Home Top Vancouver Attractions The A to Z’s Glossary of Vancouver Places and Events

The A to Z’s Glossary of Vancouver Places and Events

The A to Zs of Vancouver

In this Glossary of Metro Vancouver there are over 300 listings and links to the Lower Mainland’s most significant places, events and attractions.

Just like an encyclopedia or Wikipedia on the region, the alphabetical list includes everything from Ambleside, Alouette Lake and the Abbotsford Airshow to Yaletown, YVR and the Vancouver Zoo.

Glossary of Vancouver Places

A


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  • Abbotsford – a city of about 140,000 people and lots of farmland in the Fraser Valley.
  • Abbotsford Agrifair – an agricultural fair with a midway and amusement rides at Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park in early August.
  • Abbotsford Flea Market – a large flea market that takes place on Sundays in Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley.
  • Aberdeen Centre – a large shopping mall in Richmond with a significant number of Asian stores.
  • Aldor Acres – a farm near Fort Langley that hosts seasonal events in the spring, fall and Christmas seasons.
  • Alice Lake – a “best place” for camping, canoeing and walking around (near Squamish).
  • Alouette Lake – one of the region’s nicest provincial parks (in Maple Ridge).
  • Aquabus – a mini harbour ferry company operating in False Creek.
  • Aquarium – the city’s world-class aquarium at Stanley Park, formally called the Vancouver Aquarium.
  • The Arts Club a Vancouver theatre company with locations on Granville Street, Granville Island and near Vancouver’s Olympic Village.

 

B


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  • Barnet Marine Park – a small park with multiple beaches, beautiful views and a large off-leash dog area in North Burnaby.
  • BC Day – a statutory holiday on the first Monday in August.
  • BC Ferries – the ferry company connecting Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Lower Mainland.
  • BC Lions Vancouver’s professional Canadian football team.
  • BC Place Stadium Vancouver’s 54,500-seat stadium and home to the BC Lions football team and Vancouver Whitecaps soccer club.
  • Bear Creek Park a good park for children in Surrey, with a train, mini-golf and water park in the summer.
  • Big Bus – the former name of a tour bus service in Vancouver which is now called “Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing.”
  • Blackcomb – the second mountain part of Whistler-Blackcomb, Canada’s best and most famous world-class ski resort.
  • Bowen Island – an island just minutes away from Horseshoe Bay.
  • Boxing Day – a day off for most people and start of the year-end Boxing Day sales on December 26th each year.
  • Bridal Falls Waterpark – a small and older water park with water slides good for younger children near Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park.
  • Bridal Veil Falls – a park with waterfalls just off the Trans-Canada Highway in the Fraser Valley.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas displays at Stanley Park featuring millions of sparkling lights.
  • Britannia Mine – a historic copper mine and museum in the Sea to Sky region.
  • Broadway – one of Vancouver’s main shopping streets.
  • Buntzen Lake – a beautiful lake managed by BC Hydro in Anmore.
  • Burnaby – Metro Vancouver’s third largest city.

 

