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Canada Place to Stanley Park: A Walking Route in Vancouver

The five giant sails on the Canada Place pier are a notable attraction in Vancouver.
The five giant sails on the Canada Place pier are a notable attraction in Vancouver. | Source

What Is Canada Place?

Canada Place is the name of a tourist and business complex located beside the waterfront in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. It's also the name of the road where the complex is located. The area is very popular and offers wonderful views of Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains. It also offers an attractive waterfront walking and cycling path that connects Canada Place to Stanley Park and beyond.

Canada Place and the seaside walking route are great places for photographers, providing continuous views of the ocean and many interesting scenes to photograph. All of the photos in this article were taken by me during my visits to the area.

The path to Stanley Park is a little over two kilometres long and is paved, flat and wide. There are lots of places to sit, rest and enjoy the scenery along the way. The journey can be extended by continuing through the park, following the seawall path around the park or even travelling along the full length of the 28 km seaside path.

show route and directions
A markerCanada Place, Vancouver -
Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C, Canada
get directions

B markerStanley Park -
Stanley Park, 2099 Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
get directions

Stanley Park is a major tourist attraction in Vancouver. It's a wonderful place to explore nature and contains many facilities and items of interest to visitors.

Another view of the five sails
Another view of the five sails | Source

The pier at Canada Place is a cruise ship terminal and has a promenade for walkers. The most famous landmark in the area is the five huge sails on the pier, which are a symbol of British Columbia maritime history.

Canada Place History, Facilities, and Attractions

The original Canada Place was built on the pre-existing pier and was the Canadian pavilion for Expo '86. Since that time the complex has been modified and expanded. The area contains the Vancouver Convention Centre, the World Trade Centre office complex, a luxury hotel (the Pan Pacific), a marina, a float plane terminal, restaurants, cafes and a gift shop.

The promenade along the pier is attractive and is decorated with flowers and other plants. A walk along the promenade provides some lovely views. The pier contains a display about Canadian history and geography known as "The Canadian Trail". There are thirteen sections to this trail in order to represent Canada's ten provinces and three territories. In summer, guided walking tours of The Canadian Trail and of the neighbouring port (Port Metro Vancouver) are offered.

Another attraction on the promenade is the giant sails. Each of the five sails is ninety feet high and is made of fibreglass coated with teflon. Until 2010, the sails were made of fabric. The sails are illuminated at night. Special colours are used for illumination during special events

Canada Place entrance with a cruise ship; the building with the large maple leaf is the welcome centre
Canada Place entrance with a cruise ship; the building with the large maple leaf is the welcome centre | Source

Canada Place in Summer

Entertainment

Canada Day (July 1st) is always a big event at Canada Place. A large outdoor stage is set up for musical performances. There are buskers, other entertainers and food vendors amongst the crowds. The highlights for many families are the parade and the fireworks display. The fireworks are released from barges in Burrard Inlet - the ocean inlet that is next to Canada Place and the trail to Stanley Park - and can be seen from many other places.

There are often outdoor musical performances at Canada Place. On one visit I was treated to an outdoor performance of music and dance performed by a First Nations group. This was part of the CanadaFest celebrations, an event that celebrated both Canada's history and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Another source of entertainment at Canada Place is FlyOver Canada. This is a flight simulation ride that provides a virtual exploration of Canada. I've never been on the ride, but the opinions that I've read suggest that it's great fun.

A cruise ship at the Canada Place pier
A cruise ship at the Canada Place pier | Source

Other Attractions

Even when no special events are taking place on or around the pier, The CanadIan Trail, the giant sails and the views of the inlet are always present. Another attraction near Canada Place is the Olympic Cauldron. This was constructed for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which took place in Vancouver.

In summer, it's fun to watch the huge cruise ships preparing for their journey to Alaska and to get glimpses of the interior of the ships. Local tour buses stop at Canada Place and tickets are sold for bus trips to other attractions in Vancouver and neighbouring regions.

