Responding to the city’s plea for more green spaces, Vancouver built the Arbutus Greenway—a former 1900s railway track transformed into a vibrant urban oasis.
This paved pathway offers a ton of recreational possibilities! So if you want to discover where to stay, dine and what to do, check out our guide below!
- What is the Arbutus Greenway?
- How long is the Arbutus Greenway?
- Things to Know about Arbutus Greenway
- Time Zone
- Best Time to Go
- How to Get to Arbutus Greenway
- Things to Do in the Arbutus Greenway
- Where to Stay Near the Arbutus Greenway
- Where to Eat Near the Arbutus Greenway
- Apps to Download for a Trip to the Arbutus Greenway
What is the Arbutus Greenway?
The Arbutus Greenway is a 9-kilometer pathway for walking, jogging, and biking, extending from False Creek to the Fraser River. But, this wasn’t always the case.
You see, it used to be a former railway, built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in the 20th century. Its mission: connect Vancouver to the fishing and canning hub of Steveston along the Fraser River.
Steveston, a city of up to 10,000 people during fishing season, welcomed the “Sockeye Limited” in 1902, offering two daily trains. In 1905, BC Electric Company expanded the service, but by the 1950s, car culture and budget woes derailed the railroads.
Freight trains chugged on until 2001, but when the last one left the station, community gardens and pedestrians claimed the corridor. The CPR aimed for development, but a legal battle saw the city prevail.
In 2016, Vancouver took the reins, purchasing the Arbutus Greenway for $55 million, paving the way for a green, non-motorized pathway connecting communities from False Creek to the Fraser River.
How long is the Arbutus Greenway?
The Arbutus Greenway is 8.5 kilometers long, stretching along Arbutus Street’s eastern side and West Boulevard, extending from Fir Street to Milton Street.
It begins at the Marpole Museum and takes you on a scenic adventure through William Mackie Park, 68th Avenue, Riverview Park, and onward to the illustrious West Boulevard.
Along the way, you’ll explore the charming neighborhoods of Kerrisdale, Shaughnessy, and Kitsilano.
Things to Know about Arbutus Greenway
We have to warn you, parking is like a rare gem along this route, mainly found in commercial hotspots near West Broadway, West 41st Avenue, and West 57th Avenue.
So, if you’re hunting for that elusive parking spot, keep your eyes peeled in these areas! As an alternative, you may want to just take public transit as it’s fairly accessible via bus and the Skytrain.
The Arbutus Greenway has four toilets in all. One is in William Mackie Park, another in Kerrisdale, another near Arbutus Street, and the last near Burrard.
Pacific Standard Time (PST) (UTC-8)
Best Time to Go
The best time to go on the Arbutus Greenway is around the summer and spring months, from April to September.
This is when the climate in the city is most pleasant and the greenway is in full bloom. During these months, visitors can enjoy the vibrant colors of blooming flowers and lush greenery.
How to Get to Arbutus Greenway
- By car: From downtown Vancouver, go to Dunsmuir Street, turn left onto Howe Street, and continue on BC-99 S. Take the Fir Street Exit, turn right onto W 16th Ave, and then left onto Arbutus Street.
- By bus: Take the N10 bus from NB Seymour Street, get off at SB Granville Street, and it’s an 18-minute walk to the Arbutus Greenway.
Things to Do in the Arbutus Greenway
Cycle along the Arbutus Greenway
Address: Arbutus Greenway, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The bike path at Arbutus Greenway spans 8.5 kilometers along the east side of Arbutus Street and West Boulevard, extending from Fir Street to Milton Street. It winds through various neighborhoods and a community garden.
As you roll into the Kerrisdale neighborhood, you’ll notice a slight elevation gain. But don’t fret; there’s a downhill stretch leading to the Fraser River and the journey towards downtown.
Check Out the Lively Neighborhood of Granville Island
Address: Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Phone: 604 666-6655
When you take a stroll along the Arbutus Greenway, it’s highly probable that you’ll end up at Granville Island. This lively neighborhood boasts a famous public market, one-of-a-kind shops, and tempting restaurants.
Granville Island is not just a hotspot for culture and urban charm; it also hosts special events, from live music performances to bars, making it a cultural and social gem in the city.
Shop at West 4th Avenue
Address: West 4th Avenue, between Fir & Balsam, Vancouver, BC, Canada
West 4th Avenue has been a renowned hub for fashion, dining, and nightlife since 1923. It boasts a thriving community of over 240 business members and more than 150 commercial property owners.
This area spans over 8 blocks, offering a range of fashion boutiques, restaurants, and the city’s most extensive collection of outdoor and active lifestyle retailers. You’ll also find upscale day spas and salons.
Walk along Arbutus Ridge
Address: Arbutus Ridge, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Arbutus Ridge, located in Vancouver’s upscale West Side, is an affluent residential neighborhood. Its tree-lined streets and contemporary homes create a setting reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands.
It’s quite relaxing to take a walk in this community and witness striking views of the North Shore mountains. And if you’re up for some exploration, you can easily reach popular destinations like the Pacific Spirit Regional Park and Jericho Beach.
Take in the Views at Fraser River Park
Address: 8705 Angus Dr, Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2, Canada
Phone: +1 604-873-7000
The waterfront park along the Arbutus Greenway is a haven of tranquility and inspiration. It strikes a delightful balance between natural beauty and well-designed spaces.
