5 big ways the Olympics have changed Vancouver

Photo: adrian8_8 via Flickr, creative commons

Photo: adrian8_8 via Flickr, creative commons

On Friday, the Winter Olympics officially launch in Sochi. It will also mark nearly four years since Vancouver held the honours of hosting the largest sporting event in the world. We’ll no doubt be watching with trained eyes to see how our successors handle the task. It will also be a good time to take inventory of how the city of Vancouver has changed since those monumental two and a half weeks. Let’s have a look at some of those changes. Continue reading:
5 big ways the Olympics have changed Vancouver

Vancouver in a Day: Capilano Suspension Bridge & Richmond Night Market

Looking for some adventure? You’ve come to the right city. No matter what time of year, when you start your day in Vancouver, it can take you anywhere.

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Vancouver in a Day: Capilano Suspension Bridge & Richmond Night Market

Canada Line Shopping Crawl

It’s been almost 18 months now since the Canada Line was inaugurated, and it’s safe to say that Vancouver’s newest SkyTrain line has been an unequivocal success.  Every day more than a hundred thousand riders are whisked back and forth on the line, traveling to home, to work, to the airport and – of course – to the shopping malls.  In fact, sometimes it seems like the stations on the Canada Line were planned out specifically with shoppers in mind.

I indulged in a little Canada Line shopping crawl recently, starting out in Richmond and working my way into Vancouver via the SkyTrain.   I’ve highlighted my stops below, but this is certainly not the only possible itinerary.  If you’ve got a favourite Canada Line shopping crawl, please share your ideas by leaving a comment. Here’s how my trip played out:

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Canada Line Shopping Crawl

Olympic Party Hopping on the Canada Line

Granville Street is one stop on the unofficial Canada Line pub crawl.

The Olympics have transformed Vancouver in many ways, not the least of which was the construction of the Canada Line – the city’s gleaming new rapid transit system.   Built over four years and at a cost of more than $2 billion, the Canada Line enables Olympic visitors to zip all the way from the airport into downtown Vancouver in fewer than 30 minutes.  And after the Games are finished, it will allow commuters from the city’s suburbs easy access to the heart of the city, saving time and reducing Vancouver’s carbon footprint.

But the Canada Line can also be put to less noble purposes.  Shortly after the inauguration of the train last summer, party-minded Vancouverites began noticing that many of the Canada Line’s stations are conveniently situated near bars and clubs.  The Canada Line pub crawl was born.  The route isn’t set in stone and it would be impossible to visit all the bars along the way, but the crawl has caught on – offering a cheap, safe vehicle for a night of revelry and carousing.

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Olympic Party Hopping on the Canada Line

All aboard the Canada Line to welcome the world

The world waits to board the Canada Line at Waterfront Station...

Tourism Vancouver expects as many as 350,000 visitors to pour into the city for the Olympics and judging by the recent rush-hour line-ups for the Canada Line, they’re already here.

I was an obedient Canadian and followed TransLink‘s recommendations to park the car and “travel smart” during the 2010 Winter Games, so I’ve been riding a lot of public transit since the start of the month.

I’m using ‘em all: SeaBus, SkyTrain, streetcar, bus. But for a diehard people-watcher like me, the Canada Line (from Waterfront Station to YVR and suburban Richmond) is my favourite way to travel through the city.

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All aboard the Canada Line to welcome the world