Vancouver Travel Guide


Notable buildings within the city include Christ Church Cathedral, the Hotel Vancouver (now part of the Fairmont chain), the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (with a world-class collection of Native American art including work by Bill Reid), and the Vancouver Art Gallery (notable collections include illustrations by Chagall and paintings by Emily Carr).

There are several striking modern buildings in the downtown area, including the Vancouver Law Courts and surrounding plaza known as Robson Square (Arthur Erickson, architect) and the Vancouver Library Square (Moshe Safdie, architect), reminiscent of the Colosseum in Rome. Currently topping the list of tallest buildings in Vancouver is One Wall Centre at 150 m and 48 stories. This will be eclipsed by several new skyscrapers in the coming years, including the new 196 m tall, 60 story Living Shangri-La tower, currently under construction. Despite new tower construction, Vancouver is a relatively low high-rise city when compared to other Canadian cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary. Traditional limits on tower height as well as protective view cone restrictions have ensured that no existing buildings are remarkably tall.

Some well-known neighbourhoods and other interesting places within the city include the following:

East Hastings Street (also known as the Downtown Eastside)

Downtown peninsula

Gastown, with brick streets and original buildings reflecting Vancouver's history
Chinatown, including the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen classical Chinese garden, the Chinese Cultural Centre, shops, restaurants, and open-air markets. The SkyTrain station is located less than two blocks from Keefer Street in Chinatown
The West End, one of the most densely populated areas of North America, including access to English Bay, Sunset Beach, and Stanley Park including the Vancouver Aquarium
Robson Street, a hip fashionable shopping and dining district
Granville Mall, a pedestrian street, characterized by blazing neon signs and a 24/7 urban scene in the centre of downtown is a hip area of danceclubs, bars, theatres, concert halls, shoppes, and restaurants. It is also the main transfer area for many of the TransLink buses and has its own underground SkyTrain station.
Burrard Street is home to high fashion retail, posh hotels, and—interestingly enough—the Financial District. There is an underground SkyTrain station near the end of the street, in the middle of the Financial District.
Yaletown and Coal Harbour neighbourhoods (previously industrial areas, now reclaimed with high-end residential high-rises, danceclubs, restaurants, and bars)
Sports arenas BC Place Stadium and GM Place, home to major sports teams like the BC Lions and the Vancouver Canucks as well as major touring concerts and gatherings. The Chinatown-Stadium SkyTrain station is the closest rapid transit access.
The "pot block" of 300-block of West Hastings, home to the [BC Marijuana Party], [Pot-TV], the [Urban Shaman] and the Museum of Psychoactive Substances.

False Creek, one of Vancouver's first planned condominium neighborhoods, on the site of what was the largest lumber mill in the city.

Kitsilano, including Greektown, Kits Beach and the Planetarium

Kerrisdale, a cozy, relaxed neighborhood in the southwest, with sushi-bars galore.

West Point Grey, the westernmost neighborhood of Vancouver where you can relax on one of the many beaches.

Queen Elizabeth Park (the highest point in Vancouver) known as Little Mountain. The park was at one time a gravel quarry. The Bloedel Conservatory and the Quarry Garden are situated near the peak.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, a 22-hectare garden in the middle of the city with guided tours offered daily, major events include the yearly garden show and the winter Festival of Lights.

Granville Island, including artist galleries and a bustling fresh food market. Tiny passenger ferries known as the "Aquabus" connect Granville Island to the downtown core.

Commercial Drive ("The Drive") for Little Italy, arts, restaurants, cafes, and "multiethnic" shopping; also the nexus for the Milennium and Expo Skytrain lines (Commercial Drive Station and Broadway Station)

Main Street from around 4th Ave to 25th Ave, an area of coffee shops, vintage clothing stores, second-hand and antique shops, and artists' lofts, popular with Vancouver's hipster community.

The Punjabi Market/Little India along Main Street around 49th Ave, for South Asian savors and treasures.

The University of British Columbia campus and adjacent parklands, including clothing-optional Wreck Beach, the huge Pacific Spirit Regional Park, the Museum of Anthropology, and the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research. The University of British Columbia also operates the TRIUMF particle/nuclear physics laboratory.

The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds, located in Hastings Park, is the site of the annual fair of the same name held at the end of August. It also has exhibition buildings and the coluseum, used for concerts and where the Vancouver Giants play.

Playland, sharing its location with the PNE, is the city's amusement park and operates from April to September every year.


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