Vancouver's harbour as seen from Stanley Park
Vancouver’s harbour as seen from Stanley Park

The city harbour waterfront from the bottom of Canada Place eastward to the Second Narrows bridge and the PNE and horse racing. These are the dock lands although your access to the actual working docks is pretty limited, and you’ll have to take a few kilometers of lightly traveled (on weekends anyway) city streets to get from one fairly small section of seaside to another.

Is it worth it? It certainly is for the city street ride (try to avoid Powell). It might be a bit gritty and tedious for the kids, though. If you’re a Starbucks-sippping hipster, and you haven’t already explored the downtown industrial eastside, you belong here – day or night, though it might be a bit too gritty and exciting at night for some!

This section of seaside comprises three sub-sections – eastern, centre docks and western:

Vancouver Harbour (7.6 km or 4.7 mi):

To get to the Harbour section from the west (Coal Harbour) ride east from Coal Harbour to the little dock at the end of the seawall and then turn under the Convention Centre onto West Waterfront Road. Don’t follow the cycle path up and around the Convention Centre – bear to the right and under. This will take you into the Portside section.

To get to this section (and the Coal Harbour section) from downtown, take Waterfront Road. Its access ramp is in the middle of West Cordova Street west of Burrard. Go down the ramp and follow Waterfront Road around to the east. Ever since the very early days of Vancouver there’s been some sort of a ramp down the bluff to the water and rails near here, though previously it was beside the (old) railway station.

Alternatively, from the north end of Burrard Street, ride counter-clockwise around the Convention Centre and down the ramp.

From the eastern end of Portside you can go over the Main Street overpass and take the docks bypass following Alexander, Railway, etc. all the way over to New Brighton Park for another short trip of sea side.

Riding On: Adjoining Seaside Routes

West: From this section you can travel west into the tip of the peninsula downtown Vancouver sits in front of. Your entry is Coal Harbour, and from there you can go onto Stanley Park with the Lion’s Gate Bridge, and the West End community. You can also cut over to English Bay.

East: Out of Vancouver and into Burnaby. Following past the Second Narrows Bridge and the railway bridge, you can take the Trans Canada trail.

South. Taking the Main Street overpass to get out of the Portside docks section, take Alexander west to Carrall and then take Carrall all the way south to end up on the seawall in Yaletown with Science World in sight.