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Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia consistently ranks as one of the world’s most livable cities. Located on Canada’s west coast, the city’s vibrant downtown is minutes away from ski resorts, Pacific Ocean beaches and old-growth forests.  Vancouver is a creative and cultural hot spot for both business and recreation. It is also one of the greenest cities in North America, focusing on sustainable development and environmental consciousness.

 Vancouver is an increasingly important gateway between North America and the economies of Asia Pacific. It is one of Canada’s most multicultural cities, as well as one of the greenest in the world.  Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the snow-capped Coastal Mountains, Vancouver is a stunning city surrounded by breathtaking nature.  It is no wonder that the city attracts newcomers from other parts of Canada and the world.

Fast Facts

  • Vancouver’s population is 603,000.  It is the largest city in British Columbia’s lower mainland, which includes 2.3 million people comprising the Metro-Vancouver area.
  • Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics in partnership with Whistler.
  • Vancouver is striving to be the Greenest City in the World by 2020.
  • Vancouver is the closest major North American city to Asia and has strong economic and cultural ties to Asian markets.
  • The city is one of the best-educated urban centres in Canada   -  63 per cent of the city’s working age population has a university or college education.
  • 40 per cent of the region’s population is foreign-born, the second-highest percentage among North American cities.
  • More than 40 per cent of the region’s population regularly speaks a language other than English or French at home. Cantonese, Mandarin, other Chinese dialects and Punjabi are the most widely used non-English languages.

Getting Down to Business

Vancouver offers a competitive, low-cost business environment.  Businesses taxes and related expenses are among the lowest in industrialized countries.

Vancouver’s economy, once based on services for the natural resource sectors, has become dynamic and diverse. Strong connections to the Asia Pacific and one of the world’s best natural deep-water harbours has increased trade and enhanced knowledge-based sectors.  These sectors are supported by two universities (the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University), Western Canada’s leading polytechnic (British Columbia Institute of Technology) and numerous community colleges, technological institutes and government research centres.

Vancouver is among the top 10 largest clean technology clusters in the world and its green building cluster is one of the strongest in the Pacific North West, comprising 70 firms and about 1,600 employees. 

A truly international business centre, more than seventy countries maintain a consular presence in Vancouver. Consequently, foreign-based firms find familiar support for conducting business in British Columbia and Canada.

Arts, Culture and Social Scene

An abundance of art galleries, theatres and live music performances provide something new every day and every night in Vancouver.  Festivals include the HSBC Celebration of Light, the TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the Vancouver International Children's Festival. 

The annual Vancouver International Film Festival is a 17-day event showcasing over 300 films from over 50 countries at nine venues across the city.  Over 130,000 people attended the festival .  If dance is your passion, Vancouver offers regular performances by Ballet British Columbia and more than 25 other professional local dance troupes. Music lovers will never run out of options, from symphony or opera to local musicians in cozy clubs to stadium rock concerts.

Vancouver also hosts a major international theatre festival (The Fringe) and two outdoor theatrical events (Bard on the Beach and Theatre under the Stars).  Theatre lovers can choose productions at more than 20 venues throughout the city.

Recreation and Outdoors

Vancouver is a dream city for outdoors enthusiasts and is arguably Canada’s most physically active city.  Outdoor enthusiasts flock to the 404 hectare (1,000 acre) Stanley Park, located in the city’s core.  Additionally, Vancouver has 300 city-managed parks, beaches, and gardens.  A 15-minute scenic drive from downtown brings Vancouverites to Grouse Mountain and its famous Grouse Mountain Skyride.  It is the largest aerial tram system in North America and takes visitors on a one-mile aerial journey to the Alpine Station, 3,700 feet above sea level.  The Skyride offers amazing views of the city, ocean and Coastal Mountains.  

Other attractions include the Capilano Suspension Bridge which stretches 137 metres (450 feet) across a canyon and the Capilano River 70 metres (230 feet) below, the Vancouver Aquarium, Science World and Granville Island with its eclectic public market, shops and restaurants.

Getting to Vancouver, British Columbia

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