Vancouverites are usually the first to whip out the ‘west coast, best coast’ boast. But really, can anyone disagree with us? Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada. The mild weather, breathtaking mountains, and endless options for good sushi give us more than enough reason to truly love this beautiful Canadian city.
That said, while every Vancouverite may have a favourite hike and spot for miso soup up their sleeve, not all of us are fully brushed up on our Vancouver history and fun facts. Here’s 15 facts you can surprise your friends with next time you’re idolizing this glorious city on the way up the Grouse Grind:
1. Vancouver is the largest film production centre in all of Canada
And the third biggest in North America, after Los Angeles and New York City. The X-Files, Jump Street, and the L-Word were filmed here, to name a few. No wonder why they call us ‘Hollywood North.’
Source: City of Vancouver
2. Main Street is one of North America’s fifteen ‘coolest streets’
Real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield gave Main Street high marks for its array of restaurants, nightlife offerings, and for being bike friendly. We agree!
Source: Cushman & Wakefield
3. Kits Pool is the longest pool in all of Canada
It’s not just a gorgeous spot to swim and tan – it’s a record holder, too! The salt water pool is 137.5 metres (451 feet) long – almost as long as a regulation-sized Olympic pool.
4. Local yogis have more than 1500 yoga classes a week to choose from
The real difficulty isn’t finding a yoga class in this city – it’s choosing one. We even offer a hip hop yoga class, hoop yoga, laughter yoga... the list goes on!
5. Stanley Park is actually 10% larger than New York’s Central Park
The world renowned park is 1001 acres in total, and the Stanley Park seawall path is 5.5 miles long. It includes The Vancouver Aquarium, a children’s farmyard, a golf course, and a miniature train ride, to name a few key attractions.
6. Greenpeace was born in Vancouver in 1971
The international environmental organization is named after a fishing boat that set out from Vancouver to Alaska in 1971 to stop US nuclear tests. Our environmental legacy continues – Vancouver has set the goal to become the world’s greenest city by the year 2020.
7. Vancouver cares about its future
There are endless amazing NGOs and grassroots organizations fighting to make Vancouver more affordable, sustainable and fairer for its residents. Raincity Housing Society, The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, and The Downtown Eastside Women's Centre are just three of many awesome organizations working to create positive change.
Source: The Georgia Straight
8. Many top tech companies were founded in Vancouver, including Hootsuite, Slack, and PlentyOfFish
And Hootsuite is now the most widely used social media management platform, with more than 10 million users – go Vancouver techies go!
9. Vancouver is incredibly diverse
Vancouver has the highest proportion per capita of Asians out of all North American cities – and over 35% of Vancouver’s population is foreign born.
10. Vancouver is named after Captain George Vancouver
The English Navy Officer is famous for his explorations charting the northwestern Pacific Coast between 1791-1795. Besides Vancouver and Vancouver Island, various other locations are named after George, including Vancouver, Washington, and Mount Vancouver in New Zealand.
Source: Canada History
11. Biking is Vancouver's fastest growing transportation method
With more than 450 lane-kilometres of bike routes in the city, as well as plenty of incredible trails for seasoned mountain bikers, Vancouver has an avid cyclist community.
Source: Tourism Vancouver
12. Vancouver once had an official ‘town fool.’
Back in 1968, a 35-year-old named Joachim Foikis received $3500 from the Canadian Council for the Arts to bring back the Elizabethan tradition, hang around the courthouse square, and promote humorous discussion. I say we bring this back?
Source: The Tyee
13. Metro Vancouver is home to endless free festivals and parades every summer
Some favourites include The Food Cart Festival, Bard on the Beach, CarFree Days and Vancouver Pride. Our annual pride parade is one of the biggest in North America, with more than half a million spectators attending the celebration each year.
14. Vancouver is quickly becoming a craft beer mecca
With over 50 breweries in Metro Vancouver alone, Vancouverites never have to look far for a locally-brewed pint of beer. With many of Vancouver’s breweries winning national prizes, our city is definitely on the map for beer enthusiasts both near and far.
Source: Canadian Traveller
15. Vancouver is currently ranked the third best city to live in
The Economist ranked us the third best city in the world. Okay, we knew that one already – but it never hurts to remind ourselves just how lucky we are to live here. And let’s be honest: we should probably be #1.
Source: The Economist