Fast Facts

quick facts


Population

Based on 2006 Canadian Census reports, the population of the City of Vancouver in 2010 is estimated at 601,203.

Greater Vancouver's estimated total population for 2010 is 2.4 million, 52.3% of BC's population of 4.6 million.



Languages

Federal government departments provide service in English and French, but most of the population speaks English as either a first or second language.

The City of Vancouver is quite cosmopolitan and is a mix of many multicultural groups. Because the city is multicultural, it's also multilingual on an unofficial level. Its people speak many different languages and many follow the traditions of their native lands, sometimes moderating them with Canadian culture.

After English and Chinese, the most common mother tongue languages spoken are Punjabi, German, Italian, French, Tagalog (Filipino) and Spanish. More than half of Vancouver's school-age children have been raised speaking a language other than English.



Currency

We recommend all visitors use Canadian currency when traveling within Canada. Visitors can exchange currency at Canadian chartered banks, trust companies, credit unions, or at offices of foreign exchange brokers, but it is advised to have local currency on hand prior to arriving. Some hotels, merchants, restaurants and suppliers accept US or other foreign currency at a pre-determined rate, which may differ from the daily rate posted by financial institutions.


  • Canadian one dollar coin ("loonie") ($) = 100 cents
  • Canadian two dollar coin ("toonie") ($) = 200 cents
  • Notes are in denominations of $1000, $100, $50, $20, $10, $5
  • Coins are in denominations of $2, $1, $0.50, $0.25, $0.10, $0.05, $0.01

Traveller's Cheques

Traveller's cheques in Canadian dollars are the safest and most convenient way to carry money. They are widely accepted and can be cashed at banks or foreign exchange brokers. Identification may be required when cashing travelers cheques.



Taxation

Effective April 1, 2013, most purchases in British Columbia will be subject to a 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and a 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST), with the exception of liquor (10% GST). For more information, visit Changes to the Sales Tax in British Columbia.



Time Zone

Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone. Daylight savings time is in effect from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.

You can see Vancouver's time in relation to most cities on the globe by visiting www.TimeAndDate.com, which also can provide a Canadian calendar.

Workdays
Greater Vancouver, like all major cities, runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The main workdays are Monday to Friday, from roughly 8am to 6pm - but hours vary for each organization or business. Retailers are usually open seven days a week, and most stores are open from 9:30am to 6pm each day-except Thursday and Friday, when they are open until 9pm. A number of large retail stores, nearly every hotel and motel, and several restaurants, remain open around the clock.

> See also Holidays in our Travel Tips section for our statutory holiday dates each year.

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