C


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  • Camosun Bog – an area of restored bog land and trails in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
  • Canada Day – a statutory holiday every July 1st where Canada’s birthday is celebrated with pancake breakfasts, parades, music and fireworks throughout the Lower Mainland.
  • Canada Place – a best place to walk around in the heart of the city and part of the Convention Centre.
  • Canyon Lights – Christmas light displays at Capilano Suspension Bridge in December.
  • Car Free Day – celebrations on Commercial Drive, Main Street, Denman Street and Kitsilano in June, plus Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver in August.
  • Cates Park a great park for children in North Vancouver.
  • Central City – the second largest shopping mall in Surrey, and home to Surrey’s SFU satellite university campus.
  • Central Park – a great park in Burnaby, and home to Swangard Stadium.
  • Chilliwack – a rural municipality in the Fraser Valley.
  • Chilliwack Corn Maze – a farm with a corn maze, pumpkin patch and family-friendly activities in the late summer and fall.
  • Chinatown one of the largest Chinatowns in North America.
  • Christmas Day – a statutory holiday and Christian holiday celebration every December 25.
  • Chuck E. Cheese – a restaurant and games centre for families with young children in Langley.
  • Christ Church Cathedral – the beautiful Anglican cathedral and heritage building at the corner of Burrard Street and Georgia.
  • Circle Craft Market – a large multi-day Christmas art and artisan market at the Vancouver Convention Centre in mid-November.
  • City Cycle Tours – informational-guided tours of the city by bicycle, from May to October.
  • CityFest – a youth-focused festival and skate competition held annually in North Vancouver in May.
  • City of Vancouver – the largest city within Metro Vancouver and the region’s core business and commercial centre.
  • Cleveland Dam – source of Vancouver drinking water and stunning views at Capilano River Regional Park.
  • Coal Harbour – the body of water between Stanley Park and the downtown core, as well as the adjacent modern skyscraper-filled district of the city with a seawall leading up to the Vancouver Convention Centre.
  • Coho Festival – a festival in early September celebrating salmon in West Vancouver.
  • The Comedy Mix – a downtown Vancouver comedy club located at 1015 Burrard Street.
  • Commercial Drive – an interesting and multicultural street in Vancouver.
  • Convention Centre – located next to Canada Place by Coal Harbour and formally called the Vancouver Convention Centre.
  • Cultus Lake – a popular campground, resort town and provincial park.
  • Cypress Falls – a park in West Vancouver with old-growth forest and waterfalls.
  • Cypress Mountain – the ski hill with the most terrain, lifts and vertical drop in Metro Vancouver.

 

D


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  • Davie Street – a colourful street in the West End known for its LGBT community.
  • Deep Cove – a picturesque seaside village on the North Shore and one of the Lower Mainland’s most beautiful places.
  • Denman Street – a trendy street in downtown Vancouver.
  • Dine Out Vancouver Festival – the last two weeks or so of January when hundreds of Metro Vancouver restaurants offer fancy 3-course dinner specials.
  • Diwali Fest – a festival featuring a series of events celebrating East Indian and South Asian arts and culture.
  • Dundarave – a small seaside community in West Vancouver.
  • DTES Street Market – a flea market in Gastown run by residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

 

E


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  • Eagle Acres – a dairy farm in Langley that hosts a pumpkin patch with hay rides in the fall.
  • ElectraFest – an electric vehicle tradeshow that’s open to the public and free to attend.
  • English Bay – the best beach in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
  • Extreme Air Park – indoor trampoline adventure parks in Langley, New Westminster and Richmond.

 

F


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  • Fair in the Square – a small festival featuring free food, live entertainment and community organization information booths at Vancouver’s Victory Square.
  • False Creek – one of the most beautiful areas in Metro Vancouver, and home to many of its top attractions.
  • False Creek Ferries – a year-round mini ferry company connecting Granville Island, Yaletown, Kitsilano and Vancouver’s West End.
  • Family Day – a statutory holiday in BC every second Monday in February.
  • Farmers Markets – the Lower Mainland is home to dozens of great farmers markets, with some attracting thousands of visitors.
  • Festival du Bois – BC’s largest francophone festival, held annually in Coquitlam in late February.
  • Firehall Arts Centre – a community arts centre and theatre venue in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
  • FlyOver Canada – a film and flight simulation ride attraction at Canada Place.
  • Folk Fest – the abbreviated name for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, one of the Lower Mainland’s most popular summer events.
  • Forbidden Vancouver – a walking tour company with guided tours through Stanley Park, the West End, Gastown and other parts of downtown Vancouver.
  • Fort Langley (the town) – a small cute historic town in the Fraser Valley.
  • Fort to Fort Trail – a paved and dirt trail between Derby Reach Regional Park and Fort Langley.
  • Fraser Valley – the region between Metro Vancouver and the community of Hope, leading into the interior of BC.

