SLA NorthWest Regional Conference Logo

 

Home
Call for Proposals
Program
Hotel
Registration
Sponsors
About Vancouver
 


About Vancouver:

 

Welcome to Beautiful Vancouver , BC

On Canada's West Coast, nestled between the rugged Coastal Mountains and the Pacific Ocean , Vancouver , British Columbia is a city of cosmopolitan amenities, natural splendors, and rich cultural attractions. The city's unique geographical location and moderate climate mean that many outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round, from rainforest walks, ocean kayaking and salmon fishing, to sailing, cycling and golfing. With the rugged mountains just 30 minutes from the city, there are also opportunities for hikes and enjoying the mountain views.

With a population of two million inhabitants, and as a result of its culturally diverse population, Vancouver has a rich culture and ethnic diversity that is reflected in its cuisine, entertainment, and unique neighborhoods. Shop in trendy districts, explore the city, dine in ethnic neighborhoods, enjoy the entertainment scene or just take in the sights.

MacMillan Space Centre
Haida Dancers
West Restaurant
False Creek Kayakers
Granville Public Market
Seawall Joggers
Chinatown Gate
Lynn Valley hiking
Vancouver Art Gallery

* Images are courtesy of Tourism Vancouver, click to see full-size images

TOP^

 

To See and Do in Vancouver

Scenic Sights

Cultural Activities and Performing Arts

Dining

City of Neighborhoods

Outdoor Adventure

Sports

Transportation

Taxi Information

Shopping

Additional Information on Shopping

Spas

Additional Information on Spas

Additional Information on Vancouver

Stanley Park

The Lions

Lions Gate ridge

Vancouver Port

Nearby Attractions

Whistler

Victoria and Vancouver Island

Alaska Cruise

Fraser Valley

Okanagan Valley

Rocky Mountains

TOP^

Scenic Sights

Popular attractions include the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre where you can experience the BC Coast in wonderful detail. Walk across the famed Capilano Suspension Bridge or take the Skyride to the top of Grouse Mountain . Top off the excitement with a visit to Science World and its interactive exhibits or ride the glass walled elevator to see the spectacular 360-degree view from the Lookout! at Harbour Centre.

With miles of protected coastline, Vancouver offers an incredible variety of beaches, from right downtown at English Bay to Crescent Beach in White Rock. The city boasts an equally diverse selection of botanical gardens and parks, including Vancouver 's treasured 1,000 acre/400 hectare Stanley Park . The largest Red Cedar tree in North America, according to the National Geographic Society, is in Stanley Park .

Cultural Activities

Vancouver is home to some wonderful galleries and museums. Highlights include the Vancouver Art Gallery that showcases modern and historical artists, the University Of British Columbia Museum Of Anthropology offering incredible First Nations art, the Vancouver Museum , and the Vancouver Maritime Museum , just minutes away from downtown.

Performing Arts

Vancouver 's entertainment season starts in October, with Broadway-style musicals, theatre, opera, ballet, concerts and the symphony.

Vancouver offers everything from innovative comedy theatre and Broadway extravaganzas to Shakespeare on the beach, as well as brilliant performances by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera and the Vancouver Cantata Singers. The Alliance for Arts and Culture provides an extensive weekly events calendar and pages of information on the arts in Vancouver http://www.allianceforarts.com/ . The Arts Hotline, 604.684.2787 (604.684.ARTS) is the phone version of the Alliance for Arts and Culture's website. It has current information on performing and visual arts events in and around Vancouver . Live assistance is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. The Alliance for Arts and Culture, 938 Howe Street (at Smithe) in the downtown core, home of the Arts Information Centre. Open weekdays, 9am to 5pm.

Looking for some last minute theatre tickets during your stay? Half-price? Eve n-better!

Tickets Tonight is fashioned after similar outlets in major cities such as New York , London and Toronto , offering half-price, day-of event tickets to the performing arts, festivals and other cultural activities. In addition to tickets from independent box offices throughout the city, a wide range of full-price tickets is also available along with inventory from TicketMaster. Tickets Tonight is located at Tourism Vancouver's TouristInfo Centre downtown. Half-priced tickets must be purchased in person but offerings can be viewed online.

