Features | From Pivot Magazine

A business traveller’s guide to Vancouver

Where to work, eat and explore during CPA Canada’s Not-for-Profit Forum 2020

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Science world exteriorScience World (Photo by Don Erhardt)


During the Not-for-Profit Forum, the Vancouver Art Gallery will host a major retrospective on acclaimed self-portraitist Cindy Sherman; the gallery is also home to the Institute of Asian Art. Originally built for the world’s fair in 1986, Science World’s geodesic dome looks as futuristic now as it did then; in addition to housing the world’s largest OMNIMAX dome screen, the centre contains permanent, immersive galleries exploring the wonders of the natural world, as well as a number of rotating exhibits.

l’atelier coworking spaceL’Atelier Coworking (Photo by Lucy Gregory)


Blurring the line between shared workspace and social club, L’Atelier Coworking offers all the classic accoutrements—exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, super-fast Wi-Fi—along with a variety of year-round community events, from picnics to matcha tastings. The Gastown location puts workers—a mix of entrepreneurs, architects, designers, stylists and marketing people—in close proximity to plenty of the city’s best cafés, bars and restaurants. Day passes for desks start at $35, and state-of-the-art meeting rooms include an event space with a full kitchen. 


Nemesis Coffee, the bright, laid-back space overlooking Victory Square, is notable for its excellent pour-over and its curated selection of beans from celebrated local and international roasters. Meanwhile, Pallet Coffee Roasters, with six locations across the Lower Mainland, is like a beloved local band that’s about to make it big. Pallet sources and roasts all of its own beans to exacting specifications. For late risers, breakfast—including an excellent ­avocado toast—is served all day.


Two years after its grand opening, Coquille Fine Seafood remains a standout in a city blessed with an abundance of great fish. Snag a clamshell-shaped booth or perch at the bar and scan the menu over a spruce-tip gimlet. The ideal lunch might start with crudo of wild Coho salmon with elderflower and lemon; dinner might include the pan-roasted ling cod with lobster fritters and finish with an old-school classic like banana cream pie. For drinks, try Bacchus Lounge—sipping a martini in one of its plush red-velvet booths, illuminated by the warm glow of the fire while the pianist interprets a standard, you’ll feel like you’re in one of the most civilized bars in the country. 

Woman getting a massageShangri-La’s Chi the Spa (Photo courtesy of Shangri-La)


“Wellness Journeys,” as the signature treatments at Shangri-La’s Chi the Spa are called, begin with tea and a footbath in the comfort of a private spa suite. Treatments employ local ingredients, including hand-harvested coastal seaweed and natural marine botanicals, and cover the gamut from Ayurvedic detoxifying rituals to hot stone massage.

Vancouver’s GastownVancouver’s Gastown (Photo by istock)


Gastown: Tourists line up on the cobblestone streets at all hours to take photos in front of the famous steam clock in Vancouver’s oldest ’hood, which is home to impressive cafés, restaurants and shops. Down an espresso at Revolver before browsing for high-fashion basics at Roden Gray, then pick up carefully curated homewares at L’Atelier Home.

Coal Harbour: Up against the water’s edge, Coal Harbour is where the city meets nature. It’s a favourite spot for runners, cyclists and stroller-pushing parents. At Cardero’s, which sits over the water in the marina, diners can enjoy a plate of albacore while watching the boats bring in the day’s haul. 

Commercial Drive: In the bohemian heart of central ­Vancouver, visitors will find a mix of izakayas, tapas bars and microbreweries. Local bistro Absinthe offers quality French food, while Canterbury Tales has been a go-to for new and used books for more than 20 years.