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Waterfront station (Vancouver)

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Waterfront station is a major intermodal public transportation facility and the main transit terminus in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

TransLink station
Vancouver Waterfront Station.jpg
Location 601 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
439 Granville Street, Vancouver
Coordinates 49°17′09″N 123°06′42″W / 49.28583°N 123.11167°W / 49.28583; -123.11167Coordinates: 49°17′09″N 123°06′42″W / 49.28583°N 123.11167°W / 49.28583; -123.11167
Owned by Canadian Pacific Railway
BC Transit
Platforms 3 separate sets of centre platforms
Tracks 6
Connections Translinkbus.svg 95 B-Line
Structure type At-grade and underground
Bicycle facilities Outside bike racks
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code WF
Fare zone 1
  • 1914[1] (Canadian Pacific Railway)
  • 1977 (SeaBus)
  • 1985 (SkyTrain: Expo Line)
  • 1995 (West Coast Express)
  • 2009 (SkyTrain: Canada Line)
Passengers (2016[2]) 35,100 (Expo Line)
37,000 (Canada Line)
72,100 Total
Preceding station   TransLink   Following station
Terminus Expo Line
toward King George
Expo Line
Terminus Canada Line
Canada Line
Terminus SeaBus
Terminus West Coast Express
toward Mission City



Waterfront station is located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, just east of the north foot of Granville Street at 601 West Cordova Street. The station is within walking distance of Vancouver's historical Gastown district, the Canada Place cruise ship terminal, the Helijet International helipad, and Vancouver Harbour Water Aerodrome, the downtown float plane terminals for Harbour Air, West Coast Air, Salt Spring Air, and other airlines.

Other nearby facilities include the downtown campuses for Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology, federal government services in the Sinclair Centre, the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, and the Harbour Centre office tower, revolving restaurant and observation deck. Underground passages connect passengers directly to the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel and Canada Place. There are also two other street-level entrances to the station, one on Howe Street to the west for direct access to the Expo Line (labelled as platforms 1 and 2 on the station map) and another on Granville Street to the south for direct access to the Canada Line (platforms 3 and 4).

Waterfront station was one of the first to receive TransLink's new "T" signage, denoting a transit station.[3] This signage was installed in the downtown core of Vancouver to help visitors during the 2010 Olympics to identify a transit hub.


The entrance to Waterfront station, serving SkyTrain's Expo Line

Waterfront station is the intermodal terminus in downtown Vancouver for the following TransLink services:

On October 22, 2016, Expo Line and Millennium Line services were reconfigured in preparation for the opening of the Evergreen Extension; as a result, the Millennium Line—which had since its inception in 2002 been interlined with the Expo Line between Waterfront and Columbia Stations—ceased service at this station.[4]


Station circa 1923

Waterfront station was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1914,[1] and was the Pacific terminus for the CPR's transcontinental passenger trains to Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario. The current station is the third CPR station. The previous CPR station was located one block west, at the foot of Granville, and unlike the current classical-styled Waterfront station was built in "railway gothic" like the CPR's many railway hotels.[5][6] In 1978, when Via Rail took over the passenger operations of the CPR and the Canadian National Railway, it continued using both railways' Vancouver stations, but a year later, Via consolidated its Vancouver operations at the CN station near False Creek (now called Pacific Central station), and ceased using the CPR station. The last scheduled Via passenger train to use Waterfront station departed on 27 Oct 1979.[7]

SkyTrain's Canada Line platform

Waterfront station's transformation into a public intermodal transit facility began in 1977. That year, SeaBus began operating out of a purpose-built floating pier that was connected to the main terminal building via an overhead walkway above the CPR tracks. The CPR's passenger platform and some of its tracks were torn up in the early 1980s to make way for the guideway of the original SkyTrain line (Expo Line), which opened on December 11, 1985. During Expo 86, SkyTrain operated special shuttle trains between Waterfront station and Stadium–Chinatown station (then named Stadium station), connecting the Canadian Pavilion at Canada Place to the main Expo site along False Creek.

West Coast Express platform

In 1995, platforms were built adjacent to the SkyTrain station for the new West Coast Express, which uses the existing CPR tracks. (The West Coast Express platforms are in the same location as the old CPR platforms.) In 2002, Millennium Line trains began sharing the SkyTrain tracks with the Expo Line. In 2009, the Canada Line opened with a separate platform and entrance/exit point within the grand CPR station. Waterfront station serves as the common terminus point for all three SkyTrain metro lines.

