Length: 1.5 mile loop
Time to Walk: 1 hour, walk and ferry ride
Type of Walk: Waterfront/Scenic/Planetarium/Museum
Location: Downtown Vancouver
Click images for larger versions
Vanier Park is 15.38 hectares of prime real estate just west of Burrard Bridge, on the south side of False Creek. It is the location of one of Vancouver's top attractions, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. The H.R. MacMillan Planetarium is the main part of the Centre, presenting multimedia shows on space and astronomy.
The park grounds are very beautiful, with wonderful views over the water towards the main part of downtown Vancouver, and out over the Pacific Ocean. World-class kite flyers are often seen here at the park. From June to September, the park is the location for Bard on the Beach, a professional summer Shakespeare Festival. The park is also home to the Vancouver Maritime Museum, open May to September. A main exhibit at the museum is the RCMP schooner St. Roch, the first ship to travel the treacherous Northwest passage in both directions, as well as the first ship to ever circumnavigate North America.
Vanier Park could be an interesting destination by itself, and the grounds are well laid out for a walk, but a scenic walk over the Burrard Bridge, and a return trip by ferry boat will really make your visit special. The bridge is easily seen from Vanier Park, immediately to the east of the grounds. Leaving the park grounds and walking over the bridge, we are treated to a view looking back to the park, and forward to downtown Vancouver, from a high perch. The pedestrian walkway is wide and safe, but you may wish to stay back from the rail if you have a fear of heights. The next two pictures look back towards the park, the third picture is from the bridge deck, and the last one is a view north, away from the park.
At the north end of the bridge, we exit off the pedestrian walkway and make our way back to the water just west of the bridge. Here we find the stop for Granville Island Ferries, and the eastern end of the English Bay Walk. During the winter, the ferry runs to the Maritime Museum only on weekends and holidays. The ferry trip takes you back to Vanier Park, and your trip is complete!
Instead of taking the ferry back to Vanier Park, you could walk back over the bridge or link up with the False Creek North walk.
Copyright 2001, walkvancouver.com