About Vancouver

Tourism Information

Vancouver is the largest city in Western Canada, located at the southwestern corner of the province of British Columbia. Situated between the North Shore and coastal mountains and the edge of the Pacific ocean, Vancouver is one of North America's most beautiful cities, and was recently ranked as "the world's most desirable place to live" in a survey of 127 cities performed by the Economist magazine's Intelligence Unit.

The vibrant downtown core offers all of the amenities of an international destination -- from hundreds of restaurants and clubs, to countless parks and recreation facilities, to world-class entertainment and sporting events.

We invite you to explore Vancouver and the province of British Columbia by visiting the Tourism Vancouver website - http://www.tourismvancouver.com.


Airport and Local Travel and Transportation

For train travel to Vancouver, please go to the Via Rail website at www.viarail.ca or call +1 888 VIA-RAIL (842-7245). Bus travel to Vancouver is also an option with the Greyhound Canada Transportation Corporation (www.greyhound.ca).

The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is operated by the Vancouver Airport Authority. There are a multitude of transportation choices for getting to and around Vancouver. YVR is the second busiest airport in Canada, with daily non-stop flights to Asia, Europe, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and other airports within Canada. YVR is a world leader in international air travel and is consistently recognized as one of the best airports in North America. The airport is approximately a 25 minute drive from the conference venue in downtown Vancouver. For information on flight and airport services, please visit the airport's website at www.yvr.ca.

There are a number of transportation options accessible to delegates arriving and departing Vancouver including taxis, limousines, public transportation and car rentals. More information about these options can be found on the YVR website.


Eating in Vancouver

Dining options in Vancouver range from casual to gourmet and feature cuisines from around the world that will suit every budget and palate. Vancouver's dining scene is truly an attraction in itself. The city's diverse cultural background makes dining in Vancouver a delightful and delicious experience. Please refer to the Tourism Vancouver website for an extensive list of Vancouver's finest restaurants, searchable by location and by type of cuisine.



There are two types of taxes in Vancouver: HST and PST.

  • HST (Harmonized Sales Tax): 12% HST is charged on all good and services. 
  • PST (Provincial Sales Tax): 10% PST is charged on liquor purchases.


Customs/Entry/Visa Requirements

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, as of January 31, 2008 all United States citizens traveling into Canada by air, land or sea must present a valid passport for entry into Canada. A driver's license or birth certificate will no longer be accepted as proof of citizenship.

International visitors from countries other than the United States must have a valid passport for entry into Canada. Please view the online application for Temporary Visitor Visas (if required). 

Please be sure to check with your nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate well in advance of travel to obtain the appropriate documentation. If you require a letter of invitation, please contact the Metropolis 2011 Registration Secretariat as soon as possible. A letter of invitation is issued solely for the purpose of assisting participants with visa applications and/or to obtain funding for their attendance at the conference. Such a letter does not imply any financial obligation on the part of the conference organizers.



Liability insurance is the responsibility of each individual delegate. The Canadian Medical Health Insurance Plan does not cover visitors to Canada and delegates should therefore have their own medical coverage.



Average March daytime temperature highs in Vancouver are about 10ºC. Visitors can expect rain and cool evenings, so it is best to pack an umbrella, rain jacket and clothes that can be worn layered. We welcome delegates to check out Vancouver weather online, and plan ahead!




Childcare services will not be offered on-site for the conference. Should this service be required, it is recommended to contact Nannies on Call, a reputable and fully licensed child care provider that is often used by visitors to Vancouver.