A private ferry company, Royal SeaLink Express, ran passenger ferries from a new dock on the west side of the SeaBus terminal to Victoria and Nanaimo in the early 1990s, but ultimately folded. In 2003, HarbourLynx began operating out of Royal Sealink's old facility at the SeaBus terminal. In 2006, following major engine problems with their only vessel, they folded as well.


The main station building was designed in a neoclassical style, with a symmetrical red-brick facade dominated by a row of smooth, white ionic order columns. The ionic columns are repeated in the grand interior hall, flanking the perimeter of the space. The main hall features two large clocks facing each other high on the east and west walls. Paintings depicting various scenic Canadian landscapes line the walls above the columns.

Station informationEdit

Expo Line platform (Platforms 1 & 2)
The digital "next arrival" sign at the Expo Line island platform

Station layoutEdit

S Street Cordova Street, Howe Street, Granville Street entrances
Main connection points between various modes of transportation
Compass Ticket vending machines, ATM, shops, fare gates (Expo Line)
C Concourse
Serving Expo Line
Connections to Sinclair Centre and Waterfront Center
Compass Ticket vending machines, fare gates (Expo Line)
Serving Canada Line
Compass Ticket vending machines, shops, fare gates (Canada Line)
T Platform 1
 Expo Line termination track
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Platform 2
 Expo Line towards King George and Production Way–University (Burrard)
   West Coast Express towards Mission City (Moody Centre)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
   West Coast Express towards Mission City (Moody Centre)
Lower Concourse
Compass Ticket vending machines, fare gates (Canada Line)
Platform 3
 Canada Line towards Richmond–Brighouse and YVR–Airport (Vancouver City Centre)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Platform 4
 Canada Line towards Richmond–Brighouse and YVR–Airport (Vancouver City Centre)
Lower Concourse
Fare gates (Helipad Exit), washrooms
Connection to HeliJet Helipad
Island platform, doors will open on the right
   SeaBus outbound towards Lonsdale Quay (Terminus)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
   SeaBus outbound towards Lonsdale Quay (Terminus)
Island platform, doors will open on the left


  • Cordova Street entrance (terminal building)  : a fully accessible entrance connecting all services at Waterfront Station. The entrance is located at the east end of platforms 1 and 2 (Expo Line) and north end of platform 3 and 4 (Canada Line).
  • Howe Street entrance: serves Canada Place, with underground connection to Sinclair Centre and Waterfront Centre at concourse level. No elevator is available at this entrance.
  • Granville Street entrance  : a new entrance opened 2009 in conjunction to the opening of the Canada Line. Located at the south end of platform 3 and 4 (Canada Line).

Transit connectionsEdit

  • Bus service on West Cordova Street, in front of the terminal building (Cordova entrance):
44 UBC
50 False Creek South
  • Bus service at nearby intersection of Cordova Street and Seymour Street across from the entrance:
3 Main
4 Powell
6 Davie
7 Nanaimo Station
8 Fraser
50 Waterfront Station
N8 Fraser
  • Bus service on Hastings Street, north of the Granville Street entrance:
95 Burrard Station B-Line
95 SFU B-Line
  • Bus service on Pender Street, south of the Granville Street entrance:
6 Davie
7 Dunbar
10 Granville
17 Oak
19 Stanley Park
19 Metrotown Station
22 MacDonald
22 Knight
209 Upper Lynn Valley (evening only)
210 Upper Lynn Valley
211 Seymour
214 Blueridge (PM peak only)
N6 Downtown Night Bus
N19 Downtown Night Bus
N22 Downtown Night Bus
N24 Downtown Night Bus
  • Additional service available on Granville Street:
4 Powell
5 Downtown
6 Downtown
7 Nanaimo Station
10 Downtown
14 UBC
14 Hastings
16 Arbutus
16 29th Avenue Station
17 Oak
20 Victoria
50 Waterfront Station
50 False Creet South

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Davis, Chuck. "The History of Metropolitan Vancouver - 1914 Chronology". Retrieved November 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ "2016 Transit Service Performance Review" (PDF). TransLink. Retrieved September 24, 2017. 
  3. ^ "More T signage is now up in downtown Vancouver", The Buzzer Blog, TransLink, January 27, 2010.
  4. ^ "Translink introduces new SkyTrain operating pattern on October 22". Translink. September 19, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ Photograph of CPR Station, foot of Granville, 1906, British Columbia Archives.
  6. ^ CPR station, undated photograph, British Columbia Archives, at Columbia Pacific.
  7. ^ Davis, Chuck (2008). "Today in Local History - October". Retrieved November 17, 2010. 

External linksEdit