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Living a Beach Lifestyle in Vancouver, CANADA

Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia, Canada, and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Americas. It is also a town with great beach access: Jericho and Kitsilono are just 2 public beaches run by the Vancouver Park Board. The setting of high rise buildings rising from the harbor  creates a striking environment.  Vancouver is home to 2 major universities: the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.  Vancouver has public parks like giant Stanley Park, a lake, beaches, and nearby mountains for skiing and hiking. The city is frequently selected as one of the most livable cities.  Photo of downtown courtesy of Wikipedia and Flickr, photo of the historic Marine Building courtesy of Wikipedia and Bobanny.

Where to Retire in Vancouver and Home Prices

Much of Vancouver is devoted to high rise apartment buildings, particularly in the West End. These dense but livable neighborhoods include former urban industrial sites, such as North False Creek and Coal Harbour. People looking for an livable urban experience will find it in Vancouver.  There are also active adult communities in the area (see link at right).
Although prices have declined in recent years, they are the highest in Canada, due to lack of land, a wealthy population, and its being a very desirable place to live.  Average home prices in British Columbia were almost $500,000 in 2010.

What is special about Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and the most livable cities in the world. It was the successful host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The city's location near mountains and the ocean, along with its many gardens (such as Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park,  and VanDusen) make it a top tourist destination. Cruise ships include Vancouver as a regular stop.

What is not special about Vancouver

Problems in Vancouver include homelessness, crime, and some gangs. It is also extremely expensive.

Climate and Physical Environment

The climate here is milder than most of the rest of Canada. It has an oceanic or marine west coast climate. It receives 47" of rain (1200 millimeters) and it snows about 11 days per year. July and August highs are rarely above 86 F. (30 C.). It has a natural harbor, Port Metro Vancouver, which is the busiest in Canada. Vancouver is in southwestern Canada on the Pacific Ocean.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city with a thriving cultural life.  In addition to hosting numerous theaters it has the  Vancouver International Film Festival, which runs for two weeks every September.  There are many art museums, such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well other types of museums. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Opera are important contributors to the Vancouver cultural scene.  There is no shortage of interesting restaurants as well.

Crime

Crime in Vancouver has been falling dramatically, though property crime is still fairly high.

Medical facilities

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Transportation

Vancouver has a very advanced public transit system including the 2nd largest network of trolleys in North America. There is also a major airport, passenger ship terminals, and a major railroad hub.

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