The international clock at Canada Place
The international clock at Canada Place | Source

The Heritage Horns

The area around Canada Place has yet another attraction. Every day at noon, the heritage horns play the first four notes of "Oh Canada", which is the national anthem. The horns sit on top of the Pan Pacific Hotel and are controlled by a computer program. According to the Canada Place website, the sound of the horns reaches 115 decibels. The horns use 109 cubic feet of air at a pressure of 150 pounds per square inch to produce the 6.5 second sound.

Photos of Canada Place and its Surroundings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A cruise ship with part of Stanley Park in the backgroundA huge cruise ship, which reminded me of a floating cityAnother cruise ship on the other side of the Canada Place pierA side view of a cruise shipA cruise ship and the sails of Canada PlaceA front view of Canada PlaceLooking at downtown Vancouver from Canada PlaceThe start of the promenade on the pierAnother part of the Canada Place complexOne of the many flower pots on the pierAttractive leaves in a flower pot near the pierThis gull stayed relaxed as people took his or her photograph.A tour bus at Canada PlaceAnother view of a tour busLooking towards downtown Vancouver from Canada PlaceBurrard Inlet seen from a high vantage pointBurrard InletDigital Orca, by Douglas CopelandThe Olympic Cauldron burned continuously during the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were hosted by Vancouver and WhistlerAnother view of the Olympic Cauldron
A cruise ship with part of Stanley Park in the background
A cruise ship with part of Stanley Park in the background | Source
A huge cruise ship, which reminded me of a floating city
A huge cruise ship, which reminded me of a floating city
Another cruise ship on the other side of the Canada Place pier
Another cruise ship on the other side of the Canada Place pier
A side view of a cruise ship
A side view of a cruise ship
A cruise ship and the sails of Canada Place
A cruise ship and the sails of Canada Place
A front view of Canada Place
A front view of Canada Place
Looking at downtown Vancouver from Canada Place
Looking at downtown Vancouver from Canada Place
The start of the promenade on the pier
The start of the promenade on the pier
Another part of the Canada Place complex
Another part of the Canada Place complex
One of the many flower pots on the pier
One of the many flower pots on the pier
Attractive leaves in a flower pot near the pier
Attractive leaves in a flower pot near the pier
This gull stayed relaxed as people took his or her photograph.
This gull stayed relaxed as people took his or her photograph.
A tour bus at Canada Place
A tour bus at Canada Place
Another view of a tour bus
Another view of a tour bus
Looking towards downtown Vancouver from Canada Place
Looking towards downtown Vancouver from Canada Place
Burrard Inlet seen from a high vantage point
Burrard Inlet seen from a high vantage point
Burrard Inlet
Burrard Inlet
Digital Orca, by Douglas Copeland
Digital Orca, by Douglas Copeland
The Olympic Cauldron burned continuously during the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were hosted by Vancouver and Whistler
The Olympic Cauldron burned continuously during the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were hosted by Vancouver and Whistler
Another view of the Olympic Cauldron
Another view of the Olympic Cauldron

The Seaside Greenway is a 28 km path that extends from the Vancouver Convention Centre at Canada Place to three beaches known as Spanish Banks. It passes through Stanley Park on the way. The section of the greenway located in Stanley Park lies on top of a seawall. Sometimes the whole Seaside Greenway is referred to as "the seawall".

The Waterfront Path, Seaside Greenway, or Seawall

The waterfront path that begins at the Vancouver Convention Centre is a lovely place for exercise or exploration. It's popular with runners, cyclists and inline skaters as well as walkers. I generally walk along the path. It's wide enough to accommodate the different types of propulsion.

There are beautiful views throughout the whole walk. All that's necessary to enjoy them are some comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather, but a camera is a very useful accessory.

