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Vancouver, British Columbia (City)

Canada is a country in the northern half of North America. Vancouver is a city in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. The city is named after Captain George Vancouver, an English explorer. A resident of Vancouver is called a Vancouverite. Vancouver is part of the Greater Vancouver Regional District metropolitan area. With a population of 2,208,300 in 2005 estimate, it is the largest metropolitan area in western Canada and the third largest in the country. Vancouver has a very ethnically diverse population which is more than half of its residents have a mother tongue other than English. The city is growing rapidly, and the metropolitan population is projected to reach 2.6 million by 2020. Vancouver is located between the Strait of Georgia and the Coast Mountains. Its economy has traditionally relied on British Columbia's resource sectors: forestry, mining, fishing and agriculture.
It was first settled in the 1860s as a result of immigration caused by the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, and developed rapidly from a small lumber mill town into a metropolitan centre following the arrival of the transcontinental railway in 1887. The Port of Vancouver became internationally significant after the completion of the Panama Canal and reduced freight rates in the 1920s made it viable to ship export-bound prairie grain west through Vancouver. It has since become the busiest seaport in Canada and exports more cargo than any other port in North America. Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the three most livable cities in the world. In 2006, the city was ranked the 56th most expensive city to live in among 144 major cities in the world and the second most expensive in Canada after Toronto. The 2010 Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver and nearby Whistler.
Vancouver's streetcar system began on June 28th, 1890. Less than a year later, the Westminster and Vancouver Tramway Company began operating Canada's first interurban line between the two cities, which encouraged residential neighbourhoods outside the central core to develop. The British Columbia Electric Railway became the company that operated the urban and interurban rail system until 1958 when its last vestiges were dismantled in favour of diesel buses. The City of Vancouver was one of the first cities in Canada to enter into an international twinning arrangement. Today, one can also learn about its history, from its earliest times and gain enthusiasm in its natural beauty and populace. Vancouver enjoys a very positive reputation with worldwide travelers.

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