Looking for an artistic and FREE way to spend the day on Vancouver’s North Shore? This itinerary highlights only some of the creative and inspiring public art displayed in North and West Vancouver but takes you across four of our neighbourhoods and 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.
1. Start your day in the neighbourhood of Lower Lonsdale, home to the Pinnacle at the Pier and Seaside Hotel North Vancouver or if you are located in Downtown Vancouver, just a short 12-minute Seabus ride away. Grab a coffee at Shipyards Coffee at Lonsdale Quay, the coffee shop always has local artist’s work on display. The next stop is the Joe Bustemente Trumpet by Ryszard Wojciechowski in The Shipyards District. Inspired by a figure in local history, Joe was a one-armed Chilean mariner retained in 1900 to blow his trumpet and guide harbour ferries through the fog.
2. Just a short walk up the hill is one of our most Instagram-able spots 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 (located beside Buddha-Full on Lonsdale & 1st) creating a fun, inviting and unique space.
3. Steps away is Burgeoning by Illarian Gallant. You’ll find these silvery hanging leaves at the Wallace and McDowell building. They represent the importance of this site where electricity was first introduced in 1906.
4-7. Hop back in the car or get the 229 bus to Lynn Valley Village, where you will find clusters of artwork 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 of the library, Heritage Storefront Memory by Gregory Henriquez on the glass facade of the library building, arboreous, after rodchenko, a life-size photo of an magnificent old-growth cedar, by Nancy Chew & Jacqueline Metz, and just outside the library The Living Lounge by Paul Slipper & Mary-Ann Liu, which invites you to bring a picnic or a coffee and sit down to relax on the eight sculpted granite cushions and Persian rug made of pebbles. If picnics aren’t your thing, try the cozy Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub or family-owned Tommy’s Cafe.
8. If you don’t want to stop the artistic experience when you sit in for your lunch, make your way straight to our next location Park Royal. At Cactus Club Park Royal you can eat West Coast-inspired meals surrounded by original artworks from world-renowned artists such as Andy Warhol.
9. Now your energy is refilled, we invite you to take Park Royal’s self-guided Art Walk. Download or pick up their map and tour around a wonderful array of West Coast, Canadian, and International art.
10. Now it’s time to make your way to walk, drive or bus (253, 255, 256) to Ambleside Beach for the Ambleside and Dundarave public art offerings. First up is the West Vancouver landmark the 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 old-growth cedar log from Hollyburn Mountain.
11. Stroll along the Centennial Seawalk and you will come across the next artwork on the trail – the Granite Assemblage by Don Vaughn. It’s an artificial tide pool created by fifty granite cubes and rectangles set at the edge of the harbour. A beautiful piece all year round but especially fun in summer when you can wade in the waters.
12. Continue walking along the Seawalk and at the end of 18th street, you will find the Big Chairs by Bill Pechet. These chairs look like they are pensively gazing out to sea, or maybe they are 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, films, romantic trysts and fishing.
13. Your final location for the day is the West Vancouver Community Centre located at 2121 Marine Drive. Here you will find Beach Tangle, a 20 ft high artwork in the lobby made from West Vancouver driftwood by Gordon Smith, with assistance from Curtis Racette.
Relax after a long day of art spotting by booking an accommodation deal and extending your stay.