Richmond (Host City)

Known as “The Island City,” Richmond is situated on a group of islands at the mouth of the Fraser River, just off the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Richmond is sometimes referred to as “The Gateway to British Columbia”. It’s home to the Vancouver International Airport, is just a 30-minute drive from the Canada/U.S. border and is next door to the metropolis of Vancouver.

Richmond is also a venue city for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The newly constructed Richmond Olympic Oval will host the Olympic Winter Games’ exciting long track Speed Skating events. Richmond balances between two identities: it is modern, multicultural city on the one hand and a tranquil, maritime area on the other.

Due to its location on the Fraser River, Richmond has historically prospered as a fishing, canning and agricultural centre. This history is on full display in the nearby historic fishing village of Steveston, which attracts many visitors to its port and National Historic Sites.

Most of Richmond’s infrastructure exists on its two main islands, Lulu Island and Sea Island. Bridges and tunnels seamlessly connect the city to the Lower Mainland with Vancouver’s primary north-south highway crossing through the city.

Richmond is also very well known for its excellent Asian restaurants and markets - nearly 60 percent of the population here is of Chinese or South Asian ancestry.

  • Population (2006 Census)… 174,461
  • Distance from Vancouver… 13 km (8 mi)
  • Distance from Whistler… 137 km (85 mi)
  • Transportation to 2010 Winter Games Venue Cities

    The drive from Richmond to downtown Vancouver takes approximately 25 minutes. Public buses, including an express service, connect Richmond to Vancouver. The Canada Line rapid transit system, which is scheduled for completion at the end of 2009, will connect Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport to Vancouver via rapid transit. There are cycling routes from Richmond to Vancouver, although though it is a long cycle with some sections involving bridges and busy roads. Learn more about cheap car insurance!

    To West Vancouver:
    The driving time from Richmond to West Vancouver is approximately 40 minutes.

    Public buses, including an express service connect Richmond with West Vancouver.

    The Canada Line rapid transit system, scheduled for completion in late 2009, will also connect Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport to Vancouver. From Vancouver, passengers can then transfer to a bus for their onward journey to West Vancouver.

    There are cycling routes between Richmond and West Vancouver. Note that it is a long and challenging cycle with some sections involving bridges and busy roads.

    To Whistler:
    Driving from Richmond to Whistler takes approximately two hours and 15 minutes with the opportunity to take in postcard-perfect views along the famed Sea-to-Sky Highway.

    There is a shuttle bus between Richmond’s Vancouver International Airport to Whistler.


    Richmond has many large hotels with full amenities and restaurants. The majority are located in north Richmond and around the Vancouver International Airport. For those seeking a quieter base, there is also a hotel in the historic fishing village of Steveston.

    Bed and breakfasts are also available in Richmond and are primarily located in quiet, residential neighbourhoods.

    Things To Do

    Steveston Village maintains its old-world charm and has numerous National Historic Sites. An informative museum guides visitors to places of interest and the boardwalk area provides shopping and dining opportunities.

    Those interested in Richmond’s vibrant local arts scene should stop by the Richmond Art Gallery whose collection focuses on contemporary works by local artists.

    To explore Asian shopping and dining options, or experience the excitement of Chinese New Year celebrations, visit the Golden Village. Those interested in Buddhism can take in the exquisite palatial Chinese architecture at Richmond’s International Buddhist Temple.

    Snow sport enthusiasts are about an hour’s drive from the North Shore Mountains’ three renowned ski areas of Cypress, Seymour and Grouse mountains. Cypress Mountain also plays host to the freestyle skiing and snowboard events during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

    For nature views or a chance to spot some indigenous wildlife, take a walk along the Dyke Trail, the Richmond Nature Park or the jetty in the Iona Beach Regional Park.