Here are the essential places to visit in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The selection is made using the FavRiver scoring system which takes into account the most relevant metrics and expert reviews.
Last update : Jul 07, 2019
11Downtown Vancouver
Downtown Vancouver is the southeastern portion of the peninsula in the north-central part of the City of Vancouver. It is the main city centre and central business district of the city, Metro Vancouver, and the Lower Mainland regions.
Downtown Vancouver
12Chinatown, Vancouver
Chinatown in Vancouver, British Columbia, is Canada's largest Chinatown. Centred on Pender Street, it is surrounded by Gastown and the Downtown financial and central business districts to the west, the Downtown Eastside to the north, the remnant of old Japantown to the northeast, and the residential neighbourhood of Strathcona to the east.
Chinatown remains a popular tourist attraction and is one of the largest historic Chinatowns in North America. However, it experienced decline as newer members of Vancouver's Cantonese Chinese community dispersed to other parts of the metropolitan area.
Due to the large ethnic Chinese presence in Vancouver—especially represented by multi-generation Chinese Canadians and first-generation immigrants from Hong Kong—the city has been referred to as "Hongcouver". However, in recent years, most immigration has been from Mainland China.
Chinatown, Vancouver
13Canada Place
Canada Place is a building situated on the Burrard Inlet waterfront of Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the home of the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, Vancouver's World Trade Centre, and the virtual flight ride FlyOver Canada. The building's exterior is covered by fabric roofs resembling sails. It is also the main cruise ship terminal for the region, where Vancouver's famous cruises to Alaska originate. The building was designed by architects Zeidler Roberts Partnership in joint venture with Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership and DA Architects + Planners.
Canada Place can be reached via the SkyTrain line at the nearby Waterfront Station terminus or via West Cordova Street in Vancouver. The white sails of the building have made it a prominent landmark for the city, as well as drawing comparisons to the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia and the Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado.
The structure was expanded in 2001 to accommodate another cruise ship berth and in 2009/10, for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada Place served as the Main Press Centre.
Canada Place
14VanDusen Botanical Garden
In 1970 the Vancouver Foundation, the British Columbia provincial government, and the city of Vancouver signed an agreement to provide the funding to develop a public garden on part of the old Shaughnessy Golf Course. That garden, VanDusen Botanical Garden, is situated in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the North West corner of 37th Avenue and Oak Street. It is named for local lumberman and philanthropist Whitford Julian VanDusen.
The Botanical Garden opened to the public on August 30, 1975 and remains jointly managed by the Vancouver Park Board and the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA), similar to the operation of nearby Bloedel Conservatory. An administrative staff is bolstered by approximately 1200 non-gardening volunteers and six full-time unionized gardeners with seasonal interns assisting during the summer. The VBGA is responsible for membership, volunteering, education, the library, and development fundraising.
VanDusen's volunteers have a 45-year history in the garden and often exhibit a proprietary connection to the trees, shrubs and annuals. Trained volunteer guides interpret the plant collection and the history of the garden to visitors on foot and in motorized golf carts from April through October (see web site for actual dates, the carts have a limited season). In addition to guiding tours, volunteers collect seeds of annuals and perennials (which they clean and package for sale in the garden shop and on the Internet). Other volunteers operate the information desk, produce dried flower arrangements, staff a large and very successful plant sale each spring, write and produce self-guided tours to hand out to visitors, package manure and compost for sale to local gardeners, and work with Park Board staff to install plant identification signs in the garden.
The Garden covers 22 hectares (55 acres). In addition to displays of plants from all over the world, there is an extensive collection of native British Columbia (Northwest Coast) plants. A recently launched "re-wilding" outreach program aims to rescue and propagate native plants for reintroduction into Vancouver's regional parks.
Although the garden's mission statement upholds the ideals of a botanical garden, an early decision not to partake in scientific research channeled funds and energy into garden construction and released the staff from the responsibility of building research collections or a herbarium. The VBGA conducts citizen science initiatives and works with local community partners and schools interested in on-site research.
More recently, the garden's Visitor Centre was designed and built to a LEED Platinum standard. Opened in November 2011, this modern structure features a gift/garden shop, a specialized botanical library, a restaurant and a coffee shop. The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitors Center project, registered with the International Living Future Institute, is pursuing a Living Building Challenge certification.
The building was constructed under the direction Cornelia Oberlander landscape architect, Perkins and Will Canada architects, Morrison Hershfield energy consultants, Fast + Epp structural engineers, StructureCraft timber design-builders, and Ledcor Construction Limited.
In addition to water features throughout the rolling landscape, special features in the garden include carved totem poles, large stone sculptures, and a Korean Pavilion. Children enjoy the maze adjacent to VanDusen's heirloom vegetable garden.
The Education Centre, located at the rear of the garden, houses a seed bank and serves as home to the Vancouver Festival of Lights volunteers, seed collectors, the Sakura Festival staff and the dried flower arrangers.
May is Rhodo time at VanDusen and visitors are treated to a large colourful collection of species and hybridized Rhododendron cutivars. The collection is estimated at nearly 1,000 different varieties of rhodos. Some can be found blooming virtually year round, with intense blooms of species rhodos in the Sino Himalayan garden in the late months of winter. Also of note are cultivars of Fagus sylvatica, as well as collections of Sorbus, Fraxinus and Magnolia.
Specialized niche plantings include a Heather garden, a "black" garden, a seasonal "Laburnum Walk", a majestic stand of Sequoiadendron giganteum, a cypress pond, a formal perennial garden, a heritage vegetable garden (seasonal), a fragrance garden (seasonal) of course, and the large sino-Himalayan garden which covers about eight acres by itself.
In recognition of the extensive and timeless design work that makes VanDusen the pride of Vancouver's gardeners, R. Roy Forster was recognized with the Order of Canada on April 14, 1999, for his work in designing the gardens and their plant collections. Forester continued earlier landscape work established by Bill Livingston of the Vancouver Park Board. Appreciation for Forster's contribution to the design of the garden was recognized recently by VBGA renaming Cypress Pond the Roy Forster Pond.
The garden is open to the public every day of the year except Christmas. There are admission fees for day visitors and memberships (family and individual) for repeat visitors.
VanDusen Botanical Garden
15False Creek
False Creek is a short inlet in the heart of Vancouver. It separates downtown from the rest of the city. It was named by George Henry Richards during his Hydrographic survey of 1856-63. Science World is located at its eastern end, with the Granville, Cambie, and the Burrard (which is furthest west) Street bridges crossing False Creek. The Canada Line tunnel crosses underneath False Creek just west of the Cambie Bridge. It is one of the four major bodies of water bordering Vancouver along with English Bay, Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River. In 1986 it was the location of the Expo 86 World's Fair.
False Creek
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