Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion

olympic medals CLOSED: Are you curious about how all those Olympic and Paralympic medals are made? Are you collecting all of those special edition 2010 Olympic quarters that are now in circulation? If you answered yes to either of those questions, chances are you may want to drop by the official 2010 Royal Canadian Mint pavilion, which will be located at its NEW location: 350 West Georgia Street in Vancouver, the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch. The Mint is the official supplier of medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will have some of them on display for the public to view. You can also see the Mint's world-famous dollar gold coin and other gold products.

Hours of operation will follow the Library’s schedule of Monday to Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Continue reading the release from the Mint:

The Royal Canadian Mint today announced the venue location to extend the Mint’s presence throughout the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games. Located at 350 West Georgia Street in Vancouver, the Vancouver Public Library will host the Mint from March 12 to 21, 2010. The Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion, which was located at 500 Granville Street from February 12- 28, 2010 saw an overwhelming response from the public and received 110,000 visitors throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

“We are thrilled that the public responded to our Pavilion with unbelievable enthusiasm, eagerly lining up for a chance to hold the Vancouver 2010 athlete medals and to experience what makes the Royal Canadian Mint the best mint in the world,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “We are grateful to the Vancouver Public Library for providing the venue for the Mint to extend its presence in Vancouver during the Paralympic Winter Games and we invite the public to visit the Mint’s exhibit.”

Mint attractions to be showcased at the Vancouver Public Library will include:

  • The Vancouver 2010 athlete medals display, with behind the scenes presentations by Mint medals production employees;
  • The Mint’s Boutique, featuring numismatic and collectible products, and Daily coin exchanges

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64 Comments

Got in line this morning (Friday) at 9am... didn't get inside until 1:30pm! They let you inside in batches of 20 people and you only get about 10 minutes before they hustle you out.

Get there as early as possible, bring a book and dress warm!!

Got there around 3:45pm today and the line-up was closed already!

The line for the coin exchange was really short though, it barely left the lobby.

Made a special trip into Vancouver from the tri cities area after work to go and see the Canadian mint. got there at about 4;30 pm the line up was already CLOSED... I purposely went during the week thinking th elineup would be smaller. This was my second attempt, going to try one more time Saturday morning leaving home at 6;30 to be lining up at 7;30 ish.. Hopefully I will get in on my third attempt

Got to the Mint today (march 17th) at 11am - 3hour line up. So we went to the BC Pavilion and Northern House - no line ups at all and much more fun for the kids!

Was there at lunchtime on Tuesday, 16th. The line up for the Mint was about two and a half hours (according to one of the security guards) and about 10 minutes (if that) for the coin exchange.

Has anyone ventured out to this pavillion since Monday? Wondering if the line ups are still around in the evenings?

Was at the venue around 5:00 pm and there was a 2-3/4 hour line-up, which I was told is the shortest its ever been!

anyone went to the Mint today? i just want to know how long the lineup is. thanks~

where you able to exchange coins, is it $ for $....and do you know if the coin exchange is open the same hours as the library?
did you get a chance to go into the mint and see the medals?

Was at VPL on Sunday March 14th around 1:30 PM. The coin-exchange line-up (north-side) was 30 minutes long, and the medals line-up (south-side) was 3.5 hours long. An employee was going to close the medals line-up at 2:30 PM, as the library itself was closing at 6 PM. Medals line-up, even though it snakes outside of the building, is all covered from the rain as it wraps around the west-side of the building under the awning. The coin-exchange line-up is NOT covered, for the most part.

Was in the coin exchange line up on Sunday, March 14th. It's on the N side of the library and the medal line-up is on the S side.

An employee announced that the coins they are exchanging for are the same for the entire period:
$1 Inukshuk (max 2 on Sunday)
$0.25 Wheelchair curling (max 4 on Sun.)
$0.25 Sledge hockey (max 4 on Sun.).

Exact change is appreciated at each of the three stations.