 

G


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  • Gastown – Vancouver’s historic old town.
  • Gingerbread Lane – gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency in December.
  • Glades Garden Park – a garden in South Surrey that is open only a few days a year and is famous for its rhododendrons.
  • Glow Christmas – indoor winter holiday attractions featuring live music, light displays, a miniature train and other family-friendly activities in both Abbotsford and Vancouver over the Christmas season.
  • Goat Mountain – a North Shore mountain that’s connected by a hiking trail to Grouse Mountain.
  • Golden Spike Days – a community festival over the Canada Day Long Weekend in Port Moody.
  • Granville Island – Vancouver’s famous artisan and entertainment district under the Granville Street Bridge.
  • Granville Island Stage – a 450-seat theatre venue on Granville Island that’s part of the Arts Club Theatre Company.
  • Granville Street – the heart of Vancouver’s nightlife and entertainment district.
  • Greek Day on Broadway – an all-day street festival in Kitsilano celebrating everything Greek in late June.
  • Grouse Mountain – a great ski hill and one of Metro Vancouver’s top year-round attractions.
  • Guildford Town Centre – the third largest shopping mall in the Lower Mainland, with over 200 stores in the City of Surrey.

 

H


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  • Hard Rock Casino – a popular place for casino games and entertainment in Coquitlam.
  • Helijet – helicopter services from downtown Vancouver and YVR airport.
  • Hillcrest Centre – the former 2010 Olympics’ curling venue and present day aquatic centre, ice rink and fitness centre.
  • Honda Celebration of Light – Vancouver’s world famous fireworks displays (in English Bay) in late July and the beginning of August.
  • Hoobiyee – an Indigenous dance festival celebrating the Nisga’a New Year in February.
  • Horseshoe Bay – a picturesque seaside community and location of one of BC Ferries’ terminals to Vancouver Island.
  • Hudson’s Bay – Canada’s oldest department store, with its Vancouver flagship location downtown on Granville and Georgia.
  • Hyatt Regency – a large hotel in downtown Vancouver that hosts Gingerbread Lane gingerbread house displays in December.

 

I


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  • Inter River Park – a North Vancouver park with multiple sports fields, walking trails and a BMX bike park.

 

J


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  • Jericho Beach – a beautiful sandy beach and home to the annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
  • John Hendry Park – a Vancouver park that’s home to Trout Lake and the popular Trout Lake Farmers Markets in the summer.
  • John Lawson Park – a popular oceanside park in West Vancouver next to Ambleside with a beach, pier and large children’s play area.

 

K


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  • Kay Meek Centre – a performing arts facility with a 488-seat theatre in West Vancouver.
  • Khatsahlano Street Party – a major street party on West 4th Avenue in July, billing itself as “Vancouver’s largest free music and arts festival.”
  • Kidtropolis – an indoor play centre in Richmond that features a miniature village where children can dress up and use their imaginations.
  • Kilby Park – a provincial park with camping, fishing and boating in the Fraser Valley.
  • Kitsilano – a popular district in which to live and location of one of Vancouver’s best beaches.
  • Kitsilano Farmers Market – a large market that takes place on Sundays in the summer at the Kitsilano Community Centre.

 

L


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  • Labour Day – a statutory holiday every first Monday in September.
  • Ladner May Days – a community event featuring a parade. live bands, amusement rides and baseball tournament.
  • Laity Pumpkin Patch – a couple of farms in Maple Ridge with pumpkins, corn mazes and other autumn-themed activities prior to Halloween.
  • Langley – a community located between Surrey and Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley.
  • Lighthouse Park – a top place for nature and ocean views in West Vancouver.
  • Lions Gate Bridge – Vancouver’s most iconic bridge, connecting the city with North and West Vancouver on the North Shore.
  • Lonsdale Avenue – the main shopping street in North Vancouver.
  • Lonsdale Quay – the vibrant area of waterfront on the North Shore by the SeaBus terminal.
  • Lower Lonsdale – the district in North Vancouver at the bottom of Lonsdale Avenue that’s home to the Shipyards, Lonsdale Quay, Polygon Gallery and numerous bars and restaurants.
  • Lynn Canyon Park – beautiful nature and home of the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.
  • Lynn Valley Day – a small community festival in the Lynn Valley district of North Vancouver at the end of May.

