Vancouver is the third biggest city of Canada. Its surface represents 2877,4 square kilometres (Statistics Canada, 2007). Compared to Toronto and Montreal, which are both bigger in surface, Vancouver is the CMA with the most Surface Heat Islands.

Source: NASA World Wind, 2007

The evolution of heat islands between 1986 and 2004 was the most significant among the biggest CMA in Canada.

Evolution of surface urban heat islands in Vancouver CMA between 1986 - 2004

Vancouver CMA 1986 2004 Difference
Heat islands (Km²) 285,51 479,54 194,03
CMA area (Km²) 2892,01 2892,01 -
% 9,87 16,58 6,71

Source : Pérez, C., 2008

Urban areas of the CMA have been constantly growing. Residential, commercial and industrial land uses have been replacing the former vegetation by mineral coverage (ex. asphalt or cement). As a result of this process, the surface temperature rises.

Vancouver's downtown surface temperature. Source : Camilo Pérez Arrau, 2007

The next image shows Vancouver urban heats islands (August 1st, 1986): 

 Source : Perez C., 2008 

The next map shows the surface temperature of Vancouver CMA on July 17, 2004. We consider a surface heat islands when the temperature is at least 5 degrees above the average of the CMA.
Notice: the temperatures were not atmospherically corrected.

 Source : Perez C., 2008

As we see in this map, the downtown of Vancouver is hotter than the country side.  The  upper side of the CMA is cooler than the rest because of the abundance of vegetation. Farmlands are mostly in the average of temperature at the Fraser River Valley.

Last  update:  February 23, 2010