The part of Burrard Inlet located next to the waterfront path is known as Coal Harbour after the historical discovery of a coal seam in the area. The coal was never mined due to its low quality. Despite the rather unattractive name of the harbour, it's a pretty area. There always seems to be something interesting happening on the waterfront, such as float planes taking off and landing, boats passing by, people working and sea birds swimming into view or posing for a photograph. It's easy to get sidetracked from planned exercise in order to take photos of the surroundings.

The path is maintained as a greenway, as its name implies, even though it runs thrrough a city and passes by expensive condominiums in some sections. There are cultivated flowers, shrubs and trees to see along the path as well as two small but pleasant parks - Harbour Green Park and Devonian Harbour Park. The path also passes by restaurants and a community centre.

Photos Taken on the Walking Path

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A paddle steamer harbour tourA restaurant and play area beside the walking routeAnother view of the restaurantA float planeFloat planes with Stanley Park in the backgroundOne of the many different views of Burrard Inlet which are available at Canada Place and on the trail to Stanley ParkA float plane that has just landedPart of Stanley Park and the seawall pathThe marinaAnother view of the marina
A paddle steamer harbour tour
A paddle steamer harbour tour | Source
A restaurant and play area beside the walking route
A restaurant and play area beside the walking route
Another view of the restaurant
Another view of the restaurant
A float plane
A float plane
Float planes with Stanley Park in the background
Float planes with Stanley Park in the background
One of the many different views of Burrard Inlet which are available at Canada Place and on the trail to Stanley Park
One of the many different views of Burrard Inlet which are available at Canada Place and on the trail to Stanley Park
A float plane that has just landed
A float plane that has just landed
Part of Stanley Park and the seawall path
Part of Stanley Park and the seawall path
The marina
The marina
Another view of the marina
Another view of the marina

The Marina

A popular marina is one of the sights beside the path. Whale watching tours and dinner cruises are available. Some of the boats in the marina can be chartered. A few years ago, the graduating class in the high school where I teach had their graduation ceremony during one of the dinner cruises. The event was very successful and enjoyable.

The luxury yachts and the more humble boats in the marina are interesting to observe. I often stop to daydream about the travel possibilities that they provide. There is a world beyond the coastline that I don't often see.

A great blue heron at Lost Lagoon
A great blue heron at Lost Lagoon | Source

Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park

If a walker intends to turn around once he or she reaches Stanley Park, it's nice to pay a visit to Lost Lagoon first, which is near the entrance to the park. Lost Lagoon was once connected to the ocean via Coal Harbour but is now landlocked. It contains a nature centre for people to explore and is an excellent place to see water birds close up, since they are always on the lookout for food donations from visitors. A trail circles the lagoon.

Stanley Park is a wonderful place to visit, especially for nature lovers. The walk from Canada Place can be extended to an all-day outing if Stanley Park is explored, or a shorter outing if just part of the park is visited. There are many trails to follow and many things to do in the park. You may find that you are having so much fun at Canada Place, on the connecting trail or in Stanley Park that time passes without you realizing how late it is. The nice thing about living near Vancouver is that I can always explore the areas that I missed on another visit.

Stanley Park Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A mute swan at Lost LagoonAnother view of a mute swanGeese swimming in Lost LagoonA Canada gooseA bird beach at Lost LagoonRoyal Vancouver Yacht ClubA marina near the Yacht ClubArrival at Stanley ParkLooking into Stanley Park The main road leading away from Stanley Park
A mute swan at Lost Lagoon
A mute swan at Lost Lagoon | Source
Another view of a mute swan
Another view of a mute swan
Geese swimming in Lost Lagoon
Geese swimming in Lost Lagoon
A Canada goose
A Canada goose
A bird beach at Lost Lagoon
A bird beach at Lost Lagoon
Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
A marina near the Yacht Club
A marina near the Yacht Club
Arrival at Stanley Park
Arrival at Stanley Park
Looking into Stanley Park
Looking into Stanley Park
The main road leading away from Stanley Park
The main road leading away from Stanley Park

Getting to Canada Place

Finding the way to Canada Place is easy once a visitor is in Vancouver or its surroundings. The complex can be reached by taking the SkyTrain, Seabus, a bus, a car, or walking from downtown.

