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Vancouver Tourist Attractions

Vancouver, the commercial (though not the administrative) capital of British Columbia, lies in Canada's extreme south-west corner, only 40 km / 25 mi from the U.S. border.
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Stanley Park

Stanley Park is a lush peninsula of huge trees, located adjacent to downtown Vancouver. This 1000 acres park contains a paved path along the seawall, gardens, trails, totem poles, and other attractions.

Granville Mall

Since 1976 Granville Mall between Nelson Street and Hastings Street has been Vancouver's main shopping street (closed to all private traffic). The Pacific Center and the Vancouver Center (at the Georgia St./Granville St. intersection) are two big shopping complexes with numerous shops and cinemas above and below ground. The Orpheum Theatre (865 Seymour St., off the Mall) used to be the Variété Théatre of Vancouver. Today the lovingly restored building is the concert hall home of the famous Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Further along the Granville Mall a number of large Canadian department stores have branches.

Canada Place

View of Canada Place in Vancouver.
British Columbia pier just to the west of Waterfront Station is the site of one of Vancouver's landmarks, "Canada Place". The unusual roof of this architecturally remarkable structure creates the impression of a huge sailing vessel. Built for Expo '86 the complex houses a convention center with a hotel, restaurants, a number of exclusive shops and an ultra-modern IMAX film theatre. Cruise liners can berth at the pier alongside the center, which itself has a series of "promenade decks" on different levels like those of a ship. These make excellent vantage points for viewing the activities in the harbor, including the Air B.C. seaplanes as they take off and land.

Harbour Centre and Vancouver Lookout

A playground in Vancouver at Harbour Centre.
A few steps from the north end of Granville Mall are all that is needed to reach the Harbour Center, a modern high-rise development incorporating a large shopping precinct. The topmost story (167 m / 550 ft up) has a revolving restaurant and viewing platform call the Vancouver Lookout, both of which are served by "Skylift" - a pair of glass enclosed external lifts operating daily. On clear days the view from Harbour Centre extends to Vancouver Island and Victoria (in the south-west) and south-east as far as the snow-covered peak of Mt Baker.
The "Vancouver Discovery Show", a rousing, 25 minute, multi-media presentation, tells the story of Vancouver throughout its 100-year history.
Address: 555 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B4N6, Canada



Gastown is a trendy area of restaurants, shops, and galleries located in and amongst restored warehouses and Victorian buildings.

University of British Columbia

UBC is a beautiful campus located at Point Grey, with walking trails leading down to the ocean. The university is home to the well known Anthropological Museum.

Granville Island

View of Granville Island in Vancouver.
The once mainly industrial Granville Island (beneath Granville Street Bridge, Hwy. 99) underwent transformation - part of a major redevelopment scheme that encompassed the entire False Creek basin. The result is a thriving new center of activity with a relaxed and distinctive atmosphere. Artists and art students have moved into the converted warehouses on Granville Island, beside the houseboats and theatres, shops, galleries and restaurants have all been opened (together with a marina and a number of greened areas). Granville Island Public Market is one of the most popular attractions, selling fruit and vegetables, seafood and a great variety of other specialties. The island is linked to the residential suburbs on the south bank of False Creek by road and foot bridges. Ferry from Burrard Bridge.

Model Ships Museum (Closed)

The Model Ships Museum is now CLOSED PERMANENTLY.

Vancouver Museum

Vancouver Science Center.
Located in Vanier Park on the south side of False Creek (cross via Burrard Bridge) the Vancouver Museum is huge and definitely worth visiting. It has sections devoted to the history of Vancouver and the Pacific coast as well as collections on natural history and ethnography (the culture of the North-west Coast Indians in particular). Also housed in the modern domed building, completed in 1968, is the H.R. MacMillan Planetarium (several programs, laser show) while adjacent to it stands the Gordon Southam Observatory (with a 15 cm (6 in.) Zeiss telescope). Instructive audio-visual presentations accompany the displays. From the Vancouver Museum splendid views can be enjoyed over English Bay and Sunset Beach to the city and the North Shore mountains beyond.
Address: 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC V6J3J9, Canada

Queen Elizabeth Park (Bloedel Conservatory)

Bridge and flowers at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.
The 53 ha (130 acre) Queen Elizabeth Park extends up the slopes of Little Mountain - at 150 m (500 ft) the highest point in the Vancouver municipal area. There are excellent views of the city center and the mountains to the north.
Offerings include golf, tennis, lawn bowling, disc golf, dining (at Seasons in the Park Restaurant), an extensive outdoor arboretum, and Bloedel Conservatory. Also available is the Queen Elizabeth Celebration Pavillion which can be booked to host a variety of receptions and celebrations. The Bloedel Conservatory, a 15m high dome made of 1490 triangular Plexiglas panels, is one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver. It is open daily and home to a number of plant and bird species.
Address: c/o Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, 2099 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6G1Z4, Canada

Kitsilano Beach Park

A light snowfall on Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver.
The main attraction at the Kitsilano Beach Park is a heated seawater swimming pool.
Kitsilano Beach has become a very popular and trendy area to live and frequent in the Vancouver area. In addition to the beach and ocean front, the area has a number of cafes, walking trails, outdoor exercise equipment and more. People come here both to swim and take in the scenery.
The views from Kitsilano back over the Vancouver city center are wonderful with the mountains in behind. Kitsilano Beach is a great place to spend a hot summer's day, either on the beach or in a seaside cafe.

