Vancouver Yaletown Walking Tour, Vancouver

Vancouver Yaletown Walking Tour (Self Guided), Vancouver

For many years, Yaletown was the thriving industrial heart of Vancouver. Today, this historic neighborhood looks unlike any other part of the city and is considered to be the home of Vancouver's "elite" society.

The Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre is a prominent landmark here, serving as a hub for art exhibitions and recreational activities. Its historic background, as a former railway roundhouse, adds much character to the local architecture.

One cannot talk about Yaletown without mentioning the Canadian Pacific 374, a vintage locomotive on display near the Roundhouse. This iconic steam engine symbolizes the rich railway heritage of the area.

A few blocks away, around the corner, the Yaletown Brewing Company is a firm favorite among locals, offering craft beers and a cozy atmosphere. Meanwhile, food enthusiasts will find joy at Rodney's Oyster House, where fresh seafood and oysters are served with a side of maritime charm.

For some relaxation and greenery, David Lam Park is the place to be. This urban oasis offers a serene escape with its scenic lake, playgrounds, and ample space for picnics.

The Vancouver Seawall, running along False Creek, provides stunning waterfront views and a picturesque route for walking, jogging, or cycling. It's a great way to explore the coastline and take in the beauty of the city.

Ultimately, False Creek itself is a defining feature of Yaletown, offering aquatic adventures like kayaking and dragon boating. The waterfront community embodies a perfect blend of urban living and outdoor recreation, making it an interesting destination to visit.

Vancouver's Yaletown is a harmonious blend of culture and relaxation. The neighborhood invites you to explore its past, savor its culinary offerings, and revel in its natural beauty. Take our self-guided walk and immerse yourself in the unique charm of this Vancouver gem.
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Vancouver Yaletown Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Vancouver Yaletown Walking Tour
Guide Location: Canada » Vancouver (See other walking tours in Vancouver)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
  • Canadian Pacific 374
  • Yaletown Brewing Company
  • Rodney's Oyster House
  • David Lam Park
  • Vancouver Seawall
  • False Creek
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Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

1) Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre seamlessly combines history with art, craftsmanship, and leisure spaces, all housed within a venerable railway edifice nestled in the heart of downtown Vancouver, situated on Pacific Blvd between Davie and Drake streets. Erected in 1888, this intricate establishment stands as a testament to the city's past and remains steadfast in its original position.

Within the premises, a capacious hall offers an excellent venue for hosting diverse events. The Roundhouse encompasses a plethora of additional amenities, including a gymnasium, a theater, an after-school childcare facility, as well as art studios catering to dance, woodworking, and various other creative pursuits. Adjacent to the building lies an expansive plaza, serving as an outdoor venue for events. Catering to a wide range of age groups, the community center orchestrates an array of athletic, artistic, and recreational programs.

Historically, a "roundhouse" was commonly utilized to house and maintain locomotives. This was the Roundhouse Community Centre's original purpose, as it once sheltered CPR trains more than a century ago. In the 1980s, the site underwent renovation, transforming into an exhibit pavilion for Expo 86, eventually evolving into the vibrant community hub we know today during the 1990s.

Remnants of the train legacy persist within the Roundhouse, notably in the form of Engine 374, which famously marked Vancouver's inaugural passenger train arrival in 1887. While not an extensive exhibit, it remains open for free visits, representing one of the city's oldest and most cherished historic artifacts.
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Canadian Pacific 374

2) Canadian Pacific 374

Engine No. 374 stands as a symbol of the Canadian Pacific Railway's historic journey. It was the locomotive that led the inaugural transcontinental passenger train to Vancouver, reaching its destination on May 23, 1887. A year prior, its counterpart, Engine No. 371, had accomplished the remarkable feat of being the first train to traverse Canada, arriving in Port Moody, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the east.

Crafted in the year 1886, No. 374 was among a set of eight akin steam locomotives meticulously crafted at the CPR Montreal workshops. Although No. 371 met its end in 1915, No. 374 underwent a comprehensive reconstruction in 1914 and valiantly served until 1945. Owing to its historical eminence, the locomotive found itself a new home in the City of Vancouver upon retirement. It was proudly put on view at Kitsilano Beach Park.

Unfortunately, exposure and lack of upkeep damaged the machine while at the park. In 1983, railway enthusiasts started restoring it for Expo 86. It was moved from the beach to warehouses across Vancouver. Dedicated volunteers restored it, and it was displayed at the CPR Drake Street Roundhouse for Expo 86, captivating all.

