Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. The 2011 census recorded more than 603,000 people in the city, making it the eighth largest among Canadian cities. The metropolitan area, with more than 2.3 million residents, 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 sq 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, with 52% for whom English is not 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. As of 2009, Port Metro Vancouver is the busiest and largest port in Canada, and the most diversified port in North America. 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 the third-largest film production centre in North America after Los Angeles and New York City, earning it the film industry nickname, Hollywood North.
Vancouver has ranked highly in worldwide "liveable city" rankings for more than a decade according to business magazine assessments and it was also acknowledged by Economist Intelligence Unit as the first city to rank among the top-ten of the world's most liveable cities for five straight years. It has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Expo 86, and the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009. The 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics were held in Vancouver and nearby Whistler, a resort community 125 km (78 mi) north of the city.