Google Streetview

October 14, 2009

So Google Streetview has finally come to Canada. As useful as this is in everyday life/work, one of the things I've been using it for the most is taking a bit of a virtual tour of Vancouver. Below are some of the more relevant items in regards to our trip:

Our Hotel

Here is our Hotel at 733 Beatty Street. During the games, Beatty St. will be a closed off pedestrian area for most of the day. Not sure what they'll be filling the street with instead of cars, but I'm sure its going to be a lively area. On the Streetview, you can spin it around 180° and see how close we are to BC Place. I'd really love it if we ended up getting a room that overlooked the stadium!

Canada Hockey Place and BC Place

Default view here is of GM Place, to be renamed Canada Hockey Place during the games, as seen from the Georgia Viaduct. This is one of my favourite views I've come across, as it highlights just how close we are going to be to everything from the hotel. From the default view, you can swing 90° to the right, to see BC Place, and 180° to see our hotel. It’s the brown building with the smokestack partially obstructing it about 250 metres off. Similar to Beatty Street, the Georgia Viaduct will be closed off during the games.

BC Place is of course home to the Opening/Closing Ceremonies and the nightly Victory Ceremonies. One neat thing to see here are the numerous cranes operating around the building, working on upgrades to the roof in support of the Ceremonies.

I'm really glad that we've got the Day 10 Victory Ceremony ticket, just so that we have a chance to actually get inside the Main Olympic Stadium.

UBC Thunderbird Arena

This one is a little weird for me. Having attended a Canadian University for 5 years, I know what to expect from a Campus, and from a Campus Athletics Centre. It’s got to be a little weird for UBC to actually house an official Olympic venue. Nevertheless, above is a view of the UBC Thunderbird Arena, which is the secondary hockey venue. I'm really looking forward to the Canada v. Sweden women's hockey game there, as with such an intimate atmosphere, I bet the place will be rockin'.

Pacific Coliseum

Home to Figure Skating and Short-Track Speedskating, we will only make it over to the Pacific Coliseum once during our trip. Out in suburbia a bit when compared to the other venues, it has apparently gotten a complete facelift from what is shown here. Above that, I'm sure that all of these street-views will look very different during the games with all the building wraps, banners, adverts etc that are sure to be in place.

Richmond Olympic Oval

The so-called 'Crown-Jewel' of the games, the Richmond Olympic Oval is the #1 venue that I wanted to see while out there. We only get there once, and not until Day 16, but it'll totally be worth the wait. I'm really hoping to get out there well in advance of the event itself so that we can spend some time just wandering around the building, both inside and out. One thing I've noticed on the streetview however is how much of an industrial area the Oval is in. The large open field directly to the west of the Oval is particularly ugly. Hopefully things will be 'spruced up' a bit between the timing of this photo and the games.

Vancouver Olympic Centre

This is a great view of the Vancouver Olympic Centre, home to Curling. As you can see, they are still working on the finishing touches here in this photo, but I'm sure the venue will be amazing come the games. I'm still not sure how all that direct sunlight works from a practical point of view, but it should make for a great building.


Unfortunately, the Whistler venues are all just out of the reach of the Street view coverage areas, so instead, here is a view of the Whistler Village. Post-Bobsled on Day 12, I think we're definitely going to have to hit up for a bar down here. I'm sure the place is amazing in the winter normally, let alone during the games.


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About This Blog

This blog is the online chronicle of our adventures leading up to, and including, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope to give you a little insight into what went into planning our trip and a first hand look at the Games from the ground in Vancouver.

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