Vancouver Tourist Information Although it is illegal, Vancouver police generally do not arrest people for possessing small amounts of marijuana and it has been nick named “Vansterdam”. Despite Canadian laws forbidding its non-medical use, some cities and local law enforcement have, at times, tolerated coffee shops which allow customers to smoke cannabis. In Vancouver, for example, the New Amsterdam and Blunt Brothers were cafes on West Hastings Street with such pro-cannabis policies. The two companies have been at the core of Vancouver’s “Vansterdam” scene since the beginning. In 2004 Blunt Bros Cafe & Headshop, along with four other businesses were destroyed by a fire that ripped through the 303 building on West Hastings street. The fire was ruled as arson, but no one was ever found or charged. The New Amsterdam Cafe narrowly avoided destruction by that very same fire and has since been the last bastion of the Vansterdam Vibe. In Vancouver, these shops can mostly be found on the block of 300 West Hastings Street. Vancouver is one of the most “livable cities” worldwide, and is the first city to rank among the top-ten of the world’s most livable cities for five consecutive years. Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada with about 600,000 people in the city, making it the eighth largest Canadian city. The metropolitan area, has more than 2.3 million residents and is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country and the most populous in Western Canada. The City of Vancouver is the most densely populated in Canadian. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada; 52% of its residents do not speak English as their first language. It is also know as “Hongcouver” due to its large Asian population. 30% of it’s residents are of Chinese decent.