Migrants' favourite

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 12:00am

Vancouver's mild climate, urban liveability and proximity to Asia on Canada's western shore have attracted more than 90,000 Hong Kong immigrants over the past 20 years.

Most came in the run-up to Hong Kong's handover in 1997. In 2008, 529 people from Hong Kong emigrated to Vancouver, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

With a population of just over 578,000, Vancouver is ethnically diverse, with 52 per cent of the population claiming a language other than English as their mother tongue. Of its residents, 168,215 are Chinese.

Vancouver's metropolitan area population exceeds 2.1 million, making it the third largest in Canada after Toronto and Montreal.

The city's combination of ethnic Chinese from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland gives the city one of the highest concentrations of Chinese in North America.

The city is known for its many distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own character and ethnic mix.

Last year, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Vancouver as the world's most liveable city, coming in first among 140 cities. The ranking was based on factors such as the city's stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Forestry and tourism are Vancouver's two most important industries. Its port is the busiest in Canada. The city also boasts the third largest film production centre in North America, after Los Angeles and New York City.