Tourism Vancouver

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Tourism Vancouver
200 Burrard St
Vancouver, BC
v6c 3l6

Phone: 604.682.2222

About Us:
Vancouver is a dynamic, multicultural city set in a spectacular natural environment. No matter what time of the year you visit, there are indoor and outdoor activities to please adults, families, couples and friends to no end. As the proud host of the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, Vancouver looks ahead to ongoing growth and great success in tourism, hospitality and business services each year.

Consider just a few reasons why you should plan a trip to Vancouver:

Olympic City - The International Olympic Committee selected Vancouver as the Host City for the XXI Winter Games. Athletes and spectators from around the world will gather in Vancouver and the alpine resort of Whistler in 2010 to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Selected for its beauty, accessibility, unlimited services and activities, Vancouver looks forward to hosting the world!

Spectacular & Safe Setting - Majestic mountains, sparkling ocean, rainforests and beautiful foliage all four seasons make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Canada is known for our people's friendly nature, and Vancouver's citizens take great pride in our welcoming, clean, safe streets - day or night, all year round.

Exciting Activities - Catering to any interest throughout the year, you can enjoy world class shopping, gourmet meals, outstanding live entertainment, sporting events, theatre, outdoor adventure, spectacular sights and attractions - it's all waiting for you in Vancouver.

Gateway to Adventure - With quick and easy access to Whistler Resort, the Canadian Rockies, Victoria, Vancouver Island, and of course, endless year round water and land sports, whether extreme sport or family fun, find your personal adventure here. Vancouver also is the home port for Alaska cruises May through October.

Welcoming & Accessible - A vast multicultural population, endless activities, and excellent infrastructure, Vancouver is welcoming to all - families, couples, gay & lesbian travelers, and special needs visitors - everything is within reach. The Vancouver International Airport has consistently been rated as a top North American airport providing easy access from all over the world. Exceptional public transportation is overshadowed slightly by the convenience of Vancouver as a great walking city - clean, green, safe, and easily accessible!

Superior Service & Value - Vancouver's hotels, restaurants and business community offer outstanding levels of service and product quality. Meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations is a top priority of Vancouver's businesses, providing friendly assistance every step of your trip. And with a consistently advantageous exchange rate on the Canadian dollar, you can have a world-class experience with superior value for your money!

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AccessibleAdventure Travel
All InclusiveArt
BicyclingBird Watching
BoatingBudget Travel
Buses & CoachesBusiness Travel
CampingCar Rentals
ClimbingClothing Optional
Conference CenterConvention
CulturalDestination Weddings
GourmetGroup Travel
HikingHome Stay
HoneymoonHotel Bookings
Incentive TravelKayaking
Leisure TravelLesbian
LimousinesLodging Rental
Luxury TravelMarathon
Meeting PlanningMinority Travel
National ParksNature
Performing ArtsPhotography
ResearchResort Travel
SailingScuba Diving
Sports, SpectatorStudent
WalkingWater Sports
Whale WatchingWind Surfing
Women's Travel

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icon Detailed Information

Vancouver is located on the mainland of North America, in the south west corner of British Columbia, which is the westernmost of Canada's ten provinces. Greater Vancouver is made up of 18 municipalities that occupy 2,930 square kilometres on and around the Fraser River delta. The City of Vancouver is one of them.


Vancouver City is on the western-most part of a peninsula that is a major extension of the Fraser River's delta. The delta juts into a part of the Pacific Ocean, separating Vancouver Island from the mainland, called the Strait of Georgia. Several self-governing urban areas called municipalities make up Greater Vancouver. Six of them - Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody - are east of Vancouver. Several more municipalities are to the north of Vancouver, separated from it by Burrard Inlet, which is the main waterway for Canada's largest western port. These five municipalities are West Vancouver, Lions Bay, North Vancouver, Belcarra and Anmore, and are collectively known as the North Shore. They are all nestled on the slopes of the majestic Coast Mountain range; mountains that form the northern edge of the Vancouver metropolis, and are a major part of its spectacular views. <p>

The southern boundary of the City of Vancouver is the North Arm of the Fraser River, one of the largest rivers entering the Pacific. On the opposite shore of the Fraser River are the lowland Greater Vancouver municipalities: Richmond, Delta, Surrey, White Rock and Langley. <p>

Thirty-eight kilometres (24 miles) south of downtown Vancouver is the Canada-US boundary. <p>

Across the Strait of Georgia and 96 km (60 miles) to the south-west is British Columbia's capital city of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Vancouver is almost exactly halfway between Western Europe and the Asia Pacific countries.



