POPULATION: Based on 2001 Canadian Census reports, the population of the City of Vancouver is estimated at 582,045. The largest group (35%) is between ages 25 and 45 years. Greater Vancouver's estimated total population for 2001 is 2 million, 49.5% of BC's population of 4.1 million.

Federal government departments provide service in English and French, but most of the population speaks English as either a first or second language. The City of Vancouver is quite cosmopolitan and is a mix of many multicultural groups. Because the city is multicultural, it's also multilingual on an unofficial level. Its people speak many different languages and many follow the traditions of their native lands, sometimes moderating them with Canadian culture. After English and Chinese, the most common mother tongue languages spoken are Punjabi, German, Italian, French, Tagalog (Filipino) and Spanish.

Warmed by Pacific Ocean currents and protected by a range of mountains, Vancouver enjoys mild temperatures year-round. From high 70's Fahrenheit (low 20's Celsius) in summer to a mild mid 40's Fahrenheit (0 to 5 Celsius) in winter, the climate is always hospitable. Our winters are wet, but it rarely snows, except on our local ski hills.

The Canadian dollar is worth about two-thirds of a US dollar. Most Greater Vancouver establishments accept US dollars and Japanese yen, and usually offer reasonable exchange rates. The effect of the Canadian dollar's value against the US dollar is that Canada is a good bargain for Americans and several other countries.

Vancouver is in the Pacific time zone, eight hours ahead of Greenwich, or Universal Coordinated Time (UCT). When it's midnight in London, England, it's 4pm Pacific Time. That's during Standard Time, which runs from the last Sunday each October to the last Saturday in April. During Daylight Savings Time, from the last Sunday in April to the last Saturday of October, Vancouver is seven hours ahead of UCT.