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Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver redirects here. For other uses see Vancouver (disambiguation)
Vancouver is a Canadian city, in the province of British Columbia. It is a major seaport and the largest metropolitan centre in western Canada, home to 545,000 people in 2001. Vancouver is the main city in the region commonly known as the Lower Mainland, where 1,986,965 people (2001) live. It is situated at 49 degrees, 16 minutes north, and 123 degrees, 7 minutes west. The current mayor is Larry Campbell, Coalition of Progressive Electors.

Vancouver is adjacent to the Strait of Georgia, a body of water that is separated from the Pacific Ocean by Vancouver Island. The Strait of Georgia was first explored in 1791 by Spanish explorer Lieutenant Jose Maria Narvaez. In the following year, 1792, the British naval Captain George Vancouver (1757-1798) from King's Lynn in Norfolk joined the Spanish expedition based at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island's west coast and explored in more detail the Strait of Georgia, as well as Puget Sound.

Early industry along Burrard Inlet, the body of water where Vancouver's port is today, was lumbering. The first sawmill began operating in 1863 at Moodyville. The first export of lumber took place in 1865; this lumber was shipped to Australia. By 1865 the first sawmill, Stamp's Mill, started in what was to become the City of Vancouver.

In 1870, the colonial government of British Columbia surveyed the community officially known as Granville. It was sited immediately west of Stamp's Mill and was commonly known as Gastown, a name that survives today.

In 1885 Granville was selected by the Canadian Pacific Railway to be the western terminus of the transcontinental railway commissioned by the government of Canada under the leadership of Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald. (This led to Vancouver's infrequently-used nickname, Terminal City). On April 6, 1886, the City of Vancouver was incorporated, and in May, 1887, the first train from Montreal arrived.

With the arrival of the railway, Vancouver began to grow rapidly as it was fully connected to all of Canada and thus benefitted from access to Canadian markets. Additionally, as part of the agreement to join the Confederation, British Columbia's debt of approximately $1,000,000 was paid in full by the Canadian government, creating additional business opportunities.

Vancouver has been named host of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

List of Mayors of Vancouver

City website: http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/

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