Based on 2001 Canadian Census reports, the population of the City of Vancouver in 2004 is estimated at 583,296.

Greater Vancouvers estimated total population for 2004 is 2.1 million, 50.8% of BCs population of 4.2 million.


Federal government departments provide service in English and French, but most of the population speaks English as either a first or second language.

The City of Vancouver is quite cosmopolitan and is a mix of many multicultural groups. Because the city is multicultural, it is also multilingual on an unofficial level. Its people speak many different languages and many follow the traditions of their native lands, sometimes moderating them with Canadian culture.

After English and Chinese, the most common mother tongue languages spoken are Punjabi, German, Italian, French, Tagalog (Filipino) and Spanish. More than half of Vancouvers school-age children have been raised speaking a language other than English.

Warmed by Pacific Ocean currents and protected by a range of mountains, Vancouver enjoys mild temperatures year-round. From high 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius) in summer to a mild mid 40s Fahrenheit (0�º to 5�º Celsius) in winter, the climate is always hospitable. Our winters are wet, but it rarely snows, except on our local ski hills.

Visitor Information & Accommodation

Tourism Vancouver operates a visitor information centre in the downtown core of Vancouver. Its at the Plaza Level, Waterfront Centre, 200 Burrard Street (604.683.2000.) We also have information centres at the Vancouver International Airport, the Peace Arch border crossing and a seasonal infocentre at the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place.

To make online hotel reservations or find out more about staying in Vancouver, see our website for full details.

Gay-Friendly Vancouver

The largest gay population in Western Canada lives in this ocean-wrapped and snow-capped city. Its gay community is centred around two distinctly different neighbourhoods - the West End and Commercial Drive, both of which enjoy a wide variety of restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and boutiques catering to gays and lesbians.

The West End

If you want to know where the rainbow ends, head to Vancouver's West End, the heart and soul of the city's gay community.

This lively, vibrant locale is one of Canada's most densely populated neighbourhoods, a mix of stylish, young Vancouverites, retirees and lots of little dogs. The area is as eclectic as the people, with beautiful tree-lined streets, skyscrapers, low-slung apartments, and a few remaining stately Edwardian-style houses.

Locals head down to English Bay at the crossroads of Denman and Davie Streets to take in the beach, the ocean, the mountains and most of all, the people-watching. Grab a bench, sip a double cappucino and watch folks in tight-fitting sportswear self-propel themselves along the Seawall path with sweaty exuberance.

Commercial Drive

Lesbian culture is alive and thriving on the Drive. That's Commercial Drive, the main street of an East side neighbourhood fuelled by Sandinista-supporting restaurants, pool halls that pay homage to Portuguese emperors and cafes that tune into Italian and Brazilian football matches.

Once the centre for the Portuguese and Italian immigrant communities, the Drive has become a hive of world-beat culture, particularly of the revolutionary kind. Old men sip espressos to warm up for their bocce-ball games, rubbing shoulders with the pierced, the punk, and the tattooed at local cafes. Hand drumming and guitar strumming are popular pastimes here, as well as the consumption of some of the best coffee in the city.


Special Needs Travelers

Vancouver enjoys a reputation as being one of the most accessible cities in the world among travelers with special needs. Whether using wheelchairs, white canes, seeing eye dogs or hearing aids, Vancouver leads the way in making the area a more livable place for people with disabilities through its progressive transportation systems, innovative housing and recreational opportunities.

Vancouver International Airport

As one of the most barrier-free airports in the world, the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) exceeds the national and provincial Building Code standards for people with hearing, visual or mobility impairments. The airport terminal features include:

  • ticket and service counters with amplified hand-sets
  • low-mounted flight information monitors designed for easier viewing with high-contrast typeface
  • visual paging monitors and public address systems displayed in written form
  • information kiosks equipped with closed-captioned decoders
  • tactile guidance maps of the terminal building
  • accessible public telephones and services for the deaf (contact the operations department at 604.207.7070)
  • accessible washrooms; facilities for service dogs are to be built in the near future
  • Airport Transportation
  • Airport rental car agencies can provide cars with hand-controls. Although there are no companies at the airport who rent ramped vans.


Under the recently implemented Access Canada program, hotels in British Columbia are graded with one of four rating levels that address the needs of people with minor to severe disabilities. Call ahead to ensure your requirements can be met.

See our Accommodation section for details and contact information for Greater Vancouver hotels.


Pet Friendly Vancouver

With plenty of wide-open parks, miles of winding trails and a population full of active people, it is no surprise that Vancouver is known for being a dog-lovers city.

