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2-PBC-West-Vancouver-Ambleside-Pier
Ambleside Pier
(Picture BC photo)

West Vancouver

Transportation & Maps

West Vancouver is located directly across Burrard Inlet from the city of Vancouver.

The green, mountainous North Shore is easy to access and get around, whether travelling by car, bus, or another mode of transportation.

Car Travel

Driving around the North Shore, which comprises both West Vancouver and neighbouring North Vancouver, is a good way to reach area attractions and outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. Roads are well-maintained, and some of the area is laid out in a grid plan. In West Vancouver, streets run east-west and avenues run north-south.

Getting to the North Shore

To get from downtown Vancouver to the North Shore by car, drive over the Lions Gate Bridge (heading northwest on Georgia Street through Stanley Park). Two major highways run through West Vancouver. The Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) heads from East Vancouver into North Vancouver via the Second Narrows Bridge. The Sea-to-Sky Highway (Highway 99) offers a scenic two-hour drive up Howe Sound to Whistler.

Car Rentals

There are several major car rental agencies on the North Shore, mostly along Marine Drive and near the Lonsdale Quay Market.

Buses & Public Transportation

The first choice for accessing the North Shore for many, is the Seabus, a 400-passenger catamaran ferry that travels between the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. The Seabus is part of TransLink, Metro Vancouver's public transit system. The crossing takes 12 minutes, and the Seabus operates from about 6am to 1am Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 11pm on Sunday.

Next to the Seabus terminal is a sheltered bus loop. Public buses depart from here to many of the North Shore's attractions, such as Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Buses to the North Shore also run regularly from downtown Vancouver along Georgia Street. Buses run approximately between 5am and 1am. Discount fares are available after 6:30pm and on weekends and public holidays. For TransLink customer information, call 604-953-3333 (6:30am-11:30pm).

A variety of shuttle bus services is available to take people to Whistler for skiing and other activities.

Ferry and Boat Travel

The North Shore can be reached directly via the BC Ferries terminal at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, where ferries arrive from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and Bowen Island. There is a public express bus (#257) to downtown Vancouver, which takes about half an hour.

Those arriving from Victoria or the Gulf Islands at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal can reach the North Shore with a 50-minute drive north, or slightly longer on public transit.

Water Taxi & Boat Charters

Water taxi service is available between West Vancouver and downtown Vancouver, as well as Bowen Island and other destinations on the Sunshine Coast to the north. To explore the waters off North Vancouver independently, rent a boat from Lonsdale Boat Rentals (415 Esplanade West) at Mosquito Creek Marina. Or head out to West Vancouver for fishing charters and Zodiac boat tours from Sewell's Marina in Horseshoe Bay.

Air Travel

West Vancouver is served by Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in Richmond. At the airport, rental cars or taxi transportation can be arranged to West Vancouver. The journey takes about 35 minutes by car. Also, floatplanes can be chartered into North Vancouver's Deep Cove.

Rail Travel

Trains, as well as Greyhound Canada buses, arrive at the Pacific Central Station (1150 Station St) in downtown Vancouver. Also, from April to October, the Whistler Mountaineer train offers luxurious, scenic service between the North Vancouver rail station (corner of Philip Ave and West 1st St) and Whistler.

While the Canada Line does not offer direct service to the North Shore, it is a convenient way to get here. Simply take the 26-minute train ride from Vancouver International Airport to the Waterfront Station, and transfer to the Seabus.

Local maps are available at the Visitor Centre (#102-124 West 1st St).

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