"Snow in January" Top 5 Page for this destination Vancouver Travelogue by Carmanah

Vancouver Travel Guide: 3,957 reviews and 8,257 photos

If you're not familiar with Vancouver, you'd probably think,

"Oh... snow in Vancouver. This is Canada. In Canada, it snows. I guess this is typical Vancouver scenery from November until March".

But it's not like that at all.

Vancouver is lucky because, unlike the rest of Canada, the city doesn't get snow regularly in the winter. Being on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, the winds coming off the water warm the air in Vancouver, and it rarely gets cold enough for it to snow. That's why there's a lot of rain in Vancouver, but very little snow.

But when it does snow, people notice - because it hardly ever happens! And that's why, when it snowed on January 27, 2002, I just had to take the bus downtown so I could capture the snowy city before it melted.

Usually when it snows in Vancouver, it only lasts for a day or a two. And generally, Vancouver might get one or two snowfalls a year. In the winter of 2002-2003, it only snowed once - for a few hours around Christmas, but then it immediately melted as fast as it fell.

Snow is a rarity in Vancouver, so with that, I present you with a rare view of the snowy city!

The tourist-trap yet classic Steam Clock in Gastown. Though it "chimes" out of tune, it's fun to have a drink at the Starbucks (in the background), and watch the tourists take pictures of that silly thing.

Vancouver's first real snowfall in January 2002

Granville Building, 700 block of Granville Street, downtown Vancouver. This has to be my favourite clock in the city.

The other side of the Art Gallery. The trees were so beautiful...

Robson Square - a good view of part of the city's skyline. The tall glass building (the Sheraton Wall Centre) to the mid-left is currently the tallest building in the city.

The old post office from the 1970's and prior - now the upscale and prestigious Sinclair Centre mall. The contrast between 19th and 20th century architecture's very apparent through Vancouver.

Gastown's Water Street - looking very lonely on a Sunday afternoon.

My favourite building - the Russian-looking Dominion building in Gastown - one of the more unique and older buildings in the city.

Another favourite of mine - the Sun Tower. This ancient building on the corner of Beatty and Pender in Gastown is a contrast from recently-built Tinseltown Mall a few blocks down the road (in the background).

Another popular hangout of mine - the Vancouver Public library's main downtown branch.

The 600 block of Granville - only buses and taxis are supposed to drive down this block. Usually bustling with buskers, beggars and shoppers, it was rather quiet for a Sunday afternoon.

The Vancouver Art Gallery and the famous green copper roof of the Hotel Vancouver.

Earlier that day...

This was looking out the same window - this time looking north-west. You can see our snow-covered Japanese plum tree in our front yard and a car trying to plough its way through the snow.

This was the view out my computer room window, from the 2nd floor of my house looking north-east out to our snow-covered street.

Of course... the beauty about snow in Vancouver is that a few days later, it all melts away. ;)

  • Page Updated Nov 23, 2004
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