Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia has it all … a spectacular glass skyline, wonderful outdoor art, waterways for boating, paths for hiking plus professional sports, farmers markets, parks … well, you’ll get the idea as you enjoy this photo tour of Western Canada’s largest city.

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1 Couple with Dog on Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, Canada, has done the perfect job of blending tall, beautiful skyscrapers with surrounding waterways and plenty of green spaces like Stanley Park on the left. It creates a wonderful environment for working, living or a day at Kitsilano Beach like this couple is enjoying with their dog near Hadden Park.

1305 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC V6J 5N2, Canada
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2 Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, Canada

This tent-shaped building in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver has a wonderful view of English Bay, a perfect setting for a maritime museum. Since 1959, the non-profit has told the story of the Pacific Ocean and Artic waterways. Also located near Vanier Park is the HR MacMillian Space Centre, the Museum of Vancouver and, in the summer, a Shakespeare Festival called Bard on the Beach.

1905 Ogden Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3, Canada
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3 Boat Harbor and West End Skyline in Vancouver, Canada

As you would expect of a large metropolitan area that is surrounded by bays, harbors and inlets that connect to the ocean, there are plenty of docks to moor your pleasure boat. This one is on the south shore of English Bay between Vanier Park and Granville Island. On the left of this view of downtown’s West End is the Burrard Street Bridge. It was named after the peninsula that Vancouver is built on and marks the entrance to False Creek.

1502 Island Park Walk Vancouver, BC V6H, Canada
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4 Granville Island Sign Below Bridge in Vancouver, Canada

What does a street, a bridge, a peninsula and a 19th century Canadian town all have in common? The name Granville. In 1886, that city was renamed Vancouver. The Granville street and bridge are behind this sign. And on the south bank of False Creek is Granville Island which hosts eateries, shops and galleries plus displays lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers in their public market.

1508 Anderson St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3S1, Canada
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5 Kids Market at Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada

Kids are people too, so I was thrilled to see that Granville Island did not just cater to adults and hope to pacify their children with a swing set or playground. Instead, inside this 100 year old factory is the Kids Market. It offers over 25 stores devoted to children. They also have an old train caboose and boat to explore, an arcade, a water park, a pond full of swimming waterfowl and so much more. What a delightful place to entertain the whole family.

1496 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3Y5, Canada
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6 Little Girl Feeding Birds in Vancouver, Canada

Have you ever seen a skinny bird at a public park? Nope, and you never will as long as parents bring their children and bags of goodies to share with their feathered friends.

1496 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3Y5, Canada
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7 False Creek Ferries Boat in Vancouver, Canada

This blue boat is one of 14 “little blue ferries” that are operated by the False Creek Ferries company for scenic transportation to nine docks along the banks of Vancouver’s most famous waterway. For a reasonable price, you can book a 25 or 40 minute sightseeing cruise. Better yet, see all of the wonderful venues along False Creek while saving your feet by purchasing their hop-on hop-off day pass.

Johnston St & Duranleau St, Vancouver, BC V6H, Canada
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8 Granville Street Bridge and Downtown Skyline in Vancouver, Canada

Taking a pretty photo like this one of Vancouver’s skyline framed by the Granville Street Bridge is never sufficient for me. I always hope to find something interesting about its history. The original bridge at this spot over False Creek was built of wood in 1889. It was replaced by a steel bridge in 1909. When the current eight lane cantilever bridge was finished in 1954, the first person to drive across was a woman in her new Cadillac … just as she had done 45 years before when the previous bridge opened.

1585 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
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9 Downtown Skyline from Sutcliffe Park in Vancouver, Canada

This lovely and quiet lagoon is formed by the southwest end of Granville Island and the Island Park Walk on False Creek’s south bank. The Sutcliffe Park offers a perfect place for a family picnic while enjoying this picturesque view of downtown Vancouver.

1318 Cartwright St Vancouver, BC V6H 3R8, Canada
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10 Yellow Water Taxi on False Creek in Vancouver, Canada

There are numerous tourist destinations on the north and south banks of False Creek in Vancouver, Canada. If you have all the time in the world on a perfect summer day you can walk around its circumference on pedestrian paths. Or climb aboard one of several companies’ ferries, taxis or sightseeing boats. They offer a host of services from an all-day pass, a sightseeing cruise or just a fast way to get to the other side.