Jericho Beach

Jericho Beach in Vancouver is a popular summer time area not far from Kitsilano Beach. This long stretch of sand is broken up by large logs that beach goers use as wind breakers or back rests.
From here there is a great view of downtown Vancouver.

English Bay

The beach at English Bay, Vancouver.
English Bay, along the ocean front in the western section of downtown Vancouver, is an action packed area. The area offers shopping and upper end restaurants but is also a popular outdoor area where people come to walk, bike, roller blade or hang out by the ocean. The main streets through this area are Davie and Denman.

Trans-Canada Highway

TransCanada Highway
It is possible to drive from east to west (or vice versa) on the 7500 km / 4660 mi TransCanada Highway that runs from St John's, the capital of Newfoundland, on the Atlantic coast in the extreme east through the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, past Québec city to Montréal. It continues via Ottawa, North Bay, Thunder Bay (all three in Ontario province), Winnipeg (Manitoba), Regina (Saskatchewan), Calgary (Alberta) and finally through the Rocky Mountains to Vancouver in the far west on the Pacific coast.
Between five and six weeks should be allowed for the trip from coast to coast. This leaves time to take in the wonderful scenery with all its natural beauty as well as the interesting towns and places of historical significance.

Vancouver Maritime Museum

The Vancouver Maritime Museum in Kitsilano, Vancouver.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum covers various aspects of the maritime history of the area (from the exploration of British Columbian waters to the development of navigation, the fishing industry and the port of Vancouver).
A number of old vessels are moored in the Heritage Harbour. Most interesting of all however is the "St Roch", lying in the dry dock. Built in 1928 for use by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as an Arctic patrol and supply ship, this wooden two-master successfully negotiated the Northwest Passage to Halifax and back in a single year (1944). She was taken out of service in 1954.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is the main maritime museum in Western Canada and is designed to be of interest to all age groups.
Address: 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J1A3, Canada

Train (Boat Excursion, MV Britannia and the Royal Hudson)

In summer the excursion to Squamish (Wed.-Sun.) aboard the MV "Britannia" or the "Royal Hudson" (an old steam train) is immensely popular. It takes the same time (71/2 hours) by ship or train and passengers can sample both forms of transport by switching for the return journey.
The Royal Hudson is former CPR locomotive that was used in 1939 to pull a train carry King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, thus giving the train its name.
The MV Britannia carries up to 500 passengers and offers a variety of entertainment options on board. There are dining cruises, special events cruises, or the ship may be chartered for special events. The MV Britannia has been fully renovated.

BC Place

BC Place in Vancouver, BC.
The BC Place on the north side of False Creek is a huge multipurpose amphitheatre capable of accommodating up to 60,000 spectators for large sporting and other cultural events.
BC Place is used as a football stadium for the BC Lions, a trade show convention center, and also hosts large scale concerts. It was the venue used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver / Whistler.
The BC Place is famed for being the largest air supported dome facility in the world. It makes an interesting addition to the Vancouver skyline.
Address: 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6B4Y8, Canada

Robson Street

Denman Street

There little shops and restaurants in Denman St. (city center west). At its northern end is the wharf used by the harbor ferries.
This street is popular with locals and travelers as a dinner or shopping spot. There are many restaurants, cafes, and other establishments along Denman Street that almost make it a community of its own. The street is often busy at night, particularly during the summer months, with young people coming here to enjoy the atmosphere.

Science World

Science World explains science phenomena through hands-on exhibits and demonstrations. Themes include water, air, motion and invention.
On site at Science World are the Science Theatre, free with the cost of admission, and IMAX Theatre, a number of permanent galleries, and a featured gallery with changing exhibits. Changing exhibits are generally long lasting and very comprehensive.
The Science World building is unmistakable and a landmark feature in Vancouver. This spherical building, formerly the Expo Centre for the Expo 86 World's Fair,
held the Futures Theatre when it was created.
Address: 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver, BC V6A3Z7, Canada

Van Dusen Botanical Garden

Of considerable interest in Vancouver are the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens (east of Granville Street between 34th Street and 37th Street). Each of the 40 or so plots is given over to a different geographical region or botanical species and the collection includes a number of exotic plants from around the world.
There is always something in bloom at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens and a bloom calender is available, indicating what is happening and when.
The Botanical Garden also hosts events throughout the year that the public can participate in, including garden tours and walks, lecture series, and sale events.
Address: 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6M4H1, Canada

CP Waterfront Station

At the north end of Granville Street, the CP Waterfront Station (the old Canadian Pacific Railway terminal) is now the point of departure for the city's "SkyTrain" and "SeaBus" services.
The 15 minute passenger ferry crossing to North Vancouver on the SeaBus, or AquaBus as it is sometimes called, gives superb views of the city skyline.
The CP Waterfront Station is a historic area as well as a commuter hub. It is a convenient location for accessing other parts of the city.

