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This is the complete 2023 guide to English Bay in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Located in the West End of Vancouver next to Stanley Park, English Bay is the main bay in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
When asked what to visit in Vancouver, English Bay is always at or near the top of the list! English bay is what made Vancouver what it is today. It is where the city meets the ocean!
For over 100 years, English Bay has been a big part of the History of Vancouver.
English Bay has many Attractions to see such as English Bay itself, English Bay Beach, the English Bay Seawall and the Inukshuk Monument.
There are many Activities that you can do from walking on the English Bay Seawall, laying on the beach, to swimming in the ocean, to sitting on one of the many benches to enjoy the view.
English Bay is also host to some of Vancouver's largest Events such as the Celebration of Light Fireworks and Festival and the Polar Bear Swim.
There are many Restaurants, Bars, and Concession stands such as the Cactus Club Cafe and concession right on the beach. There are many restaurants/bars/cafes within a few blocks of English Bay.
If you want to stay near English Bay, there are a number of Hotels such as the historic Sylvia Hotel within a few blocks of the beach.
Finally, this page will tell you all the General Information such as getting there, parking, etc. that you need to know to visit English Bay.
If you come to Vancouver you must visit English Bay!
English Bay is the main attraction at English Bay in Vancouver, BC, Canada. There are stunning views out over the ocean. You can see the south pennisula of Vancouver including the University of British Columbia. On a clear day, you can see Vancouver Island! There are always bulk ships moored in English Bay and sailboats sailing by! It is also a great place to watch the sun set!
Other attractions at English Bay are the Inukshuk Monument, English Bay Beach and the English Bay Seawall!
English Bay Beach is Vancouver's first and main beach. It is where thousands of Vancouverites have learned to swim. The view from the beach is spectacular such that people just come to sit and enjoy the view.
You can also enjoy the normal beach activities such as swimming, laying in the sun, and volleyball.
The water is ocean salt water and is normally cold, but is bearable to swim during the summer months. They even put out a slide to use during the summer.
English Bay beach is also one of very few beaches that is wheelchair accessible!
The English Bay Seawall is the busiest seawall in all of Vancouver.
Stretching from Sunset Beach in the east to Second Beach in Stanley Park, it spans most of the length of English Bay.
It is separated into 2 paths, one for walking and the other for bicycling/rollerblading/skateboarding. However, due to Covid changes bicycles currently must use the bicycle lane on Beach Ave.
It offers terrific view out over English Bay and and access to the ocean at various points along the way. The English Bay Seawall is used and enjoyed by thousands of Vancouverites and tourists every day of the year!
The English Bay Bath House holds change rooms, washrooms, and lifeguard facilities.
It is located directly in front of English Bay Beach!
The West End neighbourhood is the residential neighbourhood next to English Bay and Stanley Park. It is comprised of many apartment buildings and is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in North America!
On the roof of the English Bay Bath House is a plaza. This area is rarely used except for viewing the Polar Bear Swim and Celebration of Light Fireworks and Festival.
Located across Beach Avenue from English Bay in Alexandra Park is the Haywood Bandstand.
This is an old-time gazebo bandstand. Unfortunately, it is rarely used. However, it is worth a look!
The address is: 1755 Beach Ave (at Bidwell St).
Alexandra Park Bandstand
Located in the centre of Alexandra Park, this octagonal bandshell has been a focal point for evening entertainment since 1914. It's Queen Anne architecture is characterized by a light and airy wooden structure, curved brackets, cantilevered floor, ornate fretwork, and hipped roof. In 1987-88, the bandstand was restored by the Vancouver Park Board with financial assistance from Haywood Securities, Amon Industries, and the B.C. Heritage Trust, and was renamed the Haywood Bandstand.
English Bay is also host to Vancouver's largest Events such as the Celebration of Light Fireworks and Festival and the Polar Bear Swim.
Each year on January 1, English Bay is host to one of the world's largest polar bear swims. Thousands of people go swimming in the cold waters of English Bay to celebrate the New Year.
This is one of Vancouver's longest running traditions. 2019 was the 100th annual polar bear swim!
This event was back on in 2023 after being held online for 2 years due to the Covid pandemic!
