Despite the fact that Coal Harbour is right downtown, it’s a surprisingly calm little neighbourhood, right on the water’s edge. It’s even more surprising given its industrial history as a former shipyard sitting right next to the railway terminus. The area starts at Canada Place and stretches east to Stanley Park, and is bordered by Burrard Inlet to the north, West Georgia Street to the south. Coal Harbour is a charming mix of business and residential, being home to both the Vancouver Convention Centre as well as condo towers. Around this area you’ll find locals and visitors mingling on the sea wall, neighbourhood cafes and restaurants, a popular marina, and the odd harbour seal bobbing around and greeting passersby.
Seeing and Doing
Even if you’re not visiting on business, a walk around the Vancouver Convention Centre is recommended. Along with lots of public art, the surrounding section of the seawall includes many interpretive plaques giving visitors a sense of the harbour’s history. Within the distinctive white sails of Canada Place, you can take a virtual flight over the country via the 4-D Fly Over Canada attraction. Make sure you visit Jack Poole Plaza, home of the Olympic flame from the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games!
Walk towards Stanley Park and you’ll find it hard to resist taking a seat on a park bench and watching the harbour life, complete with floatplanes landing, cyclists whizzing by, and boats bobbing past, all with a spectacular mountain backdrop. You can take to the water yourself on a harbour cruise, or board a seaplane for a “flightseeing” tour over the city.