Vancouver Canada
Vancouver Canada
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Restoration of Gas town
The nearby and once shabby Gas town was cleaned up after 1970 and is now a bright and shiny business area in Neo-Victorian style. The offices of the nineteenth century have become restaurants, bars, boutiques, and galleries. The colorful life on the brick paved streets, lined with antique street lanterns, includes street traders, musicians, and artists. The attraction of the area is the steam clock on Water Street that tourists believe is operated by natural 
steam from out of the earth. In reality of course it is operated these days by electricity. 
Between Gas town and the up¬market shopping streets around the Pacific Center there is a former court house. Today this houses the Vancouver Art Gallery.
This fine domed building extends for an entire block. The permanent exhibition of work by the famous Canadian painter Emily Carr on the second floor is certainly worth seeing. The broad open area on the northern side is a gathering place for those wanting to express political opinions while on the southern side the city's young people, passers-by, and chess players mix with suited business people lunching on the gallery's steps. 
The extensive Stanley Park covers the remaining half of the peninsula. It was laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted who was also responsible for New York's Central Park. 
Here the people of Vancouver enjoy extended walks, quiet picnic places, and the promenade along the shore with its magnificent views of the varied silhouette of their city
Vancouver is quite different from virtually any other city in North America. Despite, the fact it is a large modern Cosmopolitan city, it seems to have a relaxed small-town, close to nature feel about about it. There is little comparison with other large Canadian cities such as Toronto or Montreal, which are more akin to the large eastern US centers like New York and Chicago. In Vancouver, you are never more than 30 minutes away from Wilderness. This has proved fatal on occasion, especially to hikers or skiers who have been lulled into complacency by the proximity of the city, and failed to take appropriate precautions. It is often said that Vancouver is the only city in the world where it is possible to Ski , Sail, and Golf on the same day. I've never tried it, I don't have that sort of energy. 
Vancouver resisted the trend of virtually every other North American city in the 50's & 60's to bisect downtown with freeways (motorways). While this has created some traffic problems, it has also made Vancouver one of the most liveable cities in North America.  Urban planners from other large North American cities have been flocking here to see how we did it. The downtown area has liveable neighbourhoods with only a couple of sleazy areas, the waterfront is attractive, and beaches & trendy marina areas are accessible right in the downtown core. A large proportion of people live in the downtown core, and this trend is accelerating. This means Vancouver bucks the model of most North American cities, which empty out to the suburbs every night. Not that Vancouver does not have its share of suburbia, its just that the downtown core is lived in 24 hours a day, not just 9 to 5.  Many European visitors will find the architecture of the city rather boring. Vancouver, like all large North American cities is a conglomerate of high rise cubic office towers, although urban planners have kept the heights down. (the tallest building in Vancouver is only 50 stories. There are some notable exceptions such as the Marine Building at the north foot of Burrard Street, once the tallest structure in the British Empire. The courthouse at Howe & Robson, and the library at Georgia & Hamilton are also variations from the norm
Long Beach in Vancouver Island's Pacific Rim National Park reputedly has the best waves in BC, though the water's very cold. You can swim at 11 beaches around Vancouver or at one of the city's aquatic centres.
The rich and varied marine life in the local waters make scuba diving very rewarding. The top dive spots are the waters off the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island's western coast; in Georgia Strait between Vancouver Island's eastern coast and the mainland's Sunshine Coast, north of Vancouver; and in Queen Charlotte Strait off Vancouver's northeastern coast. If you're planning on spending more time underwater, the best time to go is in the winter (the water's cold anyway) when the plankton has decreased and visibility often exceeds 20m (66ft).
Canoeing, boating and kayaking are popular on the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers, which run south of the city, and the Gulf Islands southwest of Vancouver. Many novices and part-timers also kayak on False Creek via rentals on Granville Island and in Deep Cove in North Vancouver.
Rivers close to Vancouver offering whitewater rafting include the Fraser, Thompson and Chilliwack.
If fishing is your thing, several spots around Vancouver Island vie for the title 'Salmon Capital of the World'. The Queen Charlotte Islands and the Fraser and Thompson Rivers are also prime casting sites. The waters off the western coast of Vancouver Island offer excellent whale-watching. Killer (orca) whales and Pacific gray whales run north in spring and south in autumn.
Snow sports
Just minutes away from downtown, the mountains north of Vancouver have some great downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding. Grouse Mountain is the closest to downtown and is known for night skiing. Other nearby resorts include Cypress Mountain (also featuring night skiing) and Mt Seymour. A little farther afield is the glossier Whistler, located 100km (62mi) north of Vancouver, where you can ski year-round.


Vancouver Accommodation
If you enjoy the royal treatment of five diamond luxury hotels, favor a cozy bed and breakfast, or have family specific needs, there is a hotel in Vancouver for every preference. 

Average room rates are just over $100 CDN, but rooms can go for as little as $60 or as much as $1000 a night, dependant on your needs. Select one of the following to find out more, or use our Search tool to find the Vancouver accommodation right for you.
Vancouver is the only Canadian city to offer two five-diamond rated hotels by the American Automobile Association. Vancouver hotels can range from the truly luxurious to fun-family-focused accommodations. Whether in the heart of downtown, or situated in one of the wonderful communities of Greater Vancouver, there is a hotel for every taste, budget and need.

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