Read about the city

The Western Canadian metropolis of Vancouver is one of the most beautifully located cities in the world, and nature alone in and around it makes any trip to here an unforgettable experience.

Vancouver is named after George Vancouver, who was the first European to come ashore in the area. It happened in 1792, and since then a colossal development has taken place here. Vancouver is one of Canada's largest cities, and it is the economic and tourist locomotive of British Columbia; sharply followed by cruises and trips to the Victoria and Rocky Mountains, which are all easy accessible from Vancouver.

The metropolis offers almost all kinds of sights and activities within the city limits. Stanley Park is almost like getting out into the great Canadian nature, and just a few minutes walk away from downtown Vancouver. Seen from the park, the many high-rise buildings in Vancouver provide an intriguing contrast to the green surroundings and the ocean front.

Stroll the streets of downtown Vancouver and enjoy not least different architectural styles from the late 1800s to the present day. In early Vancouver, however, it was Gastown that made up the city, and today it is one of Vancouver's most charming neighborhoods and a must-visit during a stay.

Other attractions

Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver

  • Christ Church Cathedral: This neo-Gothic church building is the main Anglican church in Vancouver. The construction took place 1894-1895 and among the details are 32 stained glass windows made in England and Canada.
  • Chinatown: North America's second-largest Chinese population lives in Vancouver. In Pender Street and Keefer Street, the Chinese make their mark with not least shops and restaurants as in their home country.

Gastown Steam Clock, Vancouver

  • Gastown Steam Clock: At Water and Cambie streets, you can see one of Vancouver's curiosities. Here is the world's only steam-powered clock, which can be seen in full force when the clock plays and steams on the hours.
  • Holy Rosary Cathedral: Holy Rosary Cathedral is Vancouver's Roman Catholic Cathedral. The present church was not the first Catholic church in the city. An earlier one was completed in 1886.

Marine Building, Vancouver

  • Marine Building: The Marine Building was erected in 1930 as Vancouver's and the Commonwealth's tallest building. The style was inspired by New York's contemporary Chrysler Building, and there are many beautiful details in the lobby, for example.
  • Vancouver Art Gallery: This is Western Canada's largest art museum. It is among other things known for a large collection of Canadian artist Emily Carr's works, but many other artists are represented as well.

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

  • Lions Gate Bridge: The Lions Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects Stanley Park and thus the city of Vancouver with the area and towns north of Vancouver Harbor. The bridge was opened in 1938 and stands beautifully in the landscape.
  • Vancouver City Hall: This is Vancouver's City Hall and thereby the seat of the City Council of the Canadian metropolis. It is a large and beautiful building in art deco from the years 1935-1936.
  • Museum of Anthropology: Vancouver's Anthropological Museum embodies the Canadian Pacific region's culture and peoples. Here is a distinguished exhibition of Native American art and crafts such as masks and totem poles.
History overview

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    The first settlements
    It is thought that the first people arrived in the Vancouver area from Asia about 10,000 years ago. They later became the area's many different Native American tribes, developing communities in the rich natural areas.

    It was tribal musqueam, sqaumish and tseil-waututh who inhabited the area through the many centuries before Europeans arrived, and they established themselves in several places in the present urban area of ​​Vancouver; among others in Stanley Park.

    European exploration
    In the 16th to 17th centuries, Spaniards began to gain European interest in the region as they sailed the waters off the coast and demanded dominion over the western American coastlines. It was Captain José María Narváez who, as the first, sailed into the Strait of Georgia and thereby into where Vancouver was later founded. Narváez's journey took place in 1791.

    The following year was a new Spanish expedition at Point Gray, where they met a British expedition led by Captain George Vancouver. They explored on that occasion together the Strait of Georgia, and on the same voyage George Vancouver also sailed along Puget Sound and thereby the future location of American Seattle.

