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  • JON: Hi, I'm Jon Olson and welcome to Next Stop, from North of the border in

  • the stunning Pacific Northwest. NEXT STOP VANCOUVER/VICTORIA rolls

  • JON: Welcome to beautiful British Columbia. On this episode of Next Stop, we

  • will feature Canada's most fit and walkable city, Victoria. We will also feature one of

  • the most livable cities in the world for the past decade, Vancouver, B.C. We will show

  • you where to go, where to stay, what to do and how to do it in our always fun and positive

  • Next Stop style. The fun starts now! Next Stop logo

  • JON: Victoria is one of the few places where you can whale watch year round.

  • Today we are with Eagle Wing Tours to see some whales, and a whole lot more.

  • JEFF: First of all, I just want to welcome you guys all to Eagle Wing this morning, my

  • name is Jeff. Today we have 2 pods of killer whales, we've got resident whales over in

  • the San Juan islands. we're going to start over here in Race Rocks lighthouse, so we

  • are going to head southwest first. This lighthouse, Race Rocks lighthouse, is the second oldest

  • lighthouse on the west coast of Canada, what is happening here guys, is Pearson College

  • conducts research, and the lighthouse keepers have been allowed to stay here as caretakers,

  • or custodians on the island, and they help out with Pearson College. So what we've

  • got here guys, these are called Harbor Seals, the Harbor Seal weighs about 2-3 hundred pounds,

  • and these seals are extremely lazy, and 70% of their life, that is pretty much it right

  • there. Alright, so for some of you guys, this is your national bird for the United States.

  • Outside of Alaska, we have some of the highest concentrations of North America, there are

  • thousands of mating pairs here in the Northwest, and this will be one of the adults, right?

  • We know this because when they are an adult they have a white head and tail. The whales

  • are with all these boats, these are a mixture of the US and Canadian whale watch boats.

  • Whenever possible as well, we always shut the motor off to minimize noise, right? These

  • killer whales are very acoustic animals, sound is very important to them. Each whale can

  • be identified quite easily, by looking at the white saddle patch, every saddle patch

  • is slightly different. We also look at the tall dorsal fin, because it is different in

  • size, different in shape. Right there, L 72 Racer. That is L 72 Racer, oh that is so cool,.

  • look at this! JON: Thanks for the 65 mile jaunt!

  • JEFF: Allright! No worries, it was great, it was awesome.

  • JON: What a day, what a morning, a little bit wet, but you know, it didn't really

  • matter, the whales didn't care. JEFF: That is true, the whales are always

  • wet. JON: You guys are a very eco friendly company.

  • JEFF: For the 2 seasons we have been offsetting all our emissions, and we are also members

  • of One Percent for the Planet as well, which means we take one percent of our gross revenues

  • and we invest it back into the environment into green areas.

  • JON: Very well done. You guys are about conservation, education, and entertainment.

  • JEFF: Absolutely. Thanks very much for coming out today, good to have you on board.

  • JON: Thank you Jeff. Next Stop logo

  • JON: Coming up, a majestic hotel in Victoria's sparkling inner harbor, and

  • a lively ale trail. Next Stop logo

  • JON: We are very fortunate to be staying at the Fairmont Empress, the lovely

  • and historic hotel, and we are in the tea lobby, for afternoon tea. How cool is this?

  • NATHAN: The hotel we are in right now was actually built in 1908, designed by Francis

  • Rattenbury. JON: Oh my God, we pulled up and we are like,

  • this is our hotel? It looks like a museum. NATHAN: It does, it does, yes. Turn of the

  • century, so very old, very rustic, very iconic in our city.

  • JON: And I like how you have historical pictures on the wall, it really takes you back, you

  • really feel like you are back in the early 1900's. Wide hallways too.

  • NATHAN: Yes, definitely, very big hallways too.

  • JON: Tell us about this, because this is kind of unique for me.

  • NATHAN: It is, our afternoon tea service here starts generally with fresh berries with some

  • cream as well, and of course our tea that is created just for us here at the Fairmont

  • Empress. We start our afternoon tea services with our sandwiches here, we have our sun

  • dried tomato tapenade, followed by our cucumber and ham sandwiches, my personal favorite here,

  • the mango and curried chicken. Finished off by our wonderful dessert tower there, most

  • peoples favorites, Some people start here and work their way down actually.