Yes you can handle the medals at the library. We got there Sat 4pm-ish and the line had already been closed. Some guy said he'd waited for 4hrs. It looked like people were coming out with the white glove they wore to pick up the medal.
The new venue is great because the lineup is indoors.

Anyone know if we can handle the medals at the Library?

FANTASTIC news, can't wait to hear where they're moving to! This was by far one of the best, and most popular, pavillions at the games! Well done, RCM, and thank you!

No word yet. There are rumours, but we won't share lest it confuses the matter further. Stay tuned – we'll post it here!

Where is it moving to?

Many thanks to the Royal Canadian Mint organizers who have arranged to make the exhibit available once again during the Paralympics. This will give even more people the opportunity to enjoy the exhibit, and will contribute to the prestige and awareness of the Paralympic Games. Bravo!

I'm also curious about the date posted here "MAR 21-21".

The Mint Pavilion website says it's open from "February 12 to 28".

Must be a typo in the title, as the body of the article says March 12-21, and also mentions "ten more days" to see the medal.

Is this a date typo by chance(March 21-21)? Or is it really only open the one day for the Paralympics?

Feb 26th, lilned up at 845am, got in at 415pm

any suggestions about how early we should go to get in when it opens?

Here is a press release from the mint. The pavilion will be open during the Paralympics but at a new downtown venue. :)


http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2010/26/c5447.html

Heard the Mint will be making an announcement very soon. Could be they will stay open for the paras.

This Pavillion venue is the best. It is painfully obvious that the success of this exihibit was unforseen. Special consideration needs to be given to keep this venue open beyond this month and into March. It is not often that the public has had such open access to the work of our Royal Canadian Mint .

Lined up: 7:50 am
Entered the Mint: 11:30 am
Saw the medals: 12:30 pm

Total time: 4 hours 40 minutes

Pretty well worth it. But go earlier, like the poster before has said.

Entered the line up at 7:30am would have been in the building when it opened at 9:00am but CTV took over for a half hour. Did not get in until 9:30, well worth it! Yes there is more waiting to be done once you are in the building, but you can roam around and see everything else while others keep your spot in line. When I left the building at 11:00am the line up was 9 hours deep. That is something I would never do! So if you can make it by 7:30am, well worth the hour and a half wait just to enter the building.

As there is always a huge line up, Could it be possible to consider OPENNIG THE MINT during the Para Olympics, March 12-21th or at least few days during this period?

I heard today that the line up was 8 hours long. I don't know about that but here's my video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qix9QbR_T9k

There's no use sugar coating it..this line up is brutal. 3+ hours in the cold just to get to the door plus at least another hour before you get your hands on a medal. But it is still worth it...for most of us it's a once in a lifetime shot to be photographed holding a real gold Olympic medal. Be prepared ...bring food, water, something to read or listen to and the time passes more quickly.

Previous poster Kathy...you must've been very close to us in line up, we got there 8am sharp Sun. Feb 21st, with around 250 people in front of us (I counted) ...about 120 were in the snake red rope part of the line up (you'll be waiting 60-100 min at that point just to get inside) and 130 people after the snake rope. By around 10am, my 8yr old and I counted how many people were behind us in line...607! We got into the building ~ 11am and were there another 60 min. before entering the room around 12pm with the medals. The line seemed to slowed down though for a good 40 minutes when a group of media with video cameras were allowed into the building when we were in the red rope line up. Very slow... 250 people/4hrs is 62people/hr..or ~20 people/20min. My brother went a few days before me and showed us his special souvenir gloves with words saying something like "I touched an olympic medal" which I was looking forward to getting but they must've ran out because all we got was a regular white cotton glove with no printing on it. After waiting for 2 hours and getting to the red rope, we didn't want to give up and leave...but I don't think it was worth waiting 4 hours to see the medals. I am glad we waited it out since we'd already stood there for 2 hours, the medals were awesome, fantastic, beautiful, heavy, a special sight to behold and touch
...but if I'd known it would take 4hrs to seem them, I wouldn't do it again. It is worth it to stand in the shorter line (about 60-90 minutes last I heard)to get into the building and see everything else...they have cool computer screen touch games the kids liked and a kid zone with a souvenir coin your kids could make of their favourite mascot.