Johnston St & Duranleau St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3s2, Canada
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11 Scarecrow at Granville Farmers Market in Vancouver, Canada

This scarecrow is welcoming you to the Farmers Market on Granville Island. You will be delighted by the displays of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. But it only lasts for five hours every Thursday from June through October. In case you missed it, I have lots of mouthwatering photos in the “Canada Markets” gallery on this website.

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
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12 Romantic Couple on Bench Viewing Downtown Vancouver, Canada

A perfect way to spend a warm weekend afternoon with the one you love is to enjoy a leisurely stroll on the pedestrian path around False Creek in Vancouver, Canada. And when the moment is right, sit on a bench with a gorgeous view of downtown and then snuggle close.

1859 Spyglass Pl, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4K6, Canada
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13 Science World Geodesic Dome in Vancouver, Canada

This impressive geodesic dome at the east end of False Creek became an instant Vancouver landmark when it was built as the Expo Center for the 1986 World’s Fair. It was then transformed into Science World, a non-profit museum. After a Canadian telecommunications company made a sizeable donation in 2005, the science center became the Telus World of Science. Despite all of its name changes, I just call it stunning.

1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7, Canada
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14 Western View of False Creek in Vancouver, Canada

The name False Creek is apropos because it is actually an inlet. It defines the southern shoreline of downtown Vancouver, a British Columbia city of about 600,000 people yet the full metropolitan area is home to nearly 2.5 million residents. This view from the eastern edge of False Creek shows the BC Place Stadium and Sports Hall of Fame on the right and, in the middle, the Edgewater Casino and Plaza of Nations.

1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7, Canada
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15 Edgewater Casino Glass Building in Vancouver, Canada

This beautiful glass structure that looks like a giant greenhouse on the waterfront of False Creek is the Edgewater Casino. By 2016, it will be replaced by a new casino and resort to be located nearby at the cost of over $535 million. The area to the left is called The Plaza of Nations. Four event facilities were built here as part of Expo 86. However, they were demolished in 2008. The open square is often used as an outdoor performance venue.

760 Pacific Blvd Vancouver, BC V6B 5E7, Canada
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16 Rebirth of False Creek’s East End in Vancouver, Canada

Up until the late 1970s, this east end of False Creek was a rail yard and a rundown industrial area. However, the brownfield was reborn as the location for the 1986 World’s Fair that had a transportation and communications theme. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, it housed athletes at the Olympic Village along the Southeast False Creek. The area is now vibrant with housing, walkways, parks, boating and seabirds.

760 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6B 5E7, Canada
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17 BC Place Stadium Facade in Vancouver, Canada

The BC Place Stadium in Vancouver has a long history of hosting major events including a visit by Pope John Paul II in 1984, the opening of the 1986 World’s Fair by Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is also home to the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League and the Vancouver Whitecaps, a Major League Soccer team. Their BC Hall of Fame is also worth seeing.

777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6B 4Y8, Canada
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18 BC Place Stadium Retractable Roof in Vancouver, Canada

When the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver was built in 1983, it had the world’s largest inflatable roof. Several years later it lost that distinction. However, after the sports stadium served as a main event venue for the 2010 Olympics, the roof was rebuilt so it still inflates but now also retracts thus reclaiming its world’s largest status.

777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6B 4Y8, Canada
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19 Vancouver Canucks Hockey Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada

Since 1995, Rogers Arena has been the proud home of the Vancouver Canucks, the city’s NHL hockey team. Prior to 2010, it was called GM Place after its sponsor General Motors. Notice the crane on the left. This construction is part of three new towers that are being built next to the stadium. When finished, they will contain 650,000 square feet of rental units and commercial office space … the largest such project in Vancouver in 30 years.

800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1, Canada
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20 Hockey Player Murals on Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada

These giant murals on the side of Rogers Arena show how proud the Vancouver Canucks are of their hockey players. On the left is Kevin Bieksa, a defenceman and alternative captain who joined the team in 2005. On the right is Ryan Kesler. He spent the first ten years of his hockey career with the Canucks as a forward until being traded in 2014.

800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1, Canada
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21 Digital Orca Whale Statue by Douglas Copeland in Vancouver, Canada

As a photographer, I spend almost every day managing pixels so I was delighted to see this digitized whale statue next to the Vancouver Convention Center. “Digital Orca” was created in 2009 by Douglas Copeland. At night, it sparkles with LED lights. For obvious reasons, the locals often call it the “Lego Orca.”