TOP^

Dining

Vancouver 's multicultural population is reflected in its incredible variety and quality of cuisine, from West Coast traditional to Dim Sum. Vancouver provides many opportunities for exquisite dining experiences, especially if you're into fresh seafood, fine French, Italian, Asian or Pacific Northwest . The array of distinct neighborhoods offer a range of fabulous flavors, from beachfront vendors to bustling bistros, to an entire legion of globally touted restaurants.

Vancouver 's multicultural cuisine has received international acclaim with chefs from such diverse places as Austria , Japan , and Vietnam . Asian diversity remains the city's biggest strength. With the influx of Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong, a new category of restaurants—Chinese fine dining—unique to North America, is available in Vancouver . The Chinese have inspired this infectious respect for fresh ingredients, reflected in the high quality of products available across the city. This genre of cuisine, labeled West Coast or Pacific Northwest , implies the freshest and finest local ingredients dictate the flavor of local kitchens, often with an Asian inspired twist. The Pacific Rim influence is seen in all styles of cooking including French, Continental, Italian and Indian menus.

City of Neighborhoods

Stroll the cobbled streets of historic Gastown or join a sightseeing tour of Vancouver 's colorful Chinatown, the third largest in North America . Discover Vancouver 's many distinctive enclaves, from the Punjabi Market to trendy Yaletown with its designer shops, galleries and popular bistros.

The ten blocks south of the Granville Street Bridge encompasses the city's leading gallery district. South Granville carries off its sophisticated style with a blush of elan. That flair may be in the food, which everywhere you turn, is French-kissed. Taste treats with a Gallic influence are also available in smaller bites, from quick crepes to omelets and sandwiches tucked into fresh baguettes. O ne can explore the myriad showrooms displaying imported treasures of multiple Asian heritages, or gaze at exhibitions of local artisans both known and new. Treasures from the past are also well represented in the antique shops whose wares tend to be more Edwardian than eclectic. For those with a decorative bent that is more personal, outstanding smiths craft and vend jeweled creations that range from high modern to classic and contemporary. High fashion outlets and home décor emporiums reside side by side each with the low slung walk-ups and terraced modern apartment blocks that characterize this very sophisticated city enclave.

Outdoor Adventure

Vancouver 's year-round mild climate makes it easy to discover the great outdoors. You can ski the local mountains, dine on a glacier, cycle the seawall or stroll through a rainforest. Discover ancient natural forests or explore the beauty of the region by sea kayak. Vancouver also offers some of the most spectacular and challenging golf courses in Canada . Tour operators offer one of a kind creative outdoor adventure, with visitor packages available in unique combinations, from glacier picnics to flying into remote lakes for freshwater fishing.

TOP^

Sports

Sports action in Vancouver includes the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks, the Molson Indy cart race, the Canadian Football League's BC Lions, the Whitecaps Men's and Women's soccer team, the Vancouver Canadian Single A Baseball Team and the Vancouver Giants - the newest team in the Western Hockey League.

Transportation

The Vancouver International Airport (YVR), located in Richmond , south of Vancouver 's city center, is a half-hour drive to the downtown area. Between the airport and downtown, transfer service is readily available by the Airporter Bus, Taxi, Limousine, or Car Rental Companies. The Airporter Bus ($14 Cdn) departs regularly every 15 minutes to the major downtown hotels, the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre and the cruise ship terminal. Taxi's are located outside of the domestic and international terminals and are approximately $25 Cdn to Downtown Vancouver.

Taxi Information

MacClures Taxi 604.731.9211

Yellow Cab Company 604.681.1111

Vancouver Taxi 604.255.5111

Black Top & Checker Cabs 604.681.2181

Cabs charge : $1.40 – 1.50 per KM

The fare starts at $2.30 if cab is flagged rather than called.

All fares are approximate and based on Tourism Vancouver departures.

Around downtown $5 - $9

To Airport $25 - $35

To UBC $20 - $25

To Lonsdale Quay $20 - $25

To Capilano Suspension Bridge $20 - $25

To Grouse Mtn $24 - $28

To Queen Elizabeth Park $15 - $17

To PNE $17 - $19

To Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal $55 - $65

To Whistler $180 - $275

To Seattle $350

[Tipping: for exceptional service add 15-20%]

TOP^

Shopping

Endless rows of fashion boutiques can be found on Robson Street . The sidewalk cafes, specialty stores and coffee shops attract visitors and locals alike. Yaletown has converted its old industrial warehouses into trendy places to shop, eat and be seen. Besides the fabulously fresh food at the public market on Granville Island , this heritage area is home to many artisans who blow glass, weave intricate tapestries and throw clay. Gastown is a great place for those looking for First Nations craftworks. Thanks to Vancouver 's ethnic diversity, you can find authentic goods from just about anywhere in the world as well as the traditional shopping delights of designer shops and malls.

