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Footloose in


Sea Island

West End -
Stanley Park

Theatre Under
the Stars

Robson Street

Historic Gastown

Granville Island


Commercial Drive
Lonsdale Quay

North Shore
and West Van

Elevated Railway

Vintage Streetcars

Foot Notes
Page Two
Page Three

SkyTrain and SeaBus: A Shopping Mall 20 Miles long

by Jerry W. Bird


Remember the grand old department stores of yesteryear - where a pert, petite, uniformed elevator operator sang out the stops as you rose at a stomach- churning rate? So, it was only Woodwards Department Store, but in your 12 year old mind it felt like you were zooming to the top floor of the Empire State Building. "Third floor - lingerie - perfumes - toiletries ..." Now for contrast, imagine a shopping area with 19 stops, offering a world of choice; snacking or fine dining, sightseeing or business, big league sporting events, education or worship, photo opportunities or people-watching, movies, live theater and shopping for everything, from a cardigan to a Corvette. All for around four dollars for the whole day. Join us on a tour of Greater Vancouver aboard the dynamic duo; a ten minute SeaBus ride across Burrard Inlet; SkyTrain from Waterfront Station to New Westminster and over the Fraser River Sky Bridge to Surrey, a sururban city that stretches all the way to White Rock and Blaine on the U.S. border. And there's much more underway (click for map).

Regarding design and function, a news article stated, "SkyTrain has many merits in its design. Fast, frequent and dependable, it solves the problem of long, uncertain waits at the bus stops. SkyTrain's most glamorous feature is its elevated track, offering a perspective of the city that makes daily problems seem smaller. Although some creatures prefer tunneling, most future transit systems will be elevated." If I were a tourist or business visitor to British Columbia, this Sea- to- Sky tour of Greater Vancouver is one attraction I'd rank high on my agenda. Some friends on a week-long visit from the east coast put it this way,"Just pocket change buys a DAY PASS that allows you complete freedom to come and go ... to see and enjoy so much of Vancouver and area.

Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver
Here's where our Sea-to-Sky excursion begins.
Vancouver's North Shore waterfront presents a carnival atmosphere as a fleet of stubby black and orange tugboats bob up and down like bumper cars, while squadrons of sassy sea gulls dip and dive. Nearby Burrard Dry-dock adds an industrial touch. Folks bask on the boardwalk deck and harbor side tables; others perch near the fountain. A troop of street musicians performs a continuous show. It's a fun scene. Creativity blossoms in tempting food displays, arts and crafts, costumes, sights, smells and colors. Lonsdale Quay Public Market provides a spectacular view of Vancouver's skyline, as the tricolor SeaBus approaches. Recently removed from the area is one of its attractions, the old North Vancouver Ferry #5 , that was given a new life as a "The Seven Seas, " seafood restaurant. Lonsdale Quay is midway between Vancouver's two harbor bridges; Lions Gate to the west; Second Narrows to the east. Every 10 minutes, a SeaBus takes you across the inlet to Waterfront Station, where our elevated "Pocket Tour" of Greater Vancouver begins.

It whisks you through the heart of the city's commercial, shopping and financial districts, it's major league sports stadia... it's remaining industrial heart... then at roof top level through a mix of light industry, older residential districts, parks, shopping malls... all the way to King George Station in Surrey. We recommend this trip to visitors who are short on time and want to see as much of the Greater Vancouver area as possible. The total traveling time both ways is hardly more than an hour, but you could easily stretch it to a day, because each stop presents an opportunity to get off and check out the area, then re-board at any time. Click for Sky Train
Map of New Routes.

Update www.skytrain.com/whatsnew.htm (13 more stops to come)

What about a return to Historic Street Cars as a year-round tourist attraction and revenue generator? See our new series Streetcars & Street Scenes. It makes street sense. Footloose in Vancouver's West End.

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