About Vancouver


VANCOUVER, British Columbia, is two cities rolled into one with interests for one and all. For an outdoor lover, this western Canadian city is a nature paradise, with miles of scenic hiking and bike trails that sweep along the Strait of Georgia, the tree-lined waterway that connects Vancouver with the Pacific Ocean. For urbanites, Vancouver is a sophisticated destination, with thriving immigrant enclaves, an ever-expanding restaurant scene, quirky neighborhoods, distinctive shops and lively bars that party all night. Part of the fun is weaving your way through Vancouver's two sides, and realizing that's why the city ranks as one of the world's most livable places. See below for more detail on what there is to do in the host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics.


Vancouver is Spectacular by Nature
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains, Vancouver, British Columbia is a friendly cosmopolitan city perched on natureís edge. Ranked as one of the world's most liveable cities, Vancouver is home to two million inhabitants who enjoy a mild climate, breathtaking scenery, and a wealth of recreational activities. This urban rain forest is both a sophisticated metropolis and a boundless outdoor playground with an adventure for any appetite.
 
Vancouverís flourishing multi-cultural restaurant scene is attracting global attention for innovation, quality and incredible value, not to mention the burgeoning success of BC wines. With three five-diamond hotels and a host of boutique properties and bed & breakfasts, Vancouver leads the way in providing unforgettable accommodations.


Recreation
The adage of being able to golf, sail and ski in the same day is true; it can and has been done. Due to the unique mixture of ocean, mountains, rivers and plains combined with one of the mildest climates in Canada, the recreation possibilities are virtually endless. And tour operators offering outdoor adventure in Vancouver are amongst the most creative, teaming up to offer visitor packages in combinations never done before and unlikely to be found in other cities - from glacier picnics to flying into remote lakes for freshwater fishing.


Entertainment
Looking for some last minute theatre tickets during your stay? Half-price? Even-better!
Tickets Tonight is fashioned after similar outlets in major cities such as New York, London and Toronto, offering half-price, day-of event tickets to the performing arts, festivals and other cultural activities. In addition to tickets from independent box offices throughout the city, a wide range of full-price tickets is also available along with inventory from TicketMaster. Tickets Tonight is located at Tourism Vancouverís TouristInfo Centre downtown. Half-priced tickets must be purchased in person but offerings can be viewed online.

Here is a sampling of annual events that have gained international reputation:

Vancouver International Childrenís Festival Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
May/June June thru September
   
Alcan Dragon Boat Festival Vancouver International Jazz Festival
June June/July
   
HSBC Powersmart Celebration of Light Vancouver Folk Music Festival
July/August July


Cuisine Scene
Vancouverís culinary reputation ranks among gastronomic giants like New York, London and Tokyo, with good reason. International tastes are close to home without the price, or the attitude - a necktie is rarely compulsory.

Vancouver loves to eat and an array of distinct neighbourhoods offer a range of fabulous flavours, from beachfront vendors to bustling bistros, to an entire legion of globally touted restaurants.

Asian diversity remains the cityís biggest strength. With the influx of Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong, youíll notice a category of restaurantsóChinese fine diningóthatís unique to North America. The Chinese have inspired this infectious respect for fresh ingredients, reflected in the high quality of products available across the city.

This genre of cuisine, labeled West Coast or Pacific Northwest, implies the freshest and finest local ingredients dictate the flavour of local kitchens, often with an Asian inspired twist. The Pacific Rim influence is seen in all styles of cooking including French, Continental, Italian and Indian menus.


Hollywood North
Adding to the cosmopolitan cache, Vancouverís alter ego, "Hollywood North", continues to grow, providing the backdrop for hundreds of feature films and TV productions and fast becoming a celebrity spotterís paradise. The third largest film and television production center in North America, Vancouver is the original home of The X-Files and feature films such as X-Men 2, Double Jeopardy, Insomnia, Scooby Doo, Get Carter, Reindeer Games, Romeo Must Die, and many more.


Did you know...
  • More than half of Vancouverís school-aged children have been raised speaking a language other than English.
  • Vancouverís Chinatown is the third largest in North America.
  • The largest Red Cedar tree in North America, according to the National Geographic Society, is in Stanley Park.
  • You can be on a glacier within just one hour from Vancouver.
  • Vancouverites spend more money on sports equipment than any other city in Canada.

Learn More
Please visit Tourism Vancouver to learn more about the City of Vancouver and what you and your family can enjoy during your stay throughout the 2009 ITE Quad Conference.




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Images courtesy of Tourism Vancouver.