New Year’s Day revisited

Finally, in 2009, after living in the Lower Mainland for almost four years we decided to head up Grouse Mountain.  We chose to go New Year’s Day as a way of celebrating what we had planned to be our last few months in Metro Vancouver.  Graduation was coming up in May and in all likelihood we would be somewhere east within a year.

Up we go!  It was quite the experience to pass the snow line and ascend to a winter wonderland.  They had over 3 metres of snow at the top that year.  It was incredibly beautiful and serene, inspite of all the people.

Hubby stood in the very centre of the gondola to prevent the ability to look straight down.  He is only ‘slighty’ afraid of heights.  We had dinner at the restaurant.  Quite good.  Unfortunately we could not afford to eat in the dinning room.  Three women (myself and two step daughters) in university at the time was a strain on finances.  We stayed a couple hours and watch dusk fall on Vancouver and the lights blink on as the hectic pace of the big city continued well after dark.  It was a magical night.

The Iona Building – Vancouver School of Theology

In 2005 we moved to Vancouver with the intent of me returning to studies to earn my Master of Divinity.  There are three colleges recognized by my denomination as having the necessary courses for eligibility to be ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament.  The college I chose was Vancouver School of Theology.  From the onset I was so grateful that I had.  Not only were the courses challenging and enlightening, the community supportive and worshipful, but the campus itself was beautiful.

The north face of “the Castle” is lovely.  Set at the top of a slight rise it draws the eye upward.  When I began studies there the silhouette was uninterrupted.  Since, the skyline has been changed with the rectangular shapes of high-rise student residences and condominiums.  A shame.

The building does not boast many embellishments.  The subtle simplicity of the stone blocks in varying sizes and the small carvings over the entrance ways are in keeping with the purpose of the building.  God is in the small things. 

The charter of the college is magnificently illuminated.  Originally housing the Union College of British Columbia, the Iona Building was completed in the 1930’s and is an ecumenical college educating Anglican, United Church of Canada and Presbyterian students.  The charter hangs in the library.

I spent many hours there, writing, reading, researching, photocopying.

The Merton reading room is a quiet reading/meditation room.  It has comfy large chairs and it was not unusual to find a student napping there.

During my time there the college completed an environmentally controlled archive for many of its older and antique volumes.  People come from all over to access the theological resources.

The building was upgraded to meet seismic requirements, completed in 2005, the year I started.  The interior was brand new, bright and beautiful my first day of college.  Enjoy some of the interior views and patterns.  It was a delight to study and worship there.






Amazing stain glass window in the sanctuary, and beautiful glass sculpture depicting Creation in the foyer.

View of the north shore mountains at morning. Taken from the 6th floor of the Iona Building

Lion’s Gate Bridge

Some things in Vancouver I greatly appreciated.  I admired the Lion’s Gate Bridge.  I remember the first time I crossed it.  It was in my Aunt Helen’s little red convertible car.  I was ten. By the time we finished the tour around Vancouver my long blond hair was wind blown into knots.

The approached from Stanley Park is beautiful, coming out of the deep greenness of the giant cedar rain forest and climbing higher over the inlet entrance over to North Vancouver.  The above is taken from the sea wall walkway in Stanley Park.  Here are a few other views taken in 2008.










These lions are the over pass of  the bridge.  There is no place to stop with a vehicle to photograph the lions on the approach to the bridge.  They can only be accessed by walking.