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Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Central Branch | VPL's hidden secrets

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

—This dramatic colosseum must be a temple of the great ancestors...
—Hold on, smart guy— Javier LaValle interrupted while raising an eyebrow—this is not a novel.
Can you write something more helpful, like their deepest darkest secrets 😁 or better yet what can I find inside Vancouver Public Library?
—I can tell you everything about it. Did you know that on the 9th floor…— Alex replied but suddenly stopped.
—Come on man, just spit it out!
—You will have to read about it like everyone else


All international students know it is hard to live in a new country. Moving out of home and leaving your family are some things that can make this experience tough. But now it’s time to see the bright side, because Winter is here!

During this season, many Winter activities, Christmas stuff included, take over the city. And with them come higher costs. Especially in a city like Vancouver, where a lot of people usually rely on outdoor activities ‘cause indoor activities can be costly. Sadly, because not all of us like to be outside freezing 🥶, being outdoors is not an option during Winter. That being said, VPL Central Library is the perfect place to avoid the cold at no cost. Here is why:


Lately, Vancouver has been known for its hidden spots, and the VPLhas one within its walls. The 9th floor of the Central Library which hides a spectacular rooftop garden with an amazing view. This garden consists of three different areas; the main patio, where the access is located, and the south and north sides, both of which provide a peaceful space to sit and relax. The perfect spot to take a nice, big breath of cold, fresh air and enjoy a moment.

In general, VPL has a wide offering for newcomers and international students, which includes free bookable meeting rooms throughout its various branches. They also provide valuable information on multilingual programs, reading circles, and community events. Basically, FREE activities and spaces to work and study. Yes, you read it right, it is FREE. The only thing you need to have to enjoy these benefits is a library card. Do not worry it is super easy to get one, just go to the following link and see the requirements.

However, the Central Library is more than just a cute rooftop and some free resources, there are a lot of things going on inside it, and every floor has something unique! Curious about some of the things this building hides? Here are some of them:

2nd Floor. If you are an old-school enthusiast, this level has DVDs and Blu Rays you can borrow for a few days. You can also find new books and a section for teenagers.

3rd Floor. This one is for all the musicians out there! This floor hosts the INSPIRATION LAB! This is a space with professional sound booths, and professional equipment you can book to practice or record without being interrupted.

7th Floor. This one has a special collection of historical information. If you want to see more, you must make an appointment to get in there. A quick look at the past is all we need to remember who we are.

8th Floor. The exhibits on this floor change every couple of months, and there is an incredible double staircase that connects with our fantastic hidden spot on the 9th level!

All in all, the VPL is a magnificent place to spend time, meet new people, connect with other students, or just hang out by yourself. Make sure to check out the hours the library is open, you do not want to get there so early or after it closes! 😅

Interesting facts

  • The Immigrant Info Centre is an online and in-person resource centre that helps newcomers to Canada find the information they need to get a job, explore careers, or start a business.

  • The lounge on level 8 provides a space in the library where you can eat! Bring your food to the snack lounge or purchase something to eat and enjoy 🍔🍟🤤.

  • You can use the computers in the library without any charge. But you need to pay for anything you print, not everything is perfect ☹️.

  • VPL is one of the few places left in the city that offers public pay phones, so if you need to make a call and you don’t have a phone you can always come here.

So now you know! Next time you are in Downtown, visit the VPL Central Branch, tag us in your pics @thrivve.van, and remember that we are here to help you solve any doubts that come to your mind.

See you soon, Thrivvers!

Did you enjoy this article and find it useful? Join our THRIVVE community on Slack. Help is just a question away!

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댓글 5개

this is tottaly different from other libraries.


😊very nice place


very beatuiful place


Floor number 2 look very fascinating! i will visit very soon!


yes,😀 it is very useful for the newcomers in Canada.

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