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Metro Vancouver

 

Metro Vancouver, which played host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, is a remarkable region composed of an array of cities, each with its own colourful history, vibrant culture and beauty. Home to 2.3 million residents, Metro Vancouver is at once densely populated and starkly wild. It’s possible to go to extremes — from bustling urban centres to virtual wilderness — all within a 30-minute drive.

Fly into Metro Vancouver, past the snow-dusted peaks of the North Shore mountains and over the mouth of the Fraser River as it spills into the Pacific Ocean, and you’ll land at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond. This city is home to a burgeoning Asian community and thriving shopping districts, and it’s a core for agriculture and fishing. There’s much to explore here, but it’s also an ideal launching spot for wherever you wish to wander.

Travel east from Richmond and you can explore the historic downtown of New Westminster, British Columbia’s original capital city. Continue farther to Fort Langley, a bucolic region surrounded by cranberry fields and wineries, and you can stand in the very spot where British Columbia became a province. Venture south 35 kilometres to the Canada-United States border to travel into Washington State and beyond.

Take the Canada Line Skytrain 20 minutes north to downtown Vancouver and you’ll pass through neighbourhoods of grand houses set on cherry-tree-lined streets before being greeted by glass skyscrapers lining the urban seaside. You can get lost in the shopping frenzy on Robson Street, retreat to the urban forests of thousand-acre Stanley Park, watch the float planes and cruise ship activity in Coal Harbour, and dip your toes in the sandy beaches at English Bay — all in one day.

A short SeaBus ride across the Burrard Inlet or drive across the Lions Gate Bridge and you’re in the North Shore. Here, you can hike deep into the forest, ski one of three local mountains — Cypress, Seymour or Grouse — or launch a kayak in Deep Cove’s serene waters. Continue west to Horseshoe Bay, where you can catch a ferry to Vancouver Island or the Sunshine Coast. Or skip the ferry and continue driving 120 kilometres north, where Whistler awaits with world-class snow sports and an amazing alpine village.

Come explore this incredibly diverse and extraordinary region.