Vancouver is a young city; it was not yet a town when British Columbia became part of the Canadian confederation in 1871. The city's history is reflected in Vancouver's fantastic skyline: stages of growth are displayed by viewing the skyline east to west along the waterfront, from cobblestone late-Victorian Gastown to the shiny postmodern glass cathedrals of the financial district.
Vancouver has always welcomed waves of immigrants and is correctly named 'Lotusland' more for its diversity and natural lifestyle than temperate climate. The city is proof that a benign environment will produce a tolerant character. The city is a gateway to outdoor recreation Ñ from sea kayaking, sailing, urban hiking to snowboarding, skiing and winter camping. Millions visit the city plus its' surrounding islands and the incredible mountains that dominate Vancouver and British Columbian landscape.
Flight times: Montreal- 5 hrs., Tronto- 5 hrs., London- 10 hrs., New York- 6 1/2 hrs., Los Angeles- 3 hrs., Sydney- 19hrs.
Vancouver enjoys a maritime climate, with mild winters and warm summers, however winters can be very rain. Snowfall is rare in the city, but is considerably greater in the mountains surrounding the city.
Average Daily High/Low Temperature:
- Spring: 57F/44F, 14C/7C
- Summer: 69F/54F, 21C/12C
- Fall: 56F/43F, 13C/6C
- Winter: 45F/34F, 7C/1C
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Located 15km (9 miles) southwest of the city center, it is a major gateway between the Pacific Rim and many North American cities. This airport serves over 15 million passengers annually, making it Canada's second busiest airport. The international and domestic terminals are connected directly to one another. The South Terminal handles float plane and helicopter services to Vancouver's downtown waterfront on Burrard Inlet. There are shuttle services to the city, suburbs, and resort areas. Public transit and taxis are more than adequate.
As the primary provider of coastal ferry service in the province, BC Ferries's many routes are an important part of any visit to Vancouver. These ferries maintain a constant flow of goods and services to many unique destinations, this sevice is essential to all coastal communities.
VIA Rail is the national rail service provider. Many choose rail for scenic trips however renting a car or flying is more efficient for most trips in and round the city and many outlying resorts.
Pacific Central Station, the terminus for the main transcontinental lines, is located at 1150 Station Street, adjacent to the main bus station. Facilities include bureau de change, food and drink concessions, gift shop and newsagents. Services on the coastal line (such as trains from Whistler) terminate at the BC Rail Station at 1311 West First Street in North Vancouver.
North America's largest aerial tramway, the Skyride is a great way to view the city, sea, and mountain vistas plus enjoy mountain activities. The Skyride makes the 1.2 mile (2KM) climb to the peak of Grouse Mountain every 15 minutes. At the top, you may view a free video presentation at the Theatre in the Sky, or enjoy free mountaintop activities such as lumberjack shows, chairlift rides to the peak, walking tours, hiking, and a chance to visit orphaned grizzly cubs at the mountain's wildlife refuge. During winter you can ski, snowshoe, snowboard, ice-skate on a mountaintop pond, or take Sno-Cat-drawn sleigh rides.
Skyride and most activities $22.(Canadian) inclusive. Daily: 9 AM-10 PM.
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
604 986-6262; 604 980-9311(dining reservations)
Granville Island Public Market
No chain stores are allowed in this 50,000-square-foot building, therefore each outlet is unique. The market offers locally grown produce direct from the farm plus crafts, chocolates, cheeses, fish, meat, flowers, and exotic foods. Weekends are very crowded but still enjoyable.
Feb.-Dec., daily 9-6; Jan., Tues.-Sun. 9-6.
1689 Johnston St., Vancouver
Canada's largest city park covers hundreds of acres filled with lush forest and crystal clear lakes. The only drawback is rush hour traffic through the park.
North on Route 99.