English Language Blog

Let’s go to Vancouver: A trip to a Canadian city for ESL students Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Culture

Skyline view of Vancouver, BC.

Image “Downtown Vancouver HDR” by Lucia Sanchez from Flickr.

In continuation of this Transparent Language blog’s ‘closer look at Canada,’ today we are going to take a trip to one of Canada’s famous seaport cities; Vancouver. This is the third post in a series of four looking at different aspects of the English-speaking country of Canada. Take a look at my last two posts in this series that have addressed history & facts and language & accent. Also stay tuned for the last post in this series early next week. Now, let’s check out Vancouver, British Columbia!

Vancouver is a Canadian city that may be known to some because it was the host of the Winter Olympics in 2010, but there is much more to this city than just its recent Olympic past. Vancouver became a city in 1886 and has been growing ever since. Vancouver is a very ethnically and linguistically diverse city. Just over 50% of the people that live in this city have a first language other than English. (Remember that Canada has two official languages English and French.) Chinese-Canadian immigrants make up one of the largest minority groups in Vancouver, while northern Indian (mostly Punjabis) are another large minority group in the area. Although the First Nations people in the area only a small portion of the population, their art and culture are also very present in Vancouver. There are just under 1 million people who live in this Vancouver now. It is eight largest city in Canada, but it is a very popular tourist destination for both Canadians and foreigners.

The beautiful outdoors and all they offer are a major reason many people visit Vancouver. I have even heard people in Vancouver brag that “in the same day you can go surfing and skiing.” Vancouver has both beautiful mountains and the ocean! The landscape and recreational activities in Vancouver are truly impressive. Walking around the city, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, sailing, kayaking, and surfing are many of the amateur outdoor opportunities in and around the city. If you want to see professional sports as well, you are in luck, the Vancouver Canucks are the city’s famous hockey team; Vancouver also has professional baseball and soccer. These teams are lucky to be able to play in the beautiful Olympic venues that remain from the 2010 Olympics.

But what else is there to do in Vancouver? There are many cultural activities, such as an opera house, theaters (with frequent film festivals), and burlesque shows. You will also find one of the largest Chinatowns on the West Coast of North America (second only to San Francisco, California).

For food in Vancouver there are many four-star restaurants throughout the city and also breweries. A brewery is a place where beer is made. Many breweries in north America have bars where customers can sample their beer as well. Craft brewing (or small scale brewing of beer) is quite popular in Vancouver.

In terms of food, a trip to Vancouver (or any city in Canada) would not be complete without trying the famous Canadian dish called “poutine.” Although this food originated in different Canadian city (Quebec) it is eaten as fast food throughout the country. Poutine is a dish that is made with French fries, covered with gravy, and cheese curds (chunks of unprocessed cheese). The picture below is of “poutine.”

Potuine a typical Canadian dish.

Image “Poutine” by Peter Dutton from Flickr.com.

There is so much to see in the beautiful city of Vancouver that it is hard to touch on everything, but here is an example itinerary for a perfect day:

Begin your day with a walk through Stanley Park, the city’s large green seaside park.

Head just out of town to take the Skyride to the top of Grouse Mountain where you will have amazing views of the entire city.

After lunch at the top of Grouse Mountain head over to Robson Street, in downtown Vancouver, to do some shopping in their fancy shopping district.

For dinner go to the neighborhood “Yaletown” where there are over 65 different restaurants!

To end your day, go to a hockey game, the theater, or the opera.

If you have ever visited Vancouver please leave a comment about your favorite spot in this city.

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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.