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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Learn More About Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Founded inauspiciously in a pub, Vancouver has come a long way since loquacious English bartender‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton floated ashore atop a beer barrel in 1867. But, in a settlement younger than most people’s great-grandparents, the notion of Parisian-style opera houses and ruined Coliseums is as foreign as penguins in the arctic. Instead, Vancouver is a city that looks towards the future. What it lacks in storybook history, it makes up for in vision and foresight.

Conceived from a blank canvas (the area was thick rainforest until the 1880s), the city, like Haussmann’s Paris before it, has put aesthetics at the centre of its urban experiment. It remains the only metro-area in North America without ugly concrete freeways running through its central core; while its salubrious green spaces – most notably Stanley Park – express an unusual alchemy between man and the natural environment.

Yet, perhaps the most understated of Vancouver’s city-of-the-moment credentials is its underlying inclusiveness. Patriotic Londoners might brag effusively about the cosmopolitanism of the British capital, but the stomping ground of Dickens and Conan-Doyle is a wholly English creation rooted in its past. Vancouver, on the other hand, doesn’t belong to anyone. Go back two generations and everyone here is an immigrant. The notion of race is a non-issue in a metropolis that has become a microcosm of an increasingly globalized world.

No place is without its critics. Vancouver’s naysayers claim its superficial beauty hides a less enticing blandness. But, just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, modern metropolises need time to develop and fine-tune their personalities. With an expo and a Winter Olympics already under its belt, Vancouver has successfully negotiated its first baby steps. A burgeoning culinary reputation and some charismatic neighbourhoods suggest the best is yet to come.

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