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Vancouver's Architecture

Where the Past and the Present Complement One Another
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.9 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Vancouver is, to say the least, an eclectic collection of architectural designs. The city can, in layman's terms, easily be split into... more »

Tips:  Comfortable walking shoes are a must. And generally, it's a good idea to take along an umbrella.

Throughout this walking tour you'll ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Robson Square

Robson Square is a collection of buildings and open spaces designed by architect Arthur Erickson and it marks the absolute heart of downtown.

Robson Square starts with the massive slopes of glass covering the Law Courts Building that’s opposite the Wedgewood Hotel. The Courthouse opens up into a public space with a waterfall, trees and many... More

The Art Gallery is located in the heart of the Downtown core in what was once the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse. The 165,000-square-foot building was originally designed as a courthouse by Francis Rattenbury, after a comptetition in 1905.

Rattenbury is the same architect who designed Victoria’s Legislature Building. After the new courthoused... More

This is more than just a hotel. At one time, the hotel’s roof line was the town’s symbol and while other buildings have dwarfed it, the old establishment remains a major part of the city’s history.

Built in 1939, the design was inspired by the picturesque chateaux of Scotland and France with steeped roofs and gargoyles. It was finished in time... More

Located across from the Hotel Vancouver, the sandstone Gothic Revival church with its gabled roof, buttresses and stained-glass windows sticks out like a lush olive tree against the sterile high rise skyline. You must go in to see the rich, multi-colored windows.

The oldest surviving church in Vancouver, it was completed in 1895, and is at the... More

Across the street from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Playhouse complex (home of the Vancouver Opera), the CBC building, and the main Post Office is the $100 million Vancouver Public Library at Library Square.

In addition to more than one million books, and a collection of electronic databases, the building is home to 1394 sq. m (15,000 sq. ft.... More

6. Canadian Pacific Railway Station

The old CPR railway station, meticulously restored to its original 1914 beaux-arts style, is now a terminal for the Seabus and Skytrain system and called Waterfront Station. It lies next to Gastown and is adjacent to the Convention Centre and the Pan Pacific/Canadian Pacific Waterfront Hotel properties.

The interior of the building is one of the... More

The Canada Place complex that includes the original convention center, plus the main cruise ship terminal, Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver Board of Trade, restaurants and shopping, is also the city's iconic symbol.

Built in time for Expo '86, the complex faces the craggy North Shore mountains.

Shaped like a ship and recognized by its five... More

8. Seawall Walk

For the latest in contemporary life-style architecture take a walk along the seawall that extends from the new convention centre and Olympic torches on the waterfront towards Stanley Park. There, you'll get a taste of "today" in the towering structures built as high-rise condos.