/ The Vancouver Guide
Vancouver — By thevancouverguide on December 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm

The View from the Lookout, Harbour Centre

DSC00067Typically, when you live a long time in a city there are a great many places you may pass by nearly every day but never stop to explore.¬† For me, it was The Lookout at Harbour Centre. I’d pass by there several times a week,¬† look up at the circular top of the high tower and think to myself:¬† “Gee, I ought to go up there one day!”

Well, finally this week, I did.¬† In fact, I went up twice — once in the daytime and¬†again at night.¬† And I can tell you, if you live here in the city or if you’re coming for a visit, this is a “must”.¬† The panoramic views you get of the city are unbelievable.¬† It’ll take your breath away. At 177 meters (581 ft) high,¬†¬†the Harbour Centre tower is one of the tallest buildings in Vancouver, almost as tall as Seattle’s Space Needle. The Lookout is at the top of Harbour Centre, a towering complex that now houses 28 floors of offices, the downtown campus of Simon Fraser University, shops, a food fair and on the very top, the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant.

The Lookout was officially opened August 13, 1977 by the first man to walk on the moon, Astronaut Neil Armstrong.¬† In 40 seconds, you ascent from the street level to the observation deck in a glass elevator to the viewing deck 130 meters (430 ft) above the city.¬† This in itself is breathtaking!¬† From the circular observation deck you’ll get 360 degree views of the city, harbour, mountains, downtown Vancouver and even, far in the distance, Mt. Cheam and Mt. Baker.¬†¬† It is truly “awesome”!

There are welcoming staff on hand that are happy to point out attractions to you and you can view things close up through the binoculars that are available all around the deck.¬† There’s a Neil Armstrong Art Gallery featuring hthe works of local artists, a gift shop and what I enjoyed most was watching the old movies of Vancouver.¬† “City Reflections” includes films of the city taken in May 1907 by Seattle photographer William Harbeck.¬† It is the earliest known footage of the city.¬† This is matched with more recent photography giving you a clear view of what the city was like then and now.DSC09994

The Lookout is a great place to take your kids too.  To make it a special adventures check out the Lookout website for kids activities including a building quiz, so kids ca look for an identify the buildings they will see.

Through the winter months, the Lookout is available for rentals for meetings, cocktail parties and receptions.¬† There will be a hospitatliy suite for the 2010 Olympics.¬† It’s within walking distance of all major downtown hotels, the Vancouver Convention Centre, BC Place Stadium and General Motors Place.

The Lookout is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm with special Christmas hours, Dec. 24 and 25 from 10 am to 6 pm. Daily admissions are valid until closing so you can come and go as often as you like.  Relax in the lounge,  enjoy a West Coast sunset or marvel at the spectacle of lights stretching across the miles or reflecting off the water of Burrard Inlet.DSC00152


Adults $13;  Seniors $11; Students (with valid ID) $9; Youth 13 Р18 ,$9; Children 6 Р12, $6;  Special group rates available.

THE LOOKOUT at Harbour Centre

555 W. Hastings St.

TEL: 604- 689-0421


For reservations and information : 604-669-2220

PHOTOS by Ruth Kozak

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