Nestled on the coast of British Columbia, Vancouver is a sea port city whose entire greater metropolitan area constitutes the third largest population in Canada. A source of economic power for Canada and the rest of the continent, Vancouver has a wide variety of interest factoids that the average person would never expect. Whether you’re visiting or moving to Vancouver, these are some good things to know about the city and region.
Vancouver is the most Diverse City in Canada
Admittedly, upon first thinking of Vancouver, “multicultural melting pot” is rarely the first thought that pops into one’s head. Yet despite the bold (and unproven) claims by Toronto and Montreal self-appointing themselves as the most ethnically diverse Canadian cities, reportedly 35% of Vancouver’s population is foreign-born, pushing it to the top above its counterparts. Believe it or not, that noteworthy 35% is also the highest figure in the world.
Vancouver knows a thing or Two about Boats
Vancouver possesses North America’s second largest port in the form of Port Metro Vancouver, a thriving coastal center of commerce and trade. The many companies and services associated with the port employ over 98,000 people and generate 20.3 billion in economic output. It additionally serves as a major terminal for the cruise ship industry.
Vancouver is Traffic Congestion Central
You don’t have to be a mathematical prodigy to calculate that Vancouver’s estimated one million cars and one car per two people ratio doesn’t bode well for those hoping to make it home quickly during rush hour on the freeway. When moving to Vancouver, be wary of the inevitable traffic delays you will encounter while living there. While still not at Los Angeles-levels of frustration just yet, Vancouver’s traffic is still widely considered some of the worst in North America.
But with that said…
Superior Modes of Public Transportation
Vancouver boasts an extensive number of convenient public transportation options for locals and visitors alike. The company overseeing this complex operation is called Translink, and they run a bus system, a passenger-exclusive ferry called SeaBus, a light rapid transport system called SkyTrain, and the West coast Express commuter rail.
Due to its generous tax concessions and mild year round climate, Vancouver has established itself as one of the largest film production centers in North America. Foreign offices from Hollywood juggernauts such as Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate have been established in the area, and numerous films and movies are shot throughout the city every year.
No Direct Route to Downtown Vancouver
Unlike most cities, Vancouver has decided to defy conventional wisdom and constantly resisted proposals to build a freeway leading directly to its downtown district. Due to this unorthodox approach, the emphasis on varying forms of public transportation has only increased. You can still easily access the downtown; you won’t be doing it going 65 miles per hour on a major freeway.
Ultimately, Vancouver is a very unique and distinctive city with its own treasure trove of surprises. Whether you’re moving to Vancouver or just visiting, keep these facts in mind as you explore the city. If you’re in love with Vancouver and want to move to a similar US city, consider moving to San Francisco. San Francisco shares many of the same characteristics as Vancouver.