Jack Poole Plaza 1075 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5, Canada
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22 2010 Olympic Cauldron at Convention Center in Vancouver, Canada

In February, 2010, Vancouver, Canada, hosted 2,600 athletes from 82 nations during the XXI Olympic Winter games. The Olympic flame traveled over 100 days and 28,000 miles from Greece through British Columbia. The torch was carried by 12,000 Canadians before hockey legend Wayne Gretzky lit the cauldron during opening ceremonies at the BC Place Stadium and then proceeded downtown to lite this permanent, 33 foot cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza next to the Vancouver Convention Center’s West Building. It is relit occasionally to celebrate major achievements and events. Behind its five leaning pillars of glass is North Shore Mountain.

Jack Poole Plaza 1075 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5, Canada
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23 The Drop Sculpture by Inges Idee in Vancouver, Canada

Perhaps this blue, steel sculpture called “The Drop” is a tribute to Vancouver’s 162 rainy days a year. Commissioned by the Vancouver Convention Center in 2009, this 65 foot raindrop stands on Bon Voyage Plaza along the waterfront with Burrard Inlet in the background. It was created by four German artists who call themselves Inges Idee.

Canada Pl & Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3, Canada
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24 Convention Centre West in Vancouver, Canada

The Vancouver Convention Centre consists of two buildings that are the equivalent of four city blocks along the downtown waterfront. This West Building is the newest addition with enormous glass windows surrounding 466,000 square feet of event and exhibition space plus plenty of “green” technology that earned it the LEED Platinum designation by the Canada Green Building Council. It also offers two plazas and walkways to enjoy the views of the North Shore Mountain range across Burrard Inlet.

Burrard St & Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5, Canada
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25 Marine Building Reflected in Skyscraper in Vancouver, Canada

When this beautiful Art Deco building opened in 1930, its 22 floors made it the tallest building in Vancouver for the next nine years. But because the building cost was twice the original budget, the Marine Building was sold to the Irish Guinness family for about 40 cents on the dollar. If it looks vaguely familiar, you might recognize it as the Daily Planet during the “Smallville” TV series.

909 W Cordova St Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5, Canada
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26 Canada Place Facade in Vancouver, Canada

Canada Place is a multi-purpose, 23 story complex that houses Vancouver’s convention center, World Trade Centre, the Pan Pacific Hotel, and an IMAX theater called FlyOver Canada. It is also a terminal for cruise ships. Built along the shoreline of Burrard Inlet in 1987 at the cost of $400 million Canadian dollars, it received a $21 million CAD renovation in 2011.

Howe St & Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4, Canada
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27 Canada Place’s Sails Roof and Cruise Ship in Vancouver, Canada

Canada Place’s white sails roofline along Vancouver’s waterfront has become an iconic landmark. Approximately one million passengers a year walk by them as they board or disembark their Alaskan cruise ship from this terminal. This is the Norwegian Sun, one of several ships that sail along the Inside Passage from May through September.

Howe St & Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4, Canada
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28 Grant Thornton Place Glass Dome in Vancouver, Canada

The grand entrance to the Grant Thornton Place is through this glass dome on Seymour and Hastings Streets and then up an escalator. When the 17 floor office complex was built in 1985, it was called the Price Waterhouse Centre. It is nice to see major accounting firms swapping their office space.

Seymour St & W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0A4, Canada
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29 Harbor Center Lookout Tower in Vancouver, Canada

In about 40 seconds, you can be skyrocketed up over 500 feet on the side of Harbor Center and then enjoy the panoramic scenery from the Lookout Tower. After your stomach settles down from the elevator ride, enjoy something to eat at Top of Vancouver. The restaurant slowly rotates giving you splendid views of the city, mountains and waterways.

555 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 4N6, Canada
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30 Two Women Faces Mural Belonging Action by Melanie Schambach in Vancouver, Canada

This stunning mural of two women’s faces is called “The Belonging Action” in Vancouver, Canada. Look deeper to see the stories of people who migrated to British Columbia. Melanie Schambach and 80 artists worked for five months in 2011 to create this colorful, 24 by 32 foot masterpiece in Harbour Center between Homer and Cordova Streets. It was partially funded by the Celebrate Vancouver 125 mural program. It is outstanding!

422 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2V2, Canada
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31 Colorful Red Post Office Boxes in Vancouver, Canada

To me, certain things will always remain iconic even as they slowly disappear. A great example is the phone booth that’s been replaced by cell phones. But apparently mail boxes have not lost their fight against the digital age. The Canadian Post Office claims to offer 900,000 street letter boxes across the country. When they are this decorative, perhaps the younger generation mistakes them for street art.

