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Located on the Pacific Coast of Canada in British Columbia, Richmond is close to the United States border and is part of the Greater Vancouver area. Made up of a number of islands, the city is one meter above sea level and spans a distance of approximately 129.27 square kilometers. Founded by First Nations, the area known as modern day Richmond was once used for temporary camps by the Coast Salish where they fished and picked berries, moving their camps around from year to year. The older area of Steveston served as a centre for the European and Japanese settlers in the 1860s who inhabited the area due to the low lying land that could be easily navigated, with many people coming to the area in the 1880s because of the local fisheries. A community that is a combination of residential and commercial properties as well as natural land, Richmond has experienced continual growth since the 1990s when it was designated as a city.
As a place that is made up of expansive stretches of land and animal habitats between the arms of the Fraser River, Richmond has more than 90 parks, including Garry Point Park and London Heritage Farm. The city features a network of trail systems for running and walking that can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Richmond is full of opportunities for recreational activities with a number of pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, golf courses, and sports fields available, as well as community centres, like Sea Island and South Arm, where community members can participate in local events. There are also many options for taking part in local culture with facilities like the Richmond Public Library, the Gateway Theatre, and the Richmond Art Gallery for contemporary art.
A city located close to Metro Vancouver, Richmond has an assortment of accessible transportation options. There are two main freeways that run through it: Highway 99, with access to the United States, and Highway 91, with access to Delta and New Westminster. As the area is served by the local transportation TransLink, the Canada Line was opened in 2009 and offers SkyTrain access from Richmond to the airport and downtown Vancouver, with the major hub of activity being the Richmond-Brighouse Station. Also home to Canada's second busiest airport, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located within the city limits on Sea Island. If your preferred form of transportation is by bus, TransLink also has a variety of different bus routes that run from Richmond throughout the Greater Vancouver area.
With 39 elementary schools, 12 secondary schools, and a variety of independent schools, Richmond is rife with educational opportunities for those of all ages. Located within the Richmond area, the city features Kwantlen University College and the BCIT Aerospace Technology Campus as well as many prominent Vancouver schools close by like University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), and Langara College, which offers a multitude of continuing studies courses all year round.
In 2011, the population of Richmond was 190,473, making it the 4th largest city in British Columbia. It has experienced an increase in population density of 6.2% since 2006 with more than 60% of the population comprised of immigrants of South Asian ancestry. As of 2005, the average household income was $67,440, while the average family income was $74,790. The property tax for those who have a residence is 4.16741. For the average single family home, the cost for water is approximately $577.95, and the garbage and recycling program works out to $251.40 per year.
A community with a wide variety of festivals and activities, there is no shortage of things to do within the city limits. On Canada Day, Richmond features the Steveston Salmon Festival, which includes a parade and a salmon sale. You can also take part in the Maritime Festival, a family-friendly event that has been going on each August since 2004 and features live entertainment, exhibits, and a number of ships on display. One of the community's most popular events, the Richmond Night Market, occurs every weekend during the summer and offers up a variety of vendors with toys, clothes, and food as well as live entertainment. From a multitude of nature parks to shopping malls to art centres, there is more than enough culture and fun to be had in the West Coast city of Richmond.