Lions Gate Bridge gets all the kudos and much of the postcard space, but that's arguably due to being bookended by Stanley Park and the looming mountains. For many, the hulking green construction itself is not nearly as picturesque as the elegant Burrard Bridge that spans False Creek. Built to link downtown to Kitsilano and crammed with art-deco flourishes – torch-like lamps at either end, a jutting ship's-prow motif signifying the region's seafaring heritage – the yellow-painted lovely was opened in 1932.

The inauguration wasn't just a simple ribbon-cutting affair. Instead, a Royal Canadian Airforce seaplane was flown under the bridge deck to kick things off in a rather nail-biting fashion. Perhaps there'll be an attempt to recreate the festive spectacle for the centenary in a few years time. Or perhaps not.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Vancouver attractions

1. Granville Island Public Market

0.21 MILES

Granville Island's highlight is the covered Public Market, a multisensory smorgasbord of fish, cheese, fruit, teas and bakery treats (near-legendary Lee's…

2. Vanier Park

0.24 MILES

Winding around Kitsilano Point toward Kits Beach, waterfront Vanier Park is more a host than a destination. Home to three museums, it's also the venue for…

3. HR MacMillan Space Centre


Focusing on the wonderful world of space, admission to this kid-favorite museum includes a gallery of hands-on exhibits (don't miss the Mars section where…

4. Museum of Vancouver


The MOV serves up cool temporary exhibitions alongside in-depth permanent galleries of fascinating First Nations artifacts and evocative pioneer-era…

5. Kids Market

0.33 MILES

A kaleidoscopic mini shopping mall for under-10s (there's even a special child-size entrance door), the Kids Market is crammed with 25 family-friendly…

6. Railspur Alley

0.39 MILES

Seemingly far from the madding crowds of the Public Market – at least on summer days when every tourist in town seems to be there – this back-alley strip…

7. Totem Pole

0.46 MILES

Almost hidden in a quiet corner of Granville Island, this 17m-high pole was erected in 1999 and was carved via the joint efforts of more than 800 people…

8. Vancouver Maritime Museum

0.46 MILES

Teeming with salty seafaring artifacts, dozens of intricate ship models and a couple of walk-through recreated boat sections, the prize exhibit at this…