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A bird’s-eye view of the crowds from the Vancouver Lookout

The Waterfront lineup for the Canada Line at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.

The Waterfront lineup for the Canada Line at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 17.

When the lineups started during the 3 p.m. rush hour at Waterfront on Wednesday, February 17, I got very curious to see how long they actually were — so I rode up to the observation deck at the Vancouver Lookout to get the long view!

And don’t worry: the crowd shot might be a bit intimidating, but the lineup was really moving quite briskly. Click the photo to see the larger version — you can spot tiny blue people directing everyone!

Here’s a few more shots of the city’s Olympic crowds that I got from on high. Click all the photos for much larger versions!

The crowds headed to the torch.

The crowds headed to the torch.

Here’s all the crowds of folks headed to see the Olympic flame. This is still the number one question asked at Waterfront Station — although one transit host said they were getting a lot of questions about where to find fried chicken lately (who knows why??)

Lineup for the 135 on Hastings St, heading to Pacific Coliseum.

Lineup for the 135 on Hastings St, heading to Pacific Coliseum.

I eventually figured out that this was the lineup for the 135 to Pacific Coliseum, at the stop on Hastings and Granville. Short track speed skating was beginning soon, so lots of people were headed that way.

Can you spot the spare buses?

Can you spot the spare buses?

Some of our spare buses are being kept on one of the viaducts near Canada Hockey Place, ready to help with routes nearby. Can you see them?

The Olympic Village!

The Olympic Village!

And here’s the Olympic Village!


  • By Sally, February 18, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

    Nice photos! I would love to see the crowds on Robson Square from above!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 18, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

    You couldn’t see Robson Square from the Lookout! It was obscured by some buildings. I could kind of see the huge mass of pedestrians wandering about on Robson, but that was as close as I could get.

    And on that note, anyone got an office on a high floor close to Robson Square? I’d love to come by :)

  • By Paul, February 19, 2010 @ 2:28 am


    Got a question about the queue system. Are most of those lineups to get onto the train or to use the TVMs. Reason I ask is I have a monthly pass. I’m heading downtown on sunday with my parents. I don’t want to get into a lineup of people who are waiting to use a TVM.

    I guess my basic question is have they separated people who have passes from those that don’t?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 19, 2010 @ 7:21 am

    Those people are headed for both the Canada Line to use the machines and get on the train — they did not seem to be differentiating between them. But since they let people in only a few at a time to use the trains, there is ample time for people to purchase tickets without creating a huge lineup, and those who have passes can just go past them and get on the trains. Almost all people seemed to be carrying a event ticket or prepaid fares though.

  • By ;-), February 19, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    I was at the VCS station last night at 11pm and noticed a line of 40 people. I looked around and found it was for the TVM. I walked passed it and flashed my monthly pass.

    Yes, I too noticed the transit armada on the viaducts. Jhen should request the drivers take some pictures from this historic moment. The viaducts may be removed in the near future.

  • By ..., February 19, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

    There’s also about 12 buses parked near VCC-Clark… D40s… Spare?

  • By Dave 2, February 19, 2010 @ 10:20 pm

    Re the photo 04-buses-viaduct.jpg Here’s a photo I have taken from the “Sears Tower” (as we used to call Harbour Centre back in the day) taken in 1981.

  • By Gregory of, February 20, 2010 @ 1:29 am

    Seeing the photo of the Waterfront queue from above, it looks like it should be so tempting to snake it to be in line with the coloured paving. I suppose as a transit host on the ground you wouldn’t see that opportunity, or they are too busy continuing to give a friendly smile to everyone.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 20, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    Dave 2! That’s awesome! How our city has changed!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 20, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    Those are spares. We have those 160+ extra buses tucked away in places all over the region to supplement routes where needed. For example, 51 buses are hanging out near Pacific Coliseum to pick up crowds exiting that venue!

  • By Dave 2, February 22, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    Jhenifer, ain’t that the truth! Even by 1985 that view had totally changed, with all of the rail yards and the associated buildings cleared out, the opening of the Expo Preview Centre (now Science World) and the construction of Skytrain … And now, you can’t even _see_ Science World with all the highrises

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Downtown Vancouver in 1981 and today — March 11, 2010 @ 9:00 am

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