Welcome to Vancouver
Situated on Vancouver Harbour, looking across to Grouse Mountain
and Mt. Fromme, and within walking distance to Stanley Park
, Vancouver is a spectacular place to host the CYTO 2019 Congress. With an outstanding local dining scene
, a walkable downtown
with an efficient, easy transit system
, and a score of outdoor and cultural activities
all year round, Vancouver consistently rates among the best conference venues in North America -- and it even produces its own honey
! The convention centre is also the first double LEED Platinum convention center in the world, marking its green design and practices.
Here are some other helpful resources:
The Congress will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, overlooking Coal Harbor and adjacent to the seawall. Find a map of downtown Vancouver here.
999 Canada Pl
V6C 3E1, Canada
Banking and Foreign Exchange
In Canada, the Canadian dollar (CAD) is the unit of currency. Canadian banknotes come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 1000 denominations. The bills are made of a special polymer which can be slippery. 1 dollar equals 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 1¢ (penny), 5¢ (nickel), 10¢ (dime), 25¢ (quarter), $1 (loonie), and $2 (toonie). Pennies are being phased out so are becoming increasingly hard to find, and prices have been rounded to the nearest nickel since 2013. Credit and debit card payments are not rounded. Click here for more information about currency.
Banking hours are typically 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks are open limited hours on Saturdays. ATMs are readily available but may charge a fee.
There are ATMs close to the convention centre as well as nearby currency exchange.
June is a nice time to visit Vancouver. The average daily temperature ranges from 21 degrees Celsius (69 degrees Fahrenheit) to 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit). Click here to check what to wear.
Most Vancouver landlines start with the phone code 604, followed by a seven-digit number. Areas outside Metro Vancouver will use 250.
Many residential and business phone numbers can be found at:
Yellow Pages – www.yp.ca
Canada411 – www.Canada411.ca
Vancouver brings together outstanding produce, fabulous seafood, and a thriving immigrant community and combines it with an established wine scene and growing brewery and distillery communities to create an amazing culinary adventure. Click here for an overall view of where to eat and what’s available, and click here to see the restaurants with the best views. Vancouver has a thriving coffee scene too – it was the first international location for Starbuck – so if you are an enthusiastic imbiber of joe, click here for more information. Click here for information on wine, breweries, and bars. Please note that the legal drinking age in Canada is 19. You may be asked for two pieces of ID to purchase alcohol in a restaurant or bar; one must be government issued (like a passport) and one must show name and signature (like a credit card).
Electric power is set at 110 volts and the standard frequency is 60- Hz, just like in the United States. The outlets are the same as well. If you bring an electrical appliance to Canada, you may need an adaptor to fit the electrical receptacles. You may also need a converter to change the voltage to 120 volts if you come from a country where it is 220. If you check the label on your appliance and it says “INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz,” it will likely not need a converter (common for laptop/tablet chargers, cameras, and cell phones).
When emergency police services, fire or medical assistance is needed, dial 911. If English is not your first language and you would feel more comfortable communicating in your primary language, you can ask to speak to someone in your language when you call. More information on emergency services can be found by clicking here.
Visa and eTA
Please visit the Canadian government visitor website at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit for information regarding visas and eTAs. Travelers are advised to apply for a visa or eTA as early as possible. Please find your local Canadian consulate or embassy by clicking here. If you are not sure if you come from a country that requires a visa, please click here. Click here for specific instructions on how to apply for a Canadian visa. Check processing times by clicking here.
Visitors arriving from or transiting through the United States may consider visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for requirements to enter or return to the United States and for information concerning the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
As of March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly or transit through Canada (except U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa) will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). To check if you require an eTA, click here. For a helpful video, and to access eTA information in multiple languages, click here. You can apply online for your eTA by clicking here. Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, and U.S. citizens do not need an eTA. U.S. permanent residents travelling by air will need an eTA.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are a foreign student or scholar living or studying in the United States and have specific questions about your ability to reenter the United States after attending CYTO 2019, please contact your nearest consulate or embassy and/or your international student office. For complete information from the U.S. Department of State, please click here.
ISAC has secured a housing block for attendees and exhibitors across three hotels near the Vancouver Congress Centre.
The official language of the Congress is English. Translation service will not be provided.
The CYTO badge must be worn at all times for admission to the scientific sessions, exhibits, and social events.
Smoking is banned in all indoor public places in the City of Vancouver, including all dining establishments, public transport, shopping malls, pubs, nightclubs, and casinos. Outdoors, smoking is banned in all Metro Vancouver parks, including the seawall and on beaches. Smoking is not permitted within 6 meters/6.5 yards of any entryway, openable window, or building air intake. Please observe posted signs and only smoke in designated areas.
Aside from items including liquor and accommodations, most purchases in British Columbia are subject to a 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and a federal 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Liquor is subject to a 10% PST and accommodation is subject to 8% PST and 3% hotel tax. Other goods, such as food, restaurant meals, media like books and magazines, and children’s clothing, are exempt from GST and/or PST. There is also a passenger vehicle rental tax of $1.50 a day. For more information, click here.
Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone (UTC−8:00). Daylight Savings Time is observed from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November. For more information, click here.
Generally at a restaurant, the average tip is 15-20% of the total meal cost for good service. For groups of 8 or more, it is common for a gratuity of 18% to be added to the bill. For services such as taxis and beauty treatments, 15% is customary.
Getting to Vancouver
The Vancouver airport is 25 minutes from downtown and provides several transportation options. Click here for an estimate of flight time to Vancouver and for a list of YVR non-stop flights. If you have questions while you are in the airport or need directions, look for a Green Coat volunteer.
Driving to Vancouver is a lovely way to arrive. Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway, allows you to reach Vancouver in four hours from Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, 12 hours from Calgary, and five days from Montreal. If you are coming from Seattle, Vancouver is 3 hours north (follow Interstate 5, which will become Highway 99 at the border). Click here for more information about driving in and around Vancouver, and click here for road conditions within British Columbia (or call 604-660-9770).
Getting Around Vancouver
By Public Transport
You can ride the Canada Line Skytrain directly from the airport to the convention center. Walk 600 meters/656 yards to the YVR/Airport Station, ride the Canada Line to Waterfront Station (16 stops, approximately 25 minutes), then walk 600 meters/656 yards to the Vancouver Convention Centre West Building. You will need a two zone fare ticket ($3.75CAN) and a Canada line YVR AddFare ($5.00CAN), which will be automatically added to your fare. The first train to Waterfront leaves the airport at 5:07 am and the last leaves at 12:56 am. The first train from the Waterfront to the airport leaves at 4:48 am, and the last leaves at 1:05 am. Find more schedule information by clicking here.
Driving in Vancouver
Many major rental car companies have a desk at or near to the Vancouver airport. The car rental facilities are on the ground floor of the parkade. If you are using a company that offers off airport rental, their shuttle will be in the Courtesy Shuttle Zone. Click here for more information about airport car rental. The drive from the airport to the convention centre, a distance of approximately 16 kilometers/10 miles, is straightforward and clearly signed.
Taxis, Sedans, and Limousines
Taxi stands, including wheelchair-accessible vehicles, are located on Level 2 of the Vancouver Airport. These taxis are licensed and will use a zoned fare rate based on your destination. Click here for more information.
Click here for information on sedans and limousines.
Please note that all Vancouver taxi drivers are fully licensed and are trained in customer service, safe driving, and special needs assistance.