 

M


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  • Maan Farms – a farm with petting zoo, seasonal corn maze and other activities in Abbotsford.
  • Main Street – a vibrant street that goes through Chinatown and Vancouver’s poorer downtown East Side.
  • Main Street Car Free Day – a massive street party on Main Street between Broadway and 30th Avenue on Father’s Day in mid-June.
  • Maple Grove Pool – a great outdoor pool for kids located at 6875 Yew Street in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood.
  • Maple Ridge – a municipality of about 75,000 people in central-eastern Metro Vancouver with farms and lots of outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Maple Ridge Car Free Day – a community event that involves food trucks, market vendors and live entertainment on 224th Street and in the Memorial Peace Park in Maple ridge.
  • Maplewood Farm the best place for young children to see chickens and pigs on the North Shore.
  • Marine Drive – the main commercial street connecting West Vancouver with North Vancouver (as well as a different street in South Vancouver).
  • Maritime Museum – also known as the “Vancouver Maritime Museum” and home to the St. Roch Arctic exploration boat.
  • Mercato Italian Market – an Italian-themed night market that used to take place in the summer and just before Christmas, but as of 2020 just once in the winter.
  • Mission – a municipality on the north side of the Fraser River from Abbotsford.
  • Mount Seymour (the resort) – a popular ski hill for beginners and young families.
  • Mount Seymour Provincial Park – a provincial park where Mount Seymour the ski hill is located, as well as lots of great hiking and snowshoeing trails.

 

N


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  • Nat Bailey Stadium – home field to the Vancouver Canadians baseball team.
  • National Indigenous Peoples Day – a day to celebrate First Nations culture and people. It takes place every year on June 21st and up until 2017 it was called National Aboriginal Day.
  • New Brighton Pool – a summertime outdoor pool near the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.
  • New West Farmers Market – a market at New Westminster’s Tipperary Park in summer and on Belmont Street in winter.
  • New Westminster – a suburb of Vancouver with historical significance, being the former and original capital of British Columbia.
  • Nordstrom – Vancouver’s newest high fashion department store.
  • North Shore comprising West Vancouver and North Vancouver, it’s where you’ll find the most amazing nature in Metro Vancouver (including all three of its local ski hills and many of the region’s other “best places” in the outdoors).
  • North Shore Spirit Trail – a cycling and walking trail across North Vancouver and West Vancouver. (Some sections have been completed and some are planned for the future).
  • North Vancouver – the city at the bottom of the North Shore Mountains across Burrard Inlet from downtown Vancouver.

 

O


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  • Olympic Village – site of the International Athletes Village during the 2010 Olympic Games.
  • OMNIMAX – the giant 5-storey IMAX theatre at Science World.
  • The Orpheum – the city’s most beautiful and historically significant concert hall.

 

P


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  • Pacific Coliseum – a venue at the PNE and former home ice for the Vancouver Giants hockey team.
  • Pagoda Ridge – a golf course with Asian-themed structures close to Fort Langley.
  • Park Royal – a large shopping mall near Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.
  • Peace Arch – a joint Canada-US Park and location of BC’s busiest border crossing.
  • Penguin Plunge – a New Year’s swim in the frigid waters of Deep Cove every January 1st in North Vancouver. Another similar event takes place in Port Moody, as well as other polar bear swim venues.
  • Pinnacle at the Pier – a large modern hotel at the bottom of Lonsdale Avenue in the Shipyards District of North Vancouver.
  • Pitt Lake – the second largest lake in the Lower Mainland, located just north of Pitt Meadows.
  • Pitt Meadows – one of Metro Vancouver’s smallest municipalities that’s famous for dykes, rivers, mountain views and berry farms.
  • Planetarium – located at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.
  • PlayDome – an indoor carnival with amusement rides and midway games at BC Place Stadium (at Spring Break most but not all years).
  • Playland – the city’s amusement park.
  • PNE – the abbreviated name for the Pacific National Exhibition which is Vancouver’s summer fair.
  • Polygon Gallery – a contemporary art gallery specializing in photography and historically-themed exhibits in North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale District.
  • Porteau Cove – a beautiful park and campground along the Sea to Sky Highway.
  • Port Moody – a Metro Vancouver municipality that’s part of the Tri-Cities (along with Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam).
  • Pride Parade & Festival – a major festival celebrating the region’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community leading up to the August Long Weekend.
  • Prospect Point – an area in Stanley Park with a restaurant, souvenir shop and amazing views of the Lions Gate Bridge and North Shore Mountains.
  • PuSh Festival – an International Performing Arts Festival from late January to early February.

