Canada facts & history in brief
Vancouver is in southwestern British Columbia,
between the Coast Mountains and Vancouver
Island across Georgia Strait and British
Columbia's largest city.
Vancouver is 40km
north of the US border and 73km north of Victoria,
the capital of British Columbia.
The Burrard Inlet, the Coast Mountains, bays,
inlets and river branches, and the Pacific
coastline, are major features of the city.
The Salish Indians were the area's first inhabitants.
The first permanent European settlement on the site
today's Vancouver was near a sawmill that had been
built in 1865.
Rich timber resources helped the
settlement become a bustling logging town.
The settlement became known as Gastown because
of 'Gassy' Jack Deighton's bar, so named for
his tendency to talk.
In 1884, the Canadian
Pacific Railway chose the site as its western
terminal of Canada's first transcontinental railway.
Later the town was renamed after the British explorer
Captain George Vancouver.
After the railway's
arrival, the township experienced rapid development.
In 1887, the first ship docked from China, and
Vancouver began its boom as a trading centre and
The finishing of the
Panama Canal, brought another major expansion
and easier access to markets in Europe and
along North America's east coast.
The Chinese and Japanese settlers were hard-working
people seeking opportunity, just like the Europeans
also flooding the province.
On several occasions, Vancouver's Chinatown and
Little Tokyo were the scene of white mob violence,
and in the 1920s BC passed legislation effectively
closing its borders to non-white immigration.
During WWI, the city's Germans saw their businesses
burned to the ground, and Japanese Canadians were
taken away from their land
and put into internment camps.
During the depression many unemployed Canadian
men came to Vancouver for its pleasant climate
causing extra difficult times and hardship for
the struggling city.
Prosperity only returned at the time of WWII,
helping further development of the city into
the modern era, with rapid changes. Vancouver's
international reputation grew with a very
successful World's Fair, Expo '86 and a summit
meeting between Boris
Yeltsin and Bill Clinton in 1993.
Before China's takeover of Hong Kong in 1997,
tens of thousands of wealthy Hong Kong Chinese
emigrated to the Vancouver area, escalating
real estate prices and
cost-of-living figures suddenly.
New suburbs shot up around Richmond, whose
residents are predominantly ethnic Chinese.
In the 1990s, the economic
development slowed down considerably.
Surrounded by mountains and sea,
it lies on a strip of land bounded
on the north by Burrard I inlet
and on the south by Fraser River.
Vancouver has much more to offer than its
postcard good looks.
The city also one of
the most cosmopolitan cities in North America.
The city also attracts young professionals and
artists from the eastern provinces who come
here to enjoy the city's recreation and laid-back
The city's only drawback is
rain in summer especially in
winter when it can last for weeks.
A few of Vancouver's Attractions are;
Gastown underwent a bit of renovating in the 1970s
to become a bright and shiny Victorian business
district, with many restaurants, bars, boutiques
and galleries, with the world's first steam clock
at the western end of Water St.
Stanley Park at the end of the Downtown
peninsula, offers outstanding views
of downtown Vancouver, the North
Shore and the mountains on Vancouver
Island, a fine collection of totem
poles and the Vancouver Aquarium,
brimming with dolphins, killer whales
and crocodiles, a recreation of
an Amazon rainforest, complete with
toucans, piranhas and tree frogs.
Chinatown Chinatown, centred on
W Pender St near the peninsula.
Where most of the 40,000 of the city's
Chinese people live with the crowded sidewalks
and shops and the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical
Chinese Garden, the only full-scale Chinese
garden found outside China and the World's
Narrowest Office Building (also known as the
Sam Kee Building), an architectural oddity
listed in the Guiness Book
of Records for its skinniness.
On English Bay south of False Creek and below the
Burrard Bridge, is Vanier Park with a fine beach, a
stand of lovely old maple trees and a number of
museums, such as the Vancouver Museum, the
Planetarium and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
The University of British Columbia on the banks
of the Georgia Strait, sprawls over 400ha (990ac),
much of it forest, with the UBC Museum of
Anthropology, the Nitobe Memorial Gardens,
which have been beautifully landscaped in
traditional Japanese style, and Totem Park,
with carvings and buildings from a Haida
The university's outstanding
Botanical Gardens offer Asian,
alpine and other theme gardens.
Queen Elizabeth Park is Vancouver's second
largest park near the top of the city, with a
beautiful sunken garden, small cliffs and some
fantastic plants, and an Oriental-style garden
filled with pools and fountains.
On the hilltop
is the Bloedel Conservatory, nearby is VanDusen
Botanical Gardens with the Elizabethan Hedge Maze.
In the southwest from the city is the old fishing
village of Steveston, Canada's largest commercial
Steveston was settled by Japanese
immigrants in the early 20th century.
nearly all the Japanese Canadians were sent to
internment camps inland, and their boats and
homes were auctioned off.
The Steveston Museum
tells some of their stories.
The Gulf of
Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, a museum
of the region's maritime past.
Commercial Drive, was the centre of Vancouver's
Italian community, in the early 20th century and
has a reputation for good food and street life,
with many Portuguese, Latin American and South-East
Asian restaurants and markets and coffee shops.
There are many great places to hike,
bicycle, surfing, whitewater rafting,
canoeing, boating, kayaking, scuba
diving, fishing, whale-watching
and skiing in the Vancouver area
practically all year around.
Vancouver has many festivals like the New Year's
Day Polar Bear Swim, the Chinese New Year
celebrations, in late January or early February.
In mid July's Vancouver Folk Music Festival is
three days of concerts and workshops, the Pacific
National Exhibition offers a little bit of
everything and the Vancouver Fringe Festival,
from early to mid-September, is a mix of drama,
musicals, comedy and dance from around the world.
Vancouver has good international and national air,
bus and train services.
Locally Vancouver has an integrated bus
network, and a light-rapid-transit (LRT)
system composed of the fully computerised
SkyTrain and super-modern catamaran SeaBus
services that run back and forth across
BC Transit buses run regularly
between the airport and downtown; rental cars
and taxis are also available.
Population is more than 2 million.
We liked Vancouver very much.
Hui Chin and
I were looking forward to visiting this city.
A couple of years back I was surfing the net
and run across a very interesting page by
another expatriate Hungarian, George Draskoy.
I was so impressed by his pages, immediately I
decided to have my own pages and jumped into
the deep end of the web pages, web sites building
etc without any previous knowledge or experience.
I spent my life believing, that if it is done by
humans, - I being a human being, - I can do it too.
So very quickly I've got up speed and now days I
probably have about 3000 pages on the net.
Well anyway George lives in Vancouver and we were
looking forward to meet him.
I been to
Vancouver about 6 years ago, but I had a couple
wet days than.
The whether was brilliant
this time and we enjoyed our stay.
The lady at
the Information Desk, at the Airport sent us to
catch the Airport Bus to the Hotel Dufferin.
I didn't like the hotel and the receptionist
attitude so we walked back to the Comfort Inn,
where the bus dropped us off. Nice young lady,
very friendly receptionist, very helpful.
The hotel just been refurbished. Beauty!
Very nice buffet breakfast too.
The Head Housekeeper lady was a very nice,
friendly lady too.
Although it was more than we've budgeted
for, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
Conducted Tour in the morning as usual.
Soon we found out about the SkyTrain
and the SeaBus and being hooked
on trains etc, Hui Chin and I spent
nearly a whole day exploring the
outer suburbs riding the SkyTrain
and the SeaBus back and forth.
George rang us and
picked us up late afternoon, after our return
from Chinatown and spent a few hours talking
about computers, the web, programs etc.
Enjoyed his company and hospitality.
Next day we spent walking all over
downtown, uptown and riding the
Victoria was our next stop, by ferry of course.
Stay tuned please.
Very nice and friendly place Vancouver was.
You can click on these photos for
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