Additional information on shopping:

Downtown: Yaletown
Yaletown has undergone a major transformation thanks to the largest waterfront redevelopment in North America -the reconstruction of False Creek's shores. Old industrial brick warehouses have being converted into lofts, studios, ad agencies, multimedia firms, designer showrooms, ultra-hip clothing stores-and a thriving restaurant and bar scene.

Downtown: Chinatown
In the area of Main Street and Keefer, you'll find everything from ginseng to green tea, fine embroidered linens, silk robes, splendid and exotic fresh produce plus traditional Chinese tableware and cooking utensils.

Kitsilano
Shopping in Kits runs along two streets-West Broadway and West Fourth Avenue -from Burrard to Alma . Ready to wear shops, gourmet food stores, specialty bookstores, home furnishings and accessories as well as a variety of multicultural restaurants and curio item shops enliven this area.

South Granville
South Granville's galleries, interior design, home furnishing, occidental antique and specialty stores stretch from the south end of the Granville Street Bridge to West 16th Avenue . Imported and local designer fashions, fine eyewear, shoes, stationary, linens, china and oriental carpets round out the retail mix. Top eateries (Ouest), the newly refurbished Stanley Theatre and the elegant Meinhardt's Fine Foods make this strip one of the best areas for an early stroll in the evening.

North Shore
The North Shore is only a bridge or SeaBus ride away. Check West Vancouver 's Park Royal North and South Malls, the Ambleside and Dundarave village areas along Marine Drive as well as North Vancouver 's Lonsdale Quay Market.

Wine
The 1998 Chardonnay from Burrowing Owl-BC's most-talked-about new winery, located in the Okanagan Valley -was awarded 89 points by Wine Spectator and cited as Canada 's best Chardonnay by Wine Access. If you can't get your hands on a bottle, any 1998 white (especially Germanic varieties such as Zinfandel or Gewürztraminer as well as ice wines) from that region will be impressive; 1998 is the decade's best Okanagan vintage.

Music
A competitive retail environment for music means that newly released CDs are much less expensive here than the United States or Europe . Some local artists who are creating waves around the world these days are Sarah McLachlan, whose mellifluous album Surfacing sold more than eight million copies in its first year, and Diana Krall, whose throaty voice and passionate delivery have earned her comparisons to Sarah Vaughn along with a permanent spot atop the Billboard jazz charts in recent years. Also look for releases by McLachlan and from local electronic-music-and-acid-jazz label Mo' Funk.

Athletic Gear
Shipping home a mountain bike, snowboard or five-person tent may seem a little excessive, but because some of the hottest manufacturers in the world are located here (Rocky Mountain, Option, and Mountain Equipment Co-op, for example) you'll wind up saving a bundle. The Mecca for board sports and biking is the so-called "Air Strip" around 4th Avenue and Burrard Street , (Thriller, Pacific Boarder and WestBeach). Rock climbing and paddling enthusiasts should head to Camperland around Broadway and Quebec Street , where Taiga, Mountain Equipment Co-op and the 3 Vets Store are located.

TOP^

Spas

Given the healthy Vancouver lifestyle, it's no wonder that spas flourish here. Canadians are getting wrapped up in what Europeans have known for centuries-the merits of the spa. The city's day spas-no longer the pampered princess domain of the past-are being swamped with Vancouverites (male and female) begging to be wrapped in seaweed, slathered with Moor mud, swaddled in hot towels, pummeled by jets of water, exfoliated, kneaded, manicured, pedicured, clarified, purified, de-stressed, revitalized and refreshed. Hotels and spas are responding to the demand by expanding and investing in the newest products and treatments.

