North Vancouver is a mostly suburban area across the Burrard Inlet from downtown Vancouver. Surrounded by mountains and water on three sides, it's the ideal playground for the outdoor-minded. You can wander on miles of hiking trails (or test yourself on Nature's stairmaster), take in steep descents on a mountain bike or skis, kayak a fjord and cross canyons on a suspension bridge. If you're not looking for something that gets the heart going, there are always the stellar views the city affords. Ride the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain for a view of Vancouver and beyond, stroll along the waterfront by Lonsdale Quay or relax in one of the many coffee shops. And that's one of the great things about North Vancouver — it's close to the sophistication offered by Vancouver but in 30 minutes you can be in the wilderness or a beautiful spot like Deep Cove and forget you're in a metropolitan area of over two million people.
The history and culture of North Vancouver is largely shaped by its geography and climate. Drawing on the frequent rain and temperate climate, the slopes of the Coastal Mountains were forested with massive trees and lush vegetation. The streams and rivers cascading down the mountains were ideal sources of salmon and the forests had abundant wildlife. The first inhabitants of the area, the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, had a number of villages and camps on the shores of Burrard Inlet and relied on the rivers and forests for food and resources.
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