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Vancouver (pronounced /væn.ˈkuːvər/) is a coastal city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is named for British Captain George Vancouver, who explored the area in the 1790s. The name Vancouver itself originates from the Dutch "van Coevorden", denoting somebody from Coevorden, a city in the Netherlands.[2]

The largest metropolitan area in Western Canada, Vancouver ranks third largest in the country and the city proper ranks eighth.[3][4] According to the 2006 census Vancouver had a population of 578,041[1] and its metropolitan area was 2,116,581.[1] Over the last 30 years, immigration has played a huge part in city growth. As a result its residents have become been ethnically and linguistically diverse; 52% do not speak English as their first language.[5][6] and almost a third of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese origin,[7] with a large number of immigrants from Hong Kong.

A logging sawmill established in 1867 led to the founding of a settlement which came to be known as Gastown and which became the nucleus around which the townsite grew. Following the announcement that the settlement, officially called Granville, would be the railhead, it was renamed Vancouver and incorporated as a city in 1886. By 1887, the transcontinental railway was extended to the city to take advantage of its large natural seaport, which soon became a vital link in a trade route between the Orient, Eastern Canada, and London.[8][9] Port Metro Vancouver is the new name for the Port of Vancouver, which is now the busiest and largest in Canada, as well as the fourth largest port (by tonnage) in North America.[10] While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second largest industry.[11] It also is the third largest film production centre in North America after Los Angeles and New York City, earning its film industry the nickname Hollywood North.[12][13]

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