Whether from the street or looking down from the Canada Line there's no missing Vancouver's newest piece of public art.

Douglas Coupland's 13-metre-tall Golden Tree, on the corner of Marine and Cambie Streets, is an exact, to scale, replica of Stanley Park's Hollow Tree, but coated in a gold finish.

"I think its more a head-turner, a, 'what the heck was that?' That's my favourite reaction," Coupland said on Saturday.

Reaction to Douglas Coupland's Golden Tree in Vancouver0:32

The original 800-year-old Hollow Tree has been a tourist and local favourite for more than a century, but these days is held together with cables and steel.

Coupland said there are a lot of memories attached to the tree, which is why he chose to replicate it.

"I think it takes us from one century to the next," he said.

Douglas Coupland Orca in Coal Harbour

Douglas Coupland also created this orca statue as a piece of public art in Vancouver and the statues of Terry Fox at BC Place. (CBC)

The Golden Tree weighs more than 15,875 kilograms and sits in front of a huge condo development, which played a role in getting the piece made in the first place.

"Every single development over 100,000 square feet has to give us a $1.98 per square foot towards public art and this is resulting in a piece of public art for the development," said city councillor Heather Deal.

"I think it starts a lot of conversations," said Don Forsgren with Intracorp. "It's bold, it's very iconic Vancouver."

Vancouver has more than 400 pieces of public art, with Coupland also doing the pixilated orca at the convention centre and the Terry Fox statues at B.C. Place.

Douglas Coupland with Golden Tree

"The thing about public art is if you live in a city without it, it doesn't feel quite right," said Douglas Coupland. "And there are lots of cities in the U.S. with no public art and it feels like you're driving in a parking lot." (CBC)

Coupland admits that some won't like his newest piece, but that it will play an important role in the city.

"The thing about public art is if you live in a city without it, it doesn't feel quite right and there are lots of cities in the U.S. with no public art and it feels like you're driving in a parking lot." 

with files from Deborah Goble.