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Some Fast Facts About Vancouver



About Vancouver Some Useful Fast Facts


Banking Hours

Facts About Vancouver

Banking hours vary according to the institution you are doing business with.

Basically you can find a bank open Monday to Saturday anywhere from 8am-8pm and automatic teller machines (ATM's) are everywhere in malls and corner stores.

You can also access the ATM from most banks from the street after hours.

Currency

Our currency is the Canadian Dollar. Sometime it's made fun of and called monopoly money because the paper bills fives, tens, twenties, fifties and hundred are each a different color.

Our coins are one cent (penny), five cent, ten cent, twenty-five cent. Our dollar is a coin called a "loonie" and there's also a two dollar coin which is called a "toonie".

We also take American dollars but if you need to change your money you can go to a bank or a currency exchange place.

Education

There is public education, private school, French emersion school and after that countless colleges and specialty schools such as Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design or The Art Institute of Vancouver where you can learn to cook. Diplomas and degrees are also available at The British Columbia Institute of Technology, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia which all enjoy great reputations.

Internet Access

One thing you will notice about Vancouver is the number of coffee shops. With your own laptop you're pretty much set as many coffee shops provide internet access. Otherwise one place you can go is the downtown at Vancouver Public Library and get on a computer there.

Language

We speak English here. All federal government buildings also communicate in French You will also find many other institutions like banks and travel agencies will serve you in other languages and if you go to certain parts of the city you will here many other languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Farsi and Italian being spoken.

Shopping

There's shopping, shopping and more shopping about Vancouver. The only time that there is really a lot of shops closed is Christmas and some also at Easter. Otherwise shopping is available seven days a week.

You can shop at the big malls like Pacific Center Mall in downtown Vancouver or in neighborhood shopping districts such as Robson Street, Chinatown, Commercial Drive and Little India.

Make a phone call before you go because shopping hours vary.

Time Zone

We are on Pacific Standard Time (PST). Each year in the spring we spring forward one hour to make the most of the daylight and switch to Pacific Daylight Time and in the fall we fall back to Pacific Standard Time.

Measurements

We use the metric system so distance is in centimeters, meters and kilometers and the temperature is in Celsius.

Phone System

To make a local call in Vancouver you have to dial 10-digits. This includes the 3-digit area code and then the seven-digit number.

Policing

There's the Vancouver Police Force who drive around in white vehicles as well as ride around on bicycles and motorbikes and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who are contracted to many of the other municipalities and implement their own programs.

Political Climate

The provincial political parties are the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party and the Green Party.

The Green Party has never been in power to running the country but they are making headway as more and more people are becoming more concerned about the environment and adopting environmentally green practices.

Speed Limit

On the highway it goes between 80 - 100 kilometers per hour (km/h) or we say clicks and in the city it's 50 clicks. Watch out for school zones and play grounds where the speed goes down to 30kmh.

(Basically, 100 km/h = 60 MPH, 80 km/h = 50 MPH, 50 km/h = 30 MPH)

If you rent a car while you're here, a friendly note of warning the police like to hide in plain sight to pull over speeders and give out fines that start at $100.00 and just go up and up!




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Day Trip

Take the scenic route, enjoy a historic village or see dramatic scenery a day trip from Vancouver to somewhere nearby may turn out to be the highlight of your Vancouver vacation.

Victoria Inner Harbour
Victoria Inner Harbour where you can charter a harbour ferry for sight-seeing


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