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Uploaded on Sep 23, 2010
Vancouver is a coastal city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is named for British Captain George Vancouver, who explored the area in the 1790s. The name Vancouver itself originates from the Dutch "van Coevorden", denoting somebody from Coevorden, a city in the Netherlands. The largest metropolitan area in Western Canada, Vancouver ranks third largest in the country and the city proper ranks eighth. According to the 2010 census Vancouver had a population of 620,341 and its Census Metropolitan Area exceeded 2.3 million people. Its residents are ethnically and linguistically diverse; 52% do not speak English as their first language. Vancouver has ranked highly in worldwide "livable city" rankings for more than a decade according to business magazine assessments. At 5,335 people per km2 (13,817.6 people per mi2) in 2006, Vancouver is the fourth most densely populated major city in North America, after New York City, San Francisco and Mexico City. Urban planning in Vancouver is characterized by high-rise residential and mixed-use development in urban centres, as an alternative to sprawl. This has been credited[by whom?] in contributing to the city's high rankings in livability.
This approach originated in the late 1950s, when city planners began to encourage the building of high-rise residential towers in Vancouver's West End, subject to strict requirements for setbacks and open space to protect sight lines and preserve green space. The success of these dense but livable neighbourhoods led to the redevelopment of urban industrial sites, such as North False Creek and Coal Harbour, beginning in the mid-1980s. The result is a compact urban core that has gained international recognition for its "high amenity and 'livable' development." More recently, the city has been debating "ecodensity"—ways in which "density, design, and land use can contribute to environmental sustainability, affordability, and livability." Notable buildings within the city include Christ Church Cathedral, the Hotel Vancouver, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. There are several modern buildings in the downtown area, including the Harbour Centre, Vancouver Law Courts and surrounding plaza known as Robson Square (designed by Arthur Erickson) and the Vancouver Library Square (designed by Moshe Safdie), reminiscent of the Colosseum in Rome and the recently completed Woodward's building Redevelopment (designed by Gregory Henriquez). he city has several large beaches, many adjacent to one another, extending from the shoreline of Stanley Park around False Creek to the south side of English Bay, from Kitsilano to the University Endowment Lands, (which also has beaches that are not part of the city proper). The 18 kilometres (11 miles) of beaches include Second and Third Beaches in Stanley Park, English Bay (First Beach), Sunset, Kitsilano Beach, Jericho, Locarno, Spanish Banks, Spanish Banks Extension and Spanish Banks West. There is also a freshwater beach at Trout Lake. The coastline provides for many types of water sport, and the city is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts.
Within a 20-to-30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver are the North Shore Mountains, with three ski areas: Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour. Mountain bikers have created world-renowned trails across the North Shore. The Capilano River, Lynn Creek and Seymour River, also on the North Shore, provide opportunities to whitewater enthusiasts during periods of rain and spring melt, though the canyons of those rivers are more utilized for hiking and swimming than whitewater.
Running races include the Vancouver Sun Run (a 10 km (6.2 mi) race) every April; the Vancouver Marathon, held every May; and the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon held every June. The Grouse Grind is a 2.9-kilometre (1.8 mi) climb up Grouse Mountain open throughout the summer and fall months, including the annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run. Hiking trails include the Baden-Powell Trail, an arduous 42-kilometre (26 mi) long hike from West Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove in the District of North Vancouver.
In 2009, Vancouver hosted the World Police and Fire Games. Swangard Stadium, in nearby Burnaby, hosted games for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Vancouver was the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympic and the Paralympic Games. On June 12, 2010, it played host to UFC 115 which was the fourth UFC event to be held in Canada (the other 3 were held in Montreal).
In 2011, Vancouver will be hosting the Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game which is awarded every year to a different city which has a CFL team. The BC Titans of the International Basketball League played their inaugural season in 2009, with home games at the Langley Event Centre. Vancouver is a centre for the fast-growing sport of Ultimate. During the summer of 2008 Vancouver hosted the World Ultimate Championships.
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