An isolated unfriendly town?

When you smile and say hello to people do they glare back at you?.

A recent study says Vancouver is not a very friendly city:

Talk to people in Metro Vancouver about their interactions with others, and similar stories abound. Newcomers to the city talk about going weeks without anyone offering to show them around or invite them for dinner. Apartment dwellers talk about distrusting their neighbours to the extent that they’re afraid to let their children play unsupervised outside.

And because this is Vancouver, everything comes down to real estate:

Significantly, more than half of respondents agreed that Vancouver is becoming a resort town for the wealthy and that there is too much foreign ownership of real estate. This view was particularly common among people aged 25-34, a group whose responses to many survey questions revealed a marked cynicism about the state of their communities compared with other age groups.

And it’s not just desirable to the wealthy with a longing for rain, it’s also irresistible to the homeless. But how do we house them?

A handful of people, including Vancouver assistant director of housing policy Abi Bond, sketched out a plan to transform a cargo ship into a green-roofed utopia. They proposed a kayak co-op for commuting to and from the shore, filtered seawater to drink, and occasional rotation of the hull so the container-homes on both sides could get southern exposure.

Other suggestions ranged from tweaking property tax laws to building tiny apartments atop warehouses. The prevailing attitude seemed to be that the current crunch in the least affordable city in North America was caused not by a lack of housing supply, but by a dearth of creativity.

I’ve heard housing bubbles justified by a lot of things, but I must admit ‘a dearth of creativity’ is a new one.

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asiaman
Guest
asiaman
in fairness the ridiculous level of crime in vancouver probably lends itself to this (the kids playing outside thing) I cant let my kids play outside unattended, plus the international criminals who live in vancouver might be just worried they are going to get whacked and could be acting a little sketchy. half way im having a laugh, but a town that bases itself on this emabarassing unfouned pedestal is inevitably going to be populated with a fair number of flakes. maybe the people frowning at them are just in a bad mood because they work in the real estate sector or they know the party is over. the ideas of how to help the homeless show you how out to lunch this town can be sometimes. but there are some nice people out there too. rather than focusing on… Read more »
Gresko MCGresko
Guest
Gresko MCGresko

I have (2) Asian neighbours. One is probably 2-3 generation Canadian. Gretat guy, we say our hellos. When he bough his house approx. 30 years old, the first thung he did was put bars on every window in the house.He and his family drives Volvos

My other neighbour built a new house,has a Mercedes low key, not home often…we say hello when we se each other Couldn’t ask for better neighbours insofar as peace and quiet, but that’s it. Nowadays Everyones “neighbourhood” is within one’s property lines.

crabman
Guest

Overpriced housing + 9 months of rain + unfriendly people = Best Place on Earth™?

procrustes
Guest
procrustes

Affordability= housing costs/income.
x=y/z
Want to change x?
Don’t just talk about y.

pricedoutfornow
Guest
pricedoutfornow

I go out walking most days. The friendliest people I meet are the seniors. They smile, say hi and sometimes even comment about the weather. Unfriendliest? Teenagers (of course, they’re just too cool). I think it’s a generational thing.

jesse
Member

I didn’t understand the bars on the windows thing until visiting parts of Asia. While I think the fear is misplaced in Vancouver I to some degree understand where many are coming from.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Everybody in New York stops to greet every stranger they pass by.

Gresko MCGresko
Guest
Gresko MCGresko

Bar on windows?

Well…there is your best indicator of “the ‘hood” if buying or renting.

Some parts of town , every house has them, at least on the ground floor, though I have even seem them on 2 storey as well.They all look like prisons

Anecdote: In-Laws were in South America for some volunteer work, stayed a few months. In some areas you cannot tell who the rich are…they don’t flaunt it for safety and security reasons. Their homes look shabby on the outside, but like palaces inside.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Having recently traveled to LA, San Diego, New York and Miami I do not recall anyone saying hi or being friendly to me. Maybe in small towns this happens but not in a city. Personally I don’t want to say hi to everyone I pass by. If I ever do find a place like that I will leave PDQ.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Gresko MCGresko: “Anecdote: In-Laws were in South America for some volunteer work, stayed a few months. In some areas you cannot tell who the rich are…they don’t flaunt it for safety and security reasons.”

