's peaks from November to April; the aerial tramway that whisks you to ski slopes on Grouse Mountain operates all year-and pro vides a 3,700-foot vantage point for an awe some panorama of city and harbor at your feet (pages 338-9). On a clear day, that is. "Gassy" Tales Gave Town a Name It was absolutely clear the afternoon I sat in the window-walled waterfront office of Capt. Roy E. Holland, harbor master of the Port of Vancouver. "I never get tired of watching the harbor," he said between draughts on a pipe. "The water will turn from a deep blue to a dull gray in a dead-flat calm; it changes again when the wind is from the east. "But that's not the only thing that changes. As a young seaman from London I used to swim off a mudbank right here where this office stands. Now look at the harbor! Lined with docks and drawing some 2,000 deep-sea vessels on the average every year." From Captain Holland's boss, port man ager William Duncan, I had learned some facts about this bustling waterfront. "Development of a busy port in such a spot as this is quite a phenomenon. We didn't have navigable rivers like the Hudson or Missis sippi to spur our growth with waterborne tonnage. Yet in 1971 we handled 35 million tons of dry cargo-more than any other port on North America's west coast." Vancouver got its start as a port almost by accident. In 1867 little stood on the spot except a few buildings clustered around a saloon run by a picturesque riverman named 344 After the day's last volley, young tennis partners newcomers from eastern Canada-replay their game on the greensward of Vancouver's West End. Sun gilded apartments flank English Bay. Under winter's robe, Stanley Park offers a lonely haven to swans and ducks on Lost Lagoon. In sum mer as many as 20,000 people come each day. Only a 15-minute walk from Vancouver's heart, the park greets visitors with an aquarium and zoo, picnic grounds, beaches, swimming pools, a miniature rail way, and playing fields. Through stands of virgin forest wind 27 miles of trails. On Sunday mornings bicycles are the only wheeled vehicles permitted.