Homer St & W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2V2, Canada
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32 Landing Building Arched Window in Vancouver, Canada

The Landing Building was a warehouse for gold rush prospectors when it was built on Water Street in 1905. It was refurbished in 1987 with this spectacular arched window that faces the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place. Apparently I am not the only one who thinks this view is gorgeous. Security guards frequently report seeing a ghostly woman dressed in white that walks this hall before stopping to stare out at the harbor. Then, she just disappears.

375 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5C6, Canada
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33 Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver, Canada

Most famous landmarks that attract gawking tourists are old, but not the Gastown Steam Clock in downtown, Vancouver. It was built in 1977 by the local merchants as part of the revitalization of the city’s first neighborhood. Most appealing is the clouds of bellowing steam, the whistle that announces the hour, and the Westminster Quarters tune that is played on the quarter hour. Its mechanism of balls and chains is complicated but visible through the glass-enclosed body of the clock.

305 Water St Vancouver, BC V6B 1B8, Canada
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34 Woodward’s Building in Vancouver, Canada

On this site in 1903, the Woodward’s department store opened for business in the luxury shopping district of downtown Vancouver. It went bankrupt 90 years later and all but a small portion of the original building was demolished. In 2008, this 43 floor tower took its place and is commonly referred to as the W Building. That name is reinforced by the “W” sign that is displayed nearby. It used to be on top of the original Woodward’s Building.

Woodward's W43, 128 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0E6, Canada
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35 Hotel Europe Flatiron Building in Vancouver, Canada

All of the skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver are wonderful but my camera is still in love with flatiron buildings like the Hotel Europe in the Gastown district. I suspect this six-story triangular hotel was grand when it opened in 1909. Since its renovation in 1983 it has become affordable housing. An interesting side note: A tavern used to serve cold beers behind those locked front doors. That space is now filled with $200,000 of gravel to prevent its collapse.

41 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9, Canada
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36 The Guardian Warrior by Mandy Boursicot in Vancouver, Canada

In 210 B.C., Emperor Qin Shi Huang was buried in China along with 8,000 terracotta soldiers made from clay. The tomb was discovered in 1974. This sculpture called “The Guardian Warrior” by Mandy Boursicot is a tribute to that historic tomb. It was one of 33 life-sized terracotta warrior sculptures that were painted by local artists in 2012 and displayed at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Chinatown. Next they lined the street corners of downtown, Vancouver, before being auctioned off with proceeds going to the BC Lions Society Easter Seal Houses.

578 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K2, Canada
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37 The Sun Tower Building in Vancouver, Canada

The Sun Tower literally glows in the setting sun because of its faux-patina steel dome that looks like copper. At 270 feet, it was the tallest building in the city and the British Empire when it was built in 1912 as the headquarters for The Vancouver World newspaper. It was also a challenge for Harry Gardiner, better known as the Human Fly, who scaled the 17 story building in 1918.

128 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1R8, Canada
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38 Millennium Gate and Guardian Lion at Chinatown in Vancouver, Canada

Through the mid-1990s, Chinatown was a bustling, thriving neighborhood for Chinese immigrants and their descendants when approximately 300,000 lived in Vancouver. But it began to decline in favor of a new community in the City of Richmond called the Golden Village. Efforts to revitalize the old ethnic district have included the installation of the Millennium Gate on Ponder Street in 2002 and some wonderful wall murals by Arthur Cheng showing previous generations. See my World Murals galley for examples.

W Pender St & Taylor St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1R3, Canada
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39 Holy Rosary Cathedral Façade in Vancouver, Canada

The Holy Rosary Cathedral in downtown Vancouver was built in 1900 and became a Roman Catholic Cathedral in 1916. Its French Gothic architectural style features sandstone from Gabriola Island, British Columbia, a magnificent rose window and two towers that contain eight bells. The tallest steeple stands 271 feet.

646 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B, Canada
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40 Holy Rosary Cathedral Interior in Vancouver, Canada

It is hard to describe the beauty you’ll find inside the Holy Rosary Cathedral. For example, red Scagliola marble arches support the nave’s arcades and the Gothic tunnel vault. Carved into the oak altar and the surrounding towers are gilded angels in relief. What is also hard is to believe is it only took 491 days to construct this beautiful church.

