Vancouver is one of the best places in the world to live. For the third year running, Vancouver topped The Economist’s list of the world’s most livable cities, with a “livability ranking” of 98 out of 100. Although most Vancouver residents have long known our city is special, the rest of the world appears to agree. The recent success of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games has solidified Vancouver’s place as a world class city in league with the likes of Zurich, Vienna and Tokyo.
Vancouver’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the mountains that form the stunning backdrop to the city’s skyline help make Vancouver what it is. While Vancouver boasts premier shopping, dining and nightlife, the plethora of outdoor activities available and mild climate ensure a balanced lifestyle. Less than two hours drive from Vancouver, Whistler/Blackcomb – the world’s foremost ski resort – embodies this combination of health and luxury. Local mountains 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver and pristine beaches along the city’s significant coastline provide a convenient escape year round. The 22 km seawall has become a mecca for cyclists, runners and strollers, while the numerous marinas along this stretch ensure the long boating season can be enjoyed to its fullest. Vancouver is one of the greenest cities in the world, both literally and figuratively. The beautiful natural surroundings feature 200 parks in the Greater Vancouver area, including one of the world’s most famous urban oases, Stanley Park. This green environment is mirrored by a green philosophy in Vancouverites, who have an inherent desire to protect their home, generating 90 percent of their power from renewable resources.
Vancouver is comprised of several neighbourhoods, each with a distinct flavour of its own. South Granville has a contemporary vibe that mixes with the historical houses in neighbouring Shaughnessy. False Creek has become an extension of this area, and is currently home to new developments on the remaining waterfront in Vancouver. Coal Harbour and Yaletown cater to the professional atmosphere of the downtown core while retaining the relaxed vibe ubiquitous throughout the city, while Commercial Drive and Mount Pleasant offer a more bohemian lifestyle rich in culture. The West End is home to English Bay and Stanley Park, yet also divided by Robson and Davie Streets, resulting in an eclectic atmosphere that is pleasantly calm within the boundaries of the busy streets. Kitsilano remains the casual mix of urban and seaside living it was famous for in the 1970s, and is bordered by Kerrisdale, a family oriented, charming community. These two neighbourhoods extend into Point Grey, which – like North and West Vancouver – is home to some of the most stunning properties in British Columbia.
Transportation in Vancouver has recently greatly improved with additions like the Canada Line and other fast transit to and from the numerous suburbs and downtown. Two major universities, several colleges, and a distinguished public school system add to the appeal of a city that is also one of the safest in North America. Vancouver’s proximity to other regions of British Columbia, such as Vancouver Island and the Okanagan, make travelling within the province convenient and pleasant.
Vancouver ranks high in quality of life on every major survey, and it is easy to see why. West Coast living is simultaneously relaxed and adventurous, and this cosmopolitan hub surrounded by natural wonders has managed to progress as a professional and economic powerhouse without compromising the values, character and majestic beauty that initially attracted its residents.
Vancouver Waterfront Property
English Bay in Downtown Vancouver
An Aerial View of Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains