“ Vancouver Lookout, 555 West Hastings St, Vancouver, B.C. / Tel: 604 689 5447. „
It has been almost a year since I was thinking about leaving to go stay in Vancouver for 2 and a half months and I still have a back log of reviews to cover on all of the amazing things I saw while out there on my travels. One of the things which I decided to leave until last was the Vancouver Harbour Lookout Tower, I don't know why but it seemed like one of the interesting but cheaper attractions in the city and it's the kind of thing you want to pick a good day for or your view just won't be as good. Every city over the pond seems to have some kind of high tower to catch a beautiful glimpse of their skylines even though Vancouver's isn't really a skyline view but Seattle has the Needle and things similar in other places such as the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.
I decided first of all to go onto the website and have a look at the costs for getting in because I was on a bit of a budget and every week my friends and I would go see something different on the list. The prices to get on are as follows, for an adult it is $13, senior citizen $11, student $9, youth 13-18 $9, child 6-12 $6 and children 5 and under get in free. I opted for the student rate as I had my student card so luckily got in for cheap but even $13 at an adult price isn't really that expensive. They also do discount on group rates if more than 10 of you are going making each adult only $11 which is good to look into if visiting as a study group or something.
Once I had checked out the rates for the Tower I just had to check the opening hours as obviously I wanted day and night photos of the city and needed to have in mind an idea of what its hours of operation were in conjunction with sunset times too. The Tower is open all year round, but from April 28th -October 15th it was 8.30am to 10.30pm which is what I got. October 16th- April 30th is 9am-9pm and lastly May 1st- October 15th is 8.30am to 10.30pm, it is all to do with the lighting and sunsets.
The Vancouver Lookout Tower is on top of the Harbour centre right in the centre of Downtown Vancouver it stands high up in the city so that you can see it casting a shadow below. The Harbour Centre is home to 28 floors of offices, shops, food places and so on. Neil Armstrong the first man on the moon opened the Lookout Centre in 1977. The tower is a great way of seeing the city from a bird's eye view. The lift takes visitors 130m (430 feet) above street level to the observation floor in 40 seconds. Here you can see the 360 degree view of Vancouver from the busy city streets to the over water views and the mountains of the North Shore. Luckily, if you are with a group you might get a tour guide tell you the history but if like me you are there as one as going round you can tag along to hear the stories which are interesting.
So, on arrival it is easy to find the centre as it has a distinct shape and is right in Downtown Vancouver. The reception is where people queue to get their tickets but I went around 8pm just as the sun was shining brightly in its last half hour, I had timed it well. I then paid my fair and once a few of us had accumulated at the lift entrance we got in and were whisked 130m high to the viewing deck. As you get up there it is quite surreal as you can see the glass 360 degree views. There is a shop here as well where you can buy souvenirs but I have to be honest this was quite pricey but if you want things they are ok.
The tower is high so if you are afraid of heights standing next to the glass is probably not the best idea. I must have taken 200 photos while up here there are just so many amazing views and when the light keeps changing you think 'oh I might get a better shot'. The sun set as I was up here just like I had hoped and so I got a great night for it as it was one of the nicest sunsets I had seen my whole summer in the city. The views are brilliant, absolutely breathtaking. You have your view of the mountains across the water and with the sun hitting them it just looks beautiful, then you have the high city towers of the city banks with their lights showing in the night time skylines. You then have your architecture of the faraway attractions like the Science World Globe and the industrial areas then you have your snowy mountains in the distance outside of Vancouver. Also you get beautiful photos of Canada Place at night and the Providence Newspaper HQ with the night lights turned on.
I got lovely photos in here and was glad I paid the money as these are photos you just wouldn't be able to get had you not gone up the tower. You need to have a good camera though as flashes reflect off the glass and also the night time settings can make for a shaky photo. I stayed in here about 2 hours just taking photos and waiting for night time to roll in but it really was worth it.
There is also a restaurant up this height in the tower; I sadly never went as I wasn't hungry on my visit. It is a fine dining experience, at 167m high up again eating with views of the mountains and coast at your feet. The lunch menu is roughly about $20-$30 which is quite pricey but nothing less is expected here really. Dinner is anything from $20-$70 again though the sea food around Vancouver is a must to try as they are quite famous for it. Desserts are then $10 roughly as well. If you are interested in this to make your visit extra special then the restaurant has its own website with menu's and prices located at http://www.topofvancouver.com/index.html where you can contact for reservations, view galleries and see if the menu appeals also.
I think this was roughly in my top three of favourite attractions in Vancouver. It was a nice way to end off a day and is relaxing with no walking involved at all which is a rare thing. The views were great, the photographs brilliant. For more information on rates, history and photos of the tower since I sadly cannot upload mine go to http://www.vancouverlookout.com/.