Vancouver is one of Canada's most exciting cities! This city on Canada's west coast has a lot to offer, from beautiful beaches to vibrant neighborhoods to world-class museums. And we've found one of the best ways to experience it all: a tour of Vancouver, which takes us past three fascinating Vancouver museums.
In these museums we can embark on a journey through the history and culture of the city and the surrounding regions. We'll start with a visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery, one of the city's most well-known museums, housed in an impressive historic building. There we can admire one of the most impressive collections of modern art and works of art on Canada's west coast.
Then we continue to the Museum of Vancouver, where we can delve into the history and development of the city. Here we learn more about the people who made this city what it is today. We then visit the Vancouver Maritime Museum, where we can learn more about the maritime history of Canada's west coast.
You should remember these Vancouver museums
On our tour of Vancouver we pass three museums that we would like to introduce to you. First they deal with life on the west coast of Canada and in Vancouver. Here you can find out more about what life on the West Coast of British Columbia is all about. Additionally, you can see West Coast paintings at the Art Gallery of Vancouver. Instead, you can visit a ship with a heroic history at the Maritime Museum. And last but not least, you can learn about the history of the city and its inhabitants in the Museum of Vancouver. All three museums are absolutely worth seeing.
The Vancouver Art Gallery
The most famous of the three museums is undoubtedly the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is located in the middle of the city center between Robson Square and West Georgia Street. The building itself is a characteristic example of the city's architecture. It was designed by Francis Rattenbury, one of the major West Coast architects. The premises formerly served as the city's courthouse before undergoing extensive conversions designed by Arthur Erickson to house the museum.
Today, the Vancouver Art Gallery presents an impressive collection of modern art, particularly that of Canada's West Coast. The museum has more than 200 important works by the painter Emily Carr, whose paintings primarily depict the nature and culture of Canada's west coast. Her images of totem poles and Northwest Coast Native American life uniquely document the beauty and culture of Canada's West Coast.
Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
The Museum of Vancouver
The Museum of Vancouver is located in Vanier Park, south of False Creek, and is easiest to access from downtown via Burrard Street. During our city tour we take a tour of the park and see the distinctive building with a roof resembling a wicker hat of the Northwest Coast Indians. In front of the museum building there is also a pond in which an impressive metal crab stretches its claws in the air.
The museum itself mainly deals with the history of the city in its exhibitions. Since 2009, when Nancy Noble took over the museum's fortunes, it has won several awards, including the Canadian Museum Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Management (2010), the Canadian Museum Association Award for Education (2012) and the BC Museum Association's Award for Museums in Motion (2012). So if you are interested in the development of the city of Vancouver, you will definitely find a good opportunity to do so in this museum.
Museum of Vancouver
1100 Chestnut Street
Vancouver, BC, V6J 3J9
The Vancouver Maritime Museum
Just steps away is the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vanier Park in the Kitsilano neighborhood. It also offers great views of downtown Vancouver. But that is not the only reason why a visit to this museum is worthwhile. It explores the rich maritime history of Canada's West Coast, a fascinating chapter in West Coast history. As we tour the museum, we learn a great deal about sea transportation, from Native American canoes and kayaks to the ships of the early explorers and steamboats of more modern times.
The main exhibit of the museum is particularly fascinating: the St. Roch, a research ship of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Climbing through cramped bunks, we try to imagine what it was like when the Canadian Police Force men explored the waters of the Arctic. The St. Roch was the first ship to circumnavigate the Americas and also the second ship to successfully traverse the Northwest Passage. An impressive history for a ship and an absolutely worthwhile visit.
Vancouver Maritime Museum
1905 Ogden Avenue at Vanier Park
Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3
When we travel, we always want to know more about how people live in the regions we visit. For this reason, museums like this are always part of our travel plans. We love dealing with the emergence and development of a region and this is how we learn most about it. How are you all doing? Do you also like to visit museums?
And finally ...
No tour of Vancouver is complete without a visit to these three museums. In the Vancouver Art Gallery we can admire a collection of modern art and works of art from the west coast of Canada. The Museum of Vancouver, on the other hand, takes us on a journey through the history and development of the city. It also gives us a deep insight into the people who made this city what it is today.
Instead, at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, we delve into the maritime history of Canada's west coast. We especially admire the main exhibit, the St. Roch, a research ship of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It was the first ship to circumnavigate all of America and the second ship to successfully traverse the Northwest Passage.
During our tour of Vancouver we learn a lot about how people live in the regions we visit. These museums not only offer insights into history and culture, but are also architectural masterpieces. Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Vancouver and Vancouver Maritime Museum for a journey through the past and present of Vancouver and Canada's West Coast.
Questions and Answers on Vancouver Museums:
What are the Vancouver Art Gallery opening times?
Vancouver Art Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 17:00 PM. The museum is also open Tuesdays and Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 20:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 20:00 p.m.
What are some of the other well-known works exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery?
In addition to the collection of Canadian artist Emily Carr, the Vancouver Art Gallery also houses works by Brian Jungs, Ian Wallace and Ken Lum. The Vancouver Art Gallery places a special emphasis on indigenous art and artists. There are also temporary exhibitions by international artists at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
How long is the Museum of Vancouver walking tour?
The tour of the Museum of Vancouver typically takes around 1-2 hours, depending on how much time you want to spend looking at the exhibits.
Can you explore the St. Roch on your own or only as part of a guided tour?
The St. Roch can be viewed on your own from Friday to Wednesday between 10:45 am and 16:30 pm and on Thursdays from 10:45 am to 19:30 pm.
Are there restaurants or cafes in the museums?
There is no café at either the Vancouver Maritime Museum or the Museum of Vancouver. The Vancouver Art Gallery has the 1931 Gallery Bistro, which offers an indoor space as well as a lovely outdoor patio.
Do you also know:
- Why Vancouver is worth the trip
- Vancouver Island activities for connoisseurs
- National Gallery of Art in Ottawa: Architecture
- Rockport: Fishing Village in Massachusetts
- Lilienfeld Abbey - Abbey Library, Monastery & Gallery
Source: On-site research supported by Tourism Vancouver. However, our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs as well as TravelWorldOnline and Public Domain