People in North Vancouver are proud of their city. A visitor to the city might not even notice that North Vancouver is not just the geographic location of the north part of Vancouver, but an independent municipality.

The Pacific Ocean divides Vancouver from North Vancouver with a narrow strip of water known as Burrard Inlet. The two cities are physically connected by only two bridges, Lions Gate and Second Narrows, which are almost always jammed by heavy traffic.

If you live in Vancouver and have to drive to North Vancouver to work every day, you may be considered crazy by locals. Having to cross one of the bridges in peak commuter times is a problem. While folks in Toronto drive to work an average of more than an hour each way, this is something Vancouverites (or their northern neighbours) do not tolerate. Driving more than an hour here to get to work or school is considered unusual and mind blowing.

North Vancouver

Visitor’s View

As a visitor to Vancouver, you do not need to worry about driving to work or school. You do not even need to drive. You can get from downtown Vancouver to North Vancouver by taking the SeaBus, which is small ferry, or a “big bus with no wheels.” After buying a reasonably priced ticket (from a tourist’s point of view), you can be in North Vancouver’s city centre within less than thirty minutes. The trip is actually a nice one-day excursion, especially on sunny days.

The SeaBus terminal in North Vancouver is located in a small port. Once you step on North Vancouver soil, you immediately feel a slower pace of life than that in downtown Vancouver. Just outside the terminal is a building housing a public market, a very comfortable place where you can eat, buy souvenirs, or listen to local musicians. Then you can continue to Lower Lonsdale Avenue.

North Vancouver Artist

Lower Lonsdale

Walking on Lower Lonsdale Avenue is an enjoyable experience. This area is the heart of North Vancouver, with elegant architecture, small pubs and restaurants. If you turn right or left onto one of the residential streets, you will immediately feel the calmness that comes with being surrounded by nature. Here you will realize that North Vancouver is just a narrow strip between the ocean and the mountains. Enjoy the fire-red tulips, the reflection of the trees and buildings in one of the fountains, or the Vancouver skyline to the south.

Tulips in North Vancouver

Vancouver Skyline

Jagerhof North Vancouver

Once you get back to downtown Vancouver and step out of the SeaBus, the view of railroad tracks, train cars and historical buildings will greet you, saying, “welcome back.” You might start thinking of these railroads and where they all end. You know it is somewhere far away. It only reminds you of your own travel plans and how far you want to go this year. North Vancouver might be just a beginning, a pleasant start.

Downtown Vancouver

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