Waterfront station is located on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, just east of the north foot of Granville Street at 601 West Cordova Street. The station is within walking distance of Vancouver’s historical Gastown district, the Canada Place cruise ship terminal, the Helijet International helipad, and Vancouver Harbour Water Aerodrome, the downtown float plane terminals for Harbour Air, West Coast Air, Salt Spring Air, and other airlines.

Other nearby facilities include the downtown campuses for Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology, federal government services in the Sinclair Centre, the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, and the Harbour Centre office tower, revolving restaurant and observation deck. Underground passages connect passengers directly to the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel and Canada Place. There are also two other street-level entrances to the station, one on Howe Street to the west for direct access to the Expo Line (labelled as platforms 1 and 2 on the station map) and another on Granville Street to the south for direct access to the Canada Line (platforms 3 and 4).

Waterfront station was one of the first to receive TransLink’s new “T” signage, denoting a transit station. This signage was installed in the downtown core of Vancouver to help visitors during the 2010 Olympics to identify a transit hub.