Photo by Margaret Amarault
Greater Vancouver is famous for its natural beauty, being surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The population is approximately 2½ million and the climate is mild. It is among the most dense, ethnically diverse cities in Canada. It is a bustling seaport, and the downtown area has good and diverse shopping, with many coffee shops and restaurants featuring food from around the world. It has a thriving art and music scene, with art galleries and museums, and is a popular filming location. Vancouver is an outdoor city with biking, hiking, running, kayaking among many of the outdoor activities. There are three local ski hills and a two-hour drive takes you to the world famous Whistler/Blackcomb ski area. It is a city to enjoy.
Vancouver is where you will celebrate Canada Day on July 1st.
Icelanders settled in Vancouver in the first decade of the 1900s. Prior to that many Icelanders passed through Vancouver on their way to Victoria, where the Icelanders settled beginning in the 1880s or on their way to settlements in Washington State. By 1908, there were a few hundred Icelanders living in the city. They established an association in that year which has evolved over the years but is the origin of the Icelandic Canadian Club of BC. For most of these Icelanders, Vancouver was their second or third home in North America and often they were North American born. Over the next decades, especially around WWII, the "Icelandic" population increased particularly with people migrating from the Prairies for economic reasons and for a milder climate. Although Icelanders lived all over BC, especially along the coastline, and in communities on Vancouver Island. Greater Vancouver is the largest centre for people of Icelandic heritage in British Columbia as with any large city it offers a wide variety of educational, social and career opportunities. There have been many organizations within the Icelandic Canadian community, today the most prominent are The Icelandic Canadian Club of BC headquartered at the Scandinavian Community Centre in Burnaby and Icelandic Harbour, Höfn, an assisted living centre in Vancouver.