    George Vancouver brought his officer Peter Puget to the area of ​​Vancouver today before the Spaniards. They landed on the site that was later named Point Gray. However, to this day there are also Spanish-sounding names in Vancouver as evidence of the former Spanish period in which they had settled around the current Friendly Cove.

    Vancouver was first reached by sea, but in the decade following George Vancouver's exploration, Simon Fraser reached the first European area and coast from the east, thereby overland in 1808. He arrived along the river, later named after him.

    The early 19th century
    Settlements had been established at English Bay and Burrard Inlet, but these were developing rapidly through the early 1800s. It was the New Westminster settlement on the Fraser River southeast of the modern city center that was the spot for traffic and commerce with the interior of British Columbia.

    During this time, the borders were not yet permanently set in the region, which had interests from both the UK and the US, which had not yet extended to the area that has today. With the 1818 treaty in 1818 and the Oregon treaty in 1846 between the two countries, it was agreed to divide the land at the 49th latitude, forcing Britain to give up the Oregon Territory, which later became the states of Oregon, Idaho and Washington. The United States had to give up land north of present-day Montana to the British. For Vancouver, the treaty meant that the settlements and thereby the future urban development in and around Vancouver became British and therefore part of the later established Canada.

    Trade Station, Gold and Colonial Time
    In 1827, the Hudson's Bay Company established a trading station on the Fraser River, becoming the first English representation in the area and the first permanent non-Native American settlement. The trading station and the English plants were continuously expanded with, among other things, a sawmill, so that both timber and furs could be traded. Fort Langley was, in that sense, the modern foundation of what turned into Vancouver and British Columbia over the decades.

    The trading station began to develop explosively in 1858 when gold was found in the Fraser River. It turned into Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, where about 25,000 people came to the area in a few weeks. Over the next decade, the area was developed and, for example, transport routes were constructed through Fraser Canyon.

    1858 was also the year in which the region around present-day Vancouver was established as the Crown Colony of British Columbia. The colony's capital became New Westminster, and at that time there was no such thing as Vancouver let alone urban development. In 1866 the colony was merged with The Colony of Vancouver Island and they became the capital of Victoria to British Columbia.

    Hastings Mill and Gassy Jack
    In 1867, the sawmill mill Hastings Mill was established on the south side of the Burrard Inlet, and it was the first commercial activity at the site that turned into Vancouver over the years. Initially, Hastings Mill and thereby the early city was a kind of business town that operated both a store and a school.

    However, the new town developed rapidly as John "Gassy Jack" Deighton came to the area in 1867 and opened a saloon that became a success among the workers at Hastings Mill. It became the foundation for several acts that together formed Gastown; Named after Gassy Jack, who got his name from his many great stories with some warm air in. Gastown officially came to be called Granville just three years later, and it was a real city.

    Vancouver and the railroad
    In 1886, Granville changed its name to Vancouver, where 1,000 people now lived. It was on its way to becoming the leader in British Columbia, not least because the Canadian Pacific Railway had chosen Vancouver as the terminus for their Montreal transcontinental railroad. Vancouver had been chosen because of the great development potential of the city's natural harbor.

    In 1885, the last nail was struck in the tracks of the British Columbia railroad, and on May 23, 1887, the # 374 train pulled the first train to Vancouver, making it much easier to reach from the Atlantic coast and major cities east of Canada.

    The city burns and booms
    In 1886 Vancouver was hit by an almost devastating fire. The town burned down, but was quickly rebuilt. The fire, in its turn, proved to be a benefit to Vancouver, whose reconstruction was undertaken with modern infrastructure rather than having to build on outdated installations. Thus, the city rose again with new systems for water, electricity and so on.

    The following years, the city's growth exploded. Great immigration occurred and a tram network was established, and the city's streets and modern buildings caught fire. The first skyscraper, the Dominion Trust Building, was built as early as 1909. From about 1,000 inhabitants in 1886, approximately 14,000 lived in 1901, and just ten years later the population had next doubled to 120,000.

