240 East Cordova Street used to be the address where Vancouver?s police officers, morticians, judges, and dead converged. The building, which was built in 1932, served as the city?s coroner?s court and morgue until the 1980s and the city analyst?s lab until 1995. Countless toxicology tests and several high-profile investigations have taken place between the building?s walls, including the Castellani Milkshake Murder and Errol Flynn?s autopsy. Fittingly, given the building?s significance to Vancouver's criminal-justice history, it is now home to the Vancouver Police Museum.
To date, the museum staff has curated a selection of approximately 20,000 historical artifacts, including confiscated weapons, counterfeit currency, photographs, paperwork, and vintage police vehicles. Currently, 40 per cent of the collection is on display in the museum?s several exhibits, one of which allows visitors to explore a coroner?s forensic lab. The museum also offers educational programs such as walking tours and a two-hour forensic-science program. During this program, guests scour a faux crime scene for clues and try to prevent the brash, young rookie cop from running off into the night to find the perpetrator.
The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) creates Vancouver-focused exhibitions and programs that encourage dynamic conversations about what was, is, and can be Vancouver. Permanent exhibitions tell the city’s stories from the early 1900s to the late 1970s and are complemented by contemporary, groundbreaking feature exhibits.
Since its rebranding in 2009 the MOV has become a leader in the reimagining of museums. Our exhibitions are Vancouver centric and designed to make the viewer think not just about the objects, but their greater context. We've played host to two Venice Biennale in Architecture projects. We've even gone so far as to hire a Curator of Contemporary Issues. We are a bold, contemporary museum, and we can't wait for you to visit.
Helmed by Artistic Director Leila Getz, the Vancouver Recital Society has drawn internationally acclaimed artists to British Columbia for more than three decades. Over the years, the society has dazzled audiences with concerts by celebrity cellist Yo-Yo Ma and recitals by violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman. With recitals spread across four of Vancouver’s most esteemed venues, the Vancouver Recital Society packs every season with esteemed and seasoned luminaries, while introducing audiences to future generations of classical royalty.
Tasked with the preservation of British Columbia’s rich railroading history, the West Coast Railway Association’s train enthusiasts curate and maintain a collection of vintage rolling stock and artifacts. The heart of the 90-piece collection lies in the scenic confines of the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. Visitors are free to wonder the space’s wide-open tracks, visiting locomotives including the Royal Hudson, along with rarities such as an 1890 business car and a gently snoring 1905 sleeping car. A miniature railway affords pleasant rides around the 12 acres of grounds. With many pieces of operational equipment still on hand, the association also offers frequent train tours to destinations across British Columbia.
A stream and a short bridge separate Burnaby Village Museum from the outside world. Crossing over is like stepping into a time machine, one that transports visitors back to a tram-stop community in the early 20th century. In fact, an original electric tram is still there, as is an entire town of living, breathing historical characters.
Size: a 10-acre living history town, with approximately 40 attractions and more than 50,000 artifacts that bring the the roaring 1920s back to life
Eye Catchers: Townsfolk?dressed in period costumes?who chat with visitors, give blacksmithing demonstrations, and show how to operate a printing press without a single lifehack
Crown Jewel: the C.W. Parker Carousel, a restored attraction from 1912 that sends riders around at 7 mph and plays music via a 1925 Wurlitzer Military band organ
Where to Eat: the old-fashioned ice cream parlor
Iconic Building: the 1893 Love Farmhouse, which is the oldest building in Burnaby
Special Programs: tours, black-and-white movie screenings, and seasonal Market Mondays that sell locally made goods
The Whale Museum’s exhibits illustrate the natural history of marine mammals, placing special emphasis on the three orca pods that frolic in San Juan waters from May through September. Visitors can watch a looped 30-minute video on Pacific Northwest whales, or listen to the songs of various species in the Whale Phone Booth, which doubles as a superhero transformation chamber. Members enjoy discounts on educational programs and 10 percent off at the museum store.