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Attractions in Downtown

Attractions Contents:

  • Robson Square
  • Marine Building
  • Canada Place Pier
  • BC Place Stadium
  • Expo 86 Site
  • Yaletown
  • Plaza of Nations

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© virtualvancouver (Robson Square) Walking along Georgia and Nelson Street, you will come across a truly remarkable building known as the Robson Square Complex. It was designed by Arthur Erickson as a civic centre. The development includes Law Courts, the Vancouver Art Gallery, government offices and media centre.

The middle block of the square has a sunken plaza under two Plexiglass domes. You can find restaurants and a food fair surrounding an open air skating rink. If you go in summer, you might find the steps of the plaza filled with people having a lunch. In winter, you can try your skills at ice-skating which is a favorite Canadian sport.

Heading down towards the lower level, you will come across a centre that holds an exhibition space, theatre and conference centre. This is known as the Media Centre. There is also a Tourist Centre located near the centre which is a good source of general information about the centre. Be sure to ask for available tours.

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The Marine Building was built in 1929 as a daring and provocative tribute to the art of modernism. Located at 355 Burrard Street, Vancouver, this building eschewed the traditions of classical design. Walking to the entrance, you will find bordered brass doors opening into a large lobby featuring terra cotta panels. These panels are interesting to say the very least as they depict the history Burrard's transportation and exploration.

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© virtualvancouver (Ship docking at the Canada

Place Pier) Ask any Vancouverite what is the city architectural symbol of Vancouver and they will say that the Canada Place Pier is the answer. With white roof tops that resembled giant white sails, the pier once hosted the showcase Canada during Expo 86.

Located underneath the elegant sails is the luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel and the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. To the east is the high tech Imax Theatre which shows spectacular 3D documentaries. It has a screen of about 5 stories high and is the only 3D theatre of its kind in Canada.

It is worthwhile to dine at the pier. If you're after something elegant and a little more formal, then try The Prow Restaurant which hovers over the Burrard Inlet. For something more exotic, The Suntory Japanese Restaurant has an excellent selection of sushi and sashimi. If you're after something more casual and a lot less expensive, the food court towards the rear of the pier is the place to be. It not only offers a variety of food, it has a magnificent view of the city habour. Lay back and enjoy the view as sea planes land and take off on the water while you sip a hot cup of coffee.

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The BC Place Stadium is one of Vancouver's pride and joy. Opened in 1983,it is perhaps the world's largest air-supported dome and has approximately 60,000 seats. Although the stadium is home to the local football Canadian team, the BC Lions, (see also Canucks BC Hockey team), it also holds a variety of shows and conventions. The Molson Indy Car Racing Event is held annually at the stadium and attract Canadians from far and wide. You can learn about the history of Canadian sports at the BC Sports Hall and Fame Museum which is now a permanent museum.

Visit BC Place Stadium

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Vancuver became an international city in the eyes of millions when it play host to the World Expo in 1986. Over 1.3 million square feet held over hundreds of colorful pavilions and installations. It was once owned by the CPR in 1886 and was turned over to private developer Li Ka-Shing after the expo.

Unfortunately, the developer and his partners had to finalized plans for the Pacific Place Centre which is the largest private development in Vancouver's history. Work was slow, preventing any major development. It is a strange site with empty semi-wastelands but it will eventually house more than 10,000 residents. Today, the site has beautiful high rise apartments and is considered one of Vancouver's most luxurious place to live in.

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© virtualvancouver (Lunching in Yaletown) If you walk adjacent to the former Expo 86 site, you will come across a warehouse district known as Yaletown. This district has some of the best shops and restaurant you can ever think of. The shops are unique as they have the look of distinctive warehouses accompanied by railcar loading docks. The warehouses and railway have not been in used since 1986 and have since then been converted into shops and work studios.

To give you an example of the various shops surrounding the Yaletown area, the IL Barino Restaurant offers a good variety of delicious Italian cuisine set in an authentic Italian atmosphere. There is also the Virtual Reality shop that offers contemporary British style clothing. For elegant European furniture, have a browse through Roche Bobois or check out the Blue Water Cafe to sample some of BC finest seafood cuisine. For that someone special, you can browse through the EROS Diamond Inc located at 1208 Homer Street.

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Located just off Pacific Avenue and across the BC Stadium, the Plaza of Nations was once the main entrance gates and performance area for the World Expo 86. The modern central building is now used for special events and conventions.

The plaza is now a bustling place for the young and talented performance artists. Surrounding the plaza are popular nightspots establishments such as Yuk Yuk's which is part of the international chain of comedy clubs. For a chance of live music, why not visit the 86 Street Music Hall or have a beer at the Unicorn Pub.

You can rent a boat immersed yourself in a fishing trip down at the dock. Summer time is usually a busy time for the Grayline tours.

Another great place to visit while you're in the Plaza of Nations is the Royal Diamond Casino which is one of Vancouver's many winning attractions. You can try your luck at 'black-jack', 'double zero or single zero roulette' or 'mini-baccarat'. Chances are you'll have an enjoyable time!

Royal Diamond Casino 750 Pacific Blvd. Street

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