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Yes, we have similar questions for Manhattan and London, but having just moved to Vancouver I'm keen to find something here - there are a lot of skyscrapers downtown, but I know nothing about them.

Either downtown with a good view of the harbour and mountains, or maybe elsewhere with a good view of downtown. It doesn't need to be a building, just be easy to get to, cheap or free, and publicly available.

So Grouse Mountain probably doesn't work, as it is currently covered in snow and costs to get up, and is far away, although I've been told the views are spectacular.

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Isn't Grouse Mountain free to get up as long as you walk? –  Gagravarr May 4 '12 at 10:01
    
I thought you had to pay something? Moot anyway, as the trail is closed for a month at least, still covered in snow :( –  Mark Mayo May 4 '12 at 10:03
    
@Gagravarr the trail up to the top is called the Grouse Grind - people run up it! –  Kate Gregory May 4 '12 at 11:45
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Harbour Centre Building is pretty central and offers a view from 168.60 m over the city. Just make sure you go there when it's clear, and not foggy/rainy outside.

Harbour Centre Building

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Two related places spring to mind, which are only a short distance away from the city centre. You can cycle to them, and do them both on the same trip, so that might help!

Firstly, I'd suggest you head to Stanley Park. If you head out to the easterly point, you get great views over the city, the harbour and the mountains. It's not very high here, but nice views!

Next, carry on round (it's largely one way round the park for bikes), and head up onto the Lions Gate Bridge. (You need to come a little way inland to get on). Pick the right hand side, and follow the cycle route onto the bridge. Pause around the first pylon, and you're now rather high up with stunning views!

Finally, head back the way you came, and then round the western side of Stanley Park. You're quite high up initially, so you can get nice views over English Bay and to UBC.

I believe there are also some trails in the mountains which are free to go up. The maps around Lynn Valley certainly suggested it, but I've only done the bits around the canyon bridge there, didn't have time to go much higher...

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One of my friends took photos when we did this, but I can't remember which one so I can't link to them in the answer :( –  Gagravarr May 4 '12 at 10:18
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