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Vancouver City is bordered on the north by Burrard Inlet, which is the City's main harbour.
English Bay, a large body of water that is popular with sailboarders and sailboaters alike, also serves as a freighter's 'parking lot' as they wait for berths in the harbour. The Bay marks the western edge of the City's downtown core and the northern edge of the City's west side and Point Grey area.
The Fraser River is on the south of the City, and the municipality of Burnaby is on the east.
To the south of Vancouver City are the suburban municipalities of Richmond and Delta, each with their own community cores.
The downtown core of Vancouver, with English Bay on one side and Burrard Inlet on the other, is a peninsula that lies west-northwest (or east-southeast.)
> See also Greater Vancouver Municipalities
for details on areas surrounding the city.
> Or see our Maps section to better understand getting around Vancouver.
The City's streets are generally laid out in a standard grid, with the more modern neighbourhoods - those defined as unified developments - tending to have streets that wander. The streets of the grid run north-south and the avenues are east-west. The avenues, for the most part, are numbered-First, Second, Third and so on, with two major avenues breaking that flow: Broadway, which should be Ninth, and King Edward Avenue, which should be 25th. All the streets are named, as are all the roadways in the downtown core.
For historical reasons, the block numbering east-west starts in the single digits on either side of Ontario Street, which runs north-south just east of the downtown core, and so those addresses east of Ontario are referred to as East Broadway or East 23rd Avenue, etc. Those to the west are West Broadway or West 23rd Avenue and the like.
The block numbering north south starts at Triumph Street, which is on the City's east side, and almost at the City's northern edge. Since virtually all of the streets are south of that, only a handful of addresses need to add the word 'North', as in North Nanaimo Street. All the rest just give the road's name; 'south' is assumed.
Note: In many grid-style cities the block numbers correspond with the numbered roadways, but not in Vancouver. The 5500 block Knight Street, for instance, is at 39th Avenue.