Vancouver Police Museum

The Vancouver Police Museum, the oldest in North America is a fascinating place to visit

Checking out the interesting exhibits at the Vancouver Police Museum
Checking out the interesting exhibits at the Vancouver Police Museum cc licensed photo by rick

Vancouver has many interesting and educational attractions, one of them being the Vancouver Police Museum which happens to be the oldest police museum in North America. The museum is set-up in a beautiful old heritage building that was built in 1932. This historic building once housed the Coroner's court, the city's morgue and the equipage for autopsies as well as the crime laboratory.

Vancouver's police museum welcomes self-guided tours making it very appealing for the fascinated and curious minds that wish to look around at their leisure, with over 20,000 artifacts, 10,000 pictures depicting the Vancouver police department's history plus many ancient documents dating back as early as the 1870s. One can take their time learning about the history of law enforcement and criminal acts in the early days.

For those wishing to hear intriguing and compelling stories about Vancouver's days of old, and/or ask questions concerning the laws in those days dealing with weapons, drugs, gambling and so on, you can book a guided tour. There is a $2.00 additional fee per person over and above the normal admission and there has to be a minimum of 10 people, so it is imperative that you book ahead.

The sins gallery has a huge collection of confiscated weapons, bogus money, illegal drugs, gambling tools plus several devises used by both the police officers and the criminals. Try challenging your memory to see how good of a witness you would be by creating a mug shot photo by recollection, or becoming the criminal yourself in the photo-op jail cell. There is even a dress up box for children to try on real police uniforms.

For the not so faint of heart, the True Crime gallery is situated in the initial city morgue. Here you will learn of real life notorious cases that have never been solved. The autopsy area has remained nearly the same since 1980, when the last autopsy was performed there (You can a picture under the Photos & Video Tab). Now this is opened to visitors. One of many displays there for educational purposes is real human organs; not for the squeamish.

Every second Tuesday of the month except for the summer months there is a movie night in the morgue. Tickets are $8.00 with a 24 hour cancellation policy.

If you are visiting during the summer months you should consider booking their Sins of the City Walking Tour, a very interesting tour that takes you beyond the museum and explores the history of the surrounding area. The tour also includes admission to the museum itself, but is restricted to ages 16 and up. You can get a taste of this tour by scrolling down to the video under the Photos & Video Tab.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Vancouver Police Museum Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM

Address: 240 E Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1L3, Canada

Phone: (604) 665-3346

Official Website: Vancouver Police Museum

Vancouver Police Museum Reviews

Rated 4.3 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Did not plan to visit that museum but Vancouver's rain made me go through that door. Absolutely no regret! The museum is tiny but worth it for a dozen bucks. Really loved the part dedicated to Inspector Vance. Kudos to the frontdesk employee that was extremely friendly and geniunely seemed to enjoyed her job. I recommend!
Victor Gandon - a month ago

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5 Star Rating A small yet dense museum. Admission by (suggested) donation. There’s four exhibit areas, and each is packed with information and artifacts to look at. Good for kids too. Washrooms are easy to find. I don’t think the building is climate controlled though. They’ve got some cheeky signs though. If it wasn’t right next to East Hastings, and also if I wasn’t on vacation and lived here, I’d definitely come more often
Trevor Ng - 5 months ago

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5 Star Rating Super cool museum where I got to learn a lot about forensics. Entry fee isn’t too much and they had a lot of neat objects and rooms to see. Would recommend if you’re into forensics, true crime, or just some history on Vancouver!
Fanny Zhang - 2 months ago

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4 Star Rating I found the museum small but densely packed. For me, the most informative exhibit was the weapons exhibit, and the creepiest exhibit was the autopsy room (pictured). The museum is a great way to learn about the seedier side of Vancouver, which doesn't usually get much attention. Staff were all very nice and accommodating. Much of the deeper content is posted behind QR codes, and I would rather the information were printed as part of the displays. I also noticed several typos and misspellings. I only wound up spending 1.5 hr there, which I think may have been due to a few exhibits being under construction at the time.
Yuan Yuan - 5 months ago

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5 Star Rating Intriguing! Well curated blend of VPD history, curious crimes, and current issues. Surprisingly comprehensive for the space. Staff are fantastic! Our favourite exhibits were the murder cases and mug shots profiles. Run by a society that clearly cares and makes the most of limited funding. Not a large museum, we took our time over 2 hrs. Go, learn, and show your support!
M Prins - a year ago

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SkyTrain and Bus Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Expo LineGranville Station or Waterfront Station2 Minutes
Canada LineWaterfront Station2 Minutes

How to get to Vancouver Police Museum by SkyTrain and Bus

Since the Vancouver Police Museum is (appropriately or inappropriately depending on how you look at it) in a bit rougher part of the city. For that reason, these directions include taking a bus that will drop you off close to the entrance.

Take either the Expo SkyTrain to either Granville or Waterfront Station; whichever is closer from your location. From Granville Station exit onto Granville Street and catch either a #4 Powell or #7 Nanaimo Station Bus going northbound. From Waterfront Station exit onto W. Cordova Street, cross over at the light and go left to the first eastbound bus stop on W Cordova. Catch either of the same two buses indicated above. Exit the bus a short distance later at Main Street and continue walking east on Cordova to the museum entrance which is just ahead.

If you are coming into downtown Vancouver on the Canada Line proceed right to Waterfront Station, exit onto Granville Street and cross the road both ways to the bus stop northbound on Granville just past Hastings. Catch the #4 or #7 bus to Main Street as above.

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