If there is one thing that most Vancouverites will agree on is their environmentally friendly green ways to live life. From using transit, bikes to eating vegan food, Vancouver is pretty serious about leading a green and sustainable life. In the counterculture era of the 1960s & 1970s, Vancouver is where environmental activism took place. Greenpeace was founded here by activists on an old sailing boat in 1971. I digress.
If you want to see the Honda Celebration of Light in English Bay, it is infinitely better to transit to the downtown area instead of driving and getting stuck in traffic till 1 am. It is not worth it and is not how you would make the most of one of the most amazing summer nights in Vancouver.
Fair Warning: You’d need to walk for a total of around 5.2 km [~1 hour] for the roundtrip walk from a Skytrain station to English Bay, the main venue of Celebration of Light. IMHO, the quintessential Vancouver fireworks display is worth the effort. The walk, though long, is a great experience to feel the famous chill Vancouver vibes. But not everyone wants to do the walk no matter what, and that is okay. If you don’t want to walk, a few options will reduce the long walk. Go down to the end of this post to see them.
North Shore to English Bay Transit for Celebration of Light at English Bay
If you are coming from the North Shore, you must take the Blue Bus or the Seabus to Downtown Vancouver (Waterfront).
Extended Seabus Timings: SeaBus sailings will extend to 15-minute service from 9:15 pm to 11:15 pm 30-minute sailings will resume after 11:15 pm until 1:22 am.
From the Waterfront SeaBus Terminal, it would take you around 39 mins to walk the 3.1 KMs to English Bay.
Tricity and Beyond (Northeast Metro Vancouver) transit to Celebration of Light at English Bay
If you are coming from the tri-cities or beyond [Port Moody, Coquitlam or even as far as Mission], take the West Coast Express to the Waterfront Station.
There will be a special West Coast Express train service on Saturday, July 29. It will depart from Mission at 7:00 pm and reach the Waterfront Station in 1.25 hrs. The return train will depart at midnight from Waterfront Station.
From the Waterfront station, it’s 33 mins [2.7 km] to English Bay.
Rest of Metro Vancouver Transit to Celebration of Light at English Bay
For people from the rest of Metro Vancouver, choose either the Expo Line or Canada Line.
On the Expo Line, go to Waterfront Station or Granville Station or Burrard Station.
From Granville station, the walk to English Bay will also take around 33 mins. It is supposedly a 2.6 km walk.
From the Waterfront station, it would take you around 33 mins to walk the 2.7 KMs to English Bay. It is a fun walk, and you will be in great company!
From the Burrard station, it would take you around 28 mins to walk the 2.3 KMs to English Bay. It is the closest Skytrain station to English Bay.
On the Canada Line, get off at either Yaletown or Vancouver City Center or Waterfront Station.
It’s a 27 min walk from Yaletown Roundhouse to English Bay.
It’s a 30 min walk from Vancouver City Centre to English Bay.
And you guessed it right. It takes 33 mins to walk to English Bay from the Waterfront station.
The Vancouver public transit system is one of the best in the world. How it is operated, why people choose to use it every day and the reason why it is the perfect place to feel the Canadian culture in action.
How to avoid the long walk and still watch the Celebration of lights from English Bay?
There are a few ways to avoid the long walk from a Skytrain station to the ground zero of the Celebration of Light on English Bay. You could potentially take a cab or another bus from a Skytrain station to reach somewhere near the English Bay beach and reduce the walk from 30 mins to 5-10 mins for one way.
Cabs could be expensive, more so because only a handful of cabs would ply in the core downtown area at that time. Uber & Lyft will have dynamic pricing because there are lots of people in the area. And there would be traffic, lots and lots of it.
Special Bus Service for Celebration of Light
There are special bus services playing in downtown Vancouver from 5 pm onwards on July 29, 2023.
There are special pre-event Bus Services from Burrard Station and Waterfront Station to the corner of Cardero Street and Robson Street. It would take around 13 mins to walk to English Bay from here.
There are special post-event bus services from different points near English Bay to travel to different areas of Metro Vancouver. The post-event bus service would be super crowded, so take that into account while you wait for a bus. These are the various post-event bus services:
- Bus service from the intersection of Bidwell Street and West Georgia Street. These buses will drop people at the intersection of Burrard Street and West Georgia Street and then at Waterfront Station.
- Bus service from the intersection of West Georgia Street and Denman Street to go to the north shore.
Please note that the Macdonald/Burrard Station, 5 Robson/Downtown, 6 Davie/Downtown, and 23 Main Street Station/English Bay routes are defunct on the days of the event because the roads are closed.
Special Transit Schedule for Celebration of Lights:
Seabus Schedules & Information:
West Coast Express Schedules & Information:
Expo Line Schedules & Information:
Canada Line Schedules & Information:
Blog Featured Image Courtesy of Translink