This park is perfect for a picnic, offering expansive, rolling lawns and picturesque vistas of the Fraser River. You can also explore the boardwalks that meander amidst groves of poplar and alder trees, creating a serene and scenic atmosphere.
Where to Stay Near the Arbutus Greenway
Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre
Address: 711 W. Broadway, Heather St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3Y2, Canada
At the Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre, you’ll enjoy up-to-date rooms equipped with flat-screen TVs, mini fridges, and coffee makers. Plus, this modern hotel has you covered with free Wi-Fi access all around the place.
Additionally, you’ll find a restaurant serving West Coast cuisine, an indoor pool, a fitness center, and paid parking.
Vancouver West Cozy Retreat
Address: 1106 W 49th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M 2P8, Canada
What makes Vancouver West Cozy Retreat stand out is its awesome location – it’s just a quick Uber ride away from all the places you want to check out. Plus, you’ll be staying in a stunning modern home.
In this snug spot, you can snag rooms with a view of the mountains, and each room comes with a coffee maker. They’ve got you covered with comfy bed linens and towels in every room.
Address: 2465 W 6th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1W2, Canada
In the heart of Kitsilano, this lovely craftsman home offers clean suites with fully equipped kitchens. It’s all about the ideal location and the extra little touches that make Kitsilano Suites feel like home.
The TV subscription here is top-notch, offering a variety of programming plus the perk of free parking right at your doorstep. A short stroll in any direction leads you to shops, grocery stores, wine shops, and some truly great restaurants.
Best Western Plus
Address: 1041 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6P 6L6, Canada
The Best Western Plus hotel is a great value for travelers. It’s your typical airport hotel—it’s accessible and you have all the basic necessities such as comfortable rooms, complimentary breakfast, and a convenient shuttle service to the airport.
All 137 guestrooms sport a 43-inch TV, individual climate control, mini-fridge, in-room safe, and windows that you can actually open. Don’t expect any fancy amenities here, though.
Address: 1100 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y7, Canada
The Burrard, originally a motor hotel from 1956, oozes character in every nook and cranny. Plus, they throw in some great perks like free WiFi, Nespresso machines in all 72 rooms, and a nifty city guide to keep you in the know.
When it comes to rooms, you’ve got three choices: King, Queen, and Double. Each one strikes a cool balance between a modern and retro feel, giving the place a one-of-a-kind and welcoming vibe.
Where to Eat Near the Arbutus Greenway
Address: 2411 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M 2A5, Canada
Phone: +1 604-263-1774
Since 1975, Minerva’s Restaurant has been a Kerrisdale community favorite, famous for its hand-pressed pizzas, sizzling charbroiled steaks, comforting pastas, and authentic Greek specialties.
While the prices lean a bit upscale, the flavors and plating more than justify it. The atmosphere strikes a balance between elegance and casualness, and they even offer an outdoor patio for a delightful dining experience.
Address: 2143 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M 1Z6, Canada
Phone: +1 778-371-8971
For authentic Thai cuisine, Baan Wasana is the place to be. Since 2005, they’ve been dishing out authentic flavors that capture the essence of Thai food: sweet (waan), sour (brieow), salty (kem), and spicy (ped).
Don’t miss their Pla Sam Rod (Sweet And Sour Fish) – a standout on the menu. This dish features deep-fried fish mixed with tomato, onion, pineapple, cucumber, and bell peppers, all stir-fried in a delightful Thai-style sweet and sour sauce.
Shota Sushi & Grill
Address: 5688 Yew St, Vancouver, BC V6M 3Y3, Canada
Phone: +1 604-263-8068
Shota Sushi & Grill is your go-to for Japanese cuisine with endless sushi and hearty hotpot brimming with tasty meats and veggies. Don’t miss out on their combo meals for a diverse culinary experience.
Kick things off with their chicken karaage – it’s a fantastic appetizer. And while you’re at it, why not order some rice to pair with their flavorful dishes? The restaurant also offers a variety of traditional Japanese desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Address: 5395 West Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6M 3W4, Canada
Phone: +1 604-267-7499
Bufala, hailed by Vancouver Magazine as the epicenter of Kerrisdale’s culinary scene, is your go-to spot for Napolitan-style pizzas, crafted from scratch and cooked to perfection in their 800-degree stone oven.
They also offer a delectable range of Italian-inspired small plates and desserts. Don’t forget to complement your meal with a choice of cocktails, wines, craft beers, or a cup of espresso.
Address: 2129 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M 1Z6, Canada
Phone: +1 778-379-8889
ZUBU Ramen is your go-to spot for fully customizable ramen. You can deck out your bowl with a wide array of toppings like egg, garlic, Japanese leek, Nori, corn, bamboo shots, and plenty more.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, give the spicy chicken ramen a go. The broth is hearty and full of flavor, creating a delicious foundation for the dish. Even if you opt for the regular spicy version, it still packs a noticeable punch.
Apps to Download for a Trip to the Arbutus Greenway
Bikemap: cycling app that lets you discover new bike routes and navigate trails.
Vancouver Transit Live: real time schedule of Vancouver BC’s TransLink buses.
Van311:request city services, get emergency updates, and report City maintenance issues.