Public Art in the Great Outdoors – Downtown Vancouver’s Best Walking Tours


Photo: R. Weiss

Lying on top of a building the clouds looked no nearer than when I was lying on the street – Liam Gillick

Passionate about art? Love being outside?

Grab your umbrella and lace up your walking shoes! With Vancouver’s self-guided Public Art Walking Tours you can have the best of both worlds.  Great art isn’t just in our museums and galleries and fall is the perfect time to get outside and discover public art throughout the City. As the leaves change the splashes of red, orange and yellow create a natural backdrop to the many public art installations located in the downtown core.

Sculptures, memorials, fountains, text-based interventions and contemporary works nestled against the natural beauty of Vancouver are featured on the Waterfront circuit.


Photo: R. Weiss

The Drop – Inges Idee

As you gaze across Burrard Inlet and the bustling Vancouver waterfront, the Drop invites you to reflect on your relationship with water, rain, the ocean and the forces of nature. Even on a dull, rainy November day The Drop brings colour and fantasy to the seaside.


Photo: R. Weiss

Although not listed as a public art installation, the Olympic Cauldron, a permanent landmark on the Jack Poole Plaza, always captures my imagination. Memories of red maple leaf mittens, hockey jerseys and celebratory crowds flood back. A lasting reminder of our Olympic experience and a must see during the waterfront art walk.


Photo: R. Weiss

Komagata Maru Memorial – Lees & Associates

Further along the walkway the mood turns more somber as you approach the Komagata Maru Memorial. In 1914 the steamship Komagata Maru was turned away from Vancouver’s harbour with 376 passengers onboard. Today this monument reflects Canada’s commitment to respecting differences and honouring traditions.


Photo: R. Weiss

Nike – Pavlos Angelos Kougioumtzis

A gift from the City of Ancient Olympia, Greece, Nike commemorates the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The winged Greek Goddess of Victory sits proudly on the median at Thurlow and Cordova.

Sometimes in a busy city public art pieces can be overlooked. However, these hidden gems are there, outside, for everyone to enjoy. Think of these incredible works as a form of collective community expression. An opportunity to gather and to reflect. Take time to explore, take a few pictures and enjoy.

Fall Colours Vancouver Art Walk

Photo: R. Weiss

Fall Colours – Mother Nature

Maps and Route tips:

These walking routes are short and easy to navigate. Choose your own beginning and end points and savour the views!

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  1. Pingback: ART TO SEE | Public Art in the Great Outdoors - Art, Music & Fashion