Vancouver is situated in South Western Canada in the province of British Columbia and lies on the coast of the Pacific Ocean where it is sheltered from any extreme weather by Vancouver Island.
Vancouver is renowned as being quite a wet city, though in actual fact out of all the major Canadian cities, it is the second driest (after nearby Victoria)! Compared to the rest of Canada, Vancouver has a very mild climate, year round, and rarely drops below freezing. Snowfall is also quite a rare occurrence in the city. The typical daytime high temperature in the summer is a pleasant 25C (77F) and during the height of summer rain is uncommon, not really starting until around October.
Known for its amazing scenery, Vancouver is a city which certainly takes advantage of its great location. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range gives the city a stunning backdrop, whilst on the North Shore just minutes from Downtown Vancouver is the North Shore Mountain range with ski resorts and spectacular views back towards the city and beyond.
The North Shore also has areas of temperate rain forest, which years ago covered the whole of this area before Vancouver was developed into the city that it is today.
Vancouver was named after the British explorer, Captain George Vancouver, who sailed into the area in 1792. However, the region had been inhabited for thousands of year prior to that by Canada’s indigenous peoples (now commonly known as First Nations).
The city of Vancouver was officially incorporated in 1886 after it had become an important port for shipping lumber out around the world, particularly to China. The first settlement on the downtown peninsula was called Granville, where today you’ll find the historic Gastown district. When the transcontinental railway arrived in the city a few years later, the population began to boom.
Because of Vancouver’s position on the Pacific Coast, the city has long been a magnet for immigrants, particularly from Asia, and the fact that Vancouver now has the second largest Chinatown in North America is testament to this.
Vancouver actually has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world, which is constantly maintained by the thousands of immigrants who come here every year, attracted by the famous quality of life in this city, which is repeatedly voted one of the best in the world to live!
The population of Vancouver City is nearly 612,000, whilst the Metro area as a whole has a population of over 2 million, making this the third largest city in Canada after Toronto and Montreal.
Vancouver is English-speaking on the whole, though as mentioned above it is a very ethnically rich city and therefore you’re bound to hear all different kinds of languages being spoken around you!
In fact, 52% of the city residents, and 43% of Vancouver Metro residents have a first language other than English!