Vancouver: the only city in the world?

So Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada and getting more expensive – If you are renting or thinking of buying in Vancouver here’s a question for you: Are you tempted by any other cities in canada or the rest of the world? What keeps you in Vancouver – quality of life? friends and family? work? some combination of those items?

If you’ve considered moving what motivates that line of thought? The cost of living here? Increased career possibility? Change of scene?

How do you FEEL about Vancouver right now?

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Lived in Vancouver for about 5 years after immigrating from India. Loved it : wonderful city, beautiful, multicultural, cuisine, and above all, water. However, there're no jobs for professionals in Vancouver. Apart from the lack of demographic, I thin the other major fundamental weakness working against RE in Vancouver is lack of professional jobs. The paucity of corporate HQs really hurts. Anyway, I am a proud Albertan now. Sold my RE in Vancouver, and bought twice as big a place in Calgary for less than what I sold for in Vancouver. Got a high paying job at an evil oil company too. Having lived there, I understand the appeal of Vancouver. Basically, Vancouver and Toronto are the only two world class Canadian cities in terms of diversity, culture and overall quality of life. Montreal and Quebec are too racist for… Read more »


The only thing that would hold me back from Montreal is that fact that my only knowledge of the french language comes from cereal boxes:Gratuit! avec des guimauves!N'oubliez-pas les flacons de mais avec noix d'erable! C'est tres bon avec lait de vache.You can get by very well in Montreal with only a smattering of French. In fact, unless you speak it very well, it will be difficult to get a response en Francais. All you have to know is Bonjour, voulez-vous un flacon de Anglais? Quebec City can be another story.

the pope

I visited Montreal for the first time last year – it's an incredibly beautiful city, and I have a feeling that dry cold snow is a lot more bearable that icy wet slush, but I don't have first hand experience living in that environment. The only thing that would hold me back from Montreal is that fact that my only knowledge of the french language comes from cereal boxes:Gratuit! avec des guimauves!


I love Vancouver, but my husband and I have considered Montreal. (His company has an office there.) I'd rather live in Whalley, or possibly drill holes in my head, than live in Toronto – been there, done that, no thanks.However, friends and family will keep us in BC, and there's not a lot in our industry outside the GVRD.


it's a mixed bag, but as a Seattleite with a condo in Vancouver, my friends and I all love the energy of downtown and actual 'street life'–the ability to walkmost every place in the West End once you've parked your car. I think lots of young adults want to feel they're in the center of things and close to opportunities to meet others–and downtown Vancouver fits the bill for them.


Reality check Vancouver:Lifestyle … forget the style part even, just life. I've been there in january and febrrrruary. Belive me, Vancouver is the only place I want to end up in this country. As soon as I can swing it, I'll be living in anything there – a bachelor-patio even (well maybe not patio). Try anywhere else in this country during the nov-apr period. You can't step out or go walking/shopping etc without creeping along slowly and carefully – oh, so carefully. You just don't know (or remember) what the rest of us put up with on a semi-annual basis.


richard – I would give a fairly reliable limb for a Taco Bell right about now… mmmmm


Although it's true that I rarely go to chinatown, I still get the benefits of a multi-cultural city. I enjoy indian food, vietnamese pho soup, sushi, bubble tea.. I'd say the one thing I'd like to see more of in Vancouver is mexican food, but we've got some decent variety of options for dining.There are neighborhoods that tend to be one ethnicity or another predominately, but you don't have to visit them to get the benefits of variety it brings to the city as a whole.


I would consider moving back to Alberta in the next few years. If kids are in the future, they certainly won't be raised in this city. We don't believe in raising kids in a condo. Housing may be sky hi in Calgary too, but at least you still get a chunk of land for that $400K. I call BS on this whole culture argument – how often do you REALLY visit Chinatown if it's not in your own culture. I equate it to going to the PNE…


There is a lot to be said for vancouver: a lot of outdoor activities all year round, its location, a lot of cultural influences in fashion and food keep it from being too mundane.The cost of living here is definately a negative though, particularly since we seem to have a lack of culture compared to a city like Toronto. The architecture here ranges from boring to appaling and the lack of history really shows. Vancouver is a bit like a gawky teenager – it hasn't grown into its own yet.That said, I'm staying for now. If it continues to get more expensive here then I would consider moving, but for now with the rent I pay the price is worth it.I don't think I'll be buying anytime soon though, I like to be able to travel and live a lifestyle… Read more »

the pope

Thanks for your input, but I have to disagree. The alley I walked by last night smelled more of urine.


i hate vancouver. Its covered in junkies and it smells like poo. (literally)

the pope

anon-here's the VHB info woodenhorse mentioned.. he's got a lot more analysis on his site as well – The drop off after '97 is kind of astounding, and since then its been quite low.d_oush-What I'm wondering is how much of a premium are people willing to pay to live here? What affect does the current market and housing prices have on that decision. I take by your enthusiasm and previous comments that you own your home?


I love Vancouver…I just don't love it as much as it loves itself.Vancouver is a great place, that's why we pay a premium to live here. I don't really see how it loves itself anymore than any other city though. Every place has boosters that sing its praises and people that complain about its problems.For me there is no other city, Vancouver is where its at.


I've said this before and I'll say it again:I love Vancouver…I just don't love it as much as it loves itself.


On a side note, are people still moving to Vancouver in large numbers? They haven't been for 5 years.In fact, this housing boom occured in the absence of any great influx of ppl.visit Vancouver Housing Blog…he has a great deal of data on population growth.

the pope

anonymous@4:07-Can I ask where you are relocating too? I take it that the affordability issue was one of the key motivations for your decision?kam-I think if you can make small town life work for you that's great – I'm so used to living in a city I'm not sure I could hack it. There are some really great places around BC to visit though!


I don't knoe how Vancouver is constantly rated one of the most liveable cities in the world. Sure, it's a beautiful place but it is NOT affordable for many people. I'm in the process of relocating. I will miss Vancouver but it's not worth the struggle. On a side note, are people still moving to Vancouver in large numbers?


..I find myself seeing the appeal of a small town more and more, but then there's the income question. I'd like to explore more up Vancouver island, or potentially into the interior.I recently visited keremeos and liked the vibe there. It looked like a friendly town that wasn't too expensive and you could drive into penticton for any 'big city' stuff. I don't think I would ever move out of BC though. Like you say the 'friends and family' thing is something I don't want to move too far from.I could handle a 5 hour drive for the occasional weekend visit, but I wouldnt want to have to buy an expensive airplane ticket to see my relatives in the lower mainland.

the pope

I've looked at the difference between what I could potentially earn in Toronto vs. what I make in Vancouver and I've got to admit that it makes me at least consider the possibility of moving there.On the other hand, I've been on the west coast for so long that I'm not sure I could handle the weather and climate change, or how much that's worth, so for now beautiful BC is where I make my home.