Waited today (Sunday Feb 21) for way too long - about 5 hours to see the medals. It was awesome and we met some really cool people in line. We arrived at 8am and it opened at 9am.
If you are trying to figure out whether to stand in line remember these few facts I wish I'd known in advance.
- There is still approx. 1 hour wait once you get inside the building. If you are in a group you can move around and see the rest of the exhibit but 1 of you must stay in line.
- They let approx. 25-30 people into the medal room and they give you about 10 minutes in the room.... if you do the math this is only 150-180 people each hour. This is why the line is so slow. Once you hit the red ropes you are still more than 1.5 hours away from getting in.
They have done an excellent job and I loved seeing everything but it was exhausting waiting in line.

Quite positive that the Mint doesn't feel the Olympics are better than the Paralympics. After all, if you go to the medals room, they showcase both setes of medals equally. Guessing that it's probably a business decision to only have it open for two weeks because it's expensive to rent that building, and after the Olympics are over, the sales they make in their gift shop won't be nearly as much to justify being there.

The Mint has really done a first class job of a pavilion that is free to the public.


I agree!!
Shame on Canada.
The Paralympics were established as a Parallel event to the Olympics. The Canadian Government should lead the way and keep popular attractions like this open through the entire Winter Games!

This is the best pavilion ever. I got in line at around 8 in the morning (Thurs) and it was already 2 deep and by the time they open the doors the line was all the way to the end of the block in Granville. They let people in in groups of 30. There is a short line if you don't want to see and touch the medals (they give you white gloves as a souvenir) but it's worth it. After viewing the medals you can go to the other side and check the one million dollar coin and have a photo op holding a gold bar.

waited 5 hours to get in.

Why does the Royal Canadian Mint feel that the Paralympics are less worthy than the Olympics?

Why is the Mint Pavilion closing on Feb. 28th? Seeing as the Paralympic Games are March 12-21st, I think it's very disrespectful to all those amazing athletes not to promote/feature their medals too. This has to be one of the most visited pavilions during the Olympics so wouldn't it be in the best interest of everyone to stay open until March 21st??

We went Friday night 19 Feb around 8:15pm and luckily only had to wait about 30 minutes. They had just closed the other "medal holding" lineup. However when we got in we enjoyed the displays on the two floors and got to hold the heavy gold bar. We did get into the medal room and saw the paralympic and olympic medals and the movie of their making. Good washrooms.It is a beautiful old Bank Building. The staff with the displays were all very helpful.

Line up to view the pavililion was worth the wait, the building is so beautiful itself, and lots to see and enjoy. However we were very disappointed kids activities were closed during the day, no one told us until we were inside, this at 12noon. So sad for all the children waiting in the lineup.
Quoting "mint.ca" brought on rudness by the employees speaking only french infront of me and they said it was no longer valid. I felt very excluded in my hometown and ashamed I even asked!
Too many people complained and we all received the discount anyways.
The history of the mint and the chance to see those beautiful coins was worth it.

Why don't they set up a Quick Pass system like Disneyland? It's a great way to move a lot of people through a popular venue.

Feb 19th - arrived at the mint at 8:45am - waited in the medals line for 3 hours - finally got in and then....another hour wait...just as we got to the door of the medal room a large group of "Sochy 2014" people were brought straight in ahead of us and were in there for about 30 minutes.

Although it was nice to see the medals and hear the story this was totally not worth it!!!

At the entrance we were told that if you want to wait less than 3 hours outside then you must be there by 7:30 for 9am opening.

