Canada travel guide




Vancouver Travel Guide

Vancouver City

Vancouver was named for Captain George Vancouver, who in 1792, fourteen years after sailing here under Captain Cook, returned to the area in 1792, and spent the next two years exploring the area in search of the western end of the "Northwest Passage".

Vancouver is not a city which offers or requires lots of relentless sightseeing. Its breathtaking physical beauty makes it a place where often it's enough just to wander and watch the world go by - "the sort of town", wrote Jan Morris, "nearly everyone would want to live in." In summer you'll probably end up doing what the locals do, if not actually sailing, hiking, skiing, fishing or whatever, then certainly going to the beach, lounging in one of the parks or spending time in waterfront cafés.

Vancouver is a relaxed city with many diversions and easy access to outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, boating, and skiing. There is a lively cultural scene. Some have called it a "city of neighbourhoods", each with its own distinctive character.

Vancouver can be an expensive city, as housing prices are among the highest in Canada. Various strategies aim to lessen housing costs. These include cooperative housing, suites, increased density and smart growth. Nevertheless, as with many other cities on the west coast of North America, homelessness is a concern, as is the growing gulf between rich and poor.

Vancouver is home to people of many ethnic backgrounds and religions. According to the 2001 census, 37% of Metropolitan Vancouver's population are "visible minorities"—in other words, people of non-European backgrounds (not including Aboriginals). Vancouver contains the second largest Chinatown in North America (after San Francisco's), and many multicultural neighbourhoods such as the Punjabi Market, Japantown, Little Italy, Greektown, and Koreatown which is developing synergy around Robson and Denman Streets in the West End. Street signs bilingual in English and Chinese or Punjabi can be seen at these centres of ethnic concentration.

Be certain to spend a morning on Granville Island , by far the city's most tempting spot for wandering and people-watching. If you prefer a cultural slant on things, hit the formidable Museum of Anthropology or the museums of the Vanier Park complex, the latter easily accessible from Granville Island.

At a push, you could cram the city's essentials into a couple of days. If you're here for a longer stay, though, you'll want to venture further out from downtown: trips across Burrard Inlet to North Vancouver , worth making for the views from the SeaBus ferry alone, lend a different panoramic perspective of the city, and lead into the mountains and forests that give Vancouver its tremendous setting.

Vancouver Travel Guide
Vancouver city
Vancouver Travel Guide
Vancouver city

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