FlyOver Canada is an eight-minute experience that takes you by helicopter over some of Canada’s most iconic places. From cowboys rounding up horses on the prairies, to the tops of the Rockies, the experience is nothing short of astounding.
What Canadian city is host to the FlyOver Canada flight simulation? [Click on the tabs above to find out the answer and learn more about experiencing FlyOver Canada.]
The FlyOver Canada experience is in Vancouver, Canada at Canada Place. The land where it sits downtown, by the cruise ship pier, has a long history. In fact, it was used by the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad) as Pier B-C for its coast to coast railroad , which was completed in 1885.
Canada Place, itself, was created as the Canadian Pavilion for the Expo ’86 World Fair. FlyOver Canada opened at Canada Place on June 29, 2013.
How was FlyOver Canada Created?
Rick Rothschild served as Creative Director for FlyOver Canada. Click here for an interview with Rothschild. Originally, the 20-metre-tall domed screen showing FlyOver Canada was an Imax Theatre.
Motion Theater, such as FlyOver Canada, has been around for a few decades. In fact, my first experience with motion theater was in 2000 at Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. I loved it!
The biggest difference between these early forms of motion theater and FlyOver Canada is in how you explore the environment. In Star Trek, I rode in a shuttle that dipped and dove through space. With FlyOver Canada, I felt the air more like a bird might. I shivered with the breeze and cold mist blowing off icebergs and felt my stomach drop as I swooped into canyons.
Indeed, FlyOver Canada is all about capturing live action. How did they film it? By using a Phantom 65 digital camera with a Nikon spherical lens — and a helicopter. The trick to the 3-D effect (created without glasses) is basically that both close and distant objects are projected. Want to know more? Here’s an interview with Rothschild.
Canada Place is situated in downtown Vancouver, BC, on the waterfront. It’s a great place to explore if you’re boarding a cruise ship from the Cruise Terminal — in fact, 900,000 cruise passengers visit Canada Place annually.
How Do You Get to Canada Place?
There are, of course, lots of ways to get to downtown Vancouver. On my adventure, I took the Skytrain from the Vancouver Airport. Here’s a link to a FAQ sheet on finding the boarding point and buying a ticket. I found it easy, as the train goes directly to Canada Place and takes just 25 minutes. You do need to purchase a 2 zone ticket though — I only purchased a 1 zone, so had to go back to a ticketing machine to add the extra dollar-and-a-half before I could leave the station when I arrived!
What’s at Canada Place?
While FlyOver Canada and the Cruise Terminal are the main attractions at Canada Place, there are a few other things to see.
Click here for days open and admission fees: https://www.flyovercanada.com/hours-pricing/
My favorite spot was the Port of Vancouver Discovery Centre. It uses videos, touchscreen infographics and artifacts to tell the Port’s history.
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Adventures from an historic train ride being chased by outlaws on horseback to seeing a threshing machine harvest grain at the museum to a pitchfork fondue supper!
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The Inglis Grain Elevators National Historic Site at Inglis, Manitoba, provides examples of the prairie giants that once were the icons of Canadian plains.
The Top of the World Highway runs through Yukon’s unglaciated mountain ridges providing amazing views, especially on the Trek Over the Top snowmobile run.
Churchill, Manitoba, has amazing adventures during the winter, with experiences from viewing the Northern Lights to riding in a tundra buggy to dogsledding.
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About the Photo
The photo in the header was taken by Linda Aksomitis at the FlyOver Canada simulator experience.