Each summer at the end of July/beginning of August, there are 3 nights of music-syncronized fireworks displays at English Bay.
During the day there is an associated festival at Ceperley Park in Stanley Park with live music, food, and beer gardens.
This is Vancouver's largest event of the year!
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are NO fireworks at English Bay on Canada Day(July 1) and New Years' Eve(December 31). Fireworks on these days are held elsewhere.
Each year late in the year statues appear in Morton Park across Beach Avenue from English Bay. These statues are lit up at night!
There is a Mobi, city-owned bicycle sharing, station on Davie Street right in front of English Bay. These bicycles have time restrictions on them. There are also some bicycle rental shops just up Davie Street that rent by the hour, half-day, and day.
NOTE: There will NOT be any rentals at English Bay in 2023.
Vancouver Water Adventures rents kayaks and paddleboards at English Bay, just in front of the English Bay Bath House.
There is a paved roller hockey rink at Sunset Beach.
Sunset Beach is actually a couple of small beaches on the north side of False Creek near the Vancouver Aquatic Centre . These beaches tend to be less busy than English Bay Beach.
There is a small off-leash dog beach located just next to the Burrard Street Bridge.
There are a number of named parks that are on English Bay such as Morton Park, Alexandra Park, and Sunset Beach Park.
Morton Park is a small park area across the street from the centre of English Bay beach. It is home to the A-Maze-Ing Laughter statues and some beautiful palm trees and flowers.
Alexandra Park is a small park area across the street from the English Bay Bathhouse. It is a large grassy area that has many huge trees which give it lots of shade. It is home to the Haywood Bandstand and the Joe Fortes Memorial Fountain.
Sunset Beach Park is a large grass field park area directly in front of Sunset Beach in English Bay.
This is a large flat field that anyone can use.
Every year, the unauthorized Vancouver 420 day Cannabis protest festival, Free Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Concert, and Pride Festival events take place here.
The Inukshuk monument at English Bay was put up just prior to the 2010 Olympics. It is a distinctive Canadian monument traditionally found in the Arctic north of Canada.
Located in Alexandra Park across Beach Avenue from English Bay is a fountain dedicated to one of Vancouver's Favourite people: Joe Fortes. Joe lived near this spot and was responsible for teaching thousands of Vancouverites to swim in English Bay!
The Vancouver Aids Memorial is a memorial to the many people in Vancouver who died from Aids.
This City of Vancouver Plaque says:
POLAR BEAR CLUB
When Peter Pantages arrived in Vancouver in 1917 he started the practice of taking a daily ocean swim. In 1920 he founded the Polar Bear Club and inaugurated its not famous New Year's day swim at English Bay. He served as president until his final dip in 1971.
The plaque says:
The English Bay Seawall was completed with funding contributions from Canada's Economic Action Plan and the City of Vancouver.
The English Bay Sundial is an often overlooked monument at English Bay. It is located right just off of English Bay Beach near the Cactus Club restaurant.
There are a number of art works and artists along English Bay. Here are some of them that you should check out!
Located across Beach Avenue from English Bay in Morton Park is A-maze-ing Laughter art work. A-maze-ing Laughter is a series of giant men in various states of laughter! It makes everyone who sees it smile!
It is popular to take your photo with these friendly giants!
The Engagement art work is located in a field above the English Bay Seawall just off of Beach Avenue.
Peter Berg is a pencil artist that displays his work on the English Bay Seawall. On non-rainy days you can find him on a bench on the seawall in front of the Sylvia Hotel. He has amazing drawings including some of the Sylvia Hotel!
The 217.5 Arc X 13 is a piece of art located on the beach just off of the English Bay Seawall just west of Sunset Beach.
The Swimmer is a piece of art located in front of the Vancouver Aquatic Centre.
There are a number of restaurants, bars, and concession stands at or near English Bay where you can have some great food or a drink or an ice cream cone!
Craft Beer stronget is a large casual restaurant that serves craft beers.
It is new as of 2021. It was formerly the English Bay Cafe.
It is located directly across the street from English Bay.
It has a large patio that opens up in the summer. The patio has a Volkswagon van as a bar!
Located right on the English Bay Seawall at English Bay Beach is the Cactus Club.
This is a upscale casual chain restaurant. They serve lunch and dinner.
