Posted on February 25, 2016

Richmond is on track for fun

As Metro Vancouver forges ahead with transforming transit hubs into urban centers, amenities are proving to be a destination for residents and non-residents alike. Richmond’s seven Canada Line stations are providing the backbone for a host of urban amenities, as well as a jumping off point for those already in existence.

Bridgeport is where Richmond begins for rapid transit riders. Its star attraction is River Rock Casino Resort, with elegant architecture housing a casino, hotel and show theatre overlooking the Fraser River. It is Richmond’s destination for gaming, dining and entertainment. It is also a hub for buses to Delta and other destinations.

Passengers travelling across Sea Island to YVR come first to Templeton. Besides long-term parking for travellers, Templeton is rich with indoor and outdoor amenities. This is the stop for McArthurGlen Designer Outlet. Opened in 2015, the outlet mall has experienced success in the first year that exceeded expectations. Another attraction at Templeton is SEI, a manga-style steel sculpture by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. Its arching form mimics a leaping salmon or whale. Bring your bike along for a quick jaunt to McDonald Beach or the 4-kilometre Iona Jetty, where you can see the sculpture first-hand.

Travellers continuing to Richmond from Bridgeport station are on track for a multicultural shopping experience, beginning with Aberdeen Centre. The mall is home to several Asian retailers and other amenities. Several eateries between No. 3 Road and Garden City Road will satisfy the appetite. Afterwards, explore the dyke trail along the Fraser River. It follows the Lulu Island shoreline to Terra Nova Rural Park (45 minutes) and the historic fishing community of Steveston (a three-hour trek).

Bearing the name of the adjacent shopping complex, Lansdowne station is at the epicentre of downtown Richmond’s transformation. With significant new residential construction, as well as the campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Lansdowne offers jobs, shopping and recreational amenities. Soon, it will offer plenty of residential opportunity. One block east of the station, across Garden City Road, lie the 136.5 unspoiled acres of the Garden City lands (and further east, Richmond Nature Park). To the west is the dyke trail that follows the Fraser River, and the city’s iconic speed-skating oval built for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Brighouse – named for pioneer Samuel Brighouse – sits in the business heart of Richmond, steps from city hall, Richmond General Hospital, and the city’s largest shopping complex, Richmond Centre. The site of a hippodrome between 1920 and 1941, the area now bustles with a mix of cultures, each contributing their unique cuisine. Grocers and restaurateurs offer a variety of Asian cuisines, as well as Western favourites. Brighouse, like Bridgeport, is a transit hub, with buses departing for all parts of Richmond, North Delta and Surrey, opening up countless possibilities to keep visitors occupied.

Sea Island Centre
Set amid a cluster of industrial buildings, Sea Island Centre’s best-kept secret is pedestrian access to the Vancouver International Airport terminal. The path begins to the west of the station, across the staff parking lot, and winds through a small wooded area before reaching the terminal.

YVR Airport
Welcoming 20 million passengers a year, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is a key crossroads for the country and the continent. While the most common reason to travel to YVR Airport station is to utilize the airport, make sure to see the various public art pieces, including a cast of Haida artist Bill Reid’s famous sculpture Spirit of Haida Gwaii. Popularly known as The Jade Canoe - to distinguish it from an earlier cast known as The Black Canoe, installed at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C.- it is featured on Canada’s last paper $20 banknote.