Today, the Engine 374 Pavilion stands at the heart of the Yaletown district's revitalization. It warmly welcomes the public for viewing, offering a captivating glimpse into the rich history it represents.
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Yaletown Brewing Company

3) Yaletown Brewing Company

Founded in 1994, the Yaletown Brewing Company was the first brewpub to open in Vancouver, and is the largest and most famous such pub in the city. Vancouver's original and best brewpub, it came into being just as the former warehouse district of Yaletown was beginning to emerge as a destination for businesses and residents.

Set in the extensively and beautifully renovated original red-brick warehouse, this pioneer of the city’s craft beer scene helped a great deal in the revitalization of Yaletown. In essence, the YBC is the materialized vision of a true neighborhood pub - a welcoming gathering place, whether you arrived dressed in a suit or flip-flops.

Alongside a lively pub section with TVs, pool tables and a fireplace, where you can enjoy some great local beer, it has a 160-seat restaurant section, where you can sample some high quality food together with the same tasty beer. All of this makes the YBC a one-stop destination for everything, from large corporate events to quick after-work beers with the regulars. Sitting outside on its huge patios (converted original loading docks) are ideal to eat, drink and take in the neighborhood's atmosphere throughout the warmer season.
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Rodney's Oyster House

4) Rodney's Oyster House

When it comes for a delicious meal, fine spirits and some fun maritime hospitality at its heartiest, you can always rely on Rodney’s Oyster House (ROH) in Yaletown – a serious oyster curation (but that’s about where the seriousness ends). This raucous establishment is the original ROH outlet, and has been entertaining seafood lovers and oyster aficionados from far and wide for over 20 years, offering freshest seafood fare for lunch and dinner on a daily basis. The vibe here is noisy and fun, with customers catching up with their go-to bartenders and enjoying life, Cape Cod–style (a.k.a. wearing boat shoes).

While Rodney’s does indeed offer an impressive selection of day’s raw oysters by the dozen (check out Royal Miyagi, Kusshi, and Raspberry Point) freshly sourced from the local waters and skillfully shucked by a team of very handsome men, the restaurant also serves up some old-school favorites, such as steaming bowls of New England clam chowder, shrimp cocktail, and crab cakes.

While here, you may also want to try their delightful steamed clams, garlic shrimp, wild sockeye or pan fried oysters, much as the Atlantic lobster, coco curry shrimp, potato crusted halibut and more. The scallop pasta and AAA rib-eye steak will have you coming back here time and time again all the same, rest assured. Also, in the late afternoons, guests are in for a special “low tide” treat brought to the restaurant during low tide for immediate freshness. To wash it all down, consider ordering British Columbian wine, like the crisp Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris, or a cup of grog or a glass of imported white or red wine to complement any dish.
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David Lam Park

5) David Lam Park

The grassy 11-acre expanse of refreshing green space in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver, David Lam Park embodies some of what the Concord Pacific beach neighbourhood dwellers value the most — art, fitness, and nature — all just a short walk away from the Granville Strip and the cobbled streets of Yaletown. Set practically on the seawall, this stunning park represents an intricate mix of active and passive recreation opportunities, complemented with skyline and truly great views.

As part of the chain of city parks along False Creek’s north waterfront, David Lam Park provides high-value open space that brings the public to the water’s edge, with environmental enhancements at the foreshore. There is an abundance of sports (tennis and basketball) courts and children’s playgrounds sheltered by lush plantings, large open lawns ideal for kite flying, volleyball, Frisbee or a lazy day out resting in the sunshine or picnicking.

Among other amenities here is a restful Chinese garden for quiet reflection, with plantings of Chinese origin for people to enjoy in memory of David Lam, BC Lieutenant Governor, after whom the park has been named, echoing his devotion to both landscape and uniting communities. At the northwest corner of the park, near the foot of Homer Street, there are imagery and materials recalling the history of the site — its former rocky shore edge reconstructed in granite — and glass-etched photographs displaying scenes from the industrial history of Yaletown. At the water’s edge, loading dock canopies were once a common fixture; today, a similar canopy of glass and steel serves a new function: shelter from rain or sun.

