Having the opportunity to travel to another country is always a fascinating experience. That is why I gladly accepted an invitation to visit a relative in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where I spent 30 days as an urban explorer absorbing the natural coastal environment, local Canadian history, culture, and laid back urban lifestyle. The British Columbia province is a beautiful, breathtaking and awesome place to experience.
As a young child growing up in Detroit, Michigan, I vividly remember taking random Saturday morning trips with my Grandmother and older brother either over the Ambassador Bridge or through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel to Ontario. From what I remember, the trips were shopping expeditions at the farmer’s markets, and we’d spend a couple of hours over there and then travel back home with goods in hand, snacking on different fruits and pastries. While very memorable good times, that was a long, long time ago and the idea of visiting Canada and exploring from an adult perspective was very appealing and intriguing.
World Class City
If you ever wanted to visit Canada, definitely place Vancouver on your international travel list. It is fast becoming a world-class must-see city. In 2010, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – for the eighth time – chose Vancouver as the world’s “Most Liveable City,” and four years later, Trip Advisor honored Vancouver as a popular tourist destination with its Travelers’ Choice award, and Travel & Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Awards named Vancouver as a top Canadian city.
Regionally, Metro Vancouver has a population of 2.4 million throughout 24 municipalities and the growth target is expected to welcome 1 million new residents by 2020. Possibly the growth has been bolstered by the upward trending economic landscape and booming real estate market in Vancouver, which no doubt, was aided when the city hosted the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010. During the Games, the City of Vancouver attracted over 3 billion attendees and almost 2 billion viewers through multi-media channels, according to the International Olympic Committee Vancouver’s 2011 Fact and Figures. It was also during this time, that Vancouver expanded its SkyTrain system in preparation for the 2010 Games.
Best Way To Travel in Vancouver
As a visitor, the most convenient way to travel throughout the City is on the SkyTrain, a light rapid transit system operated by TransLink. I was able to travel everywhere I wanted to go with easy accessibility to the bus system if that was required. Traveling by the SkyTrain is a very common transportation mode for Vancouver residents. During peak hours, the cost is $2.75 for a 90 minute time cap traveling one zone with additional cost for additional zones. For instance, if I wanted to travel downtown and spend several hours, which is two zones from Burnaby, BC, where my Aunt resides, it would cost me roundtrip $8. After 6 p.m. and on the weekends, the one-way fare is $2.75 with a 90 minute time cap. It can get quite pricey and requires you to plan out your trip. When I purchased a pack of 10 tickets, I saved about a $1 per round trip. I understand a monthly pass provides unlimited travel and costs about $90 to $170 depending on the number of zones required to travel. There are also discounts for students and seniors making it affordable to travel throughout the city.
This is just basic information on my travels to Vancouver but enough to help you begin to plan your journey, including why visit and how to get around once you are there. I will share in another article about places that I visited and how I had fun in a very expensive coastal town on an unemployed girl’s meager budget.