SkyTrain is the rapid transit system in Vancouver and its neighbouring cities. Despite its name, the train follows an underground route in some of the urban areas on its route. One SkyTrain line provides a direct connection from the Vancouver Airport to downtown Vancouver. There are SkyTrain stations near Canada Place as well as buses that stop nearby. The nearest station to Canada Place is the Waterfront Station. The SeaBus terminal is also located at the Waterfront Station. SeaBus crosses Burrard Inlet, connecting the city of Vancouver with the city of North Vancouver.

There are parking lots in the area around Canada Place for people who prefer to drive, although visitors will have to pay for this privilege. It's also possible to take a taxi to the area.

The Canada Place sign and "Canada's Storyboard", a video screen that displays facts about Canada and local events, as well as works by Canadian artists.
The Canada Place sign and "Canada's Storyboard", a video screen that displays facts about Canada and local events, as well as works by Canadian artists. | Source

Easily Accessible

Canada Place is close to the office buildings, stores, hotels and attractions of downtown Vancouver, so it's easy to combine a visit to Canada Place with a walk around downtown. A walk along the pier is always enjoyable. It would be a shame to miss travelling along the walking path, though. There are many access points to the path along its route. It's a lovely place to explore.

© 2012 Linda Crampton

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Comments 16 comments

Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago

It's a beautiful walk! Thanks for sharing, Alicia.

Sometimes I have seen beavers at Lost Lagoon, and I love the huge trees in Stanley Park.

Great pictures.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Janis. I love Stanley Park, too. I'm envious - I often go to Lost Lagoon, but I haven't seen a beaver yet!


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Beautiful walk. Was in Stanley Park a few years ago and it's beautiful. Loved Vancouver. Thanks for sharing and the wonderful photos.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, bdegiulio. Thanks for the comment. Stanley Park is beautiful - it's a lovely place to visit, and a great place to take photographs too!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend, it sounds like a very beautiful walk and all your photos are awesome and so beautiful ! Well done !

Vote up and more !!!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you for the visit and the lovely comment, Tom. I appreciate the vote too!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Your photos, Alicia, are magnificent. I know Canada Place firsthand since I have taken a number of cruises that departed from Vancouver. You did the port justice.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you so much, drbj! I would love to go on one of the cruises departing from Vancouver. The thought of exploring the world by cruise ship is very enticing!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

I loved your photos they were amazing! I would love to visit as I know my relatives on my mums side went to live in Vancouver, amazing hub and voted all the way!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, Nell!! I appreciate them so much.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love all information inside this hub and the pictures as well. Wow....I can't wait to visit Canada one day. Good job, ALicia. Thanks for share with us. Voted up!

Prasetio


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much, Prasetio. I would love to visit your country, too, and I'd love to take lots of photographs while I was there, as well!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Alicia,

Your photos are so beautiful and I enjoyed learning about Canada Place. My mother, niece and I enjoyed Stanley Park and many other places in Vancouver when we spent 5 days of vacation there many years ago. Such a gorgeous city and part of your country! Voted up and beautiful.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you for the comment and for the votes, Peggy. I appreciate your visit. I enjoy living near Stanley Park and its surroundings - it is a beautiful place.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Alicia, I love B.C.! I would like to make it out that way more often (I'm in Winnipeg now) but appreciate it every time I go. The thing I love most about Vancouver is the flowers that bloom everywhere, even in the ditches of the highways. Beautiful photos and a lovely hub! Voted up and more.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment and the votes, prairieprincess. I love living in British Columbia. I've never been to Manitoba, but I'm hoping to make it there one day. There are actually many places that I'd like to visit in Canada - hopefully I'll make it to them all!

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