Discovering Vancouver: False Creek seawall

If you’re new to Vancouver and would like to get an overview of this beautiful city, there’s no better way to discover it than by foot or by bike. False Creek is an inlet that basically separates Downtown Vancouver from the rest of Vancouver to the south. In terms of landmarks, False Creek starts at Burrard Bridge in the west and ends at Telus World of Science in the east.

False Creek was the industrial part of Vancouver until the mid-20th century, when sawmills, railway and port operations dominated the townscape in this area. As industry moved elsewhere, parts of the area deteriorated and new developments shaped a very different picture.

Wandering around False Creek is a great way to get to know the city as you walk past flash new waterside condos in Yaletown, BC Place, Rogers Arena, parks, the dome of Science World, the new developments at the Olympic Village and the marinas and market of Granville Island.

Here’s a little photo tour, with views and sights along the seawall:

Aquabus at False Creek, Yaletown in the backdrop

Ferry at False Creek, Yaletown in the backdrop

The Aquabus and False Creek Ferries connect the southern and northern shores of False Creek. The cute little ferries are quick and convenient, but also provide a nice touristic experience as you get to see the full length of False Creek with its developments either side.

False Creek at Cambie St Bridge, Vancouver

False Creek at Cambie St Bridge, Vancouver

Industrial art near the Olympic Village, Vancouver

Industrial art near the Olympic Village, Vancouver

Some areas on the southern shore are still being developed, but instead of ugly warehouses and such, passers-by can enjoy some really cool industrial art along the way, and quite a bit of greenery, too.

False Creek, Vancouver

False Creek, Vancouver. BC Place / Rogers Arena and the Plaza of Nations

False Creek

False Creek

Science World is a dome that was built for the World Exposition in 1986. It is now home to Telus World of Science, essentially a science museum with interactive exhibits and displays.

Science World at False Creek, Vancouver

Science World at False Creek, Vancouver

Depending on how much time you have, you can extend your walk along the seawall quite considerably. Granville Island, towards the beginning of False Creek, is always worth a visit, although you could probably fill a whole afternoon just browsing through the market, the little shops and doing a beer tasting at its Granville Island brewery. Or better yet, if you rent a bike, why not cycle the whole seawall from Coal Harbour via Stanley Park, English Bay and then all around False Creek?
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Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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  30 comments for “Discovering Vancouver: False Creek seawall

  1. 8 August, 2011 at 19:09

    Vancouver is one of those cities that I can’t wait to visit… and know that when I do I might not want to leave! Hasn’t it been voted one of the best cities to live in the world?

    • Christina
      11 August, 2011 at 16:48

      Yes, the Economist ranks it as the most livable city in the world. I get why they say that. It’s beautiful, clean, has public transport…

  2. 9 August, 2011 at 01:23

    Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and clean city I have ever visited. I love the pictures of you too.

    • Christina
      11 August, 2011 at 16:49

      Thanks Sailor!

  3. 9 August, 2011 at 09:44

    I live in Calgary, so I have been here many times — but I’ll never get tired of Vancouver… 🙂

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:53

      I understand why. It’s a great place and develops so quickly you’ll always have something new to explore.

  4. 9 August, 2011 at 12:54

    I would love to see Canada and Vancouver would be first on my list 🙂

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:52

      In my opinion, it is Canada’s most beautiful city. That’s a subjective view of course. Montreal is pretty, in a completely different way. But Vancouver stands out, because there are no highways going through the city, so no big ugly roads and bridges in the middle of town. Lots of pedestrians, cyclists, and nice neighbourhoods.

  5. 9 August, 2011 at 14:37

    Thanks for including that map! I didn’t know the city well enough to be able to picture where that was. I wish I had found this when I was in town.

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:51

      I’m glad you found it useful, Scott!

  6. 9 August, 2011 at 14:52

    Taking the ferry on False Creek was on our list when we were in Vancouver this spring, but we ran out of time. So annoyed! Maybe next time…

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:50

      I’m sure you’ll get to Vancouver again and tick off all the other things you wanted to do!

  7. 9 August, 2011 at 15:24

    When somebody says “there’s no better way to discover it than by foot or by bike,” I know it’s a city I will love.

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:50

      They have cycle lanes, which is unusual for North American cities. People are outdoorsy, they like to walk, and public transport is efficient, clean and good.

  8. 9 August, 2011 at 19:36

    Vancouver really is lovely by foot, plus it’s hard to find a taxi anyway.

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:47

      I actually never looked for a taxi, the public transport system is quite good.

  9. 9 August, 2011 at 19:53

    I need to get to Vancouver! I have only heard fabulous things about it.

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:47

      Yes you do! There’s plenty to see and do. Also an excellent base for going snowboarding or skiing, or for a roadtrip to Calgary through beautiful BC and Alberta.

  10. 11 August, 2011 at 06:36

    I definitely want to go back and visit Vancouver. The last time I was there was 10 years ago and I can see a lot has changed.

    • Christina
      12 August, 2011 at 15:48

      Vancouver is developing quickly. There are so many new apartment buildings popping up everywhere.

  11. 16 August, 2011 at 20:38

    Looks lovely but oh so very cold!

    Everyone who’s been there says good things about Vancouver, so I’m excited to go someday!

    • Christina
      26 August, 2011 at 17:59

      It’s actually Canada’s warmest city! It’s a lovely place. The winter is mainly rainy, but the summers make up for it all, say Vancouverites.

  12. 23 August, 2011 at 05:09

    It’s no wonder that I’ve seen so many scifi shows filmed in Vancouver, that city skyline looks so futuristic!

    • Christina
      26 August, 2011 at 18:00

      You’re right! There are so many new developments, and you’ll see film crews shooting series and movies all the time.

  13. 23 August, 2011 at 18:07

    Christina, thanks for highlighting one of the great aspects of living in/visiting my hometown. 🙂

    I’d like to mention that one can walk or bike the entire length of the seawall (or pathway) from False Creek, past Granville Island, around Stanley Park, past Coal Harbour, and to the Vancouver Convention Centre on the “other” (north) side of downtown Vancouver.

    Thanks again, Christina!

    • Christina
      26 August, 2011 at 18:00

      Thank you for your comment, fotoeins! I’m proud that I did your hometown justice!

  14. melanie
    26 August, 2011 at 01:42

    Love Love Love Vancouver. I lived there for 8 months in 2010 (am from Australia) and it was just fantastic. The people were so lovely and friendly, it was a clean city, and had a great vibe. Not the mention the awesome activities, and beautiful landscape. I love the fact that it has the mountains, water, city, beaches and parks.. so close. I used to go cycling every weekend for hours. It’s a very bike friendly city. Can’t wait to return someday.

    • Christina
      26 August, 2011 at 18:03

      I love your enthusiasm for Vancouver, Melanie! I loved cycling around the city, too.

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