We went to the Mint around 11:15 this morning. The line-up to see the medals was 4-5 hours long; we were told the non-medal line-up was 45 minutes long, but it took closer to 2 hours to get in. (We were in front of Artigiano at the start.) One VERY important thing to note: the children's activities are NOT from 9:30-6 on weekdays; they are only from 3-6 pm on weekdays. We did not learn this until getting into the pavilion - very disappointing. (I think they are reserved for school groups earlier in the day.) I was told by one of the guards that the line-ups for the medal viewing start around 7:30 am. The line-ups for "regular" admission have been very short after about 6:30 pm.

Please Please Please Please
be open for another week in March!
I have not seen this and live in Vancouver and cannot wait long time in line.
Please Please Please Please
Be open for one more week!

We went Thursday Feb. 18: arrived @9:20 am and didn't get into the building for 3.5 hrs. Once in the building there was another hour wait. Would have been cool to have some street entertainment during that long wait outside: it was freezing!
The building was clean, the medals were awesome. the gloves did not have anything written on them and were were told to return them for other people to use after washing........
* felt the wait was far too long

Arrived around 1:45pm on the 17th and the estimate was 3 hours. My line was one line out from the guided posts they put out and reached the alley between the Royal Canadian mint building and the next building. We spent just over 1.5 hours outside and almost another hour inside - so probably in seeing the medals within 2.5 hours.

I think it was totally worth it. The medals are so beautiful and it's really neat learning how they're made and talking to one of the engineers who
help make the medals.

You do get to keep your white glove that you touch the medals with and it will say "I touched a gold medal" in English or French - and no, if you get a French one they won't let you exchange it for an English one.

The rest of the pavillion was very interesting including the million dollar coin, a gold bar and tons of special edition coins to look at.

I highly recommend going to this pavillion!

I went by on Thur.Feb.18 at around 7 pm, then 7:30, & 8:00. I never saw any lines then. I did not go in for I was headed elsewhere, but I will definitely hit that place in the evening to prevent lines.

Heads up...
My bus goes past the Mint at 8:15am. The last two mornings, there has been a line up of at least 100 people at this time. I believe it opens at 9am, so I am assuming that by then the line up would be even longer. Just a heads up for anyone thinking they can go right at opening time and avoid the line!

My husband visited today - got there at 8:40am and waited for 2 hours to see the medals. He mentioned that a group of journalists and VIPs were allowed to cut in front of the waiting public, making the wait time even longer. He said that it was interesting to see and touch the medals, but wasn't sure if it was worth the wait!

We went down to the Mint on Tuesday the 16th. We arrived at around 12:30 and were told the line would be about 2.5 hours, which apparently is shorter than the usual 3.5 hours. We waited about 1.5 hours outside, then another hour inside so the time estimate was bang on.

In my opinion the medals were well worth it. They give you a special white cotton glove to wear to handle the medals. The glove says "I touched a gold medal" on it and is a cute souvenier. They have a video playing showing the process for making the medals, and one of the engineers from the mint is on hand to explain the manufacturing and design process and to answer questions.

You can pick up the medals and take photos with them, but you can't put them on as that is reserved for the winning athletes.

Vicki. It is our understanding the pavilion will be packed up and shut down after the Olympics/Paralympics are over. I don't think this is intended as a destination post-2010.

Will there be any chance for us to arrange "Group visiting" in the future? I mean after Winter 2010 season. Pls advise

Went there 1st thing Monday the 15th.First, the map we down loaded from the net had it at Harbour towers near Waterfront station. When we got there the 2 lines were formed long to hold metals short to view rest. When asked what they thought time would be to get in they told me as not open yet this line should move fast. Took about 25 minutes to get inside but once inside took almost 1 hour to get to front of line to be allowed into the room with the metals ..... then someone snuck in the media and they had an TV interview and we waited just outside the room for almost 25 min. No one came out to explain, my wife kept waving through side window and they came out to say will only be another minute or 2 but 2 more media types were ushered in. We did get in a few minutes later and we pleased with the presentation and info given - not sure if got a little extra as we waited just outside the door or not... we kept looking outside at the growing not moving line up the street wondering is this what the day will be all about .... kinda it was. Was impressed with the large $1,000,000 Loonie.But after all the time in the line did not even look anywhere else in the mint. Good picture of loonie painted on the floor from top floor in line - saw kids laying in the Inukshuk -like a snow angle. If not for long delayed lines would be 2 thumbs up

