BC Car-Free had wide distribution in the local book market at a time when book retailing still existed. It was well-recieved and staff often gave it the prime browsing locations. Well times have changed. Not only the book but most of these booksellers have gone the way of the dodo. Only Amazon has a few new and used copies left.

Support your local retail community. The following outlets are now no longer stocking BC Car-Free. Call before making a trip down to the book store to ensure the item is in stock.

Vancouver and the Lower Mainland

Downtown/West End/Yaletown

  • Chapters 7100 Robson Street at Howe 604-682-4066
  • Book Warehouse 1051 Davie Street at Thurlow 604-685-5711
  • Book Warehouse 1015 Denman Street at Nelson 604-682-5711
  • Book Warehouse 550 Granville Street at Broadway 604-683-5711
  • SmithBooks 595 Burrard Street at Bentall Centre 604-689-8231

Vancouver West Side

  • Chapters 2505 Granville Street at Broadway 604-731-7822
  • Mountain Equipment Co-op 130 West Broadway 604-872-7858
  • Taiga Works 390 West 8th Avenue at Yukon 604-875-83100
  • The Book Company 650 West 41st Avenue at Oakridge Centre 604-264-9245
  • Blackberry Books 1663 Duranleau Street at Granville Island 604-685-61100
  • Duthie Books 2239 W 4th Avenue 604-732-5344
  • Book Warehouse 632 West Broadway 604-872-5711
  • Book Warehouse 23100 West 4th Avenue 604-734-5711
  • Book Warehouse 4444 West 10th Avenue 604-221-5744

North/West Vancouver

  • SmithBooks 924 Park Royal South in West Vancouver 604-922-0033
  • Coles The Book People 935 Marine Drive at Capilano Mall in N. Van 604-985-2001
  • Coles The Book People 948 Park Royal South in West Vancouver 604-926-6216
  • The Book Company 833 Park Royal North in West Vancouver 604-922-5125
  • Indigo Books Main 1 - 1221 Lynn Valley Road North Vancouver 604-904-7970 Indigo Books Marine Drive 1025 Marine Drive North Vancouver 604-9100-6681
  • Book Warehouse 1524 Lonsdale Avenue North Vancouver 604-904-5711
  • Save-On-Foods Book Department Pemberton Plaza North Vancouver 604-986-0463

Burnaby/New Westminster

  • Chapters 4700 Kingsway at Metrotown Centre 604-431-0463
  • SmithBooks 4567 Lougheed Highway at Brentwood Mall 604-298-2825
  • Coles The Book People 9855 Austin at Lougheed Shopping Centre 604-421-0312
  • Black Bond Books Royal City Centre New Westminster 604-528-6226
  • Save-On-Foods Book Department Metrotown Centre 604-434-6880

Richmond/Delta/Tswwassen/White Rock

  • Chapters 8171 Ackroyd at Richport Town Centre 604-303-7392
  • International Travel Maps and Books 12300 Bridgeport Rd 604-273-1400
  • SmithBooks 5300 No 3 Road At Lansdown Park in Richmond 604-273-3557
  • SmithBooks 1230-6551 No 3 Road at Richmond Centre 604-273-7114
  • Black Bond Books Warehouse Outlet, 1-15562-24 Ave Surrey 604-536-4444
  • Save-On-Foods Book Department 8200 Ackroyd in Richmond 604-278-3933


  • Chapters 100-1210-72 Ave at Strawberry Hill Centre Surrey 604-501-2877
  • Coles The Book People 10127 King George Highway Surrey 604-581-0800
  • Coles The Book People 1206 Guilford Town Centre Surrey 604-584-8044
  • Black Bond Books Guildford Town Centre Surrey 604-589-3680
  • Black Bond Books Surrey Place Mall, Surrey 604-583-1282
  • Port Moody/Coquitlam/Maple Ridge
  • Chapters 38-2991 Lougheed Highway at Pinetree Village Coquitlam 604-464-2258
  • Coles The Book People 2929 Barnet Highway at Coquitlam Centre 604-464-5815
  • Black Bond Books Haney Place Mall Maple Ridge 604-463-8624
  • Save-On-Foods Book Department at Pinetree Village Coquitlam 604-464-9101

The Fraser Valley

  • Black Bond Books Abbotsford-Westoaks 604-859-7701
  • Chapters 115-20015 Langley By-Pass Langley 604-514-8663
  • Coles The Book People 19705 Fraser Highway Langley 604-530-2244
  • Black Bond Books Warehouse Outlet City Crossroads, Langley 604-533-7577

Though not exhaustive this list will get you started. BC Car-Free is available in Victoria and Seattle too. Details coming soon.

The End

Canada's topographic maps are now available for download, free of charge, from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Since April 1, 2007 high resolution scans of many different cartographical datasets can be found at  Geogratis, the distribution portal operated by NRCan. Of particular interest to outdoor recreation enthusiasts will be the 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 topographic series.

Unfortunately, the Canadian Hydrographic Service's (CHS) nautical charts are not yet available. Though not as detailed as the CHS charts from a maritime perspective, the Geogratis topo maps should still be quite adequate for most of the kayaking routes described in BC Car-Free. Use charts from the main branch of the Vancouver public library to add in critical details like tidal rapids, campable beaches and so on.

Since the Geogratis portal is not particularly easy to navigate follow a direct link here. Maps are organized according to NRCan map codes. So for example to find the trailhead for the Mid-Coast Trail you will need map 92 E/10. Choose a format then navigate to folder "92". From there choose folder "E" and then move on to the appropriate downloadable zip file.

Detail showing the trailhead of the Mid-Coast Trail.

Personally I prefer the raw scans in TIF format as these retain the highest quality for further editing in a program like GIMP, Inkscape, Photoshop or Illustrator. These can be rather large, often on the order of 30 MB or more.

Frequently a route will skirt the edges of several such maps. The Mid-Coast Trail is a case in point, requiring both 1:50,000 sheets 92 E/8 and 92 E/10. Using editing software these can be ganged up with extraneous details cropped out. Annotations like planned route, known hazards, water sources, safety information and so on can be added, then the whole thing can be printed tabloid-sized [11x17] for ease of use in the field. Of course, always carry paper maps in a waterproof mapcase. Finished maps can be carried in digital format as well, of course, but unless you are packing a solar charger for your device, you may find yourself mapless in the middle of a trip.

Another option is to print a wider view in the 1:250,000 topographic series on the reverse to give a greater sense of the lay of the land.

Whenever resizing any of these maps be sure to copy and paste in an image of the scale at the same resolution so that this can be accurately resized along with the rest of the map. Also include the magnetic declination if available.

The End


Notable Quotes

It's so factually done and it's interesting with a sense of style and wry humour... I liked it.

-- Shelly Clink; MyCity Radio Fanny Kiefer Show.