Vancouver is probably one of the most culturally diverse cities in British Columbia. It is also the third-largest of all Canadian metropolises. Being a seaport also makes it one of the most beautiful.
There is a lot to unpack if you plan to visit given the city's density. Luckily our own Ravi Roth and travel YouTuber Josh Rimer aren't afraid to unbox all that Vancouver has to offer.
We talked to Josh ahead of the premiere of his collab video with Ravi and he gave us even more insight into this major Canadian city with enough energy to keep the west coast lit.
Gaycation Magazine: Who is Josh Rimer?
Josh Rimer: I'm probably best known for my travel videos on YouTube and Canada's national LGBTQ TV station OUTtv, but I was also Mr. Gay Canada 2019! I traveled to about 50 different destinations in 2018 and 2019, but was happy to spend 2020 at home in Vancouver, all things considered.
What is one misconception about Vancouver that most people might have?
Since it's in Canada I'm going to guess that some people think it snows a lot here in the winter, but we only typically get snow for less than a week in total each year. It's one of the warmest and greenest places to be in Canada during the winter if you don't mind a lot of rain!
What kind of food can you expect to have when you visit Vancouver?
So many different kinds - this is definitely a foodie city! Whatever type of cuisine you're after you can probably find it here, but poutine is a Canadian favourite from Quebec that's made its way to our city and is a tasty snack to wind down your night after going out.
How should you dress when visiting Vancouver?
It's a pretty casual city and people don't get dressed up much. You'll see a lot of them walking around in their activewear during the day and unless they're going somewhere fancy in the evening jeans are pretty typical for most places. In the summer pack shorts and in the winter pack an umbrella!
What are the COVID safety rules in place in Vancouver?
Currently, non-essential visitors aren't welcome yet, but if our numbers continue to drop then travel restrictions are expected to ease on Canada Day (July 1st) for those from outside our province to come in. At that time most of the businesses and attractions are expected to be open and operating with increased capacity, but mask-wearing will likely still be in place for many of them.
What is the best time of year to visit?
Between May and September is ideal because it's warm and sunny, compared to a lot of rain during the rest of the months. The summer is a great time to enjoy the many outdoor activities and attractions that we have, go to one of our beaches, or just walk around the downtown area.
What's Pride like?
Over half a million people attend our Pride parade so it's a fun time in a city that is quite comfortable in celebrating the LGBTQ community. It takes place on the Sunday of our August long weekend and there is a large outdoor festival when the parade is done, along with a number of other events leading up to that day. For 2021 it will be a virtual event though, as it was last year.
What is the closest airport?
YVR is our main airport, located in the adjoining city of Richmond. There is a Skytrain stop right at the airport (our subway which mostly travels above ground) and it only takes about 25 minutes to get downtown, so that's the method I mostly use to get to and from it ($4.25 heading to the airport, $9.25 heading to downtown).
What’s one activity that maybe no one knows about that a visitor should definitely do?
If you like walking and shopping (and eating) I think it's great to go along Davie, Denman, Robson, and Granville streets. They all connect, so that would take you along a square-shaped route around downtown, and each of those streets has its own vibe and charm.
The Gaycation Travel Show with host Ravi Roth is on YouTube with new episodes every Friday. Be sure to click subscribe and like the video to help us bring you even more great LGBTQ travel content.
Here's last week's episode: