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English Bay Beach

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English Bay Beach

The heritage sign at the English Bay Bathhouse.

© Chloë Ernst
Located near the intersection of Denman and Davie streets, English Bay is where West End residents come to play. The neighborhood is one of the densest in Canada, so the palm trees, water-view patios, rain forest-sized beach logs, and outdoor sculptures really set the tone for a lively beach scene.

History

Back in the 1930s, the bathhouse is where swimmers came to change into their wool bathing suits. The fashions have changed (and the bathhouse renovated) since then, but the sign prohibiting "immodest attire" remains. English Bay is also the spot where Joe Fortes taught Vancouver children to swim in the early 1900s. There's a bust (find it on the land side of Beach Avenue) dedicated to the beloved Bahamian, also known as Vancouver's first lifeguard.

Address: Beach Avenue at Denman Street
Neighborhood: West End
Bus: No. 6 along Davie Street
Parking: Pay parking, and also some street parking along Beach Avenue. Watch out for residential restrictions. Walk, bike, or bus instead.
Facilities: Concession, washrooms, volleyball courts, kayak rentals, swimming raft
Events: Jan. 1 Polar Bear Swim, Celebration of Light (fireworks)
Tips: English Bay is one of the busiest spots to watch the summer fireworks festival, the Celebration of Light.

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