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Vancouver

Vancouver, city (1991 pop. 471,844), SW British Columbia, Canada, on Burrard Inlet of the Strait of Georgia, opposite Vancouver Island and just N of the Wash. border. It is the largest city on Canada's Pacific coast, the center of the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, and the nation's chief Pacific port, with an excellent year-round harbor. It is the major western terminus of trans-Canadian railroads, highways, and airways, as well as the terminus of a pipeline bringing oil to the west coast from Edmonton. The city's industries include lumbering, shipbuilding, fish processing, and sugar and oil refining. It has textile and knitting mills and plants making metal, wood, paper, and mineral products.

Vancouver's location on hills with views of the harbor, its many waterways, and the nearby mountains of the Coast Range as well as its mild winter climate make it a year-round tourist center. As Canada's main connection to Pacific Rim countries, Vancouver has become increasingly ethnically diverse as large numbers of Chinese, Japanese, and South Asians have settled in the city. Vancouver's Chinatown is second only to San Francisco's.

Simon Fraser Univ. and the British Columbia Institute of Technology are in the city. At Point Grey in metropolitan Vancouver is the Univ. of British Columbia. Stanley Park (900 acres/364 hectares), the largest of the city's more than 170 parks, has a zoo, a marine science center, and famous gardens with outstanding specimens of native trees. Other attractions include the Granville Island Museums and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site some 20 mi (32 km) south of the city. Vancouver is home to the Canucks (National Hockey League), and Lions (Canadian Football League). An international exposition devoted to transportation, Expo '86, brought international recognition and 20 million visitors to the city, and the city hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. Vancouver was settled before 1875 and originally called Granville. It was incorporated in 1886, after a rail link was built, and named in honor of Capt. George Vancouver.

See A. Kloppenborg et al., Vancouver's First Century: A City Album, 1860–1960 (1978); R. A. J. McDonald and J. Burman, ed., Vancouver's Past: Essays in Social History (1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Canadian Political Geography


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