  • JON: Is there really any method to it, can't you just go all over the place? It's beautiful.

  • NATHAN: You can pick wherever you want actually, that is half the fun of it, yes.

  • JON: Well the tea is delicious, but you guys actually take this tea and do something else

  • with it for a little bit later on. NATHAN: We do, in our Bengal Lounge, formally

  • known as the Cornet Lounge, in 1954. we do a what we call our 1908 martini, which is

  • tea infused vodka. We actually take our vodka and soak a bunch of tea bags in it for a few

  • days, and it adds a nice tea flavor to the vodka.

  • JON: I love the location of the hotel in Victoria, it's Canada's most walkable city, Canada's

  • most fit city, how does it get that title? NATHAN: The weather is great here, all year

  • around you can be biking, walking to work, be doing what you need to.

  • JON: You bike to work, right? NATHAN: I do bike to work.

  • JON: This city walks to work, bikes to work, that is why it is such a fit city.

  • NATHAN: Yes, it is, yes. JON: What else about Victoria, you are not

  • from this part, so what do you love about Victoria?

  • NATHAN: We have an oceanfront here, we have a lovely ocean, the mountains just up island

  • a little bit, it's a beautiful place. Next Stop logo

  • JON: We all know Canadians love their beer, tonight in Victoria, we're going

  • on an Ale Trail, our first stop? Swan's Brewpub.

  • ANDREW: Swan's is a brewpub in downtown Victoria, this building, a beautiful building,

  • it was built in 1913. This is just 3 of our beers, first beer we are going to have is

  • Tessier's wheat beer. JON: That is your last name.

  • ANDREW: That is my last name, named this one after myself, favorite type of beer. Cheers.

  • JON: Good for you, cheers. That is really nice. Perfect summer beer.

  • ANDREW: Summer beer. Second beer we are going to try is our Extra IPA, really hoppy, really

  • bitter. JON: I think I like this the best, I like

  • your summer, and I like your IPA. I like them all, but this is my favorite.

  • ANDREW: Cool. You can like them all! JON: It's like your children, right?

  • ANDREW: Yes. JON: So we found our way to award

  • winning Canoe Brewpub, Yogi here is going to tell us about these props on the table,

  • that aren't just props, these are awards my man.

  • YOGI: They are not just props, they are awards, they are really awards, we actually won 3

  • silver awards for 3 out of 4 of our beers, for our lager, which is our czech inspired

  • beer, and our brown ale. JON: Well done, and your process is really

  • fresh, there aren't that many steps. YOGI: Yeah, very fresh. it is only literally

  • 10 paces from the grain until the beer which is another tap, so it is a really, really

  • fresh beer. This used to be a coal powered power plant, for Victoria, so this place used

  • to actually power Victoria's city, which is pretty cool.

  • JON: And now beer powers the city. YOGI: Yeah. exactly. We are still powering

  • it. JON: So should I try one?

  • YOGI: Yeah, definitely, try one. JON: This is one of the award winning ones,

  • yeah? YOGI: Cheers, this is our lager, this is our

  • lightest one we have, more of our summer drink. What do you think?

  • JON: I like it, very light, for a nice summer day, perfect.

  • JON: Our last stop on the Ale Trail, Canada's oldest licensed brewpub,

  • Spinnakers. RYAN: Since back in May of 1984 we have been

  • brewing all of our own beer, building local community, we still have people that have

  • been coming in since 1984. This is our Hoptoria, brewed this one in commemoration of Victoria's

  • 150 years. Hoptoria says it all, Victoria. JON: You guys are also all about your food,

  • and local foods. RYAN: Definitely. I mean even with our cattle,

  • we have an arrangement going on with our cattle farmer, we give her all of our used barley,

  • she gives it to the cattle and in return we get beef. So you get a burger and beer, you've

  • kind of got a tiny little circle of life going there.

