Canada Place - Vancouver

notes from Jenvieve


One day Dad tried to play a trick on us: he said we were going on a gigantic ocean liner.  I started packing my suitcase right away.  Then I noticed Nathan standing at my bedroom door, laughing.  "Aren't you forgetting Dad gets seasick?  There's no way he'd actually set sail anywhere."

That could only mean Dad had a museum up his sleeve or some other place Nathe and I wouldn't want to go.  As it turns out, Dad was right.  We did go on a big ocean liner - only it was a building called Canada Place.  Actually it was pretty cool.  Canada Place is one of the neatest looking buildings I've ever seen.  It has five huge sails for a roof and looks like a cruise ship.  You can walk around the outside promenade decks and you really think you're on a boat.

No matter where you gaze out, the view is amazing.  Vancouver harbour is all around you, and Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains are in the background.

If you go between May and October you'll be sure to see some gigantic cruise ships docked alongside Canada Place waiting to go to Alaska.  My friend Becky went on one of those.  She said it had four swimming pools and a golf course.  Wow!

The inside of Canada Place is just as neat as the outside.  It has a rich hotel with a waterfall in the lobby.  There's also a bunch of restaurants and shops, plus a trade and convention centre (whatever that is).  The last place Dad showed us was the CN IMAX Theatre.  We happened to get there just when the show started so we got to see it.  It was on the California kelp beds.  I don't remember too much about it: only that Nathe and me were always ducking our heads whenever we saw a fish coming for us.

So, I guess even though our boat never set sail, we still had fun.

Age group:

We saw people of all ages at Canada Place.  Even Coleman, my little brother liked running up and down the promenade deck.

Expense rating:

Canada Place doesn't cost any money, except for the parking.  It might be fun to take the Skytrain or Seabus there; then you wouldn't have to worry about parking your car.


If you never been to Canada Place you should go just to see it.  Apparently it is recognized as one of the best-ever pavilions at a world exposition.  It was built by the Canadian government for British Columbia's Transportation Expo in 1986.  That was way before my time, but Mom and Dad both agreed Expo '86 was fantastic.


Canada Place by itself might be a bit lame for some kids.  I know my parents could spend hours walking on the decks, but I was glad we went to the movie as well.


Canada Place is a snap to find.  Just go to the foot of Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, and you're there.  Or you could take the Seabus if you're coming from the North Vancouver, or the Skytrain if you're coming from Burnaby or Surrey, because they both stop close by.

After you've finished seeing Canada Place, you can walk downtown or go to Gastown.  They're only a five-minute walk.  Gastown has lots of cool shops and places to buy ice-cream.





All seasons

Educational highlights:

Did you know Canada Place is one of the few building still standing from BC's Expo '86?  When important people come to Vancouver, they always go there.  Dad said it was built on the same spot as the Canadian Pacific Railway Pier which goes back all the way to 1925.

Fun for the adult?:

I know for sure we'll be going back to Canada Place.  Mom found out that Café Pacifica has a Sunday brunch, and she's crazy about food.  I think Dad would go back just to look at the scenery.  He shot practically a whole roll of film on the mountains.