West End Heritage Tour

Diverse, vibrant and culturally rich.


Thank you to everyone who joined us at the West End Heritage Tour! To find out about 2019 tours check back or sign up for our e-newsletter.

The West End of Vancouver is a diverse and unique neighbourhood. Development of this area has seen many chapters from local First Nations communities, to an enclave for the city’s elite, a beatnik paradise for the hippie generation and now a vibrant, active community with a varied architectural legacy. VHF’s newest self-guided tour will offer a chance to learn about the built heritage of the area and its unique history. Explore the storied area by foot, bike or car and get inside a variety of private and community buildings. Learn the history of each site and discover its part in the rich cultural heritage and community of the area.

Included on the tour are 15 stops all between Robson Street and English Bay, Stanley Park and Burrard Street. With a wide number of private residences and commercial buildings, the tour also includes public spaces that help tell the story of the West End. Choose whether to spend the day in private residences or visit all the sites to see the full diversity of the area’s history. If you missed the Queen Charlotte Apartments on the 2016 Heritage House Tour, now is a chance to see inside including suites not previously opened. You can also explore the private Mid-Century Modern staff spaces at the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation office, two heritage churches and many more sites.

This tour earns 5.0 Non-Core LUs AIBC.

Getting Around

If you are not familiar with the West End, you may be wondering how to navigate this densely developed neighbourhood. Public transit and cycling are great ways to get around as you can park in one location then catch a bus or rent a bicycle in the area. If you prefer to drive, know that parking can be challenging but many of the tour sites are nearby each other and can be walked to from one central parking spot. Below are more tips on how to get around including special offers from tour sponsors EasyPark and Mobi Bike Share.

By Car

Parking is mostly metered street parking on or close to arterial streets. Plan to park in a couple of spots and walk the few blocks to the tour stops, many of which are nearby each other. We have also partnered with EasyPark to offer a special discount to tour goers, which you will receive after purchase.

By Public Transit

Translink offers two routes with frequent service that will get you close to most stops. The No. 6 Davie and No. 5 Robson will be your go-to buses for the day. A day pass, which offers unlimited travel until end of service, can be purchased at all Skytrain stations, or added to your existing Compass card through your online account for $10.25. For more information on transit fares, routes and stops visit translink.ca.

By Bike

The West End is a cycle-friendly neighbourhood with several marked and designated cycling routes. Your tour brochure will show City-approved cycling routes to help with planning. Each ticket holder will receive a complimentary 24-hour pass with Mobi Bike Share by Shaw Go (details above). Bike collection points, the code to release your bike and further instructions will be provided with your ticket. There are also many bike rental shops in the area. If you are bringing your own bike, bike parking is your responsibility, however EasyPark offers complimentary bike stands at most of their parking lots.


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How it works

The tour is self-guided and will offer opportunity to get inside both private and community spaces, ticket holders can choose which ones to visit and in which order. Volunteers and your guide map will offer historical information about each site as well as additional neighbourhood insight.

Due to the densely developed nature of the neighbourhood, the tour will be well enjoyed on foot, by bike or by transit, although parking tips will also be provided. Please be aware that ticket holders are responsible for finding and covering costs associated with vehicle parking. We will also provide information on bike shares and local transit routes with your ticket.

View the West End Heritage Tour brochure below (PDF download)