A Day on Vancouver’s North Shore Public Art Trail

April 15, 2024 | Tags:

A Day on Vancouver’s North Shore Public Art Trail


Looking for an art-ful and FREE way to spend the day on Vancouver’s North Shore? Here we present just a handful of the creative and inspiring public art displayed across the North Shore, taking you through four unique neighbourhoods, plus a stop at the art trail at Park Royal for good measure!


For more public artworks check out the City of North Vancouver Public Art Map or the District of West Vancouver.


Start your day in Lower Lonsdale, home to the Pinnacle at the Pier and Seaside Hotel North Vancouver and all just a short 12-minute Seabus ride away from downtown Vancouver. Grab a coffee at Shipyards Coffee at Lonsdale Quay, where local artist’s work is always on display. The next stop is Burrard Dry Dock Pier for the immense and impressive Blanketing the City V by Chief Janice George, Buddy Joseph and Angela George, with collaboration from Debra Sparrowon. This gorgeous mural tells the story of the Great Vancouver Fire and the heroic actions of Indigenous first-responders.


Blanketing the City VPhoto courtesy of @sabrinamisocreative


Just a short walk up the hill is one of the North Shore’s most Instagram-able spots at Studio in the City’s Fun Alley. Studio in the City tasked apprentice youths, guided by a local street artist, to enliven a public alley at Lonsdale & 1st, creating a unique and inviting space to pose, relax and enjoy a snack from Buddha-Full next door.


Fun AlleyPhoto courtesy of @steffied30


Steps away is Burgeoning by Illarian Gallant. You’ll find these silvery hanging leaves at the Wallace and McDowell building. They mark the significance of this site where electricity was first introduced to the North Shore in 1906.


Hop back in the car or onto the 229 bus to Lynn Valley Village, where you’ll discover a treasure trove of art in and around Lynn Valley Library. Find Forest Lore by Dana Irving on the walls of the community meeting room located in the children’s section. Heritage Storefront Memory by Gregory Henriquez graces the glass facade of the library building, and arboreous, after rodchenko, a life-size photo of a magnificent old-growth cedar by Nancy Chew & Jacqueline Metz is just outside the library. The Living Lounge by Paul Slipper & Mary-Ann Liu invites you to bring a picnic or a coffee and relax on eight sculpted granite cushions and a Persian rug made of pebbles. If picnics aren’t your thing, try the family-owned Tommy’s Cafe right across the street for all your favourite lunchables.


Or, head on out to our next location at Park Royal, just hop on the 255 bus in Lynn Valley and it’ll take you right there! Hungry? Grab some lunch at The Village Taphouse where an extensive menu is bound to please everyone in your party. Then stop to marvel at the nearby Xwemelch’stn. This illuminated sculpture by James Harry mimics the shape of cedar and fir trees that once stood here along the Capilano River and the salmon of the same river that fed the Squamish people of the land for thousands of years and continue to do so.




Energy refilled, embark on Park Royal’s self-guided Art Walk. Download or pick up the map from the mall and tour through a wonderful array of West Coast, Canadian, and international art.


Stretch your legs on a 20-minute walk, just follow the Spirit Trail or catch a bus (253, 255, 256) to Ambleside Beach for the Ambleside and Dundarave public art offerings. First up is the West Vancouver landmark Squamish Nation Welcome Figure by Stan Joseph with the assistance of Wes Nahanee. This artwork is a gift from the Squamish Nation and is constructed from an old-growth cedar log from Hollyburn Mountain.


Welcome FigurePhoto Courtesy of @alixmahe


Stroll along the Centennial Seawalk and you will come across the next artwork on the trail— Granite Assemblage by Don Vaughn, an artificial tide pool created by fifty granite cubes and rectangles set at the edge of the harbour. It’s a beautiful piece all year round but especially fun in summer when you can wade in the waters.


Continue walking along the Seawalk and at the end of 18th Street, you’ll find Big Chairs by Bill Pechet. These chairs look like they are pensively gazing out to sea, or maybe they’re inviting you to sit down and read a book or have a coffee? The chairs have been used for everything from sun-tanning to weddings and funerals, and from filming to fishing.


Your final stop for the day is the West Vancouver Community Centre on Marine Drive. Here you will find Beach Tangle, a 20-foot high sculpture in the lobby made from West Vancouver driftwood by Gordon Smith, with assistance from Curtis Racette.


West Vancouver Community Centre


Relax after a long day of art-spotting by booking a fabulous hotel package deal, where you can enjoy exclusive savings at popular local attractions this season. For more information on these and other activities on Vancouver’s North Shore, visit vancouversnorthshore.com


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