We all know it rivals Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro for most scenic big city in the world but here’s some things you might not have known about Vancouver.
1. Vancouver recently banned doorknobs and might be the first city in the world to do so.
2. The reason for the doorknob ban is to ensure Vancouver enjoys its status as one of the world’s most accessible cities (it used to be number one, but perhaps it had too many doorknobs)
3. Although it is a relatively small residential zone, Vancouver’s West End remains one of the densest in North America (or the densest, depending on who’s counting).
4. Vancouver’s Chinatown is the largest in Canada and one of the largest in North America.
5. Stanley Park is to Vancouver what Central Park is to Manhattan. However, Stanley Park is just a little bit bigger than its Big Apple counterpart.
6. A full 40% of Vancouverites were born in a country other than Canada (I was one of them!)
7. Where were these aliens…I mean, immigrants, born? Now, mainland China edges out Hong Kong. Vancouver’s suburb Richmond is 43% Chinese but some say 50% is a more realistic count.
8. Given the number of foreign-borns, it should come as no surprise that 53% of residents do not speak English as first language. The largest single minority language in Vancouver is…Punjabi! However, when Cantonese, Mandarin, and other Chinese dialects are taken into consideration, the Canadian census found almost 15% of Vancouver speaks Chinese as a first language.
8. Only 1% of Vancouver residents claim French as a first language, even though Canada is an officially bilingual nation.
*It has recently come to my attention that New Brunswickers or whatever you call them are sensitive because they are totally bilingual but never get any street creds and are not represented on this map. So, shout out to the NB, en français
9. Lots of films and TV shows are shot in Vancouver. Recognize any of them?
10. Vancouver is the second-least most affordable city to live in the world, after Hong Kong.
11. Skinny Puppy, Loverboy, DOA, Ladyhawk, Bryan Adams, Black Mountain…yep, all from Vancouver. Pamela Anderson is from Vancouver Island.
12. What happens when Hong Kong and Amsterdam have a baby? Hongcouver and Vansterdam are two of the city’s most common nicknames, but for completely different reasons. Both ring true. Vancouver looks like Hong Kong, but it smells like Amsterdam, if you know what I mean.
13. In addition to the ordinary urban wildlife like skunks, you might spot coyotes, otters, bald eagles, and seals right in downtown. Venture across the water to North and West Vancouver, and you might also see a bear.