Vancouver & Surrounding Area

The conference hotel is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, steps away from a number of attractions and opportunities to explore, including museums, galleries, shopping, and parks. Some highlights to consider are below:

Strolling distance from the conference hotel:

Stanley Park is a public park at the northwestern edge of downtown Vancouver, a 20-minute stroll from our hotel. The waterfront cycling and pedestrian path, the Seawall, circumnavigates the park in a 10km loop, taking in views of the North Shore mountains, the Lions Gate Bridge, and scenic Lost Lagoon. Stanley Park includes roughly 500,000 cedar, fir and hemlock trees—beaches and a public pool, a rose garden, and nine totem poles at Brockton Point.

Scenic Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, is a 15-minute stroll from the conference hotel. A national historic site with a steam-powered clock at its heart, cobblestone-lined Gastown is home to contemporary fashion and interior furnishing boutiques, independent art galleries, restaurants, pubs, and newly upscale housing. Popular annual events that take place on the streets of Gastown include the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix international bicycle race.

Short drive from the conference hotel:

Granville Island is a hidden gem for local chefs, live music fans, and families. Featuring a public market that also sells gourmet cheeses, pastries, smoked salmon, fudge, and other specialty foods, Granville Island is also home to local theatres, fine arts galleries, and a brewery and distillery. The Eagle Spirit Gallery and the Wickaninnish Gallery are two of the best-loved stores in Vancouver that specialize in Indigenous Canadian art and jewelry.

A 15-minute drive from the downtown core, the peak of Grouse Mountain can be accessed via an 8-minute gondola ride. The Skyride gondola takes visitors over the tips of Douglas fir trees, offering visitors a panoramic view of the local mountains, with the city and Pacific Ocean below. More adventurous sports can climb the 2.9km “Grouse Grind,” a trail nicknamed “Nature’s Stairmaster” thanks to its challenging 30-degree climb.

On the way to Grouse—or by taking the free shuttle bus from downtown—visitors can stop at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a 140m pedestrian bridge that hangs 70m above the Capilano River. Crossing the wobbly bridge provides visitors with access to local forest walks and trails, and knowledgeable staff and interpretive signage help visitors to discover the natural and cultural history of the north shore of Vancouver.

In the region:

A 125km drive along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway is BC’s most popular alpine destination, Whistler Mountain. Whistler’s pedestrian village is home to pubs and restaurants. In the summer, visitors can take the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. The Scandinave Spa offers a European-style bathhouse experience, with hot and cold plunge pools, and wet and dry saunas. Finally, Whistler’s Audain Art Museum—winner of the 2018 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture—houses the art of British Columbia from the 18th Century to the present.

Other attractions to consider while you are here for the DCD-14 conference:

  • Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre – A centre for marine research, conservation and marine animal rehabilitation. Canada’s largest aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium, has over 50,000 animals including sea lions, otters, and jellyfish.
  • False Creek Aquabus – Take the small False Creek Aquabus from Sunset Beach downtown over to Granville Island.
  • Wildlife Refuge – At the top of Grouse Mountain, visitors can explore hiking trails, grab a bite to eat in the restaurant, or visit the Wildlife Refuge that is home to two orphaned grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola.
  • Vancouver Island – A 90-minute ferry from the mainland, Vancouver Island is Canada’s western-most point. Home to BC’s capital city, Victoria—an area with one of the warmest climates in Canada—Vancouver Island boasts magnificent rainforests, beaches, mountains, hot springs, lakes and pristine rivers. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, from fishing and whale-watching to hiking, SCUBA diving, and surfing off the island wild west coast. Cowichan Bay, Chemainus, and Qualicum Beach are smaller eastern coast fishing villages known for their history and artistic productions, such as the murals of Chemainus.