Vancouver Economy

vancouver-downtownVancouver, situated in the west coast of British Columbia, is the eighth most populated city in Canada. It is both a tourist attraction and has unfailingly been termed as one of the best places to live in the world. Vancouver boasts a diverse populace, beautiful landscapes, and a mild climate. Vancouver is also home to a thriving economy.

The Basis of the Economy

Vancouver began its development thanks to the extension of the Canadian Pacific Railway: The influence of the Canadian Pacific Railway was one of the main reasons that Vancouver began flourishing, attracting entities such as British Columbia Sugar Refinery. The region also benefited from the Klondike Gold Rush between 1897 and 1898. Vancouver continued to profit due to the demand of fish, lumber, and minerals, and the grain trade. The Great Depression caused a drop in the economy which was soon recovered due to the war industries. Shortly afterwards, Vancouver began conducting large amounts of trade, particularly with Asia.

Existing Trade in Vancouver

The ideal positioning of Vancouver has led trade to be one of the more important aspects of the city’s economy. This is primarily due to the proximity of Vancouver to Asia. The harbour as well as the transportation infrastructure is also responsible for this boom in trade. The Port of Vancouver is responsible for exporting 70 million tonnes and importing 10 million tonnes of foreign cargo. On average, the port has over 170 trading economies. This amounts to about 200 billion dollars in goods. The harbour is also a significant dry cargo port and ships grain, potash, sulfur, coal, metals, asbestos, and wood.


The World Expo in 1986 was responsible for displaying Vancouver’s natural beauty to the world. This has resulted in an incredibly large amount of people visiting the city each year. In addition to the stunning landscape, Vancouver is also known for its wonderful cultural experience. 2015 was a record year for the city with over 9 million visitors. The increasing number of tourists has an important impact on the Vancouver economy. Thanks to this industry, there are over 66,000 jobs created as well as a contribution in 1.6 billion dollars in taxes. It is estimated that these visitors are responsible for $3.5 billion in spending each year.


For over 30 years, Vancouver has been the filming location for countless Hollywood movies and television series. There are many prominent film studios based in the region. 2015, in particular, was a year that broke all the records. There were over 350 productions filmed in the area. This resulted in an excess of $143 million being paid in wages to the residents. It is estimated that due to this industry, over 42,000 jobs have been created. The main reasons for Vancouver being a popular filming destination is due to its beautiful, scenic views and skilled production workers. The area is also in proximity to Los Angeles and Hollywood.

Financial Centre

The variety of international connections fostered by Vancouver has seen it become a prominent financial centre. All of Canada’s leading banks have offices in the city. They are also joined by several important international banks as well.

Vancouver’s economy has had its highs and lows but for the most part has been quite stable. It is continuing to grow and develop its various industries and coaxing its economy. In addition to the sectors mentioned above, Vancouver is further cultivating its technological and green economy.

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