Vancouver is a coastal city in southern British Columbia situated north of the Fraser River, between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains. Vancouver is the eighth-largest municipality in Canada, and the Vancouver metropolitan area is the third-largest in Canada, after Toronto and Montreal.
Over 603,000 people live in the city of Vancouver, as of the 2011 census. Approximately 2 million people live in the Vancouver metropolitan area, which also includes neighbouring cities, such as Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby.
Vancouver is a predominantly English-speaking city. However, Vancouver is also a magnet city for immigrants from around the world, especially Asia, and it is very ethnically diverse. The city has a wet, mild climate. It is the ninth-rainiest location in Canada. Vancouver is known for its natural beauty, with a backdrop of mountains and huge urban parks, and global quality of living surveys regularly rank Vancouver near the top. However, depressed areas of the city remain, such as the Downtown Eastside, which was affected adversely by economic changes and public housing projects during the mid-20th century.
Aboriginal tribes settled in the Vancouver area more than 8,000 years ago. Europeans discovered the area in 1791. Fort Langley, the first permanent European settlement, was founded in 1827. The provincial legislature incorporated the city of Vancouver in 1886.