Vancouver City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 12, 2007

Vancouver has consistently ranked among the three most livable cities in the world. This is a remarkable fact in itself that is made all the more amazing considering that the city has also cultivated a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world. It would appear that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. However, the rapid influx of immigrants into the city–which has been going on for several years now–continues at the same frenetic pace and shows no sign of abating in the near future.

The tide of new residents in Vancouver has resulted in a city that is a gloriously rich and diverse melting pot of cultures from all over the world. Vancouver is a city that is clearly on the rise and this is no better illustrated by the masses that have chosen to make the city their home. Of course the geography of Vancouver also plays a large part in attracting visitors. Melding the best parts of 21st century cosmopolitan sophistication with stunning natural displays, Vancouver nevertheless retains much of the laid-back feel that sets it apart from other major cities of the world.

Residential Places in Vancouver

If you were in town for merely a short period of time, you would surely have no difficulty looking for a place to stay in Vancouver. The city has plenty of hotels on the higher end of the price range, as well as a host of more affordable accommodations. If you intend to stay for much longer however–or if you plan to settle here for good–it will take some looking around for a suitable residence, although it would not be too difficult. 

Downtown is of course the first place that comes to mind for many people who travel to Vancouver seeking permanent residence here. It is a logical enough choice given the district’s close proximity to many of the city’s business and leisure features. As surprising as it may seem, downtown is still quite a feasible option if you are looking for a place to live. There is no apparent shortage of new condos, apartments and homes in this area, contrary to what you may have expected from such a bustling and vibrant location.

Hospitals and Universities of Vancouver

Vancouver is home to the second largest hospital in Canada, the Vancouver General Hospital. This hospital also holds the distinction of being the largest medical facility in British Columbia and is affiliated with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. Vancouver General is one of the most comprehensive health care facilities in North America, with an Alzheimer Clinic, an Eye Care Centre and a Trauma Services division, among many other departments. Of course there are scores of smaller medical and health care related institutions all over the city as well. There are two major public universities in Vancouver, the University of British Columbia and the Simon Fraser University. The city is also the location of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, which is primarily focused on polytechnic education. All of these universities have satellite campuses scattered throughout the city so you should have no trouble finding one that is located near you, wherever you decide to settle. 

There are also several community colleges in Vancouver–among them the Vancouver Community College and Langara College–which focus on trade and career oriented courses. Other notable learning institutions in the city include the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the Vancouver Film School.

 

Commercial Places in Vancouver

Now this is the one where Vancouver really shines! As you can expect from a city that is home to myriad different cultures, Vancouver is a veritable smorgasbord of culinary treasures, with plenty of establishments catering to mainstream tastes as well as more eclectic delights. Chartwell is particularly favored for its extensive menu of Pacific inspired dishes and its lavish surroundings. For a dining experience that is a bit more reminiscent of home, check out the Pear Tree. Located in the Burnaby, Hastings and Willingdon area, they offer a wide selection of game, venison and rabbit in addition to a small but excellent wine list. 

A visit to Vancouver wouldn’t be complete without spending long hours engaging in one of the city’s favorite pastimes: shopping. By all means check out the shopping malls and the clothing boutiques that are located all over the city, but to get a feel for the local color, don’t miss out on the smaller shops where you can catch a bargain or two in the course of a leisurely stroll.

  

Service Establishments of Vancouver

If you are new to Vancouver it can be quite a bewildering task to find out everything you need to know to get around in the city. The Tourist InfoCentre, which is located in Burrard St., can make this daunting job considerably easier by providing you with information about virtually every aspect of the city, from transportation tickets and schedules, to any events happening in your area. Not just for tourists, the Tourist InfoCentre can help make your transition into Vancouver life much smoother. Another daunting task if you are new in town is tracking down all the utility companies to get your basic services up and running. ConnectUtilities.com can help you in this area, offering you a convenient listing of virtually every utilities company in the city all in one web page, so you don’t have to sign up with them individually. This service is a huge time saver and it’s a must if you want to get on with your routine at the soonest time possible.

