Welcome to the 'hood: English Bay ~ September 2014

Vancouverites and tourists enjoying the sunset on the beach in English Bay.  Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver Clayton Perry

Welcome to English Bay, the crown jewel of the West End. Where the city meets the sea. The seawall runs all along the bay, which means you can follow the seawall from the Symposium venue, the Fairmont Waterfront  in Coal Harbour. Hop on a bike and enjoy the coastline. English Bay Beach is one of the city's top five beaches. As you sit against one of the huge logs that dot the beach, gazing out over the Pacific Ocean, it's hard to believe that you are in downtown Vancouver, the third largest city in Canada!

Unique FactEnglish Bay Beach, which was termed ‘Ayyulshun’ by the Indians meaning ‘soft under feet,’ was established in 1893 with a few beach shacks built there. The name ‘English Bay’ commemorates the meeting of the British Captain Vancouver and Spanish captains Valdes and Galiano, in 1792. This is the event that also resulted in Spanish Banks’ name, which is just across the bay.

Dare you not to laugh! The A-Maze-Ing Laughter Statues.   Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver  |   Clayton Perry

Dare you not to laugh! The A-Maze-Ing Laughter Statues.  Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver Clayton Perry

Things to do

  • Brave the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean and swim in the bay. Your kids will love the floating slide and parents will appreciate the full time lifeguard. 
  • Giggle along with the statues in A-maze-ing Laughter. Impossible not to laugh! Continue your art tour in English Bay.
  • Save room for dessert! Head to True Confections on Denman, a 21-year old Vancouver institution for a huge slice of cake!
  • Must see: Take a picture of the Inukshuk. A simple yet striking ancient Inuit symbol of friendship, it resembles a person with outstretched arms. It became the symbol for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path." You can't help but agree that you are definitely on the right path when you stand beside this inukshuk and gaze out over the Pacific Ocean.
  • Must do: Act like a local and claim a log on the beach. Take a picnic and 'ooh and aah' at the setting sun.
"Someone was here." The English Bay Iinukshuk and the symbol of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.   Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver  | Andy Mons

"Someone was here." The English Bay Iinukshuk and the symbol of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.  Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver | Andy Mons


  • Raincity Grill, 1193 Denman Street  - The menu is a tribute to the local farmers, fisherman and producers of British Columbia. The Chef sources out the best organic, sustainable products available and has designed a menu to showcase the individual components by blending them into a harmony of world-class flavors.
  • Cactus Club Cafe English Bay, 1790 Beach Avenue - One of the very few restaurants in the city that is actually on one of the fabulous city beaches. Enjoy the view of the bay and the Pacific Northwest menu.
  • D'oro Gelato & Caffè, 1094 Denman Street - Stroll along Beach Avenue with gelato in hand.

Location: English Bay is a section of the West End. West of the downtown peninsula and is unofficially formed by a triangle with Beach Avenue and Denman Street.