Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities, most recently placing third on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual liveable cities list. The Greater Vancouver area has a population of about 2.3 million, making it Canada’s third largest city. So what makes Vancouver such an attractive place to live? There are a variety of contributing factors, including plenty of outdoor activities, the ease in getting around, and a thriving creative scene.
A few of Vancouver’s popular neighbourhoods include:
- Kitsilano is home to boutique shopping, yoga classes and popular Kits Beach.
- Gastown is one of the oldest parts of the city. Fine dining options and fashionable startups are tucked away in renovated industrial lofts.
- Yaletown was once a warehouse district and railway terminus. Today it’s a trendy commercial and residential neighbourhood bordered by a beautiful seawall walk around False Creek.
Vancouver’s geographic location creates a relatively moderate climate. While the city experiences times of heavy rainfall, the temperature never gets extremely cold. This allows Vancouverites to get outside and enjoy local beaches, parks, and mountains year round. An active and healthy lifestyle is a strong part of Vancouver culture.
With options from biking the Stanley Park Seawall and exploring local trails to skiing on mountains like Cypress and Grouse, you’ll enjoy getting outdoors and exercising. Additionally, Whistler (a world-class ski resort and outdoor destination) is only an hour.
After a hard day of burning calories, rewards can be found in Vancouver’s vibrant culinary scene. Some of Canada’s best restaurants are in Vancouver, including Hawksworth Restaurant and Blue Water Cafe. For brunch or a quick coffee fuel stop, spots like Medina Café and the Gallery Café patio are popular social gathering places for Vancouverites. Every winter the city hosts Dine Out Vancouver, a 17-day food festival where local restaurants feature fixed-price menus.
There are plenty of options to easily get around the City of Vancouver and its surrounding areas. Within the city, pedestrian-friendly routes, designated bicycle lanes, and public buses are all available. Car-share programs like car2go and Evo are popular amongst the city’s urbanites as well.
Access to the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and other surrounding areas like Burnaby and Surrey is easy and efficient with rapid transit and light rail options. For weekend trips, picturesque Vancouver Island is a short Harbour Air flight or BC Ferries ride away.
Centre of Culture & Creativity
Another alluring side of Vancouver is its growing creative scene. TED2016, the Vancouver International Film Festival, and the annual Vancouver International Jazz Festival attracted international attention to the city this year. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performs 150 concerts annually at a variety of locations around Metro Vancouver and in Whistler. Learn more about the cultural history of Vancouver at the beautifully designed Museum of Anthropology.
Creativity is also evident in Vancouver’s strong technology community: several successful and innovative start-ups such as Hootsuite started and continue to be headquartered in Vancouver.
When it comes to education, Vancouver is home to top-ranking Canadian universities including The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, as well as acclaimed private elementary and high schools.
Ready to call Vancouver home?
Vancouver is a liveable city for many reasons. An emphasis on active living, the ease of getting around, and strong creative culture are all factors that make the city so desirable.
Images: Shutterstock / Dan Breckwoldt, Shutterstock / Asif Islam, Shutterstock / Lissandra Melo, Hawksworth Restaurant, Tourism Vancouver, City of Vancouver, Shutterstock / Paul Yates, Shutterstock / Cory Stevens