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Vancouver is the largest metropolitan centre in western Canada and the third-largest in the country. Vancouver is one of the cities of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and of the larger geographic region commonly known as the Lower Mainland of B.C. The Port of Vancouver is significant on a world scale, and Vancouver is the third-largest film production centre for US-based productions in North America after Hollywood and New York.

The city’s population is 545,671 and that of the metropolitan area 2,186,965 (2001 census). Some predict that by 2020, the population of the metropolitan area will be 2.6 million. A resident of Vancouver is called a “Vancouverite.”

Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, in 2006 United Nations World Urban Forum, in 2007 Memorial Cup and in 2009 World Police and Fire Games.


Vancouver is adjacent to the Strait of Georgia, a body of water that is shielded from the Pacific Ocean by Vancouver Island. It is in the Pacific Time Zone and the Pacific Maritime Ecozone. The city itself forms part of the Burrard Peninsula, lying between Burrard Inlet to the north and the Fraser River to the south. Those unfamiliar with the region may be surprised to learn that Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island. However, both the island and the city (and its U.S. counterpart) are named after Royal Navy Captain George Vancouver of Great Britain, who explored the region in 1792.

Vancouver has an area of 114.67 km² (44 sq. miles), including both flat and hilly ground. Vancouver has a wet climate and is surrounded by water; while early records show that there may have been as many as fifty creeks and streams in the area, currently only four are left.

Vancouver “proper” is quite a bit smaller than many assume. Many citizens of nearby cities, such as North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Burnaby will often identify themselves as being “from Vancouver.” The Greater Vancouver Regional District is a political organization composed of several neighbouring cities to Vancouver with common interests.

Climate of Vancouver

Vancouver’s climate is unusually temperate by Canadian standards; after Victoria, it is the second warmest major city in Canada during the winter, with temperatures rarely dropping below 0°C. Precipitation varies from about 1,100 mm (43 inches) at Point Grey to 3,500 mm or more (137 inches) near the north shore mountains. Summer months are generally sunny and dry, with moderate temperatures. The daily maximum averages 22°C in July and August, however, temperatures often rise above 30°C during the summer months. Thunderstorms are rare, with about four to six per year. Rainfall is frequent in winter.

A diverse range of plants and trees, by Canadian standards, can be found growing throughout Vancouver and South-Western British Columbia, leading to the city’s year-round greenery. Various species of palms have proven to be hardy to this climate, and are a common sight.