Where is Vancouver?
Vancouver is located beside the Pacific Ocean to the west, and bordered by mountains to the north and east. It is the largest metropolitan centre in western Canada and third largest in the country.
Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8), and the Pacific Maritime Ecozone. It is adjacent to the Strait of Georgia, a body of water that is shielded from the Pacific Ocean by Vancouver Island. The city itself forms part of the Burrard Peninsula, lying between Burrard Inlet to the north and the Fraser River to the south.
How can I get around?
Vancouver has a system of buses, overland trains (Sky Train system), and ferries (Sea Busses) for transport in and around the city (TransLink). The fares depend on the number of zones crossed during the journey. Fares are typically about $2 to 4 dollars Canadian, depending on the time of day. There is also a day pass that can be purchased. The fare must be paid as exact fare, or tickets may be purchased. Drivers do not provide change. Transit Schedules and Information
Taxi’s are also an option, and are quite easily flagged down in Vancouver’s city center. Taxi services below all provide transport around Vancouver and to the Vancouver International Airport.
Black Top & Checker Cabs (604-731-1111)
MacLure's Cabs (604-731-9211)
Vancouver Taxi (604-255-5111)
Yellow Cab (604-681-1111)
What can I do there?
Vancouver is located beside the Pacific Ocean to the west, and bordered by mountains to the north and east. Local attractions include theatre, native art, whale watching tours, fishing, golfing, shopping, and visiting natural sites and gardening. Numerous opportunities for outdoor pursuits such as hiking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, diving, wildlife viewing in all seasons, and snow boarding and skiing in winter are available within the city and surrounding areas.
Gardens and Parks
The climate in Vancouver is very mild in both winter and summer resulting in many parks and gardens in Greater Vancouver, including the Capilano River Regional Park near the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens, Grouse Mountain, Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory, Stanley Park, and VanDusen Botanical Gardens.
The Capilano Regional Park is near the Capilano Suspension Bridge. A ravine caused by river flow is the highlight of the area. The park is free to visitors, but there is a charge for the Capilano Suspension Bridge attraction, which includes a gift shop. Open 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Phone: (604) 985-7474.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. A Ming Dynasty scholar has built a serenity-inspiring botanical wonder in Vancouver's Chinatown. Nestled behind the high white walls in Vancouver's Chinatown is the exquisite Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a haven of serenity, a photographer's delight. Phone:(604) 662-3207.
Grouse Mountain is the middle of three main peaks to the north of Vancouver. An aerial Skyride (gondola) takes visitors to the top of the mountain. Helicopter tours, theatre, hiking, restaurant, and other activities are located at the top of the mountain. Views of Vancouver island and the city of Vancouver are the highlight of Grouse Mountain. Phone (604) 984-0661.
Queen Elizabeth Park is an outdoor garden located in a former rock quarry. The park is located on the highest point of land within the main city of Vancouver, and offers views of the mountains to the north of the city. The park is free, but there is a charge for the Bloedel Conservatory located at the top. A restaurant is located in the gardens. Phone: (604) 257-8584.
Stanley Park is located near the downtown Vancouver area, surrounded by water on three sides, and connected to North Vancouver via the Lions Gate bridge. The park offers a seawall walk, beaches, rose gardens, the Vancouver Aquarium, and established hiking trails. While there is a charge for visiting the Aquarium, there is no charge for touring the park. There are two restaurants on site and others nearby.
VanDusen Botanical Gardens include lakes, and a wide variety of garden areas, in a setting highlighting mountain views. There is a charge for viewing the gardens, and a restaurant on site. Phone (604) 878 - 9274.
Vancouver Aquarium is a self-supporting, non-profit association dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, education, research, and direct action. The Vancouver Aquarium is a 15 –20 minute walk from Downtown. Phone (604) 659-3521
Theatres, Museums and Art Galleries
There are many theatre companies, museums, and art galleries in the Vancouver area, including the Arts Club Theatre at Granville Island (see Shopping, below), Burnaby’s Heritage Village Museum and Carousel, CN IMAX theatre at Canada Place (downtown), Frederic Wood theatre (UBC campus), the Queen Elizabeth theatre (downtown), the UBC Museum of Anthropology, and the Vancouver Art Gallery (downtown). The Arts Hotline and Information Centre provides events listings and arts information (604)-684-2787.
UBC is located on a point of land surrounded by water (Point Grey) and bordered by the 763 ha of forest of the Pacific Spirit Regional Park. UBC has many attractions on the campus, including Botanical and the Nitobe Memorial Japanese gardens, the Museum of Anthropology, the Chan Centre for the arts, and sports centres including an aquatic centre. Pacific Spirit Park has kilometres of hiking trails, and beaches are within a 10 minute walk of the main campus.
SFU is located over two campuses, with a downtown campus, and a Burnaby campus. The Burnaby campus is built on Burnaby Mountain, with 360 degree views of the mountains to the north and west of the Greater Vancouver area, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Downtown Vancouver is located in the middle of the Burrard Inlet with spectacular views of the mountains to the North and beutiful English bay to the west. Canada Place, a ship-like waterfront cultural and economic complex, contains the Canada Harbour Place Trade and Convention Centre, a hotel complex, and cruise ship facility. Located at the foot of Burrard Street.
The Lookout! Harbour Centre Tower is a good place to view Vancouver. Atop this 21-storey building, there is an observation deck with a 360 degree view of Vancouver which is reached by a glass elevator on the outside of the building. This attraction features character tours, informative exhibits, video theatre and a coffee shop. Located at 555 West Hastings. Open 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the summer. Phone (604) 689-0421 for details.
Vancouver is an international port offering a variety of fashion styles. The downtown area includes shopping along Robson Street, which connects to the large Pacific Centre Mall. The Gastown area has many shops and restaurants that cater to tourists, including gift shops.
A popular area for visiting is Granville Island. A Public market is the central focus of Granville Island, but this is surrounded by theatres, specialty shops including art galleries, and restaurants. Granville Island is surrounded on three sides by water.
How's the weather there?
Vancouver enjoys warm, comfortable summers that are rarely scorching. June to August daytime temperatures linger just above 20° Celsius (70° Fahrenheit). Evenings, especially in the surrounding mountains, are a bit cooler.
Current weather information.
Complete tourist information can be obtained from Tourism Vancouver. Or by visiting the Vancouver Tourist info Centre across from Canada place: Plaza Level, 200 Burrard Street Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V6C 3L6 Tel: 604.683.2000