One of the most photogenic cities in the world, Vancouver is a city where spectacular mountain ranges meet the ocean. It’s home to beautiful parks and beaches as well as a host of cultural attractions with famous art galleries and world-class museums as well as top-notch restaurants and upscale shopping venues.
It’s no surprise that many have fallen in love with this city – after its beauty was revealed to the world in 2010 while hosting the Winter Olympic Games, tourist numbers doubled over the previous year as local news reported in 2011. As more came to see it in person, a larger demand for real estate here resulted, with Vancouver homes for sale becoming highly coveted.
But there’s a lot more to learn about British Columbia’s largest city, including some cool facts you should know whether you’re a resident or a visitor.
- The Film and Television Industry is Big Here
- Stanley Park Squirrels
- Stanley Park is Bigger Than NYC’s Central Park
- First Nations History
- North America’s Third Largest Chinatown
- Gastown Is Where It All Began
- West Vancouver Is One of Canada’s Wealthiest Neighborhoods
- Vancouver Birthed the California Roll
- It Perseveres
- North America’s Longest Swimming Pool
The Film and Television Industry is Big Here
Vancouver is North America’s third-largest film and TV production city, behind only Los Angeles and New York City. There have been hundreds of movies and television shows shot here. It would take a book to list them all, with everything from “Once Upon a Time” and “Deadpool” to “Juno” and “Tomorrowland.”
Stanley Park Squirrels
There are many grey squirrels in Stanley Park which is located just outside the downtown core. They are all descendants of just eight pairs of the animals Vancouver received in 1909 as a gift from New York City.
Stanley Park is Bigger Than NYC’s Central Park
Stanley Park is huge, covering 405 hectares, about a fifth larger than Central Park in New York City. It makes up the northwestern half of the downtown peninsula, surrounded by English Bay and Burrard Inlet.
First Nations History
The First Nations people first settled here as long as 20,000 years ago after moving from the area of Beringia which is now underwater.
North America’s Third Largest Chinatown
Vancouver’s Chinatown is the third largest in North America, after San Francisco and New York City, with roots tracing back to the late 19th-century when Chinese immigrants came to work on the province’s railroads. Today, the neighborhood is a center for Chinese culture, with many traditional markets, eateries, gardens, and temples along with a booming business district.
Gastown Is Where It All Began
Gastown is the original settlement, the place where Vancouver was birthed. It sits in the northwest end adjacent to downtown Vancouver and is now a national historic site with a clocktower that attracts many for selfies.
West Vancouver Is One of Canada’s Wealthiest Neighborhoods
If you want to know where the movie and television stars live in Vancouver, take a drive to West Vancouver and you’ll see plenty of magnificent homes along the waterfront. The city itself is known for having the country’s richest neighborhoods, and this is the wealthiest of all.
Vancouver Birthed the California Roll
Unlike the name belies, the California Roll was invented in Vancouver, not the Golden State. It’s credited to Chef Hidekazu Tojo and his restaurant, Tojo, is located in the Fairview neighborhood.
The Great Vancouver fire of 1886 destroyed the city – it began when locals were looking to clear the land between Cambie and Main streets, growing out of control, with few buildings managing to survive. But just a few days later, construction began and the city came back to life in no time, proving this is a place that perseveres.
North America’s Longest Swimming Pool
Vancouver is home to Kitsilano Pool, North America’s longest at 450 feet. The heated, outdoor saltwater pool is nearly three times the length of an Olympic-size pool.