April 18 edition: The 604's saddest mall turns 50

Plus: Psychedelic access and still-standing veggie spots

Hey there. I’ve been spending a lot of time on trains the last couple of weeks. “How romantic!” say the dyed-in-the-wool West Coasters. British trains are decidedly not the stuff of whimsical daydreams… but they sure are convenient.

Get a couple of drinks in me and I won’t shut up about how Vancouver needs better train connections. If we can send our freight by rail, after all, why not our passengers?

— V.
Associate Editor


Still hanging in there, Kingsgate Mall celebrates a half-century of glorious sadness

A close shot of the Kingsgate Mall sign hanging over a door

All hail Kingsgate Mall, a little slice of old, sad Vancouver. The low-rise ode to a bygone era has spent 50 years occupying a slice of the city, standing firm as a beacon to uncoolness even through the waves of gentrification that saw Main and Broadway become the hippest place to be. Mike Usinger profiles the tragic clown of Vancouver’s shopping centres.


Commentary: It’s time for Vancouver to lead the way with access to psychedelics

Psilocybin mushrooms growing against a pale blue background.

Vancouver is the psychedelic capital of Canada—but City Council doesn’t seem to think that way. The council rejected a motion to regulate retail shroom stores last week, despite “the pivotal role our city has in driving policy change.” Psychedelic guide Michael Oliver argues that municipal legislation could help reflect Lotusland’s shroom boom.


Join the Straight’s Playoff Bandwagon, powered by Flight Centre!

As playoff fever takes over, we eagerly await Thursday night to see if the Canucks will battle Nashville, Vegas, or LA in the first round. 

Regardless of the opponent, the excitement continues as fans can journey with the team to electrifying party cities. 

Our headquarters in the destination city will be the hub for fan meetups and city explorations with The Straight. 

This adventure is more than just a trip—it’s a pilgrimage for true fans. Secure your spot now to be part of the Canucks' quest for glory. 

For reservations, contact Andrew Stafford at Flight Centre Kitsilano via email at [email protected] or phone (604) 235-6525.


I Know Your Secret asks what social media does to kids

Seven youth in various fashions pose in front of a network screen

“In real life, social media is a psychological thriller,” says Some Assembly Theatre founder Valerie Methot. “It’s capitalism to a T.” In Some Assembly’s latest production—co-created with a cast of diverse youth actors and writers—digital platforms become treacherous terrain. A disparate group of strangers are summoned to an online friend’s house—but all is not as it seems…

*sponsored listing


Katie Pruitt doesn’t need anyone to pray for them

A white person with long brown hair sits in front of a whitewall, with bright window exposure to the left side

How does growing up deeply Catholic affect a queer Americana artist? For Katie Pruitt, their background still touches their music—but their second album, Mantras, also demonstrates a sense of growth. It’s time to call out the bullshit. “I don’t always feel super safe, saying the things that I say on stage in the US,” they tell us from a tour stop, “but I kind of can’t help but say it.”


Alberni Valley Tourism/ZenSeekers - Melissa Renwick

Adventure in Port Alberni, YEAR AROUND!

Centrally located on Vancouver Island, discover old growth forests and west coast beaches, waterfalls and mountain views in the Alberni Valley. Outdoor enthusiasts will find something to get the pulse racing, while gentle explorers can enjoy breathtaking views, stroll the boardwalk or spending a relaxing day on Sproat Lake.


Don’t worry, Deborah: These Vancouver vegetarian restaurants are still open

A chef at Folke presses astry into a mould.

Following Heirloom’s chaotic closure (blaming “Deborah” for the eatery’s woes) and the Arbor’s rather more fond farewell, it feels like vegetarian restaurants are increasingly struggling to survive in Rain City. Luckily, there’s still a plethora of meat-free and plant-based spots around the city. We round up a few of our favourites.

*sponsored listing


Lion Nie and Liu Maonian’s paintings will make you consider What On Earth. (To April 26 @ Jig Space)

A Night of Embezzlement puts improvisers through their paces in an hour-long improv narrative. (April 19 @ Little Mountain Gallery) 

Family Room explores diaspora and divorce. (April 19 to 20 @ Scotiabank Dance Centre) 

New Amsterdam Cafe throws its annual 420 party. (April 20 @ New Amsterdam Cafe) 

Greg Girard chronicles casual eating spots that share a name in Snack Sakura. (April 20 to May 18 @ Monte Clark)

Latincouver presents The Trail of Coffee, saluting all things java. (April 20 @ The Pipe Shop, North Vancouver)

Crazy8s short film fest hosts its 25th annual gala and screening party. (April 20 @ The Centre)

Banyen Books hosts Gwynne Dyer, author of Intervention Earth, discussing solutions to the climate crisis. (April 21 @ online) 

Want to know what else is happening in Vancouver? Check out our events listings.

That’s it!

Thanks for reading us today. If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another Vancouverite.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

• Did a friend share this with you? Sign up for free.

• Want to advertise to locals? Contact our team.

• Have a crazy or cool story to share? Drop us an email