Located at the top of the Harbour Centre near historic Gastown, Vancouver Lookout is a tourist attraction that offers 360-degree views of the city.
ATTRACTION STATUS DUE TO COVID-19
As a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Vancouver Lookout suspended operations completely for a number of months.
As of mid-summer, the venue remained closed. Just above the tourist attraction in the Harbour Centre building is the Top of Vancouver revolving restaurant. It too closed for a period of time, but then reopened for dine-in service in mid-June. It’s also a great place to check out the views!
As of February 2021, Vancouver Lookout has resumed operations, although not for walk-in visitors. Groups can book the venue for private events, but people can’t book individual tickets (at least not for the time being). The venue hopes to offer drop-in access for tourists soon, but exact dates and details about that are to be determined.
For more information, including the current status of the attraction, see the Vancouver Lookout website.
View from the Top of Vancouver
At about 550 feet (or 168 m) high, Vancouver Lookout offers visitors a truly spectacular birds-eye view of the surrounding area.
From the venue you can see Canada Place and the whole of the downtown core, as well as Stanley Park, the North Shore Mountains, Burrard Inlet, and as far away as Surrey and beyond (assuming good weather).
Where is the Lookout?
The attraction’s address is 555 West Hastings Street. It’s located in the heart of downtown Vancouver about a block from Waterfront Station in one direction and a block from the entrance to Gastown in the other.
Not far from the Vancouver Lookout are Canada Place, Granville Street, the Vancouver Convention Centre and Coal Harbour. One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions is also close by. FlyOver Canada is a multidimensional theatre experience where you can fly across the country. It’s located just a short walk away at Canada Place.
Situated at the edge of Gastown in the Harbour Centre building, visitors can have a memorable meal at the Top of Vancouver revolving restaurant. It’s a good restaurant, it offers Happy Hour specials and it offers the same views as you’ll find at the Vancouver Lookout. And yes, the place really does spin around, but thankfully only very slowly.
Urban Grind Event in March
The Urban Grind is an event that takes place on Tuesday afternoons in March (or at least it does in years without COVID-19). During the Urban Grind event, for around $5 and at set times, the public is welcome to get exercise by climbing up the 633 steps of the Harbour Centre Building to the Vancouver Lookout.
When the event does happen, included with the $5 admission most years is a complimentary beer at the top and a $5 food voucher for use in the downstairs food court. The event takes place between 4:30 and 6:30 every Tuesday in March. During those hours guests are allowed to climb up and down as many times as they like!
In addition to being great exercise, the Urban Grind is also a fundraiser. There is a coat check at the bottom near the entrance where, for a donation, jackets and other items can be left. In 2020 all donations collected went to the Kettle Society which is a charity that helps people with mental health illnesses, poverty, substance use and homelessness.
In 2020 the Urban Grind celebrated its sixth year. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, however, out of precaution, the event in the second half of the month that year was cancelled.
Click Urban Grind for further details.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to the Vancouver Lookout.
TIP #1: We recommend visiting the Vancouver Lookout on a sunny day. Vancouver is especially beautiful on a clear day as clouds will hide the spectacular North Shore Mountains.
TIP #2: Especially if you’re into photography, it’s good to know that you are usually allowed to go up and down the Vancouver Lookout more than once during the day (at least you could at the time of this writing). This means you can go back when the sun is facing different parts of town, or in the evening when it’s setting over the horizon.
TIP #3: If you are visiting from out of town, unless the weather forecast is better earlier in your stay than later, we recommend you visit the Vancouver Lookout at the end of your holiday as it’ll be more interesting when you can recognize places you’ve visited in the distance.
TIP #4: While in the area, be sure to also check out Gastown. Located just down the street from the Vancouver Lookout, it’s a historic part of town that’s full of interesting shops, restaurants and heritage buildings. Especially if you are from out of town or new to Canada, we also recommend checking out the film at FlyOver Canada at Canada Place.
TIP #5: If you’re looking for a really unique touristy experience, in addition to the multidimensional experience at FlyOver Canada, you might also want to check out Vancouver Mysteries and Forbidden Vancouver. The first is an outdoor game company that offers adventures in the streets of the city. The second is a tour company that offers guided walking tours around Gastown and other neighbourhoods in downtown Vancouver.
Check out the official Vancouver Lookout website for more information about this great attraction and its amazing views.
For a list of other great attractions click Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Historic Gastown
- Vancouver Restaurants
- Downtown Vancouver Hotels
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar