View Larger Map
Vancouver is located on the mainland of North America, in the south west corner of British Columbia, which is the westernmost of Canada's ten provinces. Greater Vancouver is made up of 21 municipalities that occupy 2,930 square kilometres on and around the Fraser River delta. The City of Vancouver is one of them.
Vancouver City is on the western-most part of a peninsula that is a major extension of the Fraser River's delta. The delta juts into a part of the Pacific Ocean, separating Vancouver Island from the mainland, called the Strait of Georgia. Several self-governing urban areas called municipalities make up Greater Vancouver. Five of them - Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody - are east of Vancouver. Several more municipalities are to the north of Vancouver, separated from it by Burrard Inlet, which is the main waterway for Canada's largest western port. These five municipalities are West Vancouver, Lions Bay, North Vancouver, Belcarra and Anmore, and are collectively known as the North Shore. They are all nestled on the slopes of the majestic Coast Mountain range; mountains that form the northern edge of the Vancouver metropolis, and are a major part of its spectacular views.
The southern boundary of the City of Vancouver is the North Arm of the Fraser River, one of the largest rivers entering the Pacific. On the opposite shore of the Fraser River are the lowland Greater Vancouver municipalities: Richmond, Delta, Surrey, White Rock and Langley.
Thirty-eight kilometres (24 miles) south of downtown Vancouver is the Canada-US boundary.
Across the Strait of Georgia and 96 km (60 miles) to the south-west is British Columbia's capital city of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Vancouver is almost exactly halfway between Western Europe and the Asia Pacific countries.
> See also Greater Vancouver Municipalities for details on areas surrounding the city.
> Or see our Maps section to better understand getting around Vancouver.
The downtown business and shopping core of the City of Vancouver is on a smaller peninsula, with Burrard Inlet on the north, English Bay on the west and False Creek on the south.
There is also a business-and-shopping centre at Metrotown in central Burnaby and along the Fraser River waterfront in New Westminster.
On the North Shore, business is concentrated in West Vancouver on Marine Drive, and in North Vancouver along Marine Drive, which turns into Third Street.
In Richmond, the business centre is largely retail and stretches for some distance, primarily along Number 3 Road.
The municipality of Surrey, the largest in British Columbia, contains four main business concentrations: Whalley, Guildford, Newton and Cloverdale. There is also a large business centre in downtown Langley.