Cradled between the ocean and snow-capped mountains, Vancouver's dazzling downtown district fills a narrow peninsula bounded by Burrard Inlet to the north, English Bay to the west and False Creek to the south, with greater Vancouver sprawling south to the Fraser River. Edged around its idyllic waterfront are fine beaches, a dynamic port and a magnificent swath of parkland, not to mention the mirror-fronted ranks of skyscrapers that look across Burrard Inlet and its bustling harbour to the residential districts of North and West Vancouver. Beyond these comfortable suburbs, the Coast Mountains rise in steep, forested slopes to form a dramatic counterpoint to the downtown skyline and the most stunning of the city's many outdoor playgrounds. Small wonder, given Vancouver's surroundings, that Greenpeace was founded in the city. These days Vancouver is more dynamic than ever, its growth and energy almost palpable as you walk the streets. In just five years, between 1987 and 1992, the city's population increased by an extraordinary seventeen percent. The downtown population, currently just over half a million, is the fastest-growing on the continent. In response the downtown area is spreading - visibly - to the older and previously run-down districts to the southeast of the old city core. Vancouver is the largest city on Canada's Pacific coast, the center of the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, and the nation's chief Pacific port, with an excellent year-round harbor. It is the major western terminus of trans-Canadian railroads, highways, and airways, as well as the terminus of a pipeline bringing oil to the west coast from Edmonton. The city's industries include lumbering, shipbuilding, fish processing, and sugar and oil refining. It has textile and knitting mills and plants making metal, wood, paper, and mineral products.