Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver is blessed with more natural beauty than any major city in the world.It is located on the West Coast of Canada, just 50 kilometres north of the US border. Seattle is 230km to the south, about a 3-4 hour drive.
Vancouver frequently ranks highly as one of the world’s most livable cities. It was recently ranked as the best city to live in North America. Its scenic location near the ocean, tucked up against the North Shore mountains, makes living in BC an ideal base for year-round exploration. The city’s coastline offers amazing views and great beaches, while the mountains offer hiking trails and snow sports.
The Downtown core of Vancouver is located on a peninsula. Because it’s surrounded by water on three sides, the only way to expand is by building up. The space is very urban and condensed within a small area, characterized by residential high-rises and office blocks that contribute to a fantastic skyline.
Vancouver is one of North America’s most cycle-friendly cities, with around 800 miles of bike lanes. Go with a group on Cycle City Tours’ daily five-hour ride, where you’ll explore Stanley Park, ride the ferry to Granville Island and its market, and see the Olympic Village, Chinatown and Gastown.
Some 2.5 million people are living in Vancouver’s metropolitan area. This includes the City of Vancouver (600,000), along with neighbouring urban areas which are formal cities in their own right. The major ones are: Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley, Delta, North Vancouver, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, and West Vancouver.
Each city is regarded as its own municipality, independent of BC. With rapid growth, and a population of around 500,000, the Surrey is expected to overtake the City of Vancouver as the highest-populated city in Western Canada in the next decade.
The summer months are typically dry, but temperate and rarely uncomfortably hot. In contrast, most days during late fall and winter (November to March) are rainy.
This regular rain can be one of the toughest things about Vancouver life. The upside to the dreary rainy winter weather, however, is that when it’s raining in the city, it’s usually snowing on the nearby mountains, allowing for snow sports like downhill and cross-country skiiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.
The climate and the winter rains mean that Vancouver is green year round, and dust and grime just doesn’t build up that much even if you live next to a construction site, but gets washed away.
The air is clean, the streets are clean, the beaches are clean.
And for many, the rain can be worth tolerating, knowing that the dry and sunny months from April to October are just around the corner. Vancouver is one of the driest cities in Canada during the summer months.
Cost of Living in Vancouver:
Getting started can be tough due to the relatively high cost of living in BC. This resource is aimed at saving you time and money by pointing you in the right direction.
A premium is charged for renting an apartment in Vancouver and other living costs – for the luxury of living in this beautiful city. Vancouver is among the least affordable cities in which to live in Canada, with the highest housing prices in the country.
Public Transit in Vancouver:
Transportation in Vancouver is excellent, so it’s easy to time your trips. Translink is the main operator, running a network of buses, rapid transit trains (SkyTrain), commuter rail (West Coast Express), and sea ferry (SeaBus) between North Vancouver and Lower mainland. Tickets are valid for 90 minutes, and can be used across buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus.
This means you can start a journey on one method of transport, hop off, and complete your journey on a second service, all for the same fare, so long as it’s within the 90-minute window.
For buses, a single ticket valid for 90 minutes will cost you $2.85 if paying by cash. Compass Card users get a reduced rate of $2.20. The same fare applies no matter what distance you travel, so long as the bus is the sole method of transport.
Vancouver is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada. Being such a new city (it was established in 1886) means that there is no real sense of ownership and therefore everybody mostly just gets along.
People of English, Scottish, Irish and German origins were historically the largest ethnic groups in the city. Over the last 30 years, however, immigration has dramatically increased, making the city more ethnically and linguistically diverse.
Some 52pc of residents do not speak English as their first language and almost 30pc of the city’s inhabitants are of Asian backgrounds.
BC. life is enhanced by the city’s large gay community, focused on the West End and Yaletown areas. Vancouver hosts one of the country’s largest annual gay pride parades.
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