Visiting Canada Place – Vancouver, BC

If you’re headed to the lively city of Vancouver, chances are you’re headed to Canada Place. As the main cruise ship terminal in Vancouver, this is a popular destination for both tourists and locals. Read on to learn more about this cultural landmark.

Vancouver olympic cauldron
Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic cauldron, located in Jack Poole Plaza. (next to Canada Place)

Canada Place

Noteable for its 90 foot tall white sails, Canada Place is one of the most recognized buildings in Vancouver.  This landmark dons many hats, including a cruise ship port, the Vancouver Convention Center, the Canadian World Trade Center, a hotel, as well as a virtual ‘soar-over’ ride.

Canada Place Vancouver
Canada Place

As a cruise ship terminal, the area is filled with tourists disembarking for day trips in the area. On the way to Flyover Canada, the simulated flight ride, people can walk the “Canadian Trail,” a sidewalk which represents all of the country’s provinces and territories, passing notable places from east to west and north to south.

The beautiful Vancouver Harbor, with a cruise ship docked at Canada Place.

Inside Canada Place you’ll find Flyover Canada, a seated flight simulation ride that takes you through all of Canada in an eight minute journey. From the Rocky Mountains, to open fields, waterfalls, cultural events, and more, see the main highlights of Canada during this interactive film. Enjoy dangling your feet and feeling the cool breeze as you gaze at the huge screen in front of you. If you’d like more information on the Flyover Canada ride, including pricing and hours, click here.

TIP: I would recommend experiencing the Flyover Canada ride as long as you’re not prone to motion sickness. Also, don’t wait a long period of time for the ride as it wasn’t the most amazing flight simulator I’ve been on. It’s also costly for an 8 minute flight. (average adult price is $30 CAD) Save more when buying your tickets online.

Also at Canada Place, you can learn about this critical port of Vancouver, as well as its rich history.  If you’re here around midday, listen for the Heritage Horns that play the first four notes of the Canadian National Anthem at noon. Locals and tourists can even enjoy waterfront movies here each Thursday at dusk in the summer, as well as a summer zumba class on Monday afternoons.

As the Canadian World Trade Center, Vancouver Convention Center, and Pan Pacific Hotel are all located here, thousands of people fill the halls on a daily basis. Expect larger than normal crowds during conventions, as well as when cruise ships are docked.

Canada Place Vancouver
“The Drop,” a steel sculpture found next to Canada Place, a tribute to the power of nature and man’s relationship with water.

During my visit here, I was surprised not to see any shopping or dining inside Canada Place; however there was shopping and dining in nearby buildings.  Although it was an interesting sight to view from the exterior, the interior didn’t offer much. Canada Place seems to primarily be an area for large indoor conventions, part of a large hotel, and a starting point for day trips from the cruise boats.

TIP: I highly recommend walking the exterior of Canada Place and along the sidewalks of the waterfront. You can watch seaplanes land and take off, about one every two minutes. Enjoy the amazing view of the mountains to the north, hear the seabirds, watch the boats, and just enjoy the fresh sea air. Watching all of the harbor activity was very interesting for this midwestern gal!

If you’re headed to Vancouver, check out my previous post on the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

Happy Travels!



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