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Territory of Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Known as one of the top cities for education in the world, Vancouver is the perfect setting for your English program. The city is the most populous in Western Canada and third-largest in the country. Vancouver has a population of just over 2 million people in its metropolitan area. Over the last 30 years, immigration has dramatically increased, making the city more culturally diverse.
Unlike many parts of Canada, there is very little snow in the city of Vancouver. However, we do get snow up in our local mountains. During winter we usually have mild or rainy weather. Summer months are drier and sunnier with moderate temperatures. The daily maximum averages 22 °C in July and August, with highs reaching 30 °C.
Vancouver rarely has temperatures below freezing, but if you are joining our program in the winter, come prepared for cooler temperatures. On average, we only have 4.5 days a year with temperatures staying below freezing. If you are joining us in the summer, bring your bathing suit and sandals!
There are five public universities in the Greater Vancouver area, the largest being the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU), with a combined enrollment of more than 80,000 undergraduates, graduates, and professional students in 2008. In 2006, UBC was ranked 27th best university in the world by Newsweek magazine, and SFU ranked as the best comprehensive university in Canada by Maclean’s University Rankings in 2009. The other public universities are Capilano University, the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Vancouver has been ranked one of the most livable cities in the world for more than a decade. As of 2010, Vancouver has been ranked as having the 5th highest quality of living of any city on Earth. Forbes has also ranked Vancouver as the tenth cleanest city in the world.
Recreation & Sports
The warmer climate of the city and close proximity to ocean, mountains, rivers and lakes make the area a popular destination for outdoor recreation. The city has several large beaches, many adjacent to one another, extending from the shoreline of Stanley Park around False Creek to the south side of English Bay, from Kitsilano to the University Endowment Lands. The 18 kilometres (11 miles) of beaches include Second and Third Beaches in Stanley Park, English Bay (First Beach), Sunset Beach, Kitsilano Beach and Jericho Beach. The coastline provides for many types of water sport, and the city is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts.
Within a 20-to-30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver are the North Shore Mountains, with three ski areas: Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour. Mountain bikers have created world-renowned trails across the North Shore.
Vancouver is also the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada and the third largest in all of the country, with a population of 2.6 million. Located at the southwestern corner of the coastal province of British Columbia, it is well known for its majestic natural beauty, as it is nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently ranked as one of the best cities to live in and is certainly a beautiful destination to visit.
Vancouver is perhaps best known for its scenic beauty, and the opportunities provided by its natural environment. Vancouver is one of those rare places where you could theoretically ski in the mountains, windsurf in the ocean, and play a round of golf all in the same day. Surrounded by water on three sides and crowned by the North Shore mountains, Vancouver is a great destination in itself, as well a great starting point for discovering the area’s many outdoor activities.
Vancouver is a major sea port on the Pacific Ocean and a base for many Alaska Cruise Ships in the summer. It has the same name as another city in the region, Vancouver, Washington (USA).
Vancouverites broadly split their city into three: the Westside, the Eastside (or East Van) and city centre. This split is simply geography: everything west of Ontario St. is the Westside, everything east is East Vancouver and everything north of False Creek is the city center. Each of these areas has their own attractions and neighborhoods which you should explore as many as you can, time permitting. The areas in the city of Vancouver are frequently confused with the separate cities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver. North Vancouver and West Vancouver are north of Burrard Inlet and are not part of the city of Vancouver itself.
This is the financial, shopping, and entertainment hub of the city. It has many of Vancouver’s most notable landmarks and is well connected to other parts of the city and the Lower Mainland. With its multitude of accommodation and dining options, it is the ideal, although perhaps pricey, place to base yourself for exploring the city.
Stanley Park and the West End
This is one of the most popular places to hang out in Vancouver. Stanley Park is home to many beaches along with lots of little shops and eateries.
Gastown-Chinatown is the original town site of Vancouver. Gastown is a mix of kitsch, heritage and urban chic. The Chinatown of Vancouver is one of the largest Chinatowns in North America.
This was a reclaimed industrial land that is now modern and is home to trendy neighborhoods with some fantastic views along False Creek. The district hosts Vancouver’s major spectator sports and is home to the Athlete’s Village from the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Kitsilano & Granville Island
The very popular Kitsilano Beach is noted for its art studios, while the famous Granville Island Public Market has a fantastic urban style shopping – particularly 4th Avenue, 10th Avenue and Broadway where chain stores mix with unique independent shops.
The University of British Columbia campus has a number of attractions, including two sets of gardens and the acclaimed Museum of Anthropology. Nearby is Pacific Spirit Park, and further east in Point Grey, are two large beaches, Jericho and Spanish Banks. The UBC campus is also home to the popular clothing optional beach, Wreck Beach.
Mt Pleasant-South Main
Main Street is an up and coming artsy part of the city filled with unique shops. Nearby is Queen Elizabeth Park, which is the highest point in Vancouver and has some excellent free gardens.
Commercial Drive-Hastings Park
It’s a mostly residential area of the city. Commercial Drive is a trendy neighborhood containing many ethnic restaurants and unique boutiques.
Vancouver South is a mostly residential area that includes the Kerrisdale, Dunbar, Oakridge, Marpole and Shaughnessy neighborhoods.