10th Congress of the International Pediatric Transplant Association • May 4-7, 2019  •  Vancouver, BC, Canada


This cosmopolitan coastal city is a multi-cultural gem nestled between the Burrard Inlet to the north, the Fraser River to the south and the Strait of Georgia to the west. On a clear day, The Lions of the North Shore Mountains dominate the cityscape.


Even if Vancouver (originally named Gastown) is a fairly ‘’new’’ city, as the first European settlement was done only in the mid-1800, many nations have been living on this land for many centuries.

When the Spaniards sailed the coast of British Columbia in the 1600’s and when George Vancouver (1757-1798) explored the American and the Canadian West Coast, many Aboriginal tribes like the Squamish, Burrard, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam (Xw'muthk'i'um), Tsawwassen, Coquitlam (Kwayhquitlam), Katzie and Semiahmoo were living on the shores of the Pacific since 11000 BC. The abundance of fish and game and the mild climate made this land welcoming and nourishing. The First-Nations culture and artistic influence can still be seen throughout the city, from museums to art galleries.

The later presence of the Spanish is also present in Vancouver with street names like Cordova, Cardero, Valdez and Narvaez and the Spanish Banks. The English took over (and also named their own bay, the English Bay) in the early 1800’s, as a fellow named Fraser decided to explore a river (that would take his name). And then came the Gold Rush, ‘’Gassy Jack’’ who opened a saloon in 1867 in a borough that is know today as Gastown, and finally, the railroad. The rest is history, including the historical win of the gold medal by the Men’s hockey team against the U.S.A. team during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Vancouver has since become one of the top-five cities in the world for its quality of life, winning the first place in Canada, as well as a multi-cultural city with Asian, European and native-American influence that can be seen, heard, smelled and tasted through the way of life, the food and the artistic inspiration of Vancouverites.


There are so many great attractions in the Vancouver area, that it is impossible to list them all here! Here are some to the top-Vancouver attractions not to miss:

For more great attractions and family fun, click here.


What else to say than ‘’Yummy’’, ‘’Bon Appetit’’, ‘’Enjoy’’, you name it! Vancouver is the land of fresh food and fresh ideas! A step away from the ocean, the forest, the fertile Fraser Valley and the Garden of Canada, the Okanagan Valley, all the chefs, professionals or not, just have to go outside to find the best local products. Cheese, wine, craft beers, meats, seafood, fish, breads…

As a great initiative, the Vancouver Aquarium has also a developed a program in partnership with the local restaurants that encourages environmentally friendly seafood choices.

Local farmers-market, year-round markets and great restaurants are the culinary signature of this vibrant city. For more information on where to eat in Vancouver, click here


Tough choice: Will you be enjoying a pint of Guinness at an Irish Pub in Gastown (or in ANY neighbourhood in fact…), a glass of award-wining wine from the Okanagan Valley in a trendy lounge in Yaletown or will you be listening to a live band on Granville Street! How about you do it all. You will have time. Vancouver is never going to bed early…

Click here for more information on entertainment and nightlife or here to find the best Vancouver neighbourhood for your style of nightlife.

The legal drinking age in BC is 19. Anyone 19 years of age or older may purchase alcohol from government liquor stores known as BC Liquor Stores and at private owned groceries and liquor stores. These stores are open daily, including some holidays.

Drinking hours in licensed establishments are from 11:00 to 03:00. It is an offence to consume alcohol anywhere other than in a residence or on licensed premises.


Again, Vancouver shines with its diversity even in the shopping department. Haute couture, art gallery, all-in-one malls, jewelry stores, and the shopper in you will for sure, find a style and a store!

For more information about shopping in Vancouver, click here.