Vancouver's climate is unusually temperate by Canadian standards; after Victoria, it is the second warmest major city in Canada during the winter Although Vancouver is popularly known as a rainy city, only 166 days per year have measurable precipitation on average, and 289 days per year have measurable sunshine. However, winters in Vancouver can be dark, as the sky during this time is often covered with low altitude gray cloud. For a few nights near the summer solstice, there are less than 7.5 hours between sunset and sunrise, twilight lasts past 10 pm, and the northern sky remains slightly lit by the sun all night. Vancouver has over 2,700 acres (11 km²) of parks, with Stanley Park being the largest. The municipality also has several large beaches, many flowing into each other, with the largest groups extending from the coast of Stanley Park before reaching False Creek, and on the other side of English Bay, starting in the Kitsilano neighbourhood all the way to the University Endowment Lands, which are separate from Vancouver. The generous coastline provides for every type of water sport, and the city is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts. Just relax!
Vancouver is a relaxed city with many diversions and easy access to outdoor
activities such as hiking, cycling, boating, and skiing. There is a lively
cultural scene. Some have called it a "city of neighbourhoods", each
with its own distinctive character. It is consistently ranked at or near the
top of the best cities in the world in which to live.
Vancouver can be an expensive city, as its housing prices are the highest in Canada. Various strategies aim to lessen housing costs. These include cooperative housing, suites, increased density and smart growth. Nevertheless, as with many other cities on the west coast of North America, homelessness is a concern, as is the growing gap between rich and poor.
Vancouver was the source of the sobriquet "Hollywood North", for hosting the production of approximately ten percent of Hollywood's movies. Many U.S. television and films series are shot exclusively in Vancouver. This has partly been because of the favourable Canadian dollar exchange rate but also due to the fact that with the city and its environs there are numerous "looks" that can make Vancouver seem like many different locations around the world without necessitating changing location. The mild climate of the city and close proximity to ocean, mountains, rivers and lakes make the area a popular destination for outdoor recreationists.
Let's go skiing
The nearby North Shore mountains are home to three ski hills - Cypress
Bowl, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour - each within 20 to 30 minutes
of downtown Vancouver. Mountain bikers have created world-renowned trails
across the North Shore. Three rivers - Capilano River, Lynn Creek, Seymour
River - each within 20 minutes of downtown provide opportunities to whitewater
enthusiasts during periods of rain and spring melt.
Nightlife in Vancouver had, for years, been seen as restricted in comparison to other "world class" cities, with early closing times for bars and night clubs, and a reluctance by authorities to allow for further development. However, Vancouver has, in the past few years, experimented with later closing hours and relaxed regulations, and an effort has been made to develop the Downtown core even further as an entertainment district, especially on and around Granville Street.
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