Vancouver is located in the province of British
Columbia on the southwest Pacific coast about 3 hours by car north of Seattle,
Washington. Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada with an
urban population of more than 2 million. Immigration has
significantly influenced Vancouver and it is now eithnically diverse with
more than half of its residents speaking English as their second
language. Today Vancouver is consistently highly ranked as one of
the most liveable cities in the world.
Vancouver is named after Captain George
Vancouver, who explored its bays in 1792. The Coast Salish (Squamish, Musqueam, and Tseil-Waututh)
were well established in the area at that time, with settlements on the
north side of Burrard inlet and also in the area that is now Stanley
Park. The current city took its early formation from Gastown in
1867, which is now encompassed in the area known as Granville.
Becoming the Pacific terminal for the trans Canadian railway system
greatly increased the population and economic base in the late 1800s and
the city was incorporated in 1886. Today that same railway system takes tourists from
Vancouver to the Rockies. The city has had great success in the film industry
and is often referred to as Hollywood North. In 2010
Vancouver hosted the Olympics. Many venues were built within the city
but Whistler was also a major part of its
Vancouver, like Victoria, has two
distinct seasons. The rainy season extends from November to
February. During this period temperatures can reach highs of 50F
or 10C during heavy rainfall. In fact Vancouver's rainfall in
winter is heavier than Victoria's, since it doesn't receive the effects
of a rainshadow from the mountains on Vancouver Island. Clear skies in winter are a sign of nearby Arctic air and temperatures can drop slightly below freezing. Snowfall is
extremely rare. The dry season extends from May to September with
ideal weather occuring in July and August. This forms the height
of the tourist season.
Due to the complexities of US cruise
ship regulations, Vancouver has become a major port for embarkation to
Alaska. The cruise ship terminal is located in the downtown core
at Canada Place. Transportation from the Canada Place cruise terminal to the
airport is now a breeze. You can catch the Sky Train a short block in
front of the cruise terminal and take the Canada Line to the
airport. The fee is less than $10 and it takes about 25 minutes.
provides hourly summer vehichle service between
Vancouver, BC and Swartz Bay near Victoria.
Stanley Park and Vancouver, BC
Things to see and do in Vancouver:
Stanley Park - 1,000 acres downtown on the
waterfront. It includes a zoo, the Vancouver
Aquarium, a petting zoo, a children's train and a waterfront
path for walking, jogging, biking and roller blading.
Island - a very popular 37 acre island adjacent to the downtown
core. It has a well known public market, craft shops, galleries, a
theater and restaurants.
Robson St - Stroll the street where everyone accumulates
in the downtown core.
Shops stay open late into the evening every day to accommodate the crowds.
- distinctive "white sails" architecture on the waterfront
and home to the cruise ship terminal.
- cobble stone lanes and the world's first steam clock still
operates. The city of Vancouver started out in Gastown.
- gondola from the city to Grouse Mountain for great views over the city,
plus skiing in winter and hiking & ziplining in summer. Do the Grouse
Grind and hike 3 km up the mountain instead.
Chinatown - third largest in North America,
after San Francisco and New York. Visit the acclaimed Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese
Garden, the Sam Kee Building (world's narrowest commercial building) and the Chinese Cultural Centre.
Punjabi Market - five blocks located at Main and East 49th.
Yaletown - formerly a warehouse district,
Yaletown has become a trendy modern village with high rise condos
along the water and many venues for young Vancouverites to frequent