Vancouver: Top 10

(continuer en français) – Last updated: December 31, 2021

Canada’s third largest city is located on the other side of the continent, facing Asia. It attracts many visitors who want to experience a different aspect of Canada, like the American West Coast, it instills an alternative way of life. The main points of interest are gathered in the downtown area surrounded by the bay.

01. Granville Street

The major street of the city centre is transformed into a pedestrian street during the summer evenings, offering a great open-air party. There are neon lights and night clubs, but this has eased up for the coming of the 2010 Olympic Games. At the end of the street are the department stores with a permanent pedestrian section where animations take place.

02. Stanley Park

The wilderness just a stone’s throw from the city centre. A peninsula once inhabited by Amerindians, trees were logged to build Vancouver before the park was created in 1888. There are many points of attraction, from totem poles to sculptures, the rose garden or beaver lake, sports and cultural areas. But first of all, there are 400 hectares of forest with barely marked trails.

03. Seawall

This coastal trail now extends 17 miles, 28 kilometres, from Canada Place. Construction began in 1917 with the building of a seawall around Stanley Park, hence its name. This remains the most popular portion of the trail and provides access to several sites such as the Brockton Point Lighthouse and the Girl in a Wetsuit sculpture. Pedestrians and cyclists each have their own lane.

04. Beaches

The city of Vancouver has 11 miles, 18 kilometres, of beach, which is an integral part of the local culture. As soon as the weather allows it, people get together for the day and enjoy a variety of activities. These public beaches were often reclaimed by the authorities throughout the 20th century, putting an end to the commercial or residential occupation of the shores.

05. Canada Place

Looking like a large white sailboat moored in the harbour, Canada Place serves primarily as a docking facility for cruise ship calls. It has terraces overlooking the bay where outdoor events can be held and where seaplane movements can also be observed. From here the boardwalk runs along the shoreline and around Stanley Park.

06. Gastown

One of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods, a place of depravity for a long time before falling into decay. Saved from being demolished, it is now undergoing rapid gentrification thanks to its character and proximity to downtown. Tourists come here for its old houses, its art galleries and mainly for its steam clock.

07. Chinatown

The origin of the neighbourhood goes back to the end of the 19th century when part of the workforce that came to build the railways decided to stay. Several waves of immigration further increased this first base, spreading to other neighbourhoods. More recently, relying on this ethnic accointance, Chinese capital has come to invest in local real estate.

08. Sun Yat-Sen Garden

The garden is named after the nationalist leader who toured Vancouver several times in his efforts to establish the republic in China, of which he became the first president. The quintessential botanical art of Chinese gardens is subtly displayed here. Even without grasping all the symbolic references, the visit is a unique opening to Chinese culture.

09. Art Gallery

The museum is installed in the former courthouse, built in the classical European tradition at the beginning of the 20th century. The collection initially had a strong European influence, then came Canadian artists such as Emily Carr and the Group of Seven. Its interest also turns to First Nations and Asian art.

10. Granville Island

Spanned by a bridge, Granville Island enjoys an outstanding setting on the edge of False Creek with the Vancouver skyscrapers just across the water. The former wasteland is a successful regeneration, capitalizing on the community’s appetite for outdoor activities. Animations attract people to the sunny terraces.

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