How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?

Vancouver is very well equipped for families with infants and toddlers. Many department stores and large retail chains offer facilities for parents to change and feed their infants. Washroom facilities include changing tables and in some places chairs for feeding.

Shopping malls and most stores will provide free strollers for you to use while shopping, and restaurants will provide highchairs (booster seats) for your use while in the establishment.
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Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?

Children from birth to 12 years old may need to be cared for by someone other than their parents or immediate family. The parents might have to work or attend school, or might want their child to play and learn with other children. Childcare or "daycare" can provide this service for children and families.

Childcare can be provided in a caregiver's home, a group centre, or preschool. These places might or might not be licensed. When a childcare centre is licensed, it's required to meet certain health and safety standards.

If you need childcare, it is up to you to find the right services for your children, and keep in mind that childcare services are not all run the same way. You can get help by calling Westcoast Information Daycare (3rd Floor, 210 West Broadway, Tel: +1 604 709 5699) for information about:

  •  Childcare options available

  • Childcare locations, with lists and maps

  • How much child care costs

  • Hours of operation

  • What to look for when choosing childcare

  • Other facts about childcare.

Westcoast Information Daycare staff can speak different languages, and translated information is available.
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Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.

Vancouver is a safe environment for children, though it is recommended that you speak to your local school to find out whether there are any particular concerns specific for your area. At a minimum, children should always be accompanied and supervised by an adult and should never talk to strangers.
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What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?

There are several for children to choose from and suitable for differing personalities. Any child interested in wild life and wild places will appreciate the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Aquarium or Bug Lab Invertebrate Museum. Those looking for fun outdoors will appreciate the many parks, such as Playland Amusement Park, Castle Fun Park, and Bear Creek Train and Park ---these offer everything from batting cages and Go-carts to playgrounds and swimming pools. And of course the future aviators will appreciate the Canadian Museum of Flight.
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What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?

Kids in Vancouver love to do the same things kids in other countries do, including:

  • Watching their favorite shows on the television

  • Playing sports in the neighborhood or on a local community team

  • Joining a varsity or after-school team (hockey, football, soccer, chess, gymnastics, cheerleading, etc.)

  • Playing computer games (i.e. Nintendo)

  • Visiting amusement parks

  • Visiting sports and game complexes

  • Talking on the phone with friends

  • Taking music lessons

  • Going to the movies or the mall or,

  • Just hanging out with friends at each other’s' homes

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What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?

Vancouver is an extremely large but safe city and offers a lot of activities to keep teenagers busy in their free time such as----theatres, Vancouver's public library, and the community centre's organized sports groups and professional sports teams.

The legal drinking age in Vancouver is 19. In BC, the rule is "when you look under 25 we ID," so your child will be asked for proof of age if they attempt to engage in such activity.

Teenagers should be warned to avoid the Downtown east side. This is considered anywhere from Main Street, North of Chinatown, East Hastings, and the east side of Gastown. These areas are not extremely dangerous but, they are not suitable for children. There is great exposure to drug addicts, beggars, prostitutes, and open drug use.

South Vancouver Community Policing has a good booklet on teens and drug usage.
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Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?

Schools provide extracurricular activities outside the normal school hours. These include cheerleading, chess club, band, yearbook committee, debate club, athletic council, student council, drama club, fund-raising committee and numerous sporting clubs. These activities are funded by taxpayers' dollars, and as such, most require no additional costs. However, some school clubs require parents to pay the cost of the uniforms.

There are also many programs available through the Department of Parks and Recreation where children can takes lessons in swimming, gymnastics, hockey, judo, karate, soccer, just to name a few.
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I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?

The city has one of the most diverse Chinese-speaking communities with several dialects of Chinese represented. Vancouver contains the second-largest Chinatown in North America (after San Francisco's), and many multicultural neighbourhoods such as the Punjabi Market, Little Italy, Greektown, Japantown and Commercial Drive.

In summer, outdoor Chinese night markets are held every weekend in both Vancouver and Richmond—vendors sell food, clothing and other wares at great prices. In June, the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival attracts thousands of visitors to Vancouver's False Creek for traditional Chinese longboat races and live entertainment.

Visit Stanley Park's famous totem poles. View the works of renowned Haida artist Bill Reid. Tour one of North America's largest Chinatowns. Spend time in ethnic neighbourhoods that highlight the cultures and cuisines of India, Italy and Greece. Explore Aboriginal culture beyond city limits. Whatever you choose to do, Vancouver's wealth of cultural experiences is sure to impress.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.