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Since the 2010 Winter Games, Vancouver, British Columbia (population 603,000/city; 2.46 million/metro) has seen a remarkable economic, cultural and lifestyle boom that has catapulted it into an elite field  of cities that includes Melbourne, London, Berlin, and even Paris.  From the ski resorts and hiking trails on the North Shore Mountains to the breezy waters on English Bay, Vancouver’s scenery is second to none. Hemmed in by mountains, ocean and farmland, real estate development here is regulated to preserve a special quality of life.

Whether as a place to live and do business (#1, The Economist, Global Intelligence Ranking) enjoy a vacation (#10, Conde Nast Traveler, Best Cities in the World) or worship nature (Greenest City in the World, World Economic Forum), people can’t seem to get enough of what Vancouver has to offer.

In truth, the parks, trees, water, and mountains are just the skin. The heart of the city is in its people—beginning with the Coast Salish First Nations whose legacy and tradition are celebrated more and more every day. For over a century now, the city has welcomed people from all over the world. As a Pacific-facing port city, Vancouver looks east to Asian countries like China, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and India.

With two world class universities and several top notch colleges and tech institutes, Vancouver attracts a highly educated workforce that values bringing great ideas to market; from social media software to Gore-Tex jackets to the most advanced super-computers in the world.

Perhaps Vancouver’s crowning achievement in the past two decades has been in the development of walk, bike, and transit-friendly neighbourhoods such as Commercial Drive, Strathcona, Grandview/Hastings and the north and south shores of False Creek. Previously, people travelled downtown for their foodie fix and can now find exotic cuisine and eclectic entertainment in their own neighbourhood.