Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland: City Information
Here are some basic facts about Vancouver :
Vancouver is nestled beside the Coast Mountains, where they meet the ocean. The city is at 49°15' north latitude, 123°05' west longitude. We are in Pacific standard time, three hours earlier than Toronto and New York, and 9 hours earlier than western Europe (by coincidence, these are almost the flying times).
Vancouver was named for Captain George Vancouver , who in 1792, fourteen years after sailing here under Captain Cook, returned to the area in 1792, and spent the next two years exploring the area in search of the western end of the "Northwest Passage".
The City of Vancouver has over 521,000 people though the metropolitan area, often referred
to as the "Lower Mainland" has 1,831,665 residents and is the third largest metropolitan in Canada, and the
third largest after Toronto and Montreal. Here is the breakdown for the larger
municipalities in the Lower Mainland:
British Columbia is the most westerly of Canada's provinces, and joined Canada as a province in 1871. BC has 4 million residents its 947,800 square kilometres). The province is about the same area as Texas or twice the size of Japan.
The major industries in Vancouver reflect that of the whole province. Forestry and trade are the top job-creating industries, followed by mining and tourism.
Daytime temperatures and night-time temperatures are fairly consistent because of the moderating influence of the sea. Vancouver is sheltered from the worst of Pacific Ocean weather systems by Vancouver Island. In the summer time, you can generally expect hot and sunny weather, with only occasional precipitation. In the fall, winter, and spring time, expect rain more often than not...after all, there's a reason the grass and tree-leaves are green year-round. Always carry an umbrella with you in case of rain.
An approximate guide to Celsius Temperatures is as follows:
Vancouver gets 54 cm ( 21 inches) of snow each winter and a total of 1167 millimetres (46 inches) of precipitation per year. The city has 164 wet days (where it rains at least part of the day), mostly in the non-summer months (any months whose name contains the letter "r"). When visiting Vancouver , ALWAYS bring an umbrella, just on case.
Some hotels include tips or gratuities with group programs to simplify bookkeeping. This will usually include gratuities for housekeeping, bell service and food service. In a hotel, bell service should be tipped about $1 per bag, and housekeeping $1 to $5 dollars a day (in proportion to your room rate). Visitors should know that the standard tip in restaurants is 10%-15% (on restaurant bills, an average tip will be 50% higher the GST & tax), with 20% (about double the GST & tax) for very outstanding service. This is especially important for visitors from countries where tipping on meals is not done: here the waitering staff depend on tips for a significant portion of their incomes. Tip taxis about 10%, and a dollar a bag they carry for you (not just unload), or at the very least round fares up to the nearest dollar.