Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada, with over 5,400 people per square kilometre,
which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America, behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. 48.9% have neither English nor French as their first language. Approximately 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage.
Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life, and the Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged it as the first city ranked among the top-ten of the world's most well-living cities for five consecutive years.
Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 Commonwealth Games, UN Habitat I, Expo 86, APEC Canada 1997, the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009; several matches of 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup including the finals at BC Place in Downtown Vancouver, and the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics which were held in Vancouver and Whistler, a resort community north of the city. In 1969, Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver. In 2011, the city planned to the become the greenest city in the world by 2020. The City became the permanent home to Ted conferences in 2014. Vancouverism is used to describe the urban planning design philosophy of Vancouver.
Vancouver was originally named Gastown and began as a settlement which grew around the site of a makeshift tavern on the western edges of Hastings Mill built on July 1, 1867 and owned by proprietor Gassy Jack. The original site is marked by the Gastown steam clock. Gastown then formally registered as a townsite dubbed Granville, Burrard Inlet. The city was renamed "Vancouver" in 1886, through a deal with the Canadian Pacific Railway . The Canadian Pacific transcontinental railway was extended to the city by 1887. The city's large natural seaport on the Pacific Ocean became a vital link in the trade between Asia-Pacific, East Asia, Europe, and Eastern Canada.
, Port Metro Vancouver is the fourth-largest port by tonnage in the Americas, the busiest and largest in Canada, and the most diversified port in North America. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry.
Major film production studios in Vancouver and nearby Burnaby have turned Greater Vancouver and nearby areas into one of the largest film production centres in North America, earning it the nickname "Hollywood North".