Pacific Northwest Area Information
Discover what the Pacific Northwest already knows: Vancouver, B.C. is a thriving metropolitan city with unmatched scenery and numerous recreation opportunities.
Surrounded by spectacular natural beauty, including the glistening waters of the Strait of Georgia and snow-capped Coast Mountains, Vancouver (city population 578,041 in 2006; metropolitan area population of 2.1 million) is British Columbia's largest city and the third-largest city in Canada. It's also just 24 miles north of the U.S. border.
Vancouver's location contributes to its reputation as a gateway to Asia. Exports and imports keep the area's shipping ports and Vancouver International Airport quite busy. Major railroad lines connect Vancouver with the United States and the rest of Canada. Cruise lines have discovered Vancouver is an ideal base for Alaska excursions.
Vancouver is quite cosmopolitan and is a mix of many multicultural groups. Its people speak many different languages and many follow the traditions of their native lands, sometimes moderating them with Canadian culture. After English and Chinese, the most common mother tongue languages spoken are Punjabi, German, Italian, French, Tagalog (Filipino) and Spanish. More than half of Vancouver's school-age children have been raised speaking a language other than English.
Language differences also are evident within English. Due to Canada's historic ties with Great Britain, residents refer to "centre" rather than "center." They also called the $1 Canadian coin a "loonie" because it features a Canadian bird, the loon, on one side. The $2 coin, naturally, has been tabbed the "toonie."
Numerous educational options are available, including the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
Vancouver offers numerous parks, including well-known Stanley Park, plus many trails for walking and bicycling. Whistler Mountain attracts thousands of hikers, cyclists and skiers annually. For those who prefer to stay closer to sea level, marinas serve numerous saltwater boaters. Golfers have an abundant number of options within a quick drive.
Vancouver is home to a number of professional sports teams, including the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League and the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. Hollywood stars are often seen at its acclaimed restaurants and nightlife establishments because many movies and television series are filmed in Vancouver.
Quick Links:City of Vancouver
Vancouver International Airport
Simon Fraser University
University of British Columbia
Fun Things to Do in Whistler, B.C
Places to Stay
Travel into British Columbia