Understanding Ethnic Communities in Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada; It truly reflects the multiculturalism that is embraced as part of Canada’s policy and requires an understanding of ethnic communities in Vancouver.

When walking on the street, you may notice a number of languages being spoken, and spot a number of ethnic stores and restaurants. To better understand the ethnic community structure in Vancouver, we have listed the latest demographics of the city as well as ethnic community neighborhoods.

Index | Ethnic Communities in Vancouver

5 Arms lay across one another on a wooden table, all have a different skin tone, reflecting the Ethnic Communities in Vancouver
Image by Clay Banks

Community Structure in Vancouver

Reflecting the history of Vancouver BC, today’s Metro Vancouver is a multi-ethnic region based on its diverse demographics.

Aboriginal Peoples: There is a small community of aboriginal peoples in Vancouver, most belonging to the Métis community.

South Asians: Most South Asians reside in the Lower Mainland Area, demographically high in the Newton neighborhood under the City of Surrey. Most of the South Asian population identify as Punjabi Sikhs.

Chinese: There’s a high rate of Chinese immigration to Canada since the Gold Rush. Many from the Chinese community reside in Richmond and have businesses and restaurants in the area.

Korean: There’s a large population of Korean community in Vancouver. Christianity is the most common religion amongst Koreans residing here. Korean businesses are located in Kingsway, Burnaby and New Westminster.

European Origins: Ethnic White populations in Vancouver often have British and Irish ancestry. Others include German, Dutch, French, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, and other ethnicities.

Pan-ethnic groups in Vancouver CMA (2016)
Ethnic originPopulationPercent
European1,195,18549.3%
East Asian557,74523%
South Asian291,00512%
Southeast Asian168,0756.9%
Aboriginal74,7003.1%
Middle Eastern62,4402.6%
Latin American34,8051.4%
Black29,8301.2%
Other41,7801.7%
Total population2,426,235100%

Read more on demographics of Vancouver based on the Stats Canada data.

French Community in Vancouver | Ethnic Communities in Vancouver

There is a huge “francophone” (people whose first official language is French) community in Vancouver. Currently, centre of the French community in Vancouver is located on 7th Avenue and Granville Street. You will find a ton of French dessert shops and restaurants in the area.

Important Places for the French Community

Cultural Centre: Culturel Francaphone Vancouver

French Classes: Click for class information

Church: Blessed Sacrament Parish

Authentic French Restaurants in Vancouver

Indian Community in Vancouver

One of the largest ethnic communities in Vancouver is formed by people of Indian descent. While the population is spread across Metro Vancouver and Lower Mainland, the two residential areas that Indians reside at are:

Important Places for the Punjabi Community

Cultural Centre: India Culture Association (ICA) of Vancouver

Sikh Temple: Arthur Erickson Ross Street Sikh Temple

Hindu Temple: Hindu Temple Burnaby

Muslim Mosque: Muslim Association of Canada (MAC)

Authentic Indian Restaurants in Vancouver

Chinese Community In Vancouver

There is a large portion of Chinese residents in Vancouver; in fact, Vancouver’s Chinatown is the largest of its kind in Canada. %40 of residents in Southeast Vancouver, and %80 of the Golden Village area are Chinese (source).

Important Places for the Chinese Community

Cultural Centre: Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver

Church: Vancouver Chinese Evangelical Free Church

Buddhist Temple: International Buddhist Society

Authentic Chinese Restaurants in Vancouver

Korean Community Vancouver

There are a number of Korea Towns in Vancouver because of the concentration of Korean residents and businesses. Some of the most popular ones include the Korea Town in Burquitlam and West End (Nicola and Bidwell St.). There are other popular Korean businesses Burnaby and New Westminster as well.

Important Places for the Korean Community

Cultural Centre: Korean Community Centre

Church: Vancouver Korean Presbyterian Church / Korean United Church of Vancouver

Businesses: Korea Town Centre

Authentic Korean Restaurants in Vancouver

Italian Community Vancouver

According to an article published on the city of Vancouver’s website, Italians have been a part of the area even before Vancouver itself was incorporated in 1886. Many Italian businesses opened in Vancouver since then, and most of those are located on Commercial Drive, as known as the Little Italy region.

Important Places for the Italian Community

Cultural Centre: Italian Cultural Centre of Vancouver

Italian Classes: Click for class information.

Church: St. Francis of Assisi

Authentic Italian Restaurants in Vancouver

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

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