North Vancouver’s Shipyard

After a nearly 5 year hiatus I visited Vancouver on the a Easter Weekend. Son Jackson was in town from Toronto on business and stayed the weekend to meet me. We settled into the SEASIDE HOTEL in North Vancouver on the site of the former Burrard Shipyard.  

For 30 years or more I drove by the shipyard several times a week. At that time it was a waste space. Abandoned.  Today it is a fabulous destination. Hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and marvellous public spaces have transformed the old shipyard. There is a public pier which would be a lovely place to stroll or sit and enjoy the ships in the harbour.  

The Seaside Hotel is wonderful. Beautifully appointed rooms with large walk in showers and all the other accoutrements. Highly recommended if you want to overnight in North Vancouver.

Below the hotel is JOEY’S SHIPYARD RESTAURANT, on the water with a view to downtown Vancouver. We sat outside on the spacious and heated patio. Excellent food and service. A nice touch was the complimentary flute of Prosecco.

After a walk about through LONSDALE Quay market we stopped at the Tap & Barrel which is in a former shipyard building. Impressive joint with several dozen beers on tap as well as about 18 wines on tap. We opted for a Blue Grouse Pinot Gris from the Cowichan Valley and were not disappointed. Not sure why a portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on the wall in the tap room.

Later we met Jackson’s friends for dinner at the Jagerhof On Lonsdale, an old favourite.  Schnitzel all around of course paired with an Austrian Sauvignon Blanc which was perfect. 


Saturday morning was breakfast at the Pinnacle Hotel which was very good and once again great service. 

For lunch we left the area and dtove with friends to Gleneagles Golf Course near Horseshoe Bay. It’s restaurant is run by the Boat Shed Hospitality Group who operate 3 food joints. The Orchard at the golf course is delightful with a view over the couse. Indoor and outdoor seating and a great but quite simple menu. We all enjoyed the offerings. They have two other venues, one at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver and a most unusual POPUP Pizza place on the road to Cypress Bowl. A couple of reworked shipping containers form the galley with seating under canopies. We! at the insistence of friend Gail we drove up for a look. Fantastic views of English Bay and beyond. Friend David endorses the pizza as being the best anywhere.

Dinner was just a few blocks up from the Shipyard at my all time favourite Chinese Restaurant, RED CHILI.  Had not been for about 5 years and we met old friends here. The food was as good as I remembered and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. The best Ginger beef anywhere.

Before retiring it seemed that a nightcap would be in order. Back to Joey’s where we sat at a very busy bar. For sure I was the oldest person in the place. Mostly 20 somethings here,  but a happening bar. 

We really enjoyed our time at the Shipyard. It’s fabulous. Planning a weekend in Vancouver? Consider North Van’s Shipyard. 

Just saying…

Kingfisher Oceanside Resort

A few weeks ago I had a call from an old friend, a guy who came to work with me about 4 decades ago. It was his first real job following university.  Since then he has become very successful in the property development business culminating in the ownership of KINGFISHER OCEANSIDE RESORT just south of Courtenay. He invited me to come up some time for dinner and potentially an overnight stay. Well, this week I took him up on his generous offer. 

Sheila and I had lunched in the bar a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. So we pointed the red Acura up 19A and headed out. Before checking in, some Calamari and a glass of wine in the bar seemed appropriate as we were a touch peckish. As we finished the amazing Calamari, Bill, the owner, joined us and he and I spent quite a while catching up. It had been more than 20 years since we last met. 

After checking in to a fabulous room with a view overlooking the Resort’s stunning courtyard with the ocean, Cape Lazo and the mountains around Desolation Sound. As we stepped out on to our deck a broad Rainbow appeared right over Lazo. This resort has everything. Even Rainbows!  Spectacular.  

We met a Bill & Sabrina for dinner in one of the outdoor Domes. Quite spectacular.  A table for 4 in the dome with heat, music, cozy blankets on each chair,  LED lights above.  Stunning.  Bill introduced us Chef Richard who suggested we choose some favourites from the menu and he would prepare a tasting potpourri. Included were Seafood Chowder, French Onion Soup, Oysters on the half shell, Gnocchi, Sous Vide Beef, Scallops with Asparagus and Risotto. And more. Bill chose a fabulous Red Wine to share. Everything here is locally sourced and fresh.  It was truly a dinner we will remember forever. 

There are 5 Domes but they are only up during the winter. In Mid April they will be replaced with Tables and Umbrellas for summer dining. 

Kingfisher Resort is a wonderful destination resort complete with fine dining, a Spa, Pool and Hot Tub, a shop featuring Tommy Bahama and Lulu Lemon. A feature in the Spa is the amazing Pacific Mist Hydropath.  

This Oceanside Resort is First Class in every way. Having stayed in more than 300 hotels in my life, I know hotels. The rooms are perfectly executed. Fine linens, indirect lighting, stunning marble bathrooms with just the right soaps etc.  

One wing is being upgraded this Spring and the reception area is about to be enhanced and new stone walls and and entry kiosk are to be installed at the highway entrance. 

The Staff are excellent. Everyone we encountered was happy, friendly and gracious. Simply excellent service. Must be a good place to work. 

If you are thinking of a get away the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort would be a good choice. It’s adult oriented too. We loved the resort, you will too.  Plan well ahead because they are very busy.  Or you may want to drop by for a lunch at which time you can look around the property. By the way, the Eggs Benedict for our breakfast might be the best ever.  Yum! 

Check out their website to find the special features, menus etc.

Just saying…