Skip to main content
Online resources for international students

Navigating Metro Vancouver Guide

BC's Restart

Check BC’s Restart Plan to understand what kind of activities will be permitted through the coming months.

Aerial view of downtown Vancouver and mountains

Beautiful downtown Vancouver, British Columbia (photo credit: Tourism Vancouver)

Geographical overview

Metro Vancouver is made up of 21 municipalities that are home to around 2.8 million people, making it the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Canada after Toronto and Montreal. The largest of these is the City of Vancouver which is a vibrant and multicultural port city set against the beautiful landscape of the rugged Coast Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean.

Although indigenous communities have called the region home for thousands of years, the metropolis as we know it is relatively young by global standards. The City of Vancouver was incorporated in 1886, and soon became the western terminus of the trans-Canada railway (which was competed that same year). As Canada’s principle port on the Pacific coast, Vancouver has particularly strong economic and cultural connections throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The people living in the region are a very diverse group made up of the indigenous Coast Salish First Nations as well as a vast array of immigrants from around the world and their descendants. Many languages are spoken locally and in fact more than half of the population of Metro Vancouver reported in the 2016 Census having a mother tongue language other than English or French.

Map of the municipalities of Metro Vancouver with population
Municipalities of Metro Vancouver (with population size)

Learn more from Tourism Vancouver:

Getting around

There are many transportation options for getting around Metro Vancouver. Click below for more information.

Community resources

There are many resources available throughout the community.

Regional travel

Your studies at BCIT will most likely keep you quite busy, but when you do find some free time we encourage you to get out and safely enjoy beautiful British Columbia! Follow the useful travel links below for more information: