English Bay Beach

English Bay Beach, also called First Beach is located along Beach Ave between Gilford St and Bidwell St. It is the most populated beach area in Vancouver's downtown area. The Stanley Park Seawall, a popular running and cycling route runs along the east side of the beach.

English Bay Beach is host to a number of public events. The Celebration of Light is a fireworks display that is held for two weeks every summer and has run since 1990 and is the largest fireworks display in the world. Each winter it also hosts Vancouver's annual Polar Bear Swim and Vancouver Pride Parade during summer.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, English Bay Beach was home to Vancouver's first offical lifeguard, the legendary Joe Fortes who taught hundreds of the city's early residents how to swim. Today the waters of the bay are dotted with hundreds of small boats, as well as huge freighters waiting to anchor to load and unload cargo at Vancouver's port.


  1. Turn left out of the hostel and walk down Granville St until Davie St and turn right onto Davie St.
  2. Walk down Davie St until you reach Burnaby St and turn left onto Burnaby St
  3. Walk down Burnaby St until the end and you'll reach English Bay Beach.

Approx ~ 25 mins each way