Although in 1932 you’d find a Coroner’s Courtroom, morgue and autopsy facility here on Cordova Street (Errol Flynn was once picked apart on the top floor), nowadays it’s the much more child-friendly Vancouver Police Museum – although the place is still considered a heritage building.
Not only is it a great way in which to learn about the scientific methods and cultural role of policemen, but it’s also a unique look into the Vancouver police department specifically – through thousands (20,000+) of objects and photos depicting the evolution of their job and highlighting historical events. The museum also offers occasional forensic workshops in summertime for kids, such as fingerprinting and ballistics. Check up on the next forensic workshops for adults (like Blood Spatter and Coroner’s Court)… just be sure and leave the kids at home for those ones.
You can also take a guided walking tour of Vancouver called “Sins of the City.” You’ll explore the oldest streets and hear tales of gambling, prostitution, brothels, bootlegging, prohibition, riots, and of course murder. Tours run in the summer evenings three times a week until October 2nd. Tour price includes admission to the museum afterward. Book ahead!
The Police Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students (children under 6 free). It’s walkable distance from Chinatown. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop on your way out – if police hats or true crime books aren’t your thing, hunt down the postcards with awesomely retro photographs. All proceeds from gift shop sales go straight back into the museum and its programs, since it’s a non-profit organization. The museum also awards an annual scholarship to high school seniors planning on pursuing a career in law enforcement.