Additional information on Spas:

Absolute Spa at the Century
Century Plaza Hotel
1015 Burrard Street
604.687.0575
http://www.spaatthecentury.com/
The city's most-difficult to get into spa has earned its clientele by offering a whole slew of complimentary services, such as light meals, eucalyptus steams, make-up application and use of an ozone-treated swimming pool with the purchase of spa treatments. Other draws are a Vichy shower, availability of the self-tanning process used for Baywatch cast members, and a roster of celebrity endorsements (Gwyneth Paltrow, Gillian Anderson) lining the lobby walls. Every service (from Moor Mud Therapy to the Absolutely Personalized facial) at the spa includes spa cuisine and complimentary covered parking. Best quick fix: make an appointment for the Timesaver Manicure & Pedicure which packs a manicure and pedicure with a low-cal, low-fat lunch into one compact hour. You can also drop into the Absolute Spa at Holt Renfrew located in Pacific Centre for a manicure (no appointment necessary).

Absolute Spa at the Fairmont
Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel
604.248.2772
www.spaatthecentury.com
North America 's first on-site airport hotel spa is not only open to hotel guests, but also airline employees, other travellers and the general public. This luxury spa offers a variety of treatments including Watsu, Warm Stone Therapy and Javanese Lulur Royal Ritual.

The Spa
Fairmont Hotel
Vancouver
900 West
Georgia Street
604.648.2909
www.fairmont.com
The smack-dab-in-the-centre-of-town location makes it popular and convenient to both the downtown professional and the frequent traveller. This total body care salon indulges from head to toe seven days a week with its own skin care line and body treatments from Kirsten Florian. Also on offer are full hair care services plus hot-rock massage and hydrotherapy in a environment that won a national award for its design. The spa offers everything from a quickie lunch-hour facial or massage to the Solace Experience package. It includes a 60-minute massage, a 60-minute facial, a aromatherapy wrap or scrub and a shampoo and style in the salon with a spa lunch.

Absolute Spa at YVR
www.spaatthecentury.com
Located at US departure (604.273.4772) and Canadian departure (604.273.4772) gates of the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond , Absolute Spa offers manicures, pedicures, facials and massages before or after a flight. No appointment necessary.

Le Spa
Sutton Place
Hotel
845 Burrard Street
604.642.2999
www.suttonplace.com
At Le Spa-where stars come to be massaged, scrubbed and pampered-the hot pick is the "Ultimate" package. It begins with 60-minute massage, followed by a facial, manicure, pedicure, a session of reflexology and concludes with a champagne luncheon. It's the perfect antidote to the high-stress business world. If you can't give up a whole morning, there's a plethora of packages from which to choose. Try the Twinkle Toes, a reflexology session and pedicure or the Pure and Simple one-hour massage and facial. Guests of the Spa are welcome to use the pool, Jacuzzi and well-equipped fitness room-towels, lockers and shower products provided gratis.

TOP^

Additional information on Vancouver

Stanley Park

This is the largest city park in Canada with 404 hectares (1,000 acres). Described by one local writer as a 'thousand-acre therapeutic couch', it began as a military reserve in the mid-1800s to guard the entrance to Vancouver harbor from aggressive Americans. The Vancouver Parks Board supervises it and just about every resident in the city has an opinion if anybody has plans to make any changes other than cutting the grass.

•  Designer: Much of Stanley Park 's design was based on the planning principles of Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer behind New York City 's Central Park .

•  Squirrels: In 1909, the City of New York presented Vancouver with a gift of eight pairs of grey squirrels for Stanley Park . Now the park is riddled with the critters, who are favorites of city residents and visitors alike. Hold still, with some seeds or nuts in your hand and, usually in a few minutes, one or two will tentatively approach and make a grab for them.

•  Stanley Park Seawall: On any given day, at just about any given hour, you can run, walk blade or cycle Stanley Park 's seawall early in the morning, past Chinese fishermen at Siwash Rock, where Indian Princess poet Pauline Johnson's ashes are scattered.

•  Lost Lagoon: Native Indian poet Pauline Johnson named this large pond, now featuring a spectacular fountain. The waters of the lagoon, at the entrance to Stanley Park in the downtown core, once disappeared at low tide, but today it's landlocked and a haven for wildfowl.

•  National Geographic Tree: This is a huge red cedar, almost 30 metres around, that the National Geographic Society believes is the largest of its kind in the world. It's rooted near Stanley Park 's Hollow Tree (a much better known tree locally), 30 metres along the trail to Third Beach .