LOL you know who the rich are in South America. Your in-laws are confused of who is rich and who is not.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I’ve known a guy in my building who happens to be one of the the most courteous and friendliest people I’ve ever met. (We exchange greetings in the lobby, nothing more…)

The other day I found out that he is American (Seattle).

Stucco
Guest
Stucco

I’d say its not really that Vancouver is unfriendly, it’s just reserved and maybe a little bit over concerned with appearances. This seems to be part of the culture.

There are many friendly people here, but in general I always find Americans and people from Ontario more outgoing. This means they’re more friendly but also less concerned with saying something you disagree with.

Jim
Guest
Jim

As a Vancouverite who left for Toronto, I notice a marked increase in sociability in Toronto. People are much more friendly out here. (I admit that I am distant and cold in Vancouver as well). However, the problem with devastated ‘communities’ where no one knows their neighbour is common to both cities. Multi-ethnic cities have low social cohesion.

I recall living in Richmond and having vietnamese, mainland chinese, hong kong chinese and korean neighbours. None of them would speak to one another. The mainlanders and hong kongers did not get along, and both regarded the vietnamese as undesirables. One day our house was robbed by 5 guys who pulled up in a moving truck. One of the neighbours watched, but didn’t call the police. When interviewed by the police, he said it was ‘none of his business’. Yes, great city.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Anonymous: “I’ve known a guy in my building who happens to be one of the the most courteous and friendliest people I’ve ever met…he is American”

We are an unfriendly town because we are made up of foreigners. Yet the most friendly is an American (foreigner). Let me guess he is white. Maybe it is your fear of anyone not white that creates the tension between you and others?

Gresko MCGresko
Guest
Gresko MCGresko

@Anonymous:
Huh?

No….. they actually visited these homes. Point is, basically a HAVE and HAVE NOT society, which is where we is headed

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Jim: “One of the neighbours watched, but didn’t call the police.”

He probably didn’t like you. People who complain of people being unfriendly to them have to look in the mirror. There is a reason people don’t like you.

kman
Guest
kman
There are a lot of factors contributing to the unfriendliness of this city… lots of which the previous posters have noted. I think the cost of living is one of the major stresses for sure, especially given the amount of foreign ownership. Like it or not, this city’s cost of living is largely due to the blind eye the Canadian government gives to local and international money laundering. As F noted a few weeks ago, the government doens’t even attempt to track how much foreign money is buying up real-estate in canada, nevermind how that money is actually aquired. And as for the Chinese money thing, who knows how that is being generated. A one mainlander friend of mine put it, “There are billion people there so it is very competitive. The only way to make a lot of money… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@Anonymous:

When I post something in English praising a friendly American, it’s automatically assumed I must be white with a fear of non-whites.

Have you ever considered the possibility that maybe, just maybe Asians do speak English in this town? We are not all HAMs.

Moron

gingee
Guest
gingee

@kman: “especially given the amount of foreign ownership.”

…and what is the amount of foreign ownership? I know we hear a lot about it, but any time I hear actual stats its somewhere in the 1-2% range. Is this higher than other cities?

I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m genuinely curious. It seems like ‘high foreign ownership’ is a given assumption for Vancouver but I haven’t seen any stats that show that.

Are there any?

N
Guest
N

As I have said before, compared to every other city I have lived in, which the possible exception of Toronto, my section of Vancouver (East Van) is friendly. I am very often in North Van on my way to the mountains and I generally get a less friendly vibe there, except on the trails where I exchange hellos with every person I encounter.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

In vancouver no-one talks to you unless they are begging for money.

registered
Member
registered
13 Jim Says: “As a Vancouverite who left for Toronto, I notice a marked increase in sociability …” Toronto’s reputation in Ontario is the opposite of Friendly Town, yet back in the city after a decade in Vancouver I have to agree. In Vancouver it wasn’t surprising for a dickhead to try pushing through the door you