When we got to the Mint just before 10, the wait to see the medals was about 3.5 hours. That's just too long for little kids. There was no line to see the kids exhibit on the first floor. Some neat mascot games, and a couple kiosks to take pictures/video that you can email to your friends. Pretty cool. We got a print of our picture right at the kiosk. When we left, a line had formed to get into the area we were just in!

Oh, and we were told the 10% discount expired and didn't apply to the coins, just Mint paraphernalia.

If your heading down with kids, expecting to do the kids activities, keep in mind the kids area is closed to the public Monday-Friday 9am-3pm. During this time they are hosting school groups.

We were there yesterday and waited
3 1/2-4 hours to get in. They said they had changed things up from the day before to make the line go faster. There were two separate line ups. One to view/take pictures with the medals and the other shorter line up took you everywhere else (kid's zone, gold bar,coin exchange). If you are in the medal line up, you are stamped and then escorted into the building where you get a special glove and then proceed to another line up to view the medals. No stamp, no glove, no admittance to the medals. It was great to get up close and take pictures but a very long wait especially with children. However, when will we be able to experience this again.

We waited in line for 1.5 hours before we get to see the gold, silver and bronze medals. The Olympic and Paralympics ones. You get to touch them and take pictures with them.

The displays were neat, but the crowds huge. The lineup to get in and to see the gold room were 30-40 minutes total, and the line to hold and see medals even longer. They won't let adults without kids into the kids zone, which is disappointing, after having read Justine's comments. The staff is helpful and friendly.
Go early! Recommended.

My son and I went to the Mint "house" on the 12th and really enjoyed it! When we arrived we were told the line-up to see the medals was very long, so we went into the kids' zone, which look boring but was actually very fun. We particularly enjoyed meeting a woman who actually engraves coins for the mint, who was giving demonstrations of the software used to do the basic engraving. My son got to try his hand at it and received a colour printout of his handiwork to take home. We also received a great loot bag. Before we left we decided to take a peek at the medal viewing line up and to our amazement, sailed right on into the presentation without having to line up at all! It was amazing to see and touch the medals in person and meet some of the people who brought them to life!

Best exhibit I've seen so far; the Mint really made a fun and visually exciting experience. You get to touch the coins and gold bar, never imagined it would be so thrilling. There's colouring and a rest area for children as well. Great job, Mint!

I strongly recommend going early, there's some great exhibits and many people, by 10 AM there was already a huge line-up.

I went yesterday afternoon. There was a line to see the medals (about an hour, it would have been faster if there wasn't a presentation going on inside). I was only able to see the encased medals. To touch the medals, one has to get tickets for the presentations (given out starting 9am on a first come first served basis). But I was told that, starting today, every one would be able to touch the medals. There was no need to line up if one only wants to see the million dollar coin or the gold bar.

I love the building. Clean organized & polished exhibits.
I love the million $ coin!
You can lift a full size gold bar. it is heavy and an armed guard is standing nearby watch people.

You can do a coin exchange. I got 5 lucky loonies. I think it is bringing me much luck already! Thanks Royal Mint! I love you!

Excellent! Check out this fabulous display. Make sure you stick around for the presentation of the medals. You actually get to touch and have your picture taken with them. The staff are friendly and it's worth seeing.

I love all kinds of coins.
I wish I can buy all the Olympic symbol quarters,but I can't afford them:(
Luckily, I got the chance to feast my eyes on the coins.

Gee I wish this was open today. We so want to get down town and feel the Olmpic Engergy.

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