The Lions Gate Bridge crosses the first narrows of Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, and is officially called the First Narrows Bridge. This beautifully designed bridge connects Stanley Park to Vancouver's north shore. The 4,978-foot long bridge opened in 1938, and was privately owned by the Guinness beer family, where they earned a profit on their investment by charging a toll, until it was sold to the province in 1955. The bridge received its decorative lighting in 1986, and its decks were replaced and widened in 2001-2002 to accommodate wider traffic lanes and wider sidewalks at a cost of $100 million. This is still the longest suspension bridge in western Canada.
The bridge's nickname comes from the peaks called the Lions (1,646 meters & 1,599 meters), that tower over North Vancouver at the end of Capilano Lake.
A nice and practical way to get a different view on the town is the usage of the aquabus, which is the ferry for pedestrians from Granville Island to the other side and along the False Creek even towards the Sience World.
Check the homepage for a detailed info about their service.
Adult fare is 2.5 $.
In case you are new to BC and Alberta and you are currently thinking about how to get to Vancouver, you should definitely consider the bus. From Jasper for example, it is a pretty long trip, but you will have the great opportunity to cross the Rockies. Myself, I stayed in Edmonton for two weeks and after two days of camping in Jasper I continued by bus to Vancouver.
The price was 121.90 Canadian Dollars (Juli, 2006). During the trip they made several stops.
Pacific Coach Lines is a reputable local bus company that provides service connecting Vancouver with many other cities, as well as sightseeing tours. We often use PCL to get from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver (when we're too tired for the city bus). Traveling between the islands, your bus fare includes the cost of the ferry ticket.
The phone number below is for sightseeing tour bookings. For info on regular scheduled service between cities, see the website.
It sometimes rains here; (that's an understatement in some peoples' views) so, that means you should be extra cautious not just with yourself, but other drivers. Seems to be a Universal Problem. I'm talking about "the Phone Talkers" drives me nuts! What's even worse now, is I'm keeping a list of just how many people I see on their bicycles; talking on their damn cell-phones!! They're Bicycles for gods sake!! You need TWO hands for that!!! How do you apply the breaks?! Pull-over and have your chat, or tell them you'll call them back.
Transit in Vancouver is still a fairly good way to get around; although at this time, there is much disturbance with roads being upgraded and widened in preparation for the 2010 games that are coming to the city.
Charter Bus Lines of British Columbia
For this tip, I leave it up to you to check out their website, it can give you the type of information you'll be needing.
8730 River Rd. , Delta
There are two main ports that link Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
- Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver), about 22 kms. from Downtown Vancouver. This port links to Departure Bay in Nanaimo (Vancouver Island).
- Tsawwassen (South of Vancouvr), and links to Swartz Bay (Vancouver Island).
Both routes take about 95 nice minutes.
If I were you, I would take any route to go to the Island, and return using the other one. It's what I did.
The pic shows the Ferry about to arrrive in Departure Bay after leaving Horseshoe Bay.
It frequently seems to be the case that tourists are visiting Granville Island on foot and wish to catch a taxi to their next destination. If you're heading downtown then it's perhaps best to get on one of the mini-ferries near the market and take one of the many routes across False Creek. From the downtown core, you should see a taxi in just a few minutes.
But if you're looking to head elsewhere then the best thing to do is to walk a few blocks off of the island directly to the MacLure's Cabs depot. Simply walk stay underneath of the Granville Bridge and walk out the solo car entrance to the island. After you've cleared the island you will see the Pacific Culinary Institute on your right. Keep going a block more and you'll be at 2nd Avenue. Cross at the traffic light and walk up the curved street. There's an autobody shop on your right. A few steps further and you'll see the MacLure's office across the street on your left. Just go into the open door and tell the dispatcher that you need a taxi.
Their precise address is 1510 West 3rd Avenue.
Cabs are very easy to catch in Vancouver, but it really depends on what street you're on. Any hotel will call you a cab if there aren't already some waiting outside. Otherwise, you can catch a cab at almost every downtown street (as long as it's not just a purely residential street). In downtown, you can almost always guarantee hailing a cab on Robson Street and on Granville Street, where they're always zooming by. Outside of downtown Vancouver, Commercial Drive, Broadway, Cambie, and W 4th Ave are relative good places to catch a cab. There's are designated cab pick-up locations by Canada Place on Howe Street at Cordova, and also in South Granville on the north-east corner of Broadway and Granville.
Major Vancouver cab companies are Yellow Cab and Black Top Cabs. Most of Vancouver's suburbs have their own cab companies too (like Richmond Cabs).
All cabs have meters running which determine how much you pay - you don't haggle the price. Also, it's customary to tip the cab driver a dollar or two at the end of the ride. This is not a rule, however, but it's generally a nice gesture, especially if the cab driver was friendly and helpful.
You can usually take a cab from one location in downtown Vancouver, to another downtown location for under $10. It costs about $20 to take a cab from downtown Vancouver to UBC. It costs about $25 to take a cab from downtown Vancouver to the airport.
A great way to see Vancouver.
We toured Yaletown and Gastown, saw the entire city from atop a skyscraper, walked around Stanley Park and stopped to shop and eat on Granville Island.
The tourguide is knowledgeable and courteous.
One option for traveling between Seattle and Vancouver, albeit slightly longer than driving unless it's a busy summer day, is to take the Amtrak train. Prices for tickets range from $25-32 one-way for reserved coach seating, depending on the train and time of day. If you don't have a car, don't like to drive, or whatever, it's a great alternative. There is also bus and van shuttle services, however the shuttle services can be pricey and the bus can be a bit slow.
P.S. I just confirmed that the Greyhound bus is actually a few dollars more expensive than Amtrak. Unless you have some sort of Greyhound discount or truly prefer buses, it's more economical and quicker to take the train
We took the train up to Vancouver from Seattle and a great time. The ride was relatively good and lasted just a few hours. For round trip, it was only 60$US for seattle to vancouver.
Great price and a delightful scenic way to see the coast!!!
Obviously this tip depends on where you will be arriving in Vancouver from.
Vancouver Downtown was the last leg of our 2 week trip across Canada and we were trying to get there from Banff. We decided to use the Greyhound Bus Service.
The Journey lasted approx 12hrs. It did seem quite long at times, but some of the scenery and towns we passed along they way made it very worth while ... especially the first couple of hourse when you drive through the rockies - excellent!
We had priced it all online before we left (unfortunately we could not buy online) and bought the tickets while we were in Toronto at the start of the trip. The website gave the price as approx $220 total(around £100 at the time).
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the total when we actually bought the tickets was $132!
The journey is not to bad and is much cheaper than getting back to Calgary and flying.
Excellent views, plenty of stops (for toilet, food etc) and excellent drivers.
There is one train each day from Vancouver which leaves at 18.00 and arrives in Seattle 22.05 and from where you can continue further into the USA on the Amtrac system. The cost one way is US29.00. Outside of these hours, there are four bus departures run by Amtrac on this route
At one time Vancouver used to have a series of electric streetcars that transported people to all corners of the city. But as the city grew and automobiles became commonplace the trains were eventually phased out.
But in recent times a small section of the railway was resurrected. Nowadays, on weekends and holidays between May 22 and October 11 you can ride one of two streetcars between Granville Island and Science World. They run every 30 minutes on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from May 22nd to October 11th. Departures from Granville Island are between 1 - 5 pm and from Science World are between 12:30 - 4:30 pm.
Return fees are just $2 for adults and $1 for children and seniors.
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