Dolce vita, Canadian style
Consistently listed among the world’s top cities in which to live, Vancouver embodies the spirit of the Canadian West Coast. Dynamic, multicultural, green, sophisticated, gourmet, sporty, and easy-going, its qualities are manifold.
Vancouver might be likened a little to California. In summer, the scorching sun radiates off the huge glass towers facing the Pacific Ocean, drawing a perfect skyline. In the background of this tableau, the mountains rise in the distance and yet are easily accessible. Grouse, Cypress, and Seymour mountains, playgrounds for summer sports or hikes, are great for skiing in winter, and you can contemplate their heights from numerous sites in the city. The best vantage points are in Stanley Park, Vancouver's emblematic city-centre green space on the sea, where colourful totem poles proudly recall British Columbia's First Nations roots.
The Vancouver 'way of life' has everything visitors love about the West Coast. It is relaxed, laid-back, phlegmatic, promoting well-being, a life lived in the moment where the body and mind are one. Vancouverites live in a unique and valuable setting, an eco-urban paradise that for several years has continued to rise in the hit parade of best cities in which to live. Dynamic and particularly young, Vancouver attracts the curious and the cosmopolitan from around the world. Nearly 70 nationalities rub shoulders here, although Asian influence is predominant to a very large degree.
Its hip neighbourhoods, dotted with coffee shops and trendy art galleries, are models of ecological commitment. In Vancouver, its residents live in harmony with nature. Sports are everywhere and it is not unusual to see a surfer and businessman a few metres from one another. Yoga on the beach in Kitsilano, stand-up paddling in False Creek, a boat trip along the shores of the Pacific, or canoeing in the North Shore-recreational activities abound. And, as in all cities with beaches, there is a holiday feeling throughout the year.
The city is easily discovered by bicycle. Many hotels lend them, allowing you a tremendously exhilarating sense of freedom. The more adventurous will choose a floatplane to experience the richness of the city and its proximity to boreal forests. Just 40 minutes by car outside the city, British Columbia's conifers extend for as far as the eye can see. Its rivers and waterfalls invite you to travel even farther to admire the snowy peaks of Whistler, one of the world's great ski resorts.
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