Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

Exploring With Kids: Inukshuk at English Bay

August 2, 2017 // Vancouver

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of walking down the Vancouver seawall to English Bay, you’ve probably seen the large Inukshuk monument near the waters edge. This structure definitely has some history and is a landmark in the city of Vancouver.

Constructed of grey granite by Alvin Kanak of Rankin Inlet, this monument was commissioned by the Government of the Northwest Territories for its Pavilion at EXPO 86 and later given to the City of Vancouver.  In 1987, the Inukshuk was moved to this site and sponsored as a gift to the City by Coast Hotels through the Vancouver Legacies Program – Read the Plaque 

Photo by Kevin Eng

My oldest has done different field trips to study this specific Inukshuk, including walking from school to sketch it and learn the history. Whenever we walk, bike or drive by this large stone structure we can’t help but check out this special landmark on the beach.

Today we did a big beach walk from our condo and passed this site like we always do. However, today was different as we stopped and climbed down a small rocky path, along with a bunch of other children, and took a look at all of the small Inukshuk made by different people that have stopped at the beach. One boy told us he stops by every other day to make a new one, sometimes his old ones are still there and other times they are gone.

An Inukshuk is a man made figure constructed out of piled stones or boulders. Each figure is used to communicate with other people throughout the Arctic and is large enough to be seen from afar. Inukshuks are used to signal where food might be or as navigational aids. They are basically communication centres used by people back in the day. Of course, nowadays these little figures on the beach are merely decoration, but I love the history behind it.

Have you ever visited the Inukshuk in English Bay or made your own tiny version?



About the author

Hi! I'm Andrea, a 30 something girl who loves living the downtown lifestyle and didn't want to give it up once I started a family. Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!


  1. Charlotte Shaw says:

    I walk by this all the time! Didn’t know the little ones were on the beach just passed the big one. So cool.

  2. Sammie says:

    So great. Thanks for sharing! I’ve often wondered what that stone monument was all about as I only drive by!