Shopping and Sightseeing
By David Burke / Images By Joern Rohde
Just around the corner on Hornby Street, the Bill Reid Gallery is the place to be inspired by the contemporary works of Northwest Coast Indigenous artists. It includes a collection of creations by its famous namesake, who is best known for his two- and three-dimensional depictions of Haida mythology and legends. Reid, who died in 1998, sought to sow unity while promoting appreciation of living Indigenous cultures and values. billreidgallery.ca
Bill Reid Gallery
UBC Botanical Garden
Those seeking to indulge their scientific curiosity have several options, two of them just a short distance from downtown. Science World at Telus World of Science — under the geodesic dome at the eastern end of False Creek — is a great place for young and old alike to engage their inner scientist. It includes interactive, indoor and outdoor displays and demonstrations, larger-than-life Omnimax films showcasing the physical and natural world and galleries focusing on life sciences and the animal kingdom. scienceworld.ca
Vancouver Public Library
Three prominent cultural and scientific attractions grace the campus of the University of British Columbia, west of the city centre: The Museum of Anthropology, UBC Botanical Garden and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) showcases the history and cultures of humanity in all its diversity, with a focus on Pacific Northwest Indigenous peoples. The MOA is situated on the traditional land of the Musqueam people, and those entering are welcomed by the works of Musqueam artists including Susan Point and Joe Becker. The Bill Reid Rotunda features his carving “The Raven and the First Men,” Reid’s stirring depiction of the Haida legend about Raven finding the first humans emerging from a clamshell.
Museum of Anthropology
The UBC Botanical Garden is a great place to stroll through coastal rainforest, which includes internationally recognized collections of rhododendrons, maples and magnolias. Children will enjoy the Greenheart TreeWalk, an adventure on swinging bridges through the forest canopy. The nearby Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese tea garden designed in memory of Dr. Inazo Nitobe, whose wish was to foster world peace.
Those with an interest in natural history should visit the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and its extensive collections of birds, insects, fish, fossils and more. Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton, an impressive 26.8 metres (88 feet) long, is featured in the lobby and is free to view.
The Van Dusen Botanical Garden is another gem, even in winter. Vancouver’s mild, marine climate affords great gardening year-round.
Vanier Park, just across False Creek from downtown, is home to the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. MOV explores the city’s history and features temporary exhibits including current shows “Haida Now: A Visual Feast of Innovation and Tradition” and “A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia.” museumofvancouver.ca
Next door, the family-centred H.R. MacMillan Space Centre includes exhibits on the wonders of space, including a planetarium. spacecentre.ca
Want to connect with local artisans and perhaps look for the perfect souvenir or gift? The Granville Island Public Market is where you’ll find shops, studios and galleries where you can visit with the creators and browse for everything from silk to jewellery to custom-built canoes. granvilleisland.com
Questions about Vancouver-area sights and attractions can be directed to the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre at 200 Burrard St., by phoning 604-683-2000 or online at tourismvancouver.com. Or alternatively, visit each location’s website.