 

Q


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  • Queen Elizabeth Park – a beautiful park at the highest point in the City of Vancouver (but not Metro Vancouver).

 

R


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  • Rice Lake – a beautiful lake for fishing and hiking around in North Vancouver.
  • Richmond – Metro Vancouver’s fourth largest city.
  • Richmond Country Farms – a farm and produce market in Richmond that hosts a sunflower festival in the summer and a pumpkin patch event in the fall.
  • Richmond Sunflower Festival – a summer festival featuring sunflowers and other flowers and activities at Richmond Country Farms in Richmond.
  • Robson Street – one of Vancouver’s most famous and popular streets.
  • Robson Square – the vibrant area around Robson Street and Howe where there’s a free outdoor ice skating rink in the winter.
  • Rocky Mountaineer – a train company that takes tourists on trips between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies.
  • Rocky Point Park – a popular park on the water with an outdoor swimming pool, giant children’s play area and trails in Port Moody.

 

S


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  • Sandpiper Resort – a beautiful place with cabins, a small inn and a golf course in the Fraser Valley.
  • Sasamat Lake – near Port Moody and located in Belcarra Regional Park.
  • Sasquatch Days – a festival in Harrison Hot Springs with war canoe races, a salmon BBQ and local aboriginal cultural performances in June.
  • Sasquatch Mountain – a ski resort in the Fraser Valley (and previously known as Hemlock).
  • Scandinave Spa – spa in Whistler with pools, saunas and massage services.
  • Second Beach – Stanley Park’s popular beach with the giant outdoor heated swimming pool.
  • Seymour Demonstration Forest – paved walking and cycling trails through the forest in North Vancouver. (Also known as the Seymour Valley Trailway).
  • Seymour Valley Trailway – a paved cycling trail in North Vancouver, also known as the Seymour Demonstration Forest.
  • Shannon Falls – one of BC’s highest waterfalls located near Squamish.
  • Shipyards – an area close to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver that’s home to the Shipyards Night Market, Shipbuilders’ Square, Shipyard Commons and Shipbuilders’ Pier.
  • Shipyards Festival – a street party-style music festival and community event in North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale District in late summer or early fall.
  • Shipyards Night Market – a slightly upscale summer night market in North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale neighborhood.
  • South Arm Pool – a popular outdoor public pool facility with water slides in Richmond.
  • Squamish – the self-proclaimed “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.”
  • Squamish Spit – a popular place for wind and kite surfing near the town of Squamish.
  • Stanley Park – one of the world’s best and largest city parks.
  • Stanley Park Seawall – a famous paved walkway for pedestrians and cyclists around the perimeter of Stanley Park.
  • Stave Falls – BC Hydro powerhouse and information centre in Mission.
  • Stawamus Chief – the best mountain for climbing and hiking for people of moderate skill level.
  • StayVancouverHotels.com – a Vancouver-based travel website specializing in downtown Vancouver hotel accommodations.
  • Steveston Village – one of Metro Vancouver’s most picturesque and popular seaside towns.
  • Stewart Farm – a historical site in Surrey located at Elgin Heritage Park.
  • Sunset Festival – a yoga and music festival in Stanley Park that’s related to the SeaWheeze Half Marathon in the summer.
  • Sunshine Coast – a rural region outside Metro Vancouver that is connected by ferry via Horseshoe Bay.
  • Superfly Ziplines – a ziplining company in Whistler.
  • Surrey – Metro Vancouver’s second largest city.
  • Surrey Arts Centre – a facility with a 402-seat Main Stage and smaller 129-seat Studio Theatre in Surrey.
  • Surrey Fest Downtown – a small festival in June with live entertainment at Holland Park in Surrey (formerly known as the Whalley Community Festival).
  • Sutton Place – a 4.5-star hotel at 855 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver.
  • Symphony in the Park – a free outdoor concert by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Deer Lake Park in July.