•  The Nine O'clock Gun: A loud old English sea cannon was placed in Vancouver 's Stanley Park just over 100 years ago. It was fired originally to remind local fishermen of fishing time limits... but now it sounds every evening at 9pm as a time signal and a tradition. Want to hear it? It's on the web:
www.vanmag.com/sounds/wavs/9oclockgun.WAV

•  Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tours: Hour-long horse drawn tours in Stanley Park take place from mid-March to the end of October. There's also a free shuttle bus from Canada Place and various other downtown core locations to Stanley Park . 604.681. 5115 http://www.stanleyparktours.com/ .

The Lions

These are two spectacular mountain peaks overlooking Vancouver 's harbor. They resemble the ears of a lion. They were named as a remembrance of statues of two lions in London 's Trafalgar Square .

Lions Gate Bridge

The Guinness Brewing Company built this huge bridge, which spans the First Narrows entrance to Vancouver 's wide harbor and Burrard Inlet, from Stanley Park to West Vancouver . It bought a lot of property on the north shore of the inlet, now the cities of West Vancouver and North Vancouver , and then built the bridge at its own expense to give people a reason to buy the land. The BC government bought the bridge from Guinness years ago. In 1986, the Guinness family donated money to decoratively light the bridge in the evenings. The name comes from the fact that one can see The Lions from the bridge.

Vancouver Port

Vancouver has the largest port in Canada and the largest on North America 's West Coast. Trivia: a hundred years ago it was so quiet on Burrard Inlet you could holler across the water to fetch a ferry to take you across. The ferry was a rowboat.

TOP^

Nearby attractions

Whistler

From Vancouver, a scenic 90-minute drive north along the Sea to Sky Highway leads to Whistler, North America's #1 ski resort and co-host for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Along the way, there are excellent photo and hiking opportunities, including spectacular Shannon Falls and the stunning Squamish Chief rock face.

Once in Whistler, stroll the European ski resort styled village with it's cobble stoned streets, enjoy a wide selection of restaurants and outdoor cafés, or take in year-round special events and street performers. Enjoy championship golf, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, guided nature walks, swimming, and other water sports.

Victoria and Vancouver Island

Victoria , British Columbia 's capital city is accessible from Vancouver by passenger/vehicle ferry, floatplane or helicopter. Spot Orca whales and sea lions en route as the ferry makes its way through the scenic Gulf Islands . In Victoria , experience the old English charm with a double-decker bus ride or traditional afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress hotel. Other attractions include the Parliament Buildings and Butchart Gardens .

Just north of Victoria , there are wineries in Cowichan Valley , native totems in Duncan and art galleries in Chemainus. Continue to the West Coast of the island to Long Beach and the quaint fishing villages of Tofino and Ucluelet.

Alaska Cruise

Vancouver serves as the home port for the renowned thousand-mile Inside Passage cruise, offering some of the world's most spectacular scenery. Passengers will be enthralled with the wondrous maze of forested islands, glacier-carved fjords and Southeast Alaska 's most popular, frontier friendly ports.

Fraser Valley

Travel east through the rolling farmlands of the Fraser Valley to delightful Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Spend the day relaxing in the natural mineral hot springs , or swimming, windsurfing, canoeing or waterskiing on the freshwater lake. Before returning to Vancouver , nearby excursions include a visit to historic Fort Langley “The Birthplace of BC”, Minter Gardens or beautiful Bridal Falls .

Okanagan Valley

Situated in central British Columbia , the Thompson-Okanagan region is one of the province's most beautiful and best-kept secrets. With its green valleys, bountiful orchards, crystal clear lakes and mountain resorts, the area abounds with things to do and see year-round. From wine tasting tours to white-water rafting, golfing and sailing to skiing and snowboarding, the Okanagan Valley has it all.

Rocky Mountains

Whether you are looking for peace and solitude or outdoor adventure, head to the BC Rockies . Here, the landscape is as diverse as the views are spectacular. You'll discover cool glaciers and natural hot springs , dense forests and wide open meadows. And there is plenty to do, everything from hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding to canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

TOP^

 


About Us
| Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2006 SLA NorthWest Regional Conference

Last updated:2006-07-05 by Eugene Barsky