9 Must-Have Apps For Vancouverites

Posted on March 9, 2017 - It’s 2017 and smartphones are ubiquitous, meaning having the right apps on one’s phone to help navigate a busy life has become essential.

Luckily for Vancouver residents and tourists who stream into the region alike, a number of useful applications have been developed to help people find what they need, including everything from finding an open food truck to tracking – by the minute – when the next bus will arrive.

Here’s a list of the nine must-have apps for Vancouverites.

Transit: Real-Time Transit App

Don’t let the mundane name fool you into thinking this is yet another transit app which will show nothing more than a few schedules and a map which doesn’t update.

Transit was designed to help users navigate a city’s public transport system with real-time predictions which will let them know when the next bus or other form of public transportation is arriving.

The app supports over 125 cities, including Vancouver, using data from both Translink as well as the SkyTrain. While the app doesn’t run flawlessly on all devices (a statement which holds true for all apps on this list), Transit is still the best option for people looking to get around the city via public transportation.

Waze – GPS, Maps & Traffic

If however you are a car owner, Waze is absolutely essential. Every Vancouverite claims to know the best way from point A to point B (or Point Roberts), but with Waze you could actually back it up.

Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app, meaning the information presented in the app doesn’t come from just one source, but from thousands of fellow drivers around you sharing real time traffic and road info.

More than just a global positioning system (with voice-guided navigation), you can also use the app to monitor current traffic conditions, plan alternate routes, avoid construction and even find the lowest gas prices in your area.

Zoro Taxi – Calling All Cabs

When taking a car or the SkyTrain aren’t viable options, trying to hail a cab can be an exhausting last resort that most people would like to avoid.

Zoro Taxi takes the pain out of calling a cab, allowing users to see available cabs on interactive maps, call a cab to your location, and track your cab from pick-up to drop-off. You can even text your driver!

There have been some reviews of the app which seem to indicate it doesn’t work flawlessly everywhere in the lower mainland, but it sure beats standing on the corner in the rain as cab after cab speeds by.


Many Vancouverites have been waiting impatiently for Uber to come to the Wet Coast, unaware there is a different, and equally convenient, car sharing app up and running in the city.

Through car2go users are able to view all vehicles available for use in Vancouver (as well as many other cities around the globe) and provide automatic route guidance so users can find their nearest car2go easier.

Then when you find the car, the app will allow you to unlock the car, after which you simply get in, drive to your destination, and pay the fare (which takes fuel and insurance costs into account, meaning you don’t need to worry about them).

You do have to pay a fee ($5) to become a car2go member, but considering the price and hassle involved with renting cars or taking a cab, car2go is a very reasonable and hassle-free.

Street Food Vancouver

So now that you’re confident about being able to get to your destination without acquiring a migraine along the way, how about planning where you want to go?

For most Vancouverites, it’s all about food, and Street Food Vancouver is the best app for finding some of the city’s tastiest morsels (which are sold out of a truck).

Street Food Vancouver provides up-to-the-minute schedules and locations for the city’s plethora of food truck vendors. Want to know if your favorite food truck is open and rolling around? Easily search for it on your Street Food Vancouver app to find schedules, distance from your location, and even reviews from other users.

VanCity Drink Specials

With food out of the way, what’s now needed is a way to navigate Vancouver’s vibrant craft beer and drink culture. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest drink in the city to something a bit more cultured, VanCity Drink Specials has you covered.

The app was developed by a group of pubcrawlers who painstakingly collected a database of thousands of drink specials from hundreds of establishments across greater Vancouver.

With maps, menus, and daily specials, VanCity Drink Specials has become the go-to source for finding a good drink in Vancouver.

SeatGeek Event Tickets

Okay, so you’ve traveled downtown in comfort, had a delicious bite to eat and chased that with something cold and refreshing, but what’s next?

Easy, just use SeatGeek to find deals on tickets for sporting events, including the Canucks and Giants, as well as concerts and festivals in locations all around the city.

SeatGeek has tickets for hundreds of events, from NHL and WHL hockey games to Cavalia and Dierks Bentley, giving people of all tastes an app through which they can purchase tickets.

While SeatGeek can’t promise the guaranteed lowest price for every event, the prices are certainly reasonable, and having the ability to pick out tickets on an interactive seating map or send/sell tickets after you’ve purchased them more than make up for it.


Tired of stopping in at the nearest gas station when you’re out and about just to spend yet another $4 on a bottle of water? With TapMap, you never need to worry about that again.

The idea for TapMap is simple: To provide the location information of more than 550 public drinking fountains scattered around the metro Vancouver area. Instead of littering your car (or worse, the street) with more blue plastic bottles, TapMap users can easily find the nearest fountain and get a refill.

Considering the high quality of Vancouver’s tap water (especially compared to almost every other city on Earth of similar size/population), it’s a wonder nobody had thought of such a useful app sooner.


Okay, so Kijiji is no great secret. In fact, many are already wise to the best app for buying and selling items online in Canada. However, for those who may have missed the boat, here’s a quick rundown of what the app for Canada’s largest classifieds site offers.

Using the Kijiji app you can take photos of items you want to sell, post them to Kijiji, manage your ads, search and browse for items and services and even reply to other buyers and sellers by calling them through the app. And of course there is social media integration as well, meaning you can share ads with your friends.

For shrewd Vancouverites, who are always looking for the best deals, Kijiji is a must-have.

What other apps do you recommend? Please let us know in the comments!9

Written by Ken Hill
Freelance writer, editor, and father of two fur babies. Loves travel, history, politics, and unfortunately baklava. Won't rest until the Stanley Cup parades through Stanley Park. More articles by Ken Hill
  • Zoro Taxi is a good option as an alternative to public transit. Hopefully one day Uber becomes operational in Vancouver, it’s an incredible service. Kijiji is also great for finding deals and their new app and mobile site is very intuitive, which is long overdue.

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