646 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B, Canada
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41 Reflection of Vancouver Clock Tower at Granville and Broadway in Vancouver, Canada

Downtown Vancouver, Canada is a sea of beautiful, modern and glass skyscrapers. In the Vancouver Block neighborhood is a 15 story building with white, terra cotta cladding. Atop this 1912 Edwardian landmark sits the Vancouver Clock Tower. This photo reflects the multi-generational architectural styles that grace the City of Vancouver in British Columbia.

Granville St & W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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42 Old Court House now Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver, Canada

Nestled among the modern high-rises is the old Court House. Its neoclassical style was designed in 1905 by Francis Rattenbury, the same architect who built the exquisite BC Parliament Building and Empress Hotel in Victoria. In 1979, the law courts moved to a new building across Robson Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery moved in. However, discussions are underway for a new building for the gallery’s $100 million art and photograph collection.

750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7, Canada
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43 Living Shangri-La Skyscraper in Vancouver, Canada

The tallest skyscraper in Vancouver and in all of British Columbia is the 659 foot Living Shangri-La. Finished in 2008 at a construction cost of $350 million CAD, it now serves as a luxury hotel on the first 15 floors and the rest of the 47 floors are condominiums. Imagine what the view must be like from the private garden on the top floor.

1115 Alberni St Vancouver, BC V6E 4T9, Canada
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44 Canadian Coat of Arms in Vancouver, Canada

The official name for Canada’s coat of arms – Arms of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada – is as complex as its design. It includes the queen’s crown, several English lions, French fleurs-de-lis, an Irish harp, Canadian maple leaves plus a Scottish unicorn and English lion as supporters. Its Latin motto is “A mari usque ad mare” which means “From sea to sea.”

495 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1Y0, Canada
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45 Vancouver Public Library Central Branch in Vancouver, Canada

At the downtown intersection of Homer and Robson Streets you enter Library Square which is dominated by this handsome convex building that resembles the Coliseum in Rome. This is the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Walk inside to be delighted by a glass roof concourse which leads to its 1.3 million books. The sign in front that reads, “The Words Don’t Fit the Picture,” is by artist Ron Terada and was sponsored by the Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program in 2010. It contains nearly 1,300 LED lights.

350 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1, Canada
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46 A-maze-ing Laughter Series Statue in Morton Park in Vancouver, Canada

During the 2009-11 Vancouver Biannual Art Exhibitions, 14 playful bronze sculptures called A-maze-ing Laughter were added to Morton Park in Vancouver, Canada. The faces are the likeness of Beijing artist Yue Minjun and have become his signature trademark. Each ten foot statue strikes a different, almost cartoonish pose of hysterical laughter and solicits smiles, smirks and laughs from those who walk around them. The collection was purchased in 2012, so the laughing giants will be permanently displayed near the shore of English Bay.

Morton Park, 1800 Morton Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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47 Lost Lagoon with Downtown Skyline in Vancouver, Canada

An extremely enjoyable walking excursion from the west end of downtown to Stanley Park is the one mile footpath around the Lost Lagoon. The 41 acre artificial lake is filled with ducks and geese plus offers spectacular views of Vancouver’s glass skyline.

715 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
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48 Totem Poles in Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada

In 1886, when Vancouver was incorporated as a city, about 1,000 acres of land was reserved as Stanley Park. It is surrounded by water and covered with a dense forest. Some of the trees reach 250 feet and are almost 100 years old. In short, it appears like it did when the Aboriginal people inhabited it before the British arrived. These First Nation totem poles are reproductions of the ones that once stood here near Brockton Point.

1501 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada 4
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49 Lonsdale Quay Public Market in Vancouver, Canada

A delightful side trip is to take a Seabus ferry across the Burrad Inlet to the North Shore and visit Lonsdale Quay. A highlight is to climb that red staircase for a wonderful view of Vancouver’s skyline. But you can also explore the public market. It is filled with shops, restaurants and, on certain days, an outdoor farmers’ market. Please see my “Canada Markets” gallery for samples of the wonderful produce that is available.

123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K7, Canada
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Vancouver, Canada Composite of Five Photos

Five photos of Vancouver in British Columbia Province, Canada are Vancouver skyline and Aquabus Ferry in False Creek from Granville Island, Farmer’s Market scarecrow at Granville Island, Bronze statue in A-maze-ing Laughter series by Yue Minjun in Morton Park near English Bay, Cat woman wall mural painting, and the Fabric roof that resembles sails of Canada Place on Burrard Inlet which was built for Expo ’86 World’s Fair.

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