Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has grown into a major Pacific Rim city with an international profile and diverse cultural heritage. The City of Vancouver BC was incorporated in 1884 with a population of just 400. Vancouver has grown over the years, and the Lower Mainland region now is home to roughly two million people, approximately half of the population of the Province of British Columbia.
With the mountains less than 30 minutes drive from the city center, the BEST of this beautiful city's amenities, mountain parklands, water sports and world class skiing, are close at hand. The city has attracted visitors and residents both nationally and internationally. Many Canadians have moved here from other parts of the country because of its mild climate and lush, green vegetation. The ability to windsurf in the morning and ski on local mountains the same afternoon attracts fun seekers from around the world.
A vacationer's paradise right in the heart of the city. There are 1000 acres of woodlands, gardens, flowers, trails, lakes, beaches and wildlife. It's one of the largest urban parks in North America. Located north-west of downtown, you can access Stanley Park on foot by following the sea wall walkway. Take the trails through the forest and discover Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake or circumnavigate the entire sea wall and soak up the beauty of Burrard Inlet and the north shore mountains. You can enjoy several secluded beaches and coves along the way. This magnificent park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium.
Vancouver's answer to London's Oxford Street and New York's Fifth Avenue to exclusive fashion boutiques, sidewalk cafes and an eclectic mix of coffee shops, bookstores, restaurants and bars. A great place to shop, relax and people watch. The movie buff will probably recognize that Robson Street has been utilized in a wide array of feature films for location shots that resemble a European Street or village.
The Birthplace of Vancouver, Gastown is named after the first settler and colorful saloon owner "Gassy Jack." Gastown is a charming mix of old and new with cobbled streets, Victorian architecture and a unique tangle of mews, courtyards and passages which house boutiques, restaurants, offices, entertainment and residences. In all, a total of 150 merchants offering native art, antiques, jewelry, art and specialty shops that will appeal to everyone. There are 27 restaurants and a micro-brewery to choose from as well at 10 night clubs catering to all age groups.
At the eastern edge of downtown, Yaletown's brick warehouses have undergone a renaissance as elegant galleries, restaurants and boutiques have sprung up. The fashion trendsetters and high-tech gurus who converge on the neighbourhood's bistros epitomize urban cool. A hive of activity, Yaletown is business by day, featuring movie production, dot-com companies, salons, interior design studios and a chic retail scene. By night, Yaletown stays alive with great clubs, pubs and hot new restaurants. Yaletown's perimeter is condo central, gathered along the scenic north side seawall of False Creek. The roadhouse Community Centre is the area's original railway marshalling yard, now revamped into elegant performance spaces.
As one of Vancouver's oldest settlements, Chinatown was established even before the lower mainland population was incorporated into the city we know and love. Now, as Canada's largest Chinatown to date (the third largest in North America), this colourful neighbourhood is a prime example of Vancouver's rich cultural heritage. While it has been the center of Chinese culture in Vancouver for more than a century, it is only incidentally a tourist attraction. It doesn't dress up for visitors, and this is part of its charm. You'll find things here you'll have a hard time finding anyplace else in Vancouver.