This location has a fabulous outdoor patio that has great views of English Bay.
During the summer, The Cactus Club operates a seasonal concession stand on the outside of their restaurant.
Papi's Seafood and Oyster Bar Restaurant is located on Denman St. close to English Bay.
They obviously serve seafood. Some seats have views of English Bay.
Papi's also does takeout. Many people will buy from here and take the food down to English Bay to eat it.
The Sylvia Hotel has a fabulous full service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of the seats have views of English Bay.
They also have a bar. Some of the window tables also have good views out over English Bay.
Hook Seabar is an upscale casual restaurant across the street from English Bay.
The Hook Seabar is a new restaurant as of 2018. It is in the same location where Milestones used to be.
The restaurant is located across the street from English Bay but still has a decent view. They have an outdoor patio which is nice to sit at when the weather is good.
They are open for dinner weekdays and brunch/lunch/dinner on weekends.
Address: 1210 Denman St, Vancouver, BC, V6G 2N2
This is a pub located at the corner of Davie St. and Denman St.
This is a funky lounge located on the 2nd floor at the corner of Davie St. and Denman St. It is a lounge, but has a full food menu available.
There is a concession stand at Sunset Beach that is open during the spring, summer, and fall.
There is a hotdog vendor that has a cart on the sidewalk directly in front of English Bay Beach. He sells hotdogs and drinks at a reasonable price. It seems to be very popular!
There are a number of hotels within a few blocks of English Bay.
Located right next to English Bay is this beautiful old historic hotel. It also has a bar and restaurant that have amazing views out over English Bay.
There is also some interesting history that may have happened in this hotel.
The plaque on the English Bay Bathhouse says:
Named by Captain George Richards in 1860, this became a popular recreation area with the development of the West End in the 1890's. Over the years amenities were added, including sand (1898), bath houses and pier (1909) and a bandstand in Alexandra Park (1914).
The Crystal Pool was a large swimming pool and building at the foot of Jervis street in the West End. It was demolished in 1974.
This was a temporary art work that was located on the hill above Sunset Beach in the West End. It is no longer there.
General information such as washrooms and parking for English Bay and Frequently Asked Questions.
Yes, there are public washrooms in the English Bay Bath House.
English Bay is in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It is located on the downtown pennisula right next to Stanley Park and the West End neighbourhood.
English Bay doesn't really have an address. Beach Avenue runs the length of English Bay. Most people access English Bay at English Bay Beach which is very near to the corner of Denman street and Davie street. There isn't a postal code (aka. zip code) for the bay per se, but the postal code for the Cactus Club restaurant at English Bay is V6E 1V3.
All taxi drivers in Vancouver should know where English Bay is. If you need directions, then I would recommend just going to the corner of Davie street and Denman street. You can see the water of English Bay from there.
All parking anywhere near English Bay is pay parking, i.e. There is NO FREE PARKING near English Bay. There are a couple of parking lots right on English Bay along Beach Avenue between Bute street and Denman St. There is very limited 2 hour parking on some streets in the West End neighbourhood. There are a few parking lots just off of Denman street. Also, there is a large parking lot just inside Stanley Park next to the English Bay Tennis Courts.
To get from English Bay to Granville Island during the day you can take the False Creek Ferry from it's dock at the foot of Thurlow Street at Sunset Beach. It is a short ferry ride across False Creek to Granville Island.
You could walk or bicycle from English Bay to Granville Island via the seawall along the entire edge of False Creek. The distance is about 6 miles so it is a long flat walk. To do this just head east(toward the Inukshuk Monument) from English Bay Beach. It will turn into the False Creek Seawall around Sunset Beach. Stay on the False Creek Seawall as it winds along the edge of False Creek and goes around Scienceworld and eventually you will get to Granville Island. It is shorter to walk to Granville Island via the Granville Street bridge, but this is a trickier route and involves some elevation!
Yes, English Bay is part of the ocean.
The water at English Bay is salt water.
No, English Bay is a natural bay of water.
Not by name, but English Bay is considered First Beach.
Many people bring their dogs to English Bay. All dogs must be leashed. Dogs are not allowed on English Bay Beach, but are allowed on the English Bay Seawall and the grassy area behind the seawall.
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