Vancouver is our home too, and is one of our two Canadian Data Center locations. If you are coming to the city for a visit, here’s a bit about the humble beginnings of the city to the great place it is to live and work today.
Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada in the province of British Columbia. Besides being the largest city in British Columbia, it is a major seaport servicing routes between Canada and the west coast of the United States as well as Asia. The population of the city itself is just over six hundred thousand, but the metropolitan area called Metro Vancouver, covering the cities of Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond, North and West Vancouver, New Westminster, Delta, Langley, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and the Tri-Cities has over two million residents.
The beginnings of Metro Vancouver began in New Westminster, as a result of one of the gold rushes in the late eighteen hundreds that brought many immigrants to this part of the world. With the humble beginnings as Gastown, and later on Granville, Vancouver was discovered and settled with logging as its major industry. Shortly thereafter came the Canadian Pacific Railway, which established the first transcontinental railway which quickly established trade between Asia, Eastern Canada and far off to London.
The economy has traditionally been based on fishing, agriculture, and forestry, but due to its picturesque location has swiftly become a major industry, only further cemented by its hosting of Expo 86 and most recently the 2010 Winter Olympics. The technology sector and film industry, which dubs Vancouver as Hollywood North, only adds to the cosmopolitan flare. Vancouver is consistently rated as one of the top cites in the world to live and also one of the cleanest cities in the world.
The Vancouver of today is much different than that of yesteryear with its very European heritage, and now Asia is a source of much of its immigration, with those identifying with Chinese ancestry making up over 30% of the residents of the city. Overall 52% of its residents have a first language other than English.
There are many attractions which have made Vancouver the great tourist destination that it has become. From the many mountains on the North Shore that bring skiers, hikers, and other outdoors lovers, or you can travel up the Sea to Sky corridor which leads to one of the most famous ski locations around the world in Whistler-Blackcomb. Vancouver embraces its place in nature, and while being the fourth densest city in North America behind New York, San Francisco, and Mexico City, even in the city itself, there is plenty of green space. Stanley Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America. These things, along with the great climate make Vancouver an ideal vacation spot. Even with the nearby snowcapped peaks, it has some of the warmest winters in all of Canada.
During the summer months, with warm but not unseasonably hot weather, you can relax on one of the many beaches that surround English Bay, or get out on the water and enjoy the seafaring life. You can also hop on to the Seawall which wraps around almost the entire downtown peninsula and run, ride, or walk for kilometers.
If you’d like to check out the city life, head down to Robson Street and the surrounding area which is a shopper’s delight. And with the ethnically diverse city comes a great deal of food choices, so no matter what you have a hankering for, Vancouver likely has it. Head down to historic Gastown and walk down Water Street, head down to Chinatown, or cross False Creek over to Granville Island, where countless shops are spread out around the market itself, and enjoy a nice busker show while you are there.
Vancouver is serviced by a large international airport, which is the second busiest in Canada. The huge seaport is also a docking location for cruise ships sailing up the west coast of the United States and also heading up into Alaska. Vancouver boasts a modern and progressive rapid transit system, with the SkyTrain serving as the backbone of the entire system. Pedestrians haven’t been forgotten however as it enjoys a city-wide system of bicycle lanes and walking paths.
Whatever you like to do, if it has anything to do with the great outdoors, Vancouver is the place to do it.