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Vancouver is the third biggest city of Canada with its population about 2,3 millions. It’s also the largest, most populated and economically developed city of British Columbia. It’s also the main port of Western Canada connecting the country with other American countries, Asia and the whole Pacific region. It’s a contemporary city, one of the leaders in international finance, business and industry.
Vancouver is located in the mouth of the Fraser River, on the both coasts of Burrard Gulf. Vancouver business district is connected with the north of the city by Lion’s Gate – a famous bridge 516 meters in length. Entry to the bridge is decorated with two sculptures of lions, but the name was chosen in the honor of two mountain peaks, which shape reminds of sea lions.
The area of the present Vancouver was inhabited long ago before the Europeans came here. There were several Indian villages. Vancouver received its name after the English captain George Vancouver, explorer of the American Pacific coast of XVIII century. The first European settlements appeared here in 1830s and were fort posts for fur trade. Later saw-mills and fishing villages appeared.
Vancouver looks much like other Canadian cities – skyscrapers, highways, estacadas – the silhouette is almost the same. However, in Vancouver it’s all surrounded by fabulous landscapes of British Columbia. The most of the buildings in downtown are about 90-130 height. It’s the result of municipal restrictions.
Vancouver is a pleasant city and a very comfortable place for living. In 2001 Vancouver was named first in UNESCO official rating of the cities with the best environment, climate and conditions for living.
The natural beauty and relatively cheapness attracted a lot of Hollywood directors here. Now about 10 percent of Hollywood films are shoot here or somewhere else in British Columbia. Many of the famous American soap operas are being produced in these places for years.
Tourism has become a very important industry in Vancouver. Mountain resort Whistler Blackcomb 120 kilometers far from Vancouver is one of the most important winter sport centers of the North America.
One of the main attractions of Vancouver is city park “Stanley” founded on the peninsula in a distant 1886 (the first year of the city existence). Now this park with embankment is a favorite place for rest and walking. Here the big oceanarium, zoo and the collection of the Indian totems are located. Another park – Elizabeth’s is known for its Botanic Garden.
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