Vancouver is predominantly a service center. Since the 1960s, employment in finance, insurance, and real-estate-related activities has tripled, that in accommodation and food services has quadrupled, that in health and welfare services has quintupled, and that in services for business has increased eightfold. Employment in primary and secondary industries has declined relative to population.
The majority of Vancouvers historic buildings are in the Gastown and Chinatown areas. Older sections of the city have undergone considerable change since 1960, when downtown high-rise office buildings and hotels were built. False Creek – a decaying industrial area with sawmills, rail yards, and small shops -- was transformed into a residential development project. Gastown, the original heart of the city, was restored in the 1880s style with antique stores and boutiques.
温哥华的历史建筑大多坐落在盖斯敦和中国城地区。自1960年以来，温哥华的老城区发生了相当大的变化，市中心的摩天办公楼和旅馆拔地而起。法尔斯河这个锯木厂、铁路调车场、小店铺充斥其间的日渐衰败的工业区，已被改造为住宅发展区。旧城的市中心盖斯敦 区已重新恢复了 1880 年代的风格，古玩店和时装礼品店四处可见。