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Visiting Mount Pleasant: A Hilly Suburb, Making Vancouver, British Columbia, Breathtaking in More Ways Than One

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Provincial flag of British Columbia

Provincial flag of British Columbia

Moods of Mount Pleasant - Street Scenes - Vancouver BC - Canada - 06

Moods of Mount Pleasant - Street Scenes - Vancouver BC - Canada - 06

Horizontally challenged...

Inspiring — if including the sense of inhaling and exhaling — in more ways than one, in relation to the scenes depicted, Dr. Adam Jones's brilliant photographic portrayals (1) of Vancouver's suburb of Mount Pleasant spurred me to write this extra hubpage about British Columbia's largest city (2). Particularly for those of us who are not as young as we once were, visually experiencing Vancouver through Mount Pleasant does not involve the entrance fee for the Vancouver Lookout but it may include a cardiovascular price to pay! Some of the gradients of Mount Pleasant are truly challenging, as I found to my cost!

A spectacular backdrop...

As the photos above and below show, the ever present, looming backdrop of the North Shore Mountains define the Vancouver skyline. It is perhaps hard for those of us who do not reside in mountainous areas to empathize with the fact that, for dwellers in places such as Mount Pleasant, such gradients and visibly dramatic topography are in fact a natural state of affairs in terms of instinctive toposemantics. Anthropologists speak of spatial radiation and what for some travellers might be an intriguing, breathtaking novelty might for others be an unremarkable, default setting.

A topographical experience...

I am sure that if I lived in Vancouver the whole topographical experience of the city would in time undoubtedly grow on me. But I am wholly unsure whether the mountains and gradients of British Columbia's main metropolis would ever, in time, become a matter indifferent to me. From my University days I have had cause to mull over the concept of a genius loci at given spatial, built environments. But as regards the very special environment of Vancouver and its steep suburbs such as Mount Pleasant, however its own genius loci may be ultimately defined is — for rather practical reasons! — hardly something that is merely food for passive, reflection.

January 14, 2021.


(1) Adam Jones, Ph.D./Global Photo Archive/Wikimedia Commons

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(2) The provincial capital of British Columbia is Victoria, on Vancouver Island.

Moods of Mount Pleasant - Street Scenes - Vancouver BC - Canada - 11

Moods of Mount Pleasant - Street Scenes - Vancouver BC - Canada - 11

Also worth seeing

In Mount Pleasant itself, notable sights include the Beaux-Arts Neoclassical Heritage Hall; the Neo-Romanesque former Presbyterian Church of Mount Pleasant; the Triangle Building / Wosk Block at the intersection of the Kingsway and Main Street; and many others.

Among the numerous, outstanding visitor attractions in Vancouver, a very few of these include: The Lookout, with excellent views of the city, the surrounding Rockies and Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge, Gastown; False Creek and Science World; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the 1907 Dominion Building; the 1911 Sun Tower; the 1914 Waterfront Station; Granville Island; and many others.

Vancouver is also ideally situated for day trips to British Columbian mountain destinations such as Whistler (distance: 123.8 kilometres / 76.9 miles) and Peace Arch Park (Peace Arch Provincial Park in Canada and Peace Arch Historical State Park in the United States), shared between the Province of British Columbia at Surrey and the US State of Washington, at Blaine (distance: 48.9 kilometers / 30.4 miles).


How to get there

WestJet and Air Canada fly to Vancouver International Airport, Richmond (distance from Downtown Vancouver: 10.8 kilometres / 6.7 miles), with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

Map location of Vancouver, British Columbia

Map location of Vancouver, British Columbia

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