The A to Z’s of Vancouver

The A to Z’s of Vancouver

Vancouver Alphabet Collage Signs

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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  • Aberdeen Centre – a large shopping mall in Richmond with a significant number of Asian stores.
  • 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.

B


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  • BC Day – a statutory holiday every August 1st.
  • 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.
  • 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 mareket 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.
  • Cloud 9 – one of Vancouver’s two revolving restaurants atop a skyscraper.
  • 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 Mountain – the ski hill with the most terrain, lifts and vertical drop in Metro Vancouver.
Boats in the water at Deep Cove in North Vancouver
Deep Cove in North 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.
  • Deep Cove Daze a small community festival with music, food and family activities in North Vancouver’s Deep Cove on the last Sunday in August.
  • 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.
  • Downtown Farmers Market – an outdoor summer market that takes place on Thursdays in the plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
  • 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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  • English Bay – the best beach in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

F


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  • 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.
  • Fort Langley (the town) – a small cute historic town in the Fraser Valley.
  • Fraser Valley – the region between Metro Vancouver and the community of Hope, leading into the interior of BC.
  • Fun City Festival – a two-day Car Free Day event in North Vancouver that includes a giant 1000-foot waterslide in August.
End of Water Street in Gastown
Gastown at the corner of Carrall and Water Street

G


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  • Gastown – Vancouver’s historic old town.
  • Gingerbread Lane – gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency in December.
  • Granville Island – Vancouver’s famous artisan and entertainment district under the Granville Street Bridge.
  • 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.
  • Grouse Grind – the grueling set of stairs that ascend Grouse Mountain and loved by fitness and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Guilford Town Centre – the second 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.
  • 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.
Horseshoe Bay
Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver

I


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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.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Lions Gate Rotary North Vancouver

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.
  • 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. Roche Arctic exploration boat.
  • Metrotown – the largest shopping mall in the province with close to 400 stores.
  • Mount Seymour (the resort) – the best ski hill for beginners and very 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.
UBC's Museum of Anthropology
Museum of Anthropology

N


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  • Nat Bailey Stadium – home field to the Vancouver Canadians baseball team.
  • New Brighton Pool – a summertime outdoor pool near the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge.
  • 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 home ice for the Vancouver Giants hockey team.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Planetarium – located at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.
  • PlayDome – an indoor carnival with amusement rides and midway games at BC Place Stadium.
  • Playland – the city’s amusement park.
  • PNE – the abbreviated name for the Pacific National Exhibition.
  • Porteau Cove – a beautiful park and campground along the Sea to Sky Highway.
  • Pride Parade & Festival – a major festival celebrating the region’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered community leading up to the August Long Weekend.
  • 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.
  • 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 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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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shipyard 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sunshine Coast – a rural region outside Metro Vancouver that is connected by ferry via Horseshoe Bay.
  • 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).
  • Symphony in the Park – a free outdoor concert by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Deer Lake Park in July.
TD Jazz Festival and Dal Richards Band
TD Jazz Festival

T


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  • TEDxStanley Park – an annual TEDx event at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre featuring local speakers in the early spring.
  • 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 Day – a statutory holiday on the second Monday of October.
  • Tulips of the Valley – Western Canada’s largest tulip festival that takes place in Chilliwack around April.
  • 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 Police Museum – an interesting museum showcasing the city’s police and criminal pasts.
  • 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.
VanDusen Garden Christmas Lights Promenade
Christmas time at VanDusen Garden

W


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  • West Dyke Trail – a beautiful and flat area of coastline in Richmond that’s perfect for walking, cycling and jogging along.
  • 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.
  • 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.

X


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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.
  • YVR Food Festival – a food cart festival at Vancouver’s Olympic Village in August.

Z


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