Embassies in Vancouver

Being in a new city can be a challenging experience for anyone, and you will often need to consult with a representative from your own country for one reason or another. Thankfully, Vancouver is home to the foreign offices of many different countries. The British Consulate General’s offices can be found in downtown Vancouver on the corner of Melville and Thurlow Streets, so you should have no trouble finding someone from your country to talk to for any concerns that you may have. The tide of new residents in Vancouver has resulted in a city that is a gloriously rich and diverse melting pot of cultures from all over the world. Vancouver is a city that is clearly on the rise and this is no better illustrated by the masses that have chosen to make the city their home. Of course the geography of Vancouver also plays a large part in attracting visitors. Melding the best parts of 21st century cosmopolitan sophistication with stunning natural displays, Vancouver nevertheless retains much of the laid-back feel that sets it apart from other major cities of the world.

Residential Places in Vancouver

If you were in town for merely a short period of time, you would surely have no difficulty looking for a place to stay in Vancouver. The city has plenty of hotels on the higher end of the price range, as well as a host of more affordable accommodations. If you intend to stay for much longer however–or if you plan to settle here for good–it will take some looking around for a suitable residence, although it would not be too difficult. 

Downtown is of course the first place that comes to mind for many people who travel to Vancouver seeking permanent residence here. It is a logical enough choice given the district’s close proximity to many of the city’s business and leisure features. As surprising as it may seem, downtown is still quite a feasible option if you are looking for a place to live. There is no apparent shortage of new condos, apartments and homes in this area, contrary to what you may have expected from such a bustling and vibrant location.

Hospitals and Universities of Vancouver

Vancouver is home to the second largest hospital in Canada, the Vancouver General Hospital. This hospital also holds the distinction of being the largest medical facility in British Columbia and is affiliated with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. Vancouver General is one of the most comprehensive health care facilities in North America, with an Alzheimer Clinic, an Eye Care Centre and a Trauma Services division, among many other departments. Of course there are scores of smaller medical and health care related institutions all over the city as well. There are two major public universities in Vancouver, the University of British Columbia and the Simon Fraser University. The city is also the location of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, which is primarily focused on polytechnic education. All of these universities have satellite campuses scattered throughout the city so you should have no trouble finding one that is located near you, wherever you decide to settle. 

There are also several community colleges in Vancouver–among them the Vancouver Community College and Langara College–which focus on trade and career oriented courses. Other notable learning institutions in the city include the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the Vancouver Film School.

 

Commercial Places in Vancouver

Now this is the one where Vancouver really shines! As you can expect from a city that is home to myriad different cultures, Vancouver is a veritable smorgasbord of culinary treasures, with plenty of establishments catering to mainstream tastes as well as more eclectic delights. Chartwell is particularly favored for its extensive menu of Pacific inspired dishes and its lavish surroundings. For a dining experience that is a bit more reminiscent of home, check out the Pear Tree. Located in the Burnaby, Hastings and Willingdon area, they offer a wide selection of game, venison and rabbit in addition to a small but excellent wine list. 

A visit to Vancouver wouldn’t be complete without spending long hours engaging in one of the city’s favorite pastimes: shopping. By all means check out the shopping malls and the clothing boutiques that are located all over the city, but to get a feel for the local color, don’t miss out on the smaller shops where you can catch a bargain or two in the course of a leisurely stroll.

  

Service Establishments of Vancouver

If you are new to Vancouver it can be quite a bewildering task to find out everything you need to know to get around in the city. The Tourist InfoCentre, which is located in Burrard St., can make this daunting job considerably easier by providing you with information about virtually every aspect of the city, from transportation tickets and schedules, to any events happening in your area. Not just for tourists, the Tourist InfoCentre can help make your transition into Vancouver life much smoother. Another daunting task if you are new in town is tracking down all the utility companies to get your basic services up and running. ConnectUtilities.com can help you in this area, offering you a convenient listing of virtually every utilities company in the city all in one web page, so you don’t have to sign up with them individually. This service is a huge time saver and it’s a must if you want to get on with your routine at the soonest time possible.

Embassies in Vancouver

Being in a new city can be a challenging experience for anyone, and you will often need to consult with a representative from your own country for one reason or another. Thankfully, Vancouver is home to the foreign offices of many different countries. The British Consulate General’s offices can be found in downtown Vancouver on the corner of Melville and Thurlow Streets, so you should have no trouble finding someone from your country to talk to for any concerns that you may have.

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