Harbour Tours

Harbor tours on the paddle steamer "Constitution" are a delight.
There are various harbor tours available throughout the year although most are offered during the summer months when the harbour is at its best. Most tours provide information or narration on Vancouver's Inner Harbour and offer food and beverage services.
Harbour Tours are a great way to soak up the amazing scenery and spend an hour or so on the ocean.
A harbor tour (1hr) aboard the little "Tymac" leaves from the wharf at the northern end of Main St.


A harbor tour (1hr) aboard the little "Tymac" leaves from the wharf at the northern end of Main St.

Old Hastings Mill Store Museum

Of Vancouver's first sawmill only the store and post office survived the 1886 fire and the later rapid development of the city. Built in 1865 the Old Hastings Mill Store is today a museum housing items from pioneering days and the period of Indian settlement.
The Old Hastings Mill Store building is thought to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in Vancouver. The little white building with red doors and shutters is worth a look for visitors who are in the area.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre is Vancouver's largest theatre. It stages opera, ballet and musicals as well as drama.
The Ballet British Columbia calls the theatre home, as does the Vancouver Opera. Other concerts and events are also held here.
Also at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is the Mezzanine Art Gallery featuring works by local artists. The gallery offers changing exhibits on a monthly basis. Art work includes a variety of mediums including paintings, photography, sculpture and more.
Address: Hamilton at Dunsmuir, Vancouver, BC V6B2R3, Canada

2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. The games ran from February 12th to 28th, with the Paralympic Winter Games following on March 12th to 21st. Events were held both in Vancouver and at the Whistler Blackcomb ski hills. Some remnants of the game still remain including the Olympic Cauldron (Olympic Flame) which is now lit on special occaissions such as Canada Day. The cauldron is located next to Canada Place.

Olympic Flame (Olympic Cauldron)

The Olympic Flame burned in the Olympic Cauldron during the 2010 winter games and is now lit on special occaisions. Designed to resemble ice, the cauldron stands on the waterfront in Vancouver adjacent to the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Sam Kee Building

Look out for the newly renovated Sam Kee Building which being barely 2 m (61/2 ft) wide claims to be the narrowest office building in the world.
Located in Chinatown, the Sam Kee Building is located between Pender and Carral Streets. When Pender Street was expanded the property owner had all but approximately 2 meters of his property expropriated. The owner has the Sam Kee building designed and it now houses a number of shops and offices.

Vancouver International Airport

The Vancouver International Airport is located in Richmond, just south of Vancouver. The airport has everything travelers may need with boutiques, clothing stores, restaurants, flower shop, golf store, and gift shops. Killing time between flights is never a problem at the Vancouver International Airport.
The airport is a major gateway to Asia from North America with regular flights to all of the major ports.

Holy Rosary Cathedral

Holy Rosary Cathedral in downtown Vancouver was completed at the turn of the 20th Century. It is a gothic style cathedral with asymmetrical towers and vaulted ceiling. Some of the highlights of the cathedral include the stained glass windows, the tiled floor with design based on the sixth century Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, and the stations of the cross.
Address: 646 Richards Street, Vancovuer, BC V6B3A3, Canada


Playland Amusement Park has games, miniature golf and over 30 rides including a wooden roller coaster built in 1958. This small scale park is perfect for small children as well as teens looking for some excitement. Playland offers specials for birthdays and other events. There are also picnic areas and open spaces. Playland is a popular facility with families.
Address: 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V5K5J1, Canada

Buschlen Mowatt Galleries

The Buschlen Mowatt Galleries in Vouncouver offer up changing exhibits of modern and contemporary art. The gallery showcases the work of international artists, including well known names and emerging talent.
Exhibits change regularly. Check with the gallery to see current and upcoming exhibitions.
Address: Main Floor - 1445 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6G2T3, Canada

H R MacMillan Space Centre

The H R MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver allows visitors to discover the wonders of Space through live demonstrations, interactive exhibits and games, virtual voyages, Planetarium shows, and the observatory. The centre is located in the same building as the Vancouver Museum.

MacMillan Bloedel Place (Closed)

MacMillan Bloedel is one ofCanada's biggest timber companies. There is an information center in MacMillan Bloedel Place where it is possible to learn all about the forests of British Columbia and their economic significance.

Punjabi Market

The Punjabi Market in the Punjabi Districti of Vancouver is located on Main Street between approximately 48th and 51st Avenues. The area is geared toward the local community rather than tourists but offers some great dining opportunities and authentic shopping.

Vancouver Public Library

A night view of the famous Vancouver Public Library.
The Vancouver Public Library is notable for its unique architecture. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie in 1995 it is one of Vancouver's most recognizable landmark buildings. This cylindrical, coliseum style building is also home to an art gallery and huge book store. It is often used in filming movies and tv shows.
Address: 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6B6B1, Canada


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