Considered one of the world’s most attractive cities, Vancouver city is a bustling seaport on the west coast of British Columbia. It’s not only one of Canada’s most cosmopolitan urban hubs but it’s a sought-after filming location and an important centre for the forestry industry. Vancouver is also a vibrant tourist destination, with wonderful museums and an enticing dining scene that draws on culinary influences from around the globe.
In this article, learn about some of the top things that Vancouver city is known for and what makes it such an enviable place to live. It might not be Canada’s largest city but it’s definitely one of the country’s most visited and for good reason. Vancouver’s mild climate makes it a pleasant place to be throughout the year, with some of North America’s top ski destinations on its doorstep.
If you’re thinking about exploring or settling in Vancouver, you’ll find both short and long-term accommodation at Rentola Canada. This online platform lists rental apartments in Gastown and warehouse studios in Yaletown, as well as family homes in Mount Pleasant. Whether you’re staying in Vancouver for a short holiday or a longer stay, you’ll quickly discover why so many people find it hard to leave.
Occupying a peninsula framed by majestic mountains, Vancouver is an undeniably beautiful place to live and visit. Just a stone’s throw from the city centre, you can stroll along waterfront trails or hike through dense rainforests that provide a habitat for native wildlife. Vancouver’s Stanley Park recently topped a list of the World’s Best Parks, with everything from old-growth forests to ancient Indigenous sites protected within its bounds.
For a taste of Vancouver’s natural beauty beyond the city centre, hike the Grouse Grind (also known as “Mother Nature’s Staircase”), which leads up a heavily forested mountain slope and offers rewarding views across the city. Vancouver also lies at one end of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, a 1.5-hour-long drive that takes in some of Canada’s most spectacular scenery.
Vancouver is home to one of the oldest and largest Chinatowns in Canada, with Chinese immigrants first arriving here in the 19th century. Many came in 1858 to try their luck during the British Columbia gold rush while others helped to construct the Canadian Pacific Railway. Centered around Pender Street, Vancouver’s Chinatown is now designated as a National Historic Site for its rich cultural heritage.
Aside from shopping in the Asian grocers and browsing the traditional apothecaries, you can stroll along the peaceful paths of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. On Sundays, families flock to Chinatown’s dim sum restaurants for multigenerational meals, followed by a sweet treat from one of the area’s Chinese bakeries.
Nicknamed “Hollywood of the North”, Vancouver is the third-largest centre for film production in North America. Every year, it provides a setting for countless TV shows, films, and commercials, with productions such as “Deadpool”, “Godzilla” and “X-Men” all shot here. The film industry contributes billions of dollars to British Columbia’s economy and provides jobs for tens of thousands of workers.
The popularity of Vancouver as a filming location is largely due to its beautiful setting, as well as the long daylight hours for shooting in the summer months. The city now boasts a highly experienced workforce of crew members and well-equipped studios that attract some of Hollywood’s biggest directors and production companies.
Over the years, Vancouver has garnered a reputation for having a laid-back lifestyle, which is what draws many people to the city. Some who arrive from high-energy cities in the United States appreciate the slower pace of life and the general friendliness of the local residents. You can stop people in the streets to ask for directions or exchange a warm “hello” when passing by.
Despite having all of the urban conveniences you could want and need, Vancouver has a relaxed vibe. You can get from A to B without feeling rushed, all while soaking up the city’s natural beauty. At the end of the working day, many Vancouverites head to the beach, jump on their bike, or hit one of the nearby hiking trails to shake off the confines of the office.
While there is so much to do within the city limits, Vancouver is also renowned for its accessibility to some of Canada’s top ski destinations. Two hours away is North America’s largest ski resort, Whistler-Blackcomb, where you’ll find a huge diversity of terrain and a vibrant après ski scene. For fewer crowds, head to the boutique resort of Mount Washington, which also gives you the opportunity to explore Vancouver Island.
Closer to the city centre is Grouse Mountain, which boasts six terrain parks, night skiing, and snowshoe tours. Slightly further away is Cypress Mountain, which hosted events for the 2010 Winter Olympics and is more geared toward families and beginner skiers. Tobogganing and snow tubing are available at Mount Seymour, which is one of Vancouver’s more affordable ski resorts and just 50 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
Vancouver is packed chock full of incredible museums that explore everything from the world of science to international art. You can admire the Haida carvings at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art or delve into British Columbia’s natural history at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Nestled beneath a metallic orb on Vancouver’s waterfront is Science World whose hands-on exhibits are always a hit with kids.
History buffs shouldn’t miss the Museum of Anthropology at UBC where you can get up close to soaring totem poles and canoes carved from cedar. The area’s herring industry is explored within the historic wooden building of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery while the Polygon Gallery is focused on photography and media-based art. If you’re interested in learning about Vancouver’s origins, don’t miss the reconstructed buildings of the Fort Langley National Historic Site.