Downtown Vancouver is the southeastern portion of the peninsula in the north-central part of the City of Vancouver. It is the business, commercial, cultural, financial, government, and entertainment centre of the city and the Metro Vancouver and Lower Mainland regions.
The downtown area is generally considered to be bounded by Burrard Inlet to the north, Stanley Park and the West End to the west, False Creek to the south, and the Downtown Eastside to the east. Most sources include the full downtown peninsula (adding the West End neighbourhood and Stanley Park) as downtown Vancouver, but the City of Vancouver defines them as separate neighbourhoods.
Besides the readily identifiable office towers of the financial and central business districts, Downtown Vancouver also includes residential neighbourhoods in the form of high-rise apartment and condominiums, in Yaletown and Coal Harbour. Other downtown neighbourhoods include the Granville Mall and Entertainment District, Downtown's South, Gastown, Japantown, and Chinatown.
Downtown Vancouver, with the West End and Stanley Park.
The downtown area includes most of the remaining historic buildings and many of the larger notable buildings in the region.
The presence of water on three sides limits access to downtown Vancouver. There are four major bridges: the Lions Gate Bridge, connecting to the North Shore municipalities and the Trans Canada Highway, the Burrard Street Bridge, Cambie Street Bridge, and Granville Street Bridge provides access to the commercial and residential areas south of False Creek.
The historic Waterfront Station is the principle transit hub for the downtown core. There are six subway stations located in downtown Vancouver running on three SkyTrain lines: the Expo Line, Millennium Line, and Canada Line. The Expo and Millennium lines travel from the historic Waterfront Station at the foot of the central harbor and through the old Dunsmuir Tunnel to the east. Canada Line travels from Waterfront Station and tunnels south under Granville Street and Davie Street, linking downtown to central Richmond and Vancouver International Airport. SeaBus is a passenger-only ferry that connects from Waterfront Station to the North Shore in 10–12 minutes. The West Coast Express commuter rail system travels from Waterfront Station to the eastern suburbs and exurbs. Terminals are also available near Waterfront Station for float planes and helicopters.
Most north-south Vancouver bus routes serve Downtown Vancouver, in addition to suburban routes from the North Shore, Burnaby, the Tri-Cities, Richmond, Delta, and South Surrey.
The bus rapid transit line 98 B-Line had eight stops in the downtown core, primarily along Seymour Street and Burrard Street. This service was replaced on August 17, 2009 by SkyTrain's Canada Line.
There are two private passenger water taxi operators (False Creek Ferries and The Aquabus), providing service between several downtown neighbourhoods, False Creek, and Granville Island.
The city is planning to extend the downtown streetcar from its current route of Granville Island to the Main Street SkyTrain station, with future plans extending it to Chinatown and then to Stanley Park.
There are two major sporting facilities in the downtown core, Rogers Arena (formerly GM Place) and BC Place Stadium. The NHL's Vancouver Canucks play at Rogers Arena, while the CFL's BC Lions and the MLS's Vancouver Whitecaps FC use the neighbouring BC Place Stadium. SkyTrain Stadium-Chinatown station provides easy rapid transit access to the district.