Kim Lee

Vancouver Aquarium

A visit to Stanley Park is not complete without a tour at the Vancouver Aquarium. The tourist attraction is Canada’s first aquarium, established in 1956.

It spans over 2.5 acres of land and houses over 65,000 animals in different galleries. Some of these creatures are endangered species, and the aquarium provides a place of protection for them.

This popular tourist attraction is at the centre of Stanley Park at 845 Avison Way. It operates all through the year from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

A tour around the facility is not only entertaining but also educational. You’ll learn and see the unique behaviours of different animals in their habitat.

Experience an intriguing moment watching ocean-themed films at the 4D theatre. The Aquarium also hosts special events during Summer and Christmas – the Santa Scuba Claus, fundraisers, etc.

Go book a ticket for yourself and your family, and enjoy a great time at the aquarium.

Vancouver Aquarium

Who is the owner of Vancouver Aquarium?

Vancouver Aquarium was under the management of the Ocean Wise Conservation Association until 2021, when a US-based enterprise, Herschend Family Entertainment, bought it due to bankruptcy.

How many exhibits does the aquarium have?

There are over 30 exhibits in Vancouver Aquarium, and some of these attractions include:

1. Penguin Point

Get a 180-degree view of these African penguins from Boulders Beach in South Africa – they wobble and swim in their new home in Canadian waters. These penguins are endangered species in the wild and only live on the Southern shores of Africa.

2. ‘Killer Whale – Chief of the Undersea World’ Sculpture

Get welcomed to the plaza with a stunning view of a Killer Whale bronze sculpture by renowned Haida artist Bill Reid. Jim and Isabel Graham gifted the 5.5-metres-tall sculpture to the Vancouver Aquarium in 1984. It is in the Sculpture Pools at the entrance of the facility.

3. Clownfish Cove

Watch your children (8 years and below) connect to their caring nature as they play-act rescuing animals. This gallery features an animal rescue centre with a hospital, seaside dock, touch table, etc.

The kids will rescue animals, weigh and measure them, and provide care. This exercise aims to inculcate in kids the sense of responsibility of protecting the animals in their environment.

4. Sea Otter

Visit this exhibit to see the adorable furry otters as they swim, eat, and groom. The otters got rescued as pups, and today, they feel at home in the Aquarium.

5. Graham Amazon Gallery

This gallery is a recreation of the Amazon rainforest. Experience the tropical climate as you walk along. You’ll see several terrestrial and aquatic animals like sloths, birds, caimans, and even butterflies. There’s even an occasional thunderstorm and a meal of crickets.

6. Jellyfish Display

Undergo a calming effect as you watch a variety of jellies glide by.

7. The Tropics

Admire the colourful beauty of the tropical coral reefs, sea anemones, reef sharks, and mangrove forests.

8. Marine Mammal Rescue

This rescue centre is a recent addition to the establishment. Tour the centre to see rescued animals, listen to their rescue stories, and the rehabilitation process. Seals and sea lions are among the rescued creatures.

9. Steller’s Bay

Enjoy the behind-the-scenes underwater activities of the majestic sea lions.

10. Frogs Forever?

Over 20 types of toads, salamanders, and frogs live in this exhibit. You’ll learn about the developmental stages of these amphibians and how human activities endanger them.

11. Wet Lab Program

Engage your kids in the 90 minutes programme where they study animals and their environment in groups.

12. Touch Pools

Learn through practicals as you touch some of the animals in the pool while the instructor explains different body parts. Also, prepare to feel something slimy!

13. Teck Connections and Engagement Galleries

Watch a continuous show of marine life on 360-degree screens. This gallery leads you to the other exhibits of the Aquarium.

14. Treasures Of The BC Coast

Just like the name suggests, this gallery has different sea creatures from the shorelines of British Columbia.

15. Pacific Canada Pavilion

Enjoy a two-level display of crabs, sturgeon, and other invertebrates from the Strait of Georgia.

16. The 4D Theatre Experience

Be absorbed into the middle of the action as you experience different sensory effects while watching marine-themed films. 

What special events are held in the aquarium?

Vancouver Aquarium offers various events to the public – the After Hours, Santa Scuba Claus, Chowder Chowdown, etc.

Occasionally, there are also educational seminars and galas for the public. You can also book a place to celebrate weddings or any special occasion.

When should I visit the aquarium?

Anytime you visit the Vancouver Aquarium is perfect because there’s always a breathtaking exhibition waiting for you. For the sake of your kids, you can visit during Christmas to see Santa Claus go scuba diving with the fish.

How do I access Vancouver Aquarium?

You can access the tourist centre in your car or by bus. From downtown Vancouver, access Stanley Park through the west of Georgia Street. 

Take a right turn at the roundabout to Stanley Park Drive, then turn left towards Avison Way immediately after the Stanley Park Information Booth. The aquarium is 100m away.

For access through transit, enter the #19 bus, which stops at the Stanley Park Bus Loop. The aquarium is a 55-minute walk from this bus stop.

Is there a parking area at Vancouver Aquarium?

Yes. The paid parking area is at the front of the facility.

What is the entry fee at Vancouver Aquarium?

Admission into Vancouver Aquarium is not free. Fees vary for ages and include Goods and Services Tax (GST);

  • Regular (13 – 64 years): $42.00
  • Senior (65+): $36.75
  • Student (19+ with ID): $36.75
  • Child (3 – 12 years): $26.25
  • Infant (ages 0 – 2): Free

Note: It is wiser to buy a time ticket online because of the limited capacity allowed into the building.