Finally: here’s the skinny on Canada Line’s opening day and the many celebrations surrounding it!
Fare-free day: what to expect on Canada Line’s opening day
- Ride the Canada Line for free from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, August 17! Remember that fare-free day applies to Canada Line only: fares are required on the rest of the TransLink network, including SkyTrain.
- Get on at any station! Entertainment, giveaways, and more are planned for almost all stations (see the list below), and “welcome portals” with lots of info are at four stations (Vancouver City Centre, Broadway-City Hall, Oakridge, Bridgeport, Lansdowne).
- Bikes won’t be allowed on Canada Line owing to crowds. But you can leave your ride with the Bike Valet at three stations: Broadway-City Hall, Oakridge, and Marine Drive Stations. Strollers can be left with Bike Valet too.
- Big crowds are expected, so be prepared for long waits. Depending on the station, crowds, and time of day, the wait could range from a few minutes to an hour or more.
- If you get off at a station, you have to line up again to get back on the train. But trains run about four minutes apart, and at selected stations, you can get your special Canada Line passport stamped—collect all the stamps and you could win a grand prize worth thousands of dollars (more on that over here.)
- Dress for the weather and the waits! Wear shoes you don’t mind standing in, check the forecast, and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us. Canadian Springs will be offering free water along the line too.
- To reduce crowding at Waterfront Station on opening day, people coming into downtown Vancouver are encouraged to get off at Vancouver City Centre. You can walk up Granville Street to get to Waterfront Station or reach the Expo and Millennium Lines through Vancouver Centre Mall and The Bay.
- Bathrooms, information and first aid help can be found all along the line — check our opening day map for locations and a brief description of the entertainment at the stations. (Add .pdf to the end of the map filename if you’re using Firefox on a Mac.)
Entertainment and prizes along the line
- Musicians, magicians, giveaways and more are planned for almost every station along the line! I’ll point out highlights here, but here’s the full list of planned entertainment (subject to change), and a PDF version of the same list.
- Again, check this handy opening day map from our Canada Line section for a brief description of the entertainment at each stations (plus bathroom locations and more).
- Get a souvenir Canada Line passport while quantities last, have it stamped at 11 stations along the line, and you could win thousands of dollars in gift cards from Lansdowne Centre, Pacific Centre, Oakridge Centre and Richmond Centre. (Stamping locations are on the opening day map!)
- Three stations will have opening ceremonies starting around 12-1pm
- Broadway-City Hall (around noon with Vancouver city council)
- Bridgeport (around 12:45 p.m. organized by River Rock Casino—first person to enter the station wins a River Rock package!)
- Richmond-Brighouse (around 12:45 p.m. with Richmond city council)
- Waterfront Station will have musicians on hand, plus take a short walk to the new Canada Place Welcome Centre — play Canadian trivia and win prizes, collect pins, and get temporary tattoos!
- At Vancouver City Centre, Pacific Centre will be giving away goodie bags and chances to win shopping sprees! The Bay will also be on hand promoting Olympic merchandise and more.
- At Yaletown-Roundhouse, the Roundhouse Community Centre will pull out their steam train, Old 374, for a public viewing.
- At Broadway-City Hall, the Cambie Village Welcome booth will give away goodie bags with special offers from Cambie merchants along the Cambie corridor.
- King Edward Station will have Paralympic curling demonstrations (it’s closest station to the curling venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games).
- At Oakridge-41st Ave, two Jewish community groups will unveil mosaics to be installed in the sidewalks near the station, and Oakridge Centre will give away chances to win a shopping spree.
- At Langara-49th Ave, Langara College invites you to enjoy hot dogs and coffee at their new sustainable library building, just steps from the station!
- At Bridgeport, the River Rock Casino is bringing their Elvis out to sing, plus giving away Mardi Gras beads, buffet coupons, and more.
- Lansdowne Station will have Paralympic basketball demonstrations, plus Lansdowne Centre is offering horse and carriage rides to the mall, and chances to win a trip to Whistler!
- Richmond-Brighouse will have a Chinese lion dance performance, and folks from Richmond Centre will have chances to win a $2,500 shopping spree.
- And at YVR-Airport, check out the new observation deck, see a working Lego model of the Canada Line, get a free frozen treat and more!
- Once more, the super useful opening day map from our Canada Line section is a quick guide to all this entertainment, bathroom locations, bike valet spots, and more!