    In 1920, Vancouver became Western Canada's largest city, and both economically and culturally the city's flourishing continued. The city's university had, among other things, been opened a few years before. In 1938, the Lions Gate Bridge opened, further enabling an expansion in the city's now northern suburbs. It was almost a long ride for Vancouver, which by about 1900 had overtaken Victoria as the most economically important city in western Canada.

    World War II to-day
    In the decades following the end of World War II, the expansion of Vancouver, whose port continued to be one of the city's many assets. Much was still being built, for example at Empire Stadium, which was to host the Great British Sports & Commonwealth Games, in 1954. It provided a sporting boost to Vancouver, and over the following decades, the city's sports clubs were successful in the Canadian tournaments. with multiple championships.

    The city's population also grew significantly in the decades following the war. By 1951, the number of citizens had reached 562,000, and the million were rounded in 1971.

    Since the 1980s, construction has continued in downtown Vancouver, Skytrain has been established as a fine transport network, and many cultural offerings and activities have seen the light of day; an example is the city's main library. Gastown was the district where Vancouver started, and during those decades it also underwent a transformation from a run-down neighborhood into a restored and popular area where you can get acquainted with early Granville and Vancouver.

    The city of Vancouver has several times been selected as one of the best in the world to live in, and as a visitor it was noted during the Olympic Winter Games, which were conducted here in 2010.
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Vancouver, BC, Canada

Top attractions

Gassy Jack Gastown, Vancouver

  • Gastown: Gastown is Vancouver's oldest district. In 1867 there was only one sawmill, but after John "Gassy Jack" Deighton's arrival, a saloon was built and then other buildings, and that was the start of Gastown. Today there are many cozy streets and a statue of Gassy Jack here.
  • Harbour Centre: Harbour Centre is a skyscraper with an observation deck in central Vancouver. The building with its tower was opened in 1977, and at that time it was Vancouver's tallest building. It is the excellent views that make the place especially worth visiting and you can enjoy it from a revolving restaurant.

Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver

  • Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: This garden from 1985-1986 is the first classical Chinese garden to be laid out outside China. The garden is a marvel for all senses with its varied and elegant layout.
  • Stanley Park: Stanley Park on the peninsula at Burrard Inlet is one of Vancouver's most visited and popular places. Here is a lovely nature with hiking trails, various Canadian animals, nicely landscaped gardens, totem poles and more.

Stanley Park Totem Poles, Vancouver

  • Totem Poles: At Stanley Park's Brockton Point and not far from Brockton Point Lighthouse you can see a number of totem poles. The poles are original Native American poles that have been moved to here from elsewhere in the region.
  • Museum of Vancouver: The Museum of Vancouver is a museum focusing on exhibits with many items depicting the city's history from the time with Indians to the arrival of the first Europeans and today's modern metropolis.

Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver

  • Granville Island Public Market: Granville Island is a small peninsula south of downtown Vancouver. The peninsula was once known to production plants, but today it is popular for a large market and many cafés and restaurants.
Trips in the area

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge: In the large coniferous forests just north of Vancouver, it's like being far out in Canada's wild nature. You walk between the tall trees and over the roaring Capilano River along this suspension bridge that opened in 1889.
  • Britannia Mine Museum: This mining museum literally takes under the surface of the area's history. The history of the mine started in 1899, and you can look at its history and also enter an old mine.

Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

  • Grouse Mountain: Grouse Mountain is a popular excursion destination, where from a height of 1,200 meters/4,000 ft you have a fantastic view of the Vancouver area. The mountain also gives a good impression of the beautiful nature of British Columbia. There is a cable car to Grouse Mountain, which is also a favorite ski area in season.
  • Fort Langley National Historic Site: Fort Langley is a prime example of Canada's fur trading stations. The fort was built in 1827 by Hudson's Bay Company. You can experience the life of the time at the trading station where British Columbia was declared a British colony in 1858.
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