Each summer, David Lam Park plays host to several outdoor festivals, including the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Yaletown Outdoor Movie Nights. It is also a local favorite for dog-walking and is a home to several intriguing sculptures nestled along the waterfront, making it a great art walk. Even the public bathrooms have been made into an art piece with a waterfall cascading down the side of the building.
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Vancouver Seawall

6) Vancouver Seawall (must see)

The Vancouver Seawall stands as a protective stone barrier encircling the perimeter of Stanley Park, safeguarding the park's shoreline against erosion. Informally, the term also refers to the pathway designated for pedestrians, cyclists, and rollerbladers along the seawall. This scenic route has expanded well beyond the confines of Stanley Park and has evolved into one of the park's most frequented attractions, drawing both local residents and tourists alike.

James "Jimmy" Cunningham, an accomplished master mason, devoted a significant portion of his life, spanning from 1931 until his retirement in 1963, to the construction of this seawall. Even in his retirement years, Cunningham maintained a watchful eye on the wall's ongoing development, a commitment he upheld until his passing at the age of 85. While the entire route doesn't strictly trace the seawall's path, the combined journey from CRAB Park, encircling Stanley Park, and tracing False Creek to Spanish Banks measures approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) in length.

In the face of recurring tensions between pedestrians, cyclists, and inline skaters, park-goers unanimously regard the seawall as the cornerstone of Stanley Park, reigning as the most utilized amenity within its grounds.
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False Creek

7) False Creek (must see)

False Creek, a brief inlet nestled in the core of Vancouver, serves as a division between the downtown district and the remaining expanse of the city. This name was bestowed upon it by George Henry Richards during his maritime survey of the coastline from 1856 to 1863. While traversing the southern periphery of Burrard Inlet, Richards mistakenly believed he was navigating a creek. Upon realizing his error, he christened the waterway with its present designation.

Situated at its eastern terminus, Science World finds its location, with the Granville, Cambie, and Burrard (the westernmost) Street bridges spanning the expanse of False Creek. Just to the west of the Cambie Bridge, the Canada Line rapid transit tunnel delves beneath the waters of False Creek. Among the four prominent water bodies bordering Vancouver, False Creek stands alongside English Bay, Burrard Inlet, and the Fraser River. A significant event unfolded along its shores in 1986 when it served as the site for the Expo 86 World's Fair.

Highly favored for a multitude of aquatic pursuits, False Creek is a hub for diverse activities such as dragon boating, canoeing, kayaking, public ferries, chartered vessels, and recreational boats. The creek boasts ten marinas, accommodating approximately 1500 watercraft, and also houses various paddling clubs and boat rental amenities. Since 1986, the creek has hosted the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival and other paddling-oriented gatherings.

Walking Tours in Vancouver, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Vancouver

Create Your Own Walk in Vancouver

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vancouver is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vancouver Downtown Walking Tour

Vancouver Downtown Walking Tour

Numerous historic and otherwise notable landmarks scattered throughout Downtown Vancouver make it a hot traveler's destination. Each such landmark is unique in itself and has a great deal of story to tell visitors, be it cultural history or simple amusement.

While in Downtown you can't miss the Vancouver Lookout. This observation deck lures you with its breathtaking scenery – the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Vancouver Chinatown Walking Tour

Vancouver Chinatown Walking Tour

Vancouver's Chinatown is the second-largest Chinese-centered area in North America. As such, it has long attracted hordes of tourists with its expressive culture, inexpensive but delicious food, and fabulous traditional architecture.

The very first landmark that welcomes visitors entering Chinatown is the grand, ornate structure called the Millennium Gate. With its intricate architectural...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Vancouver Introduction Walking Tour

Vancouver Introduction Walking Tour

A bustling seaport on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is among the country's densest and most ethnically diverse cities. It is also one of British Columbia's youngest cities. Prior to the Europeans, the Vancouver area had been inhabited – for almost 10,000 years – by Aboriginal tribes: Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh (Burrard). The explorer Simon Fraser and his crew were...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Granville Island Walking Tour

Granville Island Walking Tour

Successfully transformed, back in the 1970s, from an industrial wasteland into one of the most beloved public spaces in Vancouver, Granville Island is now viewed as a premier artistic and cultural hub famous for its balance of functionality and flare. It is equally popular as a shopping destination, too, with a plethora of other attractions like art galleries, markets, and a brewery to boot....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Gastown Walking Tour

Gastown Walking Tour

To get the feel of authentic Vancouver, head for the Gastown district. This is where the city was born: an ex-sailor turned gold prospector built an inn here in the late 19th century and a small settlement, mostly of mill workers, dockhands and merchants, sprang up around it. Many of the streets in Gastown are still cobblestoned and you will find lovely examples of Victorian buildings that have...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

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