Vancouver Public Library and BC Place Stadium

Often seen in movies as a location site, the Vancouver Public Library (Central Branch) has a unique architectural profile. With its curved, neo-classical design, this building by Safdie Architects was constructed in 1995. It has a nine-storey rectilinear central volume, wrapped by a multi-storey colonnade containing reading and study areas, as well as retail and community-facing spaces. The Library is topped by a public park and grand reading room.

Starting at the steps near the corner of Robson & Homer streets, the first phase will be to explore the area around the Library. From there the Outing will continue southeast along Robson Street for three blocks to Terry Fox Square immediately in front of BC Place Stadium. The story of Terry Fox’s heroic attempt to run across Canada as a way to raise money for medical research, having lost one leg to cancer, is a true testament to perseverance. Terry Fox was from BC.

The 55,000 seat Stadium, originally opened in 1983 to be ready for the World Expo 1986, has undergone a major retrofit. It now holds an all-season retractable, semi-transparent roof, suspended from steel cables spanning between 36 steel masts that are 164-feet-tall, with specially-designed sliding and driving carriages. The deflated cushions are stored until it is time to close the roof and the driving carriages pull the TeneraTM Fabric outwards towards the perimeter. To open, first the cushions are deflated and then winches draw the fabric inward from all sides, enclosing it in a pod. The outer fixed roof is made out of 36 glass panels. It is truly a unique design.  The south side of the Stadium provides access for waterfront views of False Creek.

After circling the Stadium, for those wishing to photograph older styles of architecture, we will be on the doorstep to Yaletown.  This once industrial district has undergone a complete metamorphosis into a condominium, restaurant and nightclub district. The change is most evident starting at the corner of Mainland and Nelson Streets, where loading bays can still be seen. Those wishing to socialize afterward may find plenty of cafes and restaurants in Yaletown. One such recommendation is the Yaletown Brewing Co. at 1111 Mainland Street.

Enjoy.