10 reasons why you should travel to Vancouver instead of Toronto

Ieva Miltina05 October 2020933 views8 min. read
10 reasons why you should travel to Vancouver instead of Toronto
Canada, but have no idea which one to choose - the East or the West coast? Actually many people with no previous knowledge about this big country question which city to start with. In this article, I will try to argue for Vancouver. Why is it better, and why travel to Vancouver instead of Toronto? Besides some general input, you will also hear about some of the many places to see in Vancouver and what to do for fun. And read up to the end to get some ideas on where to stay in Vancouver if you do travel to Canada! This coastal gem of British Columbia lies in the West of Canada and is generally described as quite a hip, multicultural city. Many cities nowadays might want to appeal to a broad spectrum of travellers, but this one really has it all - the nature, the nightlife, the beaches as well as a rich cultural scene. Definitely, some will find Toronto more appealing for their own reasons, but here are 10 good reasons why you should travel to Vancouver instead of Toronto!

1. The weather

Each of us has our own preferences, but if you belong to the majority of the population, then you will try to stick with more pleasant and less cold conditions. Therefore choosing Vancouver weather might be quite better, because Toronto has those typical harsh Canadian winters. Besides that, it is considered that Vancouver weather is generally better than the rest of Canada because of its location on the Pacific Northwest. The best time to travel to Vancouver will depend on your liking, but there will be some beauty in each of the seasons - spring with blooming flowers, hot summers, and beaches or the melancholic beauty of falling autumn leaves. You choose!

2. The proximity of mountains

mountain lake louise Besides the general lack of snowfall in the city, Vancouver is great for anyone who does like snow and winter fun after all. If you are eager for some snowboarding or skiing in Vancouver weather conditions, you might be lucky. Just about an hour away from the downtown in the North and West Vancouver, you will find three mountains - Seymour, Cypress, and Grouse. One of the most popular places to see in Vancouver is exactly the Cypress mountain which was used for the 2010 Winter Olympics. With that said, if you are a winter sports enthusiast, then the best time to travel to Vancouver might be winter after all. Have a cosy brunch in the city and be on the slopes in a matter of one hour!

3. It is very welcoming

Even though Toronto might be said to have the same quality, Vancouver is known for its multiculturality. Taking into account the size of the city (Vancouver being smaller) and the general vibe, the latter one is way more welcoming and relaxed. Almost 40% of inhabitants here are immigrants from all over the world, but especially from Asia. An interesting fact - Vancouver is known as the "most Asian, non-Asian city in the world"!

4. Nature is a treat here

moraine lake The location of Vancouver has granted it some seriously rich surroundings to explore. If you are an outdoors person - it will be a prime destination for hiking and exploring lush forests, scenic coastlines as well as mountains. Sea-to-Sky Highway will be one of the most scenic places to see in Vancouver, and if you are on a road trip then you might as well visit some of those award-winning wineries too! By the way, considering what to do in Vancouver, many would actually also plan a weekend trip to the US - Seattle, and Portland is just a few hours away.

5. It has something to feed your sci-fi imagination

Hands down, if you are a sci-fi geek, then one of the most exciting places to visit in Vancouver will be their train system. It is the world's longest driverless train system, and it is completely automatic! You don't even have to plan what to do in Vancouver much, just get on the Skytrain and let it take you somewhere in the city. Doesn't that sound exciting?

6. It is definitely a foodie destination

Some of the best places to eat in Vancouver have just emerged in the last years. It is probably one of the reasons why this city has become foodie capital just recently. We all have to thank the cultural background for the diversity in the culinary scene. Then we can also thank the rich natural resources as the region has some of the best agricultural lands in Canada as well as the longest growing months compared to the East coast. And then add all the creative and innovative locals introducing more and more great concepts for everyone's liking! For me, one of the best places to eat in Vancouver would be Canada's biggest food and cooking festival called Eat!. And for the obvious reasons of course - because it is the place to try a lot of food and be the first to try new culinary concepts! But if you are a brewed drink fan, then the best places to visit in Vancouver will be any of the microbreweries now flooding the culinary scene with some crafted beers or distilled drinks.

7. It is heaven for food truck lovers

food truck I know I am still on the topic of food, but delicious treats are something you can never get enough of. Especially while travelling! With that said - if you are looking for the best places to eat in Vancouver then don't look over the wide variety of food trucks they have! This city is big on street food being offered by food trucks. Let me give you a few examples to visualize that better. First, Vancouver magazine even has a "food truck" category, and they crown the best ones each year. Then there is the amazing Food Cart Fest gathering more than 20 delicious food truck vendors in the Olympic Village. And to make it even more perfect - you can find all the deliciousness on the Street Food App to find the places where they are parked and if they are open. Sounds convenient, doesn't it?

8. It has the biggest night market in North America

Markets are always a great way to get to know the local produce, culture, and observe the locals. Therefore one of the best places to visit in Vancouver is definitely the Richmond Night Market that has over 500 food options, 100 retail stalls, and a ton of entertainment options. If you are more into a more authentic farmer-market vibe, then choose Shipyards Market every Friday night or Granville Island, Public Market. You will be able to buy some of that rich produce straight from the makers!

9. It is great for longer stays

This city might be far greater than Toronto if you plan on staying there for a longer period of time. Various international ranking systems rank the liveability index of Vancouver way higher, and it is consistent year after year. Additionally, an aspect that might make it more pleasant for you even on short travels is the size of this city. Vancouver has about three times fewer inhabitants as its rival, and that makes moving around easier, as well as the city itself much cosier.

10. It is a great destination for festival-goers

festival in vancouver The best time to travel to Vancouver is definitely during one of the many amazing festivals held there. Let's start with the grand Vancouver's Pride Festival. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Vancouver to experience freedom, diversity as well as to give your support to the LGBTQ movement. It usually includes about 20 events, and the highlight is the Pride Parade. Other festivals beloved by the locals and the guests include the Folk Music Festival, International Jazz Festival, and Celebration of Lights. The latter is the world's largest offshore fireworks competition that lasts for three days. Not so hard to figure out what to do in Vancouver, right?

Where to stay in Vancouver?

hotel in vancouver If you have your mind already set to booking a trip then where to stay in Vancouver might be a question to explore in more detail before departing. Instead of giving particular hotel names, I will try to give some hints on the neighbourhoods to choose from. Traditionally, the core downtown will be the best option for exploring the city conveniently. If you are catching a cruise, stay in the Coal Harbor/the Waterfront. If you are looking for a hip vibe, then one of the oldest neighbourhoods Gastown will be the right choice for you. And if you are into Ocean views then consider Yaletown. You will get the best taste of the local life and rhythm at the West End (try the beach in the English Bay!). And if you are looking to dive into a vibrant LGBTQ community, then look for accommodation in the Davie Village. The rival between Toronto and Vancouver lasts for ages and goes on so many levels. Even though my personal opinion is that one should do both, nevertheless the travel to Vancouver should come first. And of course, it is easy to get conflicted if you have decided to travel to Canada because both of these cities are great. It is just a matter of what you want to get out of your trip! So buckle up and let's go to this magnificent country after all!

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