 

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  • Taves Family Farm & Applebarn – a farm in Abbotsford that grows apples, pumpkins and goji berries and that hosts kid-friendly events at different times of the year.
  • Terra Nova Rural Park – a 63-acre park in Richmond and home to the Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment.
  • Terry Fox Run – a run to raise funds and awareness for cancer research each year at various locations in mid-September.
  • Thanksgiving – a statutory holiday on the second Monday of October.
  • Trans-Canada Trail – the longest hiking trail in the world passes through many parts of Metro Vancouver.
  • TRADEX – a trade and exhibition centre in Abbotsford where numerous events are held.
  • TransLink – the Metro Vancouver transit company that operates the public buses, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express commuter train.
  • Tulips of the Valley – Western Canada’s largest tulip festival that takes place in Chilliwack around the month of April (and renamed “Chilliwack Tulip Festival as of 2019).
  • Turkic Festival – a small Turkish cultural event in North Vancouver in late May.
  • Twilight Drive-In – Metro Vancouver’s only drive-in theatre (located in Langley).

 

U


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  • University Golf Club – one of the region’s best golf courses, located in Pacific Spirit Regional Park at UBC.

 

V


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  • Vancouver – the largest and most famous city in the Lower Mainland.
  • Vancouver Canadians – Vancouver’s Northwest League professional baseball team that plays at Nat Bailey Stadium.
  • Vancouver Farmers Markets – the Lower Mainland is home to dozens of great farmers markets, with some attracting thousands of visitors.
  • Vancouver Giants – the city’s main hockey team that’s in a league below the NHL’s Canucks (and more affordable too).
  • Vancouver Marathon – officially called the BMO Vancouver International Marathon, this race takes place in May.
  • Vancouver Mysteries – an escape room-style adventure company where the games take place in the streets of Vancouver instead of in a room.
  • Vancouver Zoo – the Lower Mainland’s zoo, formally called the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
  • Victoria – British Columbia’s capital city and a popular day or overnight trip from Vancouver.
  • Victoria Day – a statutory holiday on the Monday preceding May 25th each year.

 

W


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  • Waterfront Station – a beautiful building in downtown Vancouver that’s the main starting terminal for SkyTrains, the SeaBus and West Coast Express.
  • West Dyke Trail – a beautiful and flat area of coastline in Richmond that’s perfect for walking, cycling and jogging along.
  • West End – the very urban and highly populated area of downtown Vancouver between Burrard Street and both English Bay and Stanley Park.
  • West End Car Free Day – a street party along Denman Street in mid-June and also known as Denman Street Car Free Day.
  • West Vancouver – one of the region’s most expensive communities nestled between the ocean and the forests of the North Shore mountains.
  • Water Street – the beautiful historic shopping street that goes through the heart of Gastown.
  • Whistler Farmers Market – a large market at the base of Blackcomb Mountain on Sundays from June until early October and on Wednesdays in July and August.
  • White Rock – one of the region’s most popular seaside resort towns.
  • White Rock Farmers Market – a weekly market featuring local produce on Sunday mornings in White Rock from May until mid-December.
  • Whyte Lake – a lake and park with hiking trails in West Vancouver.
  • Whytecliff Park – a beautiful oceanside park in West Vancouver near Horseshoe Bay.
  • Wreck Beach – Vancouver’s world-famous clothing-optional beach in Pacific Spirit Regional Park near UBC.

 

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Y


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  • Yaletown – a trendy and popular district in downtown Vancouver.
  • York Theatre – a 1940s art deco theatre on Venables Street.
  • Yuk Yuks – a 150-seat comedy club in Vancouver.
  • YVR – Vancouver’s main international airport, located in Richmond.

 

Z


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  • Vancouver Zoo – also known as the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove.