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Downtown — Sri Chinmoy and Snake Bite Espresso

When we arrived in Hope we immediately shed our state side persona and began acclimatizing ourselves to being in Canada … exchanged our greenbacks for loonies ($1) and toonies ($2), got out the metric conversion table for kilometers and liters (Celsius is still a mystery), brushed up on the sport of curling, and adjusted our eyes to seeing the bright red coats of the photogenic Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Dudley Do-Right and Sherry were all smiles ... just before her arrest.


What makes the small town of Hope (pop. 6,184) memorable is its natural beauty. Hope sits on a wide sweeping curve of the Fraser River and is ringed by soaring mountains whose peaks are often shrouded in fog and mist. A signpost claimed the peaks were there ... but we never saw them. Our ignorance of the Fraser River was embarrassing ... considering it is the largest river in British Columbia and produces more salmon than any other river system in the world. The Fraser River has no dams, so the shear volume of water passing through Hope is quite impressive.

Hope is not especially quaint, but has just enough charm to be comfortable. There are not many historical sites from the city’s historic legacy as a Hudson Bay Fort and gold rush town. One charming exception is the gothic revival Anglican Christ Church. This National Historic Site was built in 1861 and is the oldest church in B.C. still on its original foundation. Its moss covered roof and small arched doors beneath the ornate bell tower really convey a sense of yesteryear … surprisingly it still conducts Sunday services.

Smack dab in the middle of downtown is the Municipal Park. Here towering trees provide a green and lush environment for picnicking and relaxing. When some of the trees were ravaged by rot they were given a new lease on life by a local chainsaw sculptor … Hope, with its two dozen sculptures scattered about town, now promotes itself as the Chainsaw Carving Capital of Canada. Within the park is the tiny Friendship Garden. This Japanese designed garden was designed to commemorate the 2,300 Japanese-Canadians interned during WW II in the Tashme Camp located east of the town.

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