Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. The Greater Vancouver area of around 2.3 million inhabitants is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country and the most populous in Western Canada. With 5,249 people per square kilometre (13,590 per square mile), the City of Vancouver is the most densely populated Canadian municipality among those with 5,000 residents or more. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada; 52% of its residents do not speak English as their first language.
The original settlement, named Gastown, grew around the Hastings Mill logging sawmill and a nearby tavern, both established in 1867. Enlarging to become the townsite of Granville, with the announcement that the railhead would reach the site it was renamed "Vancouver" and incorporated as a city in 1886. By 1887, the transcontinental railway was extended to the city to take advantage of its large natural seaport, which soon became a vital link in a trade route between the Orient, Eastern Canada, and London. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry.
Major film production studios in Vancouver and Burnaby have turned Metro Vancouver into one of the largest film production centres in North America, earning it the film industry nickname, Hollywood North. For more than a decade, business magazine assessments have ranked Vancouver as one of the most liveable cities worldwide.