Doors Open Vancouver is back for another year of free behind-the-scenes fun in our beautiful city on Saturday, June 24.
This year, with 16 buildings participating, you’ll want to make the most of your day. So the City of Vancouver has got three fun ways to experience Doors Open Vancouver: an architecture adventure, a building technology tour, and family friendly fun.
And of course, you can check out Doors Open Vancouver for a full listing and to plan your own day.
Vancouver’s rich architectural history will be on display across the city.
Start your day off by capturing a perfect and aesthetically pleasing Instagram shot. If you’re an architecture lover, Holy Rosary Cathedral is a must-see for you. This 132 year old Catholic Church is a late 19th century French Gothic style architectural masterpiece which took 491 days to complete.
Then take a trip over to the Marine Building, one of downtown Vancouver’s most spectacular Art Deco buildings. Built in 1930, it was once the tallest building in the British Empire. It’s part of Doors Open for the first time this year, and you can see the building through self-guided tours all day, or guided tours with noted historian John Atkin starting at 1:30 pm.
Next, head over to Vancouver’s own ‘Roman Colosseum’ better known as the Vancouver Public Library (Central). This intriguing library complex, designed by Moshe Safdie, opened to the public in 1995. Find out what it takes to operate this facility with behind-the-scenes tours led by library staff.
Finally, visit the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Administration Office nestled in the foliage of Stanley Park, this beautiful 1962 West Coast Modernist post-and-beam park board headquarters oversees 240 parks, 24 community centres, 14 fitness centres and nine indoor pools.
Bonus: The Orpheum
Home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheum celebrates its 90th year in 2017. Immerse yourself in history with a self-guided-tour, enjoy the orchestral music, and marvel at the theatre’s ornate interior and crystal chandeliers. The Orpheum will be closing its doors at 3 pm for Vancouver’s Jazz Fest so be sure to check this venue out early.
- Holy Rosary Cathedral; 646 Richards Street, Vancouver BC V6B 3A3. Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- Marine Building; 355 Burrard Street; Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Administration Office; 2099 Beach Avenue; Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- Vancouver Public Library; 350 West Georgia Street; Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- The Orpheum; 601 Smithe Street; Hours 1 to 3 pm
Grab your bicycles because this tour is best seen on wheels.
First, check out False Creek Energy Centre, tucked just underneath the Cambie Street Bridge this building is barely visible to the public. Guides will take you through a labyrinth of pipes, heat pumps, and boilers and explain how heat captured from sewage is returned to the neighbourhood to heat buildings.
Next, find out where street signs are born at National Work Yards. The sign shop is open and in action. It’s just one of the facilities on this 12-acre site, home to many of the Engineering Department’s operations.
Finally visit the Fire Protection System Pump Station, designed to withstand the shock of a powerful earthquake and can pull water directly from False Creek. At full capacity, this system is meant to act as one of the final resorts in the face of disaster, but is also on standby for regular fire emergencies.
- False Creek Energy Centre; 1890 Spyglass Place; Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- National Works Yard; 701 National Avenue; Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- Fire Protection System Pump Station; 1400 Homer Street (David Lam Park); Hours 10 am to 5 pm
Fun for Families
There are many family-friendly sites available for viewing at Doors Open Vancouver.
Animal lovers will have a blast at the Vancouver Animal Control Shelter where they can meet the resident dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and other animals looking for a home. Meanwhile, in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Police Department’s Mounted Unit will open up their stables for a look at the horses.
Future firefighters will want to check out the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Training Centre. This top of the line training centre features a burn building where controlled fires are lit for training purposes.
Finally, connect with City Hall’s past, present and future. Enjoy a historic photo exhibition, visit Council Chambers, and tour City Hall.
- Vancouver Animal Control Shelter; 1280 Raymur Avenue; Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- Vancouver Police Department Mounted Unit; Stanley Park on Pipeline Road (Across from the Transit Loop); Hours 10 am to 5 pm
- Vancouver Fire and Rescue Training Centre; 1330 Chess Street; Hours 10 am to 4 pm
- City Hall; 453 West 12th Avenue; 10 am to 5 pm
Or choose your own adventure
Don’t forget, the full list of buildings is available at Doors Open Vancouver so you can plan your own day too.
Join the conversation yourself by tagging your posts #DoorsOpenVan – and tag your photos on the day of Doors Open Vancouver. Please walk, bike, or take public transit to Doors Open, as parking is limited at almost all locations. Tell your friends.
When: Saturday, June 24 , 10 am – 5 pm
Where: 16 buildings across Vancouver