Vancouver by Trolley – Stop 1 Canada Place

This is the first of a series of blog posts, detailing some of the many things to do along the Vancouver Trolley line. This article is cross-posted on the Vancouver Trolley blog.

Stop 1 – Canada Place

Today marked the beginning of our 30 Stops in 30 Weeks challenge and true to Vancouver fashion in January, it was raining. With my rainboots and an umbrella in tow, I hopped off the Trolley at Stop 1, Canada Place, and headed towards the new Vancouver Convention Centre for a tour.

Located directly beside Canada Place, which is home to the East Convention Centre, the cruise terminal, the Pan Pacific Hotel and the World Trade Centre Vancouver, the West Convention Centre boasts 350,000 square feet of meeting space and breathtaking views from every angle.

My favorite feature of this Convention Centre (aside from the ability to see Stanley Park, the nearby mountains and float planes taking off at any given moment) was the “living roof.” Spanning six acres and home to thousands of indigenous plants, the slanted roof also acts as an irrigation system, recovering rainwater on days like today.

Directly beside the Convention Centre is where the 2010 Olympic Cauldron can be found, which happened to be lit today in anticipation of the first anniversary of the Winter Olympic Games that were held in Vancouver. This is a special sight for anyone that was in Vancouver during those Games and a must-see for visitors to the city.

The most useful piece of information Guest Service Ambassor Ronald gave me was letting me in on a local secret: underground walkways extending between the East and West Convention Centres and even crossing the street to the Fairmont Pacific Rim. These walkways are open to the public daily and showcase beautiful First Nations art throughout their halls.

After emerging from my underground tunnel and into the Fairmont Pacific Rim, I made some great discoveries. First, there was a Granville Island Florist shop right beside the Concierge Desk, filled with beautiful bouquets in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. On the other side of the room, the lounge (known for its nightly jazz Mon-Sat and Sunday afternoons) was bustling with lunch meetings and the occassional early cocktail. With a decadent fireplace right in the middle, it’s easy to understand why this is a local hot spot for 5 o’clock drinks.

My last stop was at Tourism Vancouver’s Visitors Centre. Staffed by employees and volunteers, and located on the corner of Burrard and Canada Place Way, this building is a one stop shop for tourists and locals alike. Not only does it house brochures and information for all attractions, restaurants and activities in the Vancouver area, it houses Tickets Tonight, a same-day half-price ticket booth and Ticketmaster outlet. The best part about Tickets Tonight is that unlike TKTS in New York or London, it is not only indoor, but has minimal lines to purchase tickets.

Those are my must-visit recommendations for Trolley Stop #1…I’m already looking forward to week two!

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