Ranked #1 in the top 10 in annual ranking of the best dog-friendly cities in North America, Vancouver has proven to be a place that is welcoming to everyone, including pets.

For visitors who love to travel with furry friends, there are dozens of local hotels that welcome pets. In fact, many of the finest hotels in the city open their arms to four-legged customers. Be sure to call your hotel before your arrival for complete information regarding their pet policies.

Know the Regulations for Bringing Your Pet

In Canada, the National Animal Health Program sets the import requirements for bringing your pet into Canada. Be sure to check the regulations before travel and give yourself enough time to obtain the required documentation.


Vancouver is the choice for those looking for the adventure of a lifetime! We have it all - heart pounding thrills, spectacular photo-opportunities at every turn, fun and memories for adults and families alike - there are just so many options:  

Bungee Jumping
Looking for the absolute thrill of a lifetime? Or trying to test your fear of heights? Try Bungee Jumping! Leap from a bridge and plummet towards the earth before being caught by the bungee cord you are tethered to. Glide up and down several times before finally being lowered to the solid ground. A crazy, thrill ride - not for the faint of heart, but for those looking for one unique adventure never to be forgotten!

Rock Climbing
The surrounding mountains of the Vancouver area seem to call out to rock climbers. The local mountains offer unlimited opportunities for climbers of all levels, while just outside the city, even greater challenges can be found. In Squamish, the Chief is an experienced rock climber's dream with boundless routes to scale this massive, and quite beautiful granite face. For those less experienced, group and private lessons, indoor climbing walls and guided climbing tours are available with multiple companies.


Scuba Diving
Most people think of the tropics when they think of scuba diving, but Vancouver has some of the best cold water scuba diving in the world. Scuba divers plunge the frigid waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland to view spectacular marine species like the wolf eel and octopus, as well as a brilliant red coral found in few other places around the world.

Cates Park in Deep Cove and Whytecliff Park near Horseshoe Bay are popular diving sites, and many Vancouver scuba enthusiasts get their feet wet here first. On the Sunshine Coast, the jagged coastal fjord of Jervis Inlet near Powell River provides a stunning backdrop for finding a sunken mermaid that has been submerged by local diving enthusiasts. Some shipwrecks off the Malaspina Strait still yield buried treasures!

 Sea Kayaking
Any day of the week on the water of Burrard Inlet you'll find, among the cruise ships and freighters, sea kayaks gliding along the shores. Sea kayaks are the smallest and most maneuverable craft on the water - a sleek, stable one-person (or tandem) boat whose origins can be traced to the baidarkas designed centuries ago by the North Coast Indians of the Alaskan Panhandle.

Vancouver's two most popular paddling destinations are equally unique. The placid waters of False Creek, ringed by bustling Yaletown to the north and Granville Island to the south - offers lots of sights on land and on sea! On the North Shore, kayakers paddle from Deep Cove to explore Indian Arm, a finger-shaped fjord which bends northward for 30 kilometres (18.8 miles) deep into the heart of the Coast Range mountains. On the way, paddlers can stop to marvel at majestic and mysterious old-growth forests and lacy waterfalls while gulls, ravens and bald eagles soar overhead. It's the kind of wilderness trip that ecotourists pay thousands of dollars for, and you can take a bus right to the starting point! Rentals available throughout the city.

The Vancouver Park and Recreation Board operates nine indoor pools, seven outdoor pools, and employs lifeguards throughout the summer months on the city's half dozen beaches. For the downtown visitor, the Vancouver Aquatic Centre (604.665.4324) features an indoor Olympic-size pool, weight room, sauna and whirlpool. In the summer, Kitsilano and Second Beach pools as well as the UBC swimming pool offer the joy of swimming outdoors in heated pools that are safe for toddlers and adults alike.

White Water Rafting
Looking for a wild adventure? The Thompson, the Nahatlatch, the Squamish, the Elaho and the Chilliwack Rivers are calling your name. Ride the roaring current in a rubber raft. Get your feet wet and the adrenaline pumping. It'll be the most fun you've had in a long time. West Coast salmon run the rapids, why shouldn't you?

Would you like to learn how to windsurf? Vancouver is a great place to learn because it doesn't have consistent winds. Try English Bay or Jericho beaches where beginners can rent windsurfers and take lessons. For those who want the challenge of high-wind sailing, Squamish offers some of Canada's best windsurfing conditions. In the summer months, strong thermal winds blow down the valley and create ideal windsurfing conditions. The Squamish Windsurfing Society manages the launch site and charges a daily user's fee. For information call 604.926.9463.


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