Located in the city’s old coroner’s office and morgue, the Vancouver Police Museum is an attraction that showcases Vancouver’s history of crime and police.
It’s a small museum, but an interesting one. It’s also the oldest police museum in North America.
Vancouver’s Museum about Crime and Policing
Opened in 1986 as a celebration of the Vancouver Police Department’s centennial anniversary, the Vancouver Police Museum & Archives showcases the history of crime and law enforcement in Vancouver. The Museum is in a historical building that used to be the site of the city’s morgue and Coroner’s Court.
Exhibits at the museum examine the history of policing in Vancouver as well as the city’s Coroner’s Service and the City Analyst Laboratory. In total, the museum has about five or so historical exhibits.
The Vancouver Police Historical Society is the registered charity that runs the museum. The organization’s goal is to create connections between law enforcement and the public and to get folk interested in the history of the Vancouver Police Department.
If you like crime stories and want to learn more about Vancouver’s past and present, then check out Forbidden Vancouver. They offer a number of great walking tours including a couple in and around Gastown. The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour in particular has a focus on history and crime!
About the Museum
Built in 1932, the building that currently houses the Vancouver Police Museum has a long history with law enforcement in the city. Originally home to Vancouver’s Coroner’s Court and autopsy services, it later housed the City Analyst’s Laboratory and was also converted into a makeshift hospital for a period of time.
In addition to its museum exhibits, the attraction also hosts special events. These include Spring Break and other camps for children. Horror movies for adults are also shown at the facility from time to time.
The Vancouver Police Museum is normally open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm. It is usually closed on Sundays, Mondays and statutory holidays.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary hours beginning in June, 2020, are 10 am until 5 pm from Thursdays to Saturdays, and from noon until 5 o’clock on Sundays. In other words, the museum is open on Sundays, whereas it used to be closed then, and it is no longer open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when ordinarily it would have been open.
Located at 240 East Cordova Street, the museum is slightly removed from Gastown and the core of downtown Vancouver. Gastown is about a 10-minute walk west of the Police Museum. Waterfront Station, Vancouver’s main transportation hub, is less than a 20-minute walk away. The museum is also just a couple of blocks from Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Admission rates as of mid-2020 are listed below. (Note: Prices and other details are subject to change.)
- Adults – $12
- Seniors – $10
- Students (with ID) – $10
- Youth (6-18) – $8
- Families (two youths and two adults) – $30
- Children (0-5) – Free!
One-hour private tours of the museum are also available for $40.
As the museum is run by a non-profit society, all admission proceeds and other sales made at the museum go directly to offsetting the costs of operating the facility.
VANCOUVER COUPONS & DEALS
If you’re looking for a way to save, check out the coupon deals in the Vancouver & Fraser Valley edition of the Entertainment Book. Most coupons are for 2-for-1 deals, but sometimes the dollar values are different. In recent years, for example, the coupon for the Vancouver Police Museum has been for 20% off admission. If you have a book, don’t forget to use the coupon!
For more details about the attraction see the Vancouver Police Museum website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver Places for Children
- Educational Activities in Vancouver
- Places for History & Culture
- City of Vancouver