It’s spring on Vancouver’s North Shore which means that the cherry blossoms that have been start to drop their petals and pretty pink “snow” blankets the streets, the weather warms up, the rain eases up and in true West Coast fashion, the locals are quick to shed their boots and coats, and head outside.
Here are just a few of the fabulous things taking place on Vancouver’s North Shore in May. Check out our Events Calendar for more!
A true sign that summer is on the way is the return of the Shipyards Night Market. This highly anticipated market transforms Shipyard Plaza in North Vancouver every Friday night from May 1 to September 25. A free event, the market features an awesome selection of local food trucks, a full farmers and artisans marketplace and live entertainment. Grab a tasty treat and head out onto the Pier to eat your dinner with sweeping views of downtown Vancouver, Lions Gate Bridge and Stanley Park. And if you’d rather sit down for dinner before heading into the market, the eagerly awaited newest Tap & Barrel restaurant will be opening in the historic Coppersmith Shop building sometime this summer (we’ll keep you posted)!
Did you know that North Vancouver is home to a 300-acre conservation area that is one of the best birding locations in the region? Well known for its abundance of wildlife, the Maplewood Flats Conservation Area is a birders paradise. Over 230 species of birds have been spotted in this area and on the second Saturday of every month you can enjoy a free ninety-minute guided walk with legendary Lower Mainland naturalist, Al Grass. On May 9th, the walk is dedicated to the music of birds and the air will be full of the sweet sounds of nature.
For a little more action, head to Deep Cove every Tuesday night for a weekly Paddlesport Race. Now in it’s 14th year, the Tuesday Night Paddlesport Races started in mid-April and run until mid-September. Basically, if it’s human powered and it floats, you’re welcome to race it! And if you don’t have a vessel, the kind folks at Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak will happily rent you a stand-up paddleboard, kayak or surf ski. The course changes weekly and if you don’t want to paddle, onlookers are welcome to cheer the racers on!
View from Dog Mountain | Photo: Kyle Pearce via Flickr
Or take to the trails! The Grouse Grind is arguably the most recognized hiking trail on the North Shore, but there are lots of other options with even more rewarding views! One of our favourites is the hike to Dog Mountain. The views from along the trail are simply spectacular and although some say that the hike can be done in an hour, it’s more typical that it takes 2 hours when you factor in time for photographs. To access the trail you drive up to Mount Seymour and because of the drive UP the mountain, you have eliminated much of the climbing required to get to the summit. Be aware that the trail can be muddy in spring and there are lots of roots and rocks to navigate, but the views of the City of Vancouver are breathtaking!
The end of May brings the best of the blooms on Vancouver’s North Shore. There are a number of beautiful public gardens in the community, but once a year the gates are thrown open to some of the areas finest private gardens. Artists, artisans and musicians are paired up with gardeners for a collaborative feast of the senses. Art in the Garden takes place on May 30 and 31 and this 2-day self-guide is truly a spectacular way to spend a weekend roaming from garden to garden enjoying the grounds and viewing (and purchasing) unique works of art.
Photo Credit: Art in the Garden
Annually, on the last Sunday of May, the wooly sheep of Maplewood Farm are treated to a good old-fashioned shearing. Visit Maplewood Farm between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, May 24, to watch the shearing demonstrations and learn about how sheep’s wool becomes yarn with spinning and weaving demonstrations and wool crafts. Once a successful dairy farm, Maplewood Farm was designated a rural heritage site in 1975 and is dedicated to introducing visitors of all ages to the inner workings of a busy farm.
A North Vancouver favourite dating back to 1912, Lynn Valley Day is a traditional fun-filled family celebration. The festivities kick off on May 30 with the Lynn Valley Lions Pancake breakfast followed by a parade at 10am. Stake your spot along the parade route and then head to the park for the midway with games and large inflatables, a Show & Shine, tasty food and live entertainment. Keep your eyes open as in previous year’s, carnival attendees have been treated to flash mobs, jugglers, a magic show and the annual Maypole dance.