  • JON: Beautiful. Next Stop logo

  • JON: British Columbia Ferry Services Incorporated, also known as BC Ferrries, began

  • in 1960 with only 2 vessels. Today it is one of the most elaborate ferry systems in the

  • world, with 36 vessels and 40 ports of call. It also plays a vital role in BC's economy,connecting

  • goods and services, people and places, friends and family, and today, connecting our Next

  • Stop crew from Victoria to one of the worlds most livable cities, Vancouver B C.

  • Next Stop logo JON: Coming up on Next Stop, the

  • popular peak on Vancouver, a culinary walking tour, and more.

  • Next Stop logo JON: Grouse Mountain, also known

  • as the peak of Vancouver, is located just 20 minutes outside the city. It is open year

  • round, and it is fun! So our first activity here on Grouse Mountain is ziplining, now I have ziplined

  • before, but this is a little bit different set up Chris.

  • CHRIS: Completely different than a lot of places around the world, no open glove, bamboo

  • pole, or anything like that, fully automatic system so alright, up you come Jon, just watch

  • your head when you stand up here, feels good? JON: it is like sitting in a harness, in a

  • chair, perfect. CHRIS; Alright, off you go, see you down there.

  • JON: Woo hoo! CHRIS: Perfect, line number 2 here, we are

  • starting to get into the good stuff, ok? This line, it's a lot longer, a lot steeper than

  • the first one, we are basically going to end up going a lot faster.

  • JON: Woo hoo! Oh my gosh, how beautiful is this! Woo! So I mentioned we have ziplined

  • before in different places, but the harness in completely different, the stopping is completely

  • different, and taking a chair to our next zipline? I love it!

  • CHRIS: This line is about 1200 feet long,, and if you are going fast enough, you can

  • reach up to speeds of 80 kilometers an hour up here.

  • JON: Guys, thank you so much for an exhilarating afternoon. What is up next on our tour of

  • Grouse Mountain, what should we see? CHRIS: Right behind us, the eye of the wind,

  • you get some insane 360 degree views of the city and the mountains around us, so I definitely

  • recommend heading up there. JON: Meet Ian, he is going to

  • tell us about this impressive wind turbine, it's not a windmill, what is the difference?

  • IAN: Windmill makes bread, wind turbine makes power. This makes power, makes power. First

  • one of it's kind in the world to actually have both a passenger elevator and a viewing

  • platform on there, so accessible to the public, super easy for anyone to get to. These are

  • the coastal mountains here that are actually a sub site of, they are called the Northshore

  • Mountains, so these big ones that we have in back are called Cathedral, and then the

  • one in front of it is Mt Coliseum, and it is as rugged as you get.

  • JON: And then the view of Vancouver. IAN: Absolutely gorgeous, eh?

  • JON: Yeah, it's probably the best view in the city.

  • IAN: I don't think you can get anywhere else better.

  • Next Stop logo JON: We are staying at the Westin

  • Grand, located right in downtown Vancouver. When you drop into a city and the locals tell

  • you they love the hotel you are staying in, you know it is a pretty special place. The

  • first thing that stands out, it is called the Westin Grand, it is shaped like a grand

  • piano, we have a grand piano keyboard right here, what is up with the music thing?

  • BRYCE: Well it is just the cooperation kind of between the hotel and really the industry

  • that surrounds us, kind of that theater area, we have some theaters close by, so when the

  • hotel was built in 1999, they decided hey, lets get the building involved, and not just

  • the staff and not just kind of the culture. JON: You are right on Robson Street, which

  • is the happening street, you have restaurants, so many things around that you can walk to.

  • BRYCE: We get comments all the time about, geez, I came here to Vancouver, didn't know

  • much about your hotel, but came in right from the airport and stayed here and I stepped

  • out of the hotel and there is shopping and restaurants, and theater, and gas town, and

  • yale town, and everything is kind of within that walking distance, so we are pretty proud

  • of that. JON: So you are from Vancouver, how has Vancouver

  • changed, especially after the Olympics? BRYCE: It's been incredible. When I was

  • growing up in Vancouver, downtown wasn't as developed as it is now, so when you went

  • to a restaurant, it was sometimes out of downtown, now, if you come downtown, you never have

  • to leave, everything is here. JON: Last night you guys had a pop up bar.

  • What is a pop up bar? BRYCE: Yeah, so we started this this year,

  • called a pop up patio, so we have a little lounge set up, a DJ, drinks, appies, people

  • love it. JON: Love it. And your rooms, I mean, it is

  • the Westin Quality, all rooms are suites which I love, but what I really love and is something

  • unique is you have little kitchenettes in your room.

  • BRYCE: Yeah. JON: So you really can grab food, there is

  • a grocery store next door, and really make your own dinner if you want.

  • BRYCE: Yes, so it works for both, works for corporate travellers who who want to come

  • here whether they are staying for one night, works for those families who maybe want to

  • have a bowl of cereal for breakfast, they don't feel like they want to go to a restaurant

  • every time, so it really works for everyone who wants to come here. Being a 31 floor hotel,

  • the views from the upper floors are spectacular. Next Stop logo

  • JON: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is Vancouver's most popular and oldest

  • tourist attraction. The Bridge itself was built in 1889 and is 450 feet across, and

  • 230 feet above the raging Capilano River. It's newest addition, Cliff Walk, showcases

  • the bounty of the temperate rainforest surrounding, and is a thrilling was to experience Vancouver's

  • beautiful natural surroundings. Next Stop logo

  • JON: With over 12 million visitors a year, Granville Island is a bustling part

  • of Vancouver. Today we meet up with Edible Canada for a culinary tour. This is a very

  • cool part of Vancouver right now, tell us about Granville Island.

  • DONITA: Very nice. Well. Granville Island has a lot of history. All of the tin buildings

  • you see here are original buildings. This used to be a real workers place, very industrial,

  • so they opened up the market in 1979 and they invited artisans to come in with their studios,

  • and local vendors to open up shop and it was an instant success.

  • JON: Let's explore. DONITA: Yeah, absolutely.

  • JON: Stop uno. DONITA: This is the Stock Market, so here

  • they actually open before the market opens at 8 am, and they start serving breakfast.

  • So they serve oatmeal sometimes with a nice fruit sauce.

  • JON: That is so good. DONITA: So, South China Seas, great place

  • to get those special ingredients for when you are cooking and you can't find it anywhere

  • else. JON: Unique.

  • DONITA: You come here, everybody knows about South China Seas, and this is sea asparagus,

  • so this is salty. JON: We had this last night at Kitsilano Kitchen.

  • DONITA: Oh, you did? JON: Chef Brian comes comes down here every

  • day, and buys all his ingredients fresh, and prepares his menu daily, and we had this on

  • one of our appetizers. So I noticed that you started with the bag and now I have it, why

  • am I carrying the bag now, Because I am a gentleman?

  • DONITA: It's because you were misbehaving, and I want you to have the full experience

  • of this tour. JON: It's because I was misbehaving.

  • DONITA: So next stop is Benton Brothers fine cheese, I love this stuff, because there is

  • a huge story. Andrew and his brother Jonah actually own this cheese company, they have

  • 3 locations, but they are engineers, they never were born into this. They decided they

  • didn't want to be engineers anymore, got into the cheese business, and what they specialize

  • in is small production cheese. We are going to Petit Ami next for some coffee samples.

  • JON: It's obviously very popular, there is a line.

  • DONITA: It is, It is a hidden secret, once people come on the tour, or they come to Granville

  • Island on their own, they discover the coffee, then they keep coming back. We are here at

  • Lee's doughnuts, and this is one of the original vendors in the market when it opened

  • in 1979. They are doing very simple doughnuts, very simple recipes, they haven't changed

  • anything, and they make it with a lot of love and care. Alright, we are here at Edible Canada

  • to do our last tasting of the tour. So birch syrup is kind of the new niche product out

  • of Canada, some people get different things. JON: I taste birch.

  • DONITA: Do you? JON: I don't know.

  • DONITA: What a great palette. This is a staple in my fridge, this is turkish fig and walnut

  • wine spread, so it's like a jam. We are sort of taking you on a little trip through

  • the Vancouver food scene, what is local and what is Canadian, and what is really good.

  • JON: You did a very nice job today, thank you very much.

  • DONITA: Why thank you. Your welcome. Next Stop logo