Skating: Spirit Bear Tour 2006

Friday night saw 14 die-hard Vancouver Torrent members roll along the byways of downtown Vancouver for Gerry’s Spirit Bear tour. As usual, we met at Ceperley dance oval in Stanley Park and headed out along the sea wall.

Ceperley dance oval, Stanley Park

Our first stop, at the silver shed on stilts, had us gazing across the water to Stanley Park, trying to visualise the ghost of Gerry’s spirit bear in the sky. After a quick stop to admire the water park in front of the Mill Pub,

Water Park - the pause that refreshes

up the path we headed to Canada Place to see our first few “actual” painted bears – we all agreed that the Haida Bear was fabulous in its red, white and black and said that it should be voted an honorary Torrent member – the only thing it was missing was the skates.

Pace Line with Bear

The three (no, four) amigos

In succession, we saw several more bears in front of the convention centre, including one with a fantastic silver metal button blanket. On the east side of the centre, positioned in front of the railing, was a bear with a lovely pink and purple treatment, whose skin colour just matched the pink of evening sky.

Sunset with Bear at Canada Place

A pleasant security guard let us into one of the buildings at Granville Square to admire one of the interior bears.

In the pink

Going down Hastings, Wes had to drop out because his brake was non-functional. A slightly diminished group then stopped to admire various bears along Hastings Street, including Robobear, complete with head-prop.

Canada Place at sundown


We rolled up Burrard, down Georgia, and along Robson. The crowds were thick as we paused to admire the Harley Davidson bear and have our pictures taken with a young tourist woman.

Neil, Harley Bear and John W

Up the street were Dark Vader bear (Brian’s fave) and Brent Butt bear (inside behind glass). Our tour finished up outside the Wall Centre in front of the fountain.

Darth Vader bear, Brian and Christine

From there, a quick trip through the back streets of the west end, through the Mole Hill gardens, and down a hill to startle a wheaton terrier who took great offence to us and started screaming (really – like a hysterical small child). Our evening was complete with drinks and nibblies at Checkers in the Sands Hotel. All agreed that it was a much better venue than the Soho – much better service and decent food.

Outside Wall Centre

Thanks to Gerry for scoping out the route!

See all my pictures here.