Nicknames of Vancouver

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There are many nicknames for the city of Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia and third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Some reflect the city's history, climate, geography, economy, and demographics. Others have their origins in cultural aspects of the city and its inhabitants.


The first non-aboriginal settlement in the area was known as Gastown. This name continues today as a nickname for Vancouver, although more specifically for a certain area adjacent to the Downtown Eastside.

Geographical and climate[edit]

  • Rain City (or Raincouver or the Wet Coast) - Vancouver receives on average 1,199mm of rainfall a year (YVR).[1] Especially during the winter months, the city has a reputation for wet weather.
  • Saltwater City (鹹水埠; Jyutping: Haam shui Fahw) - The name for Vancouver used by early Chinese immigrants to the city.[3]


  • Hollywood North[4] - the city is home to the fourth-largest film and television production industry in North America, after L.A., New York and Toronto.[5]


  • Lotusland - coined by Vancouver Sun writer Allan Fotheringham, Lotusland refers to Homer's Odyssey, in which the hero, Odysseus, visits a land whose inhabitants are befuddled by a narcotic lotus (the "Land of the Lotus-Eaters"). It sometimes is used to describe all of British Columbia.[7]
  • Left Coast - Referring to the (perceived) left leaning political views of the city inhabitants.
  • City of Glass - taken from the title of a Douglas Coupland book, this name reflects the dominant steel-and-glass architectural aesthetic of the city's downtown.[8]
  • No Fun City - a long-time nickname[9] which can refer to a variety of things depending on use and context. It can refer to some of the city's cultural policies that result in a less lively local music scene,[9] to a perceived "lame" nightlife.[10]


  • Hongcouver - A name with some xenophobic connotations, it came into use in the 1980s and 1990s. Although Vancouver has had a large Asian community from its earliest days, the Chinese population surged as large numbers of Hong Kong citizens immigrated prior to the British handover of that city in 1997.[11]


  • Van - common usage throughout the area
  • Vancity - popular with the Canadian hip hop community (also the name of a credit union, Vancity)
  • The Couve - the middle section of the city's name, popular with young locals as well as tourists.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000". Environment Canada. 2009-04-30. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Editors' Picks: City history and landmarks". Georgia Straight. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  3. ^ By Any Other Name: Salt Water City, Vancouver is Awesome, 6 December 2011
  4. ^ "B.C. Facts". Province of British Columbia. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ BC Film Commission
  6. ^ Hampson, Sarah (October 22, 2007). "Prince of pot or dope of Vansterdam?". Toronto: Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ Grant, Kelly; Mehler Paperny, Anna. "How cities grow – up is in". Toronto: Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  8. ^ Rowe, Dan. "A career spent being curious about Vancouver". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b James, Melissa. "No Fun City - About". No Fun City. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  10. ^ Moxley, Mitch. "Welcome To Vancouver: 'No Fun City'". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  11. ^ Cernetig, Michael. "Chinese Vancouver: A decade of change". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved July 28, 2010.