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Vancouver

Unleash your inner explorer in Vancouver, where jaw-dropping mountains meet Instagram-worthy beaches! Dive into the city's laid-back vibe that's as addictive as our poutine. Whether you're a foodie, a shopaholic, or an outdoor enthusiast, we've got something for you. Ready for an adventure? Buckle up—Vancouver is your playground, and it's waiting for you to come out and explore the crowning jewel of the Pacific Northwest!

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Quick Facts

Currency:
CAD $
Typical Tax:
7% PST & 5% GST
Time Zone:
Pacific (PST)
Emergency:
Dial 911
Tipping Policy:
15-20%
Wifi:
Often available to customers at coffee shops and restaurants.

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Where is

Vancouver

Italian Trulli
Vancouver was like a long kiss from a ponytailed girl.
I left a piece of myself there. Everybody does the first time.
- Dave Bidini, Canadian musician and writer

More About

Vancouver

Vancouver is a city with a deep Indigenous history and presence. The Coast Salish, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations have lived here for thousands of years and continue to shape the city's culture and identity. Indigenous-led institutions and events, such as the Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week, and the Talking Stick Festival, celebrate the diversity of Indigenous cultures. Public art and landmarks, like the Stanley Park Totem Poles and the Musqueam Cultural Education and Resource Centre, reflect the city's foundational contributions of Indigenous peoples.

Vancouver is a smorgasbord of experiences catering to an array of interests. The city is home to more than 4,000 restaurants, bistros, and cafes serving over 25 different cuisines. Its landscape is dotted with bold architectural landmarks and exquisite formal gardens. As North America’s third-largest film production center, it is a hub of creativity and talent. Shoppers will find an array of options that are simply to die for. Music lovers can revel in everything from classical to Celtic, Caribbean to country, and big band to blues, not to mention folk and funk. Add to that Vancouver’s slew of festivals—celebrating everything from children and jazz to writing, dance, film, comedy, bluegrass, fireworks, and folk music—and you've got a city that truly offers something for everyone.

Life here is an exotic mix: from ancient indigenous settlements to ultra-modern high-rises. One of the world’s most beautiful and busiest harbours and the vast urban wilderness of Pacific Spirit Park. A Sea Bus and a Sky Train. Fertile farms and the fertile minds of high tech entrepreneurs. Old Money and New Age therapies. And fibre optic networks and streets lined with 40,000 cherry trees whose blossoms capture Greater Vancouver’s perennial grace.

Here, getting there to see the sights is half the fun. You can walk or bike pretty much where you please. And there are lots of different tours: Neighbourhood, museum, gallery and garden tours on foot. Downtown tours on foot, bike or trolley. The harbour, by boat or kayak.

Vancouver’s history as an urban centre got off to a snappy start in 1867. All that was here on the south shore of Burrard Inlet was the Hastings Sawmill and a couple of indigenous family groupings. It was so quiet you could shout across the inlet and be heard by someone on the other side. Then, on the last day of September, a ruddy-faced and forever-talking saloon keeper from New Westminster, John Deighton (they called him “Gassy Jack”), came rowing around the heavily forested peninsula that loomed over the entrance to the inlet and aimed his rowboat straight for the mill. With him in the boat was his indigenous wife, her mother and a cousin, a couple of sticks of furniture, an old yellow dog and a barrel of whiskey. The history of this area was about to change forever.

Fast forward, the first Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) passenger train to arrive in Vancouver, tugged in by the famous little locomotive #374, arrived in May of 1887, adorned with a large photograph of Queen Victoria. Engine #374, beautifully restored, is on display these days in its own brick-lined room at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. When the CPR announced Vancouver would be the railway’s terminus, the town’s population was about 400. Four years after the railway arrived, it was 13,000. Many, many more thousands of people would arrive in the city over that same line during the following decades. The first train was followed a month later by the arrival from Japan of the CPR-chartered S.S. Abyssinia with a cargo of tea, silk and mail bound for London. The Abyssinia’s arrival marked the beginning of the trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic trade using the new railway. It left no doubt the little city was going to thrive.

A fine sense of the vitality of the city can be seen in a short film made here in 1907 by a man named William Harbeck. He stuck a camera on the front of a city street car and filmed the city’s daily life. It’s black-and-white, of course, and silent, and it’s fascinating. The streets are alive with people hurrying here and there, horse-drawn buggies clatter by, boys on bicycles zip in front of the camera, ladies with street-length gowns sweep (literally!) along the sidewalks. It’s the earliest film we know of that shows the city.

The years from 1909 to 1913 were particularly feverish here. One typical newspaper of the day had sixty pages of real estate ads. A tremendous amount of building went on in those years, and many of Vancouver’s most well-known structures—some still standing today—went up in those few years.
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Experiences Near

Vancouver

A selection of the best experiences to get you started