The City of Vancouver is a seaport city located on mainland British Columbia. The population of the city is over 600,000 people. On the whole the city is extremely diverse from a language perspective with more than 52 percent of the inhabitants speaking a first language that isn't English.
The Greater Vancouver region is home to more than 2.4 million people, and the city has been ranked as a beta city. The city consumes around 144 square kilometres of land, and the people to land ratio makes it the fourth most densely populated municipality in Canada.
When the city was originally settled it was known as Gastown. The city was established around a logging sawmill and a tavern back in 1867. As the town grew it had a name change to Granville. Once the new transcontinental railway got the go ahead, it was then that the town was called Vancouver, and it was proclaimed a city. The railway was decided on due to the fact that Vancouver was a natural seaport, and played a pivotal role in trade with not only Eastern Canada, but London and the Orient.
The Vancouver port is the busiest port in all of Vancouver. The main economic trade of the city is forestry, with tourism playing a very close second. Coupled with the large number of film and production studios, it is often referred to as Hollywood North. Year after year the city is in the top 5 most liveable cities, with the best quality of life in the world.
Vancouver is certain a hosting city, and has laid claim to its willingness to facilitate a wide range of events which include the 2010 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics, the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954, in 1989 and 2009 it held the World Police and Fire Games, Expo 86, and is now the new home of the annual TED Conference after being held in California for the past 30 years.
The city will also hold the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015. Vancouver has a total of five sister cities which include Odessa in the Ukraine, Yokohama in Japan, Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, Guangzhou in China and Los Angeles in the USA.
From a transportation perspective the city is easily accessible via the use of the city's SkyTrain, and also the metropolitan bus service. The ski resort town of Whistler is also well known amongst skiers and snowboarders the world over. Whistler is located 125 kilometres to the north of the city.
Other notable Vancouver attractions include Stanley Park, the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, the VanDusen Botanical Garden, H R MacMillan Space Centre, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Vancouver Aquarium, the Lynn Canyon Park, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada Place, the Baden Powell Trail, the Lions Gate Bridge, the Queen Elizabeth Park, Kitsilano Beach, the Canadian Rockies, Playland, Vanier Park, the Orpheum, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, the Pacific Spirit Regional Park and the Port Mann Bridge.