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Vancouver photos


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 transportation hub.
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 sophistication.
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 Indian village.
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 fishing port.
Steveston was settled by Japanese immigrants in the early 20th century.
During WWII 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 Burrard Inlet.
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 SkyTrain underground.
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 an enlargement.

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