Bordered by the Coast Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is recognized as one of the world's most liveable cities with one of the smallest carbon footprints of any major city in North America.
In February and March 2010, Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with great enthusiasm. For Vancouver, the benefits of hosting the world will continue with memories to last a lifetime, but also leave Vancouver with Olympic-quality sports facilities, public transit, green buildings and arts and culture - legacies that residents and visitors alike will enjoy and appreciate for many years to come.
Vancouver is also referred to as the "City of Glass" for the many glass exterior high-rise towers that populate the downtown core.
Vancouver is divided into two main sections - the Eastside and the Westside. Real Estate prices in general decrease as we move from the Westside to the Eastside.
As of October 13, 2010, there were 1,164 properties for sale in Vancouver East, and 2,956 properties for sale in Vancouver West. The listing prices for apartments range from approximately $134,000 for a 565 sq ft 1 bedroom apartment in Vancouver East, to $10,000,000 for a 4 year old, 2 bedroom 6 bathroom 5,107 sq ft penthouse apartment in False Creek North, Vancouver West. The cost of a detached home in Vancouver ranges from $409,000 for a 1,904 sq ft, 5 bedroom 100 year old house in Hastings, Vancouver East, to $22,000,000 for a 18,633 sq ft, 7 bedroom house in Shaughnessy, Vancouver West.
Population in 2009: 628,621
The Vancouver School Board enrolls more than 110,000 students over its elementary, secondary, and post secondary institutions, making it the second largest school district in the province. The district administers about 74 elementary schools, 17 elementary annexes, 18 secondary schools, 7 adult education centres, 2 Vancouver Learn Network schools, all which include 18 French immersion, a Mandarin bilingual, a fine arts school, gifted, and Montessori. More than 46 independent schools of a wide variety are also eligible for partial provincial funding and educate approximately 10% of students in the city.
Greater Vancouver is home to two major public universities, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU), where more than 80,000 undergraduates, graduates, and professional students enrolled in 2008. In 2006, UBC was ranked 27th best university in the world by Newsweek magazine, and SFU ranked as the best comprehensive university in Canada by Maclean's University Rankings in 2009.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver Community College, and Langara College are publicly funded college-level institutions, and are augmented by private institutions, and other colleges in the surrounding areas of Metro Vancouver that provide career, trade, and university-transfer programs, notably Douglas College and Capilano University. The Emily Carr University of Art and Design grants certificates, diplomas, and degrees in art and design, while the Vancouver Film School provides a one-year curriculum in film production.
Vancouver currently has the second largest trolley bus fleet in North America after San Francisco.
TransLink, the company responsible for public transportation within Metro Vancouver, provides a bus service, a foot passenger and bicycle ferry service (known as SeaBus), an automated rapid transit service called SkyTrain, and West Coast Express commuter rail.
Vancouver is served by Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is Canada's second busiest airport, and the second largest gateway on the west coast of North America for international passengers.
Vancouver has Canada's largest and most diversified port, trading $75 billion in goods annually. It is home to a variety of different industries, including the mining, forest, biotech, film and software industries.
Vancouver has more than 200 diverse parks, but Vancouver's most famous park is Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world at 3.9 square kilometres, with a 150 year old forest, 8.85 kilometres of seawall, and many popular attractions.
Numbers taken from the 2006 Census:
- Vancouver maintains a consistent share of the Greater Vancouver's population at 27.3%.
- Compared with the Metro Vancouver (MV) region, Vancouver has a smaller share of residents under 20, but a larger share of young adults 20-34 years old.
- Compared with the larger Metro Vancouver region, Vancouver has a lower number of couples with children.
- Vancouver has a lower ratio of owned to rented buildings compared to Metro Vancouver and the province. In 2006, 51.9% of dwellings in Vancouver were rented, while 48.1% of dwellings were owned.
- Of respondents who noted speaking predominantly one language at home, 73.4% reported speaking English, 0.4% French, and 26.2% a non-official language.
- The percentage of Vancouver residents whose first language was English has shown a slight decline, from 49.4% in 2001 to 49.1% in 2006.
- In 2006, 31.3% of Vancouver's population were immigrants. This share is less than that found in Metro Vancouver (39.6%).
- 52.6% of Vancouver residents have jobs within the City of Vancouver.
- Vancouver's unemployment rate is 6% and its median household income (2006) is $47,299.
- When travelling to work, 51.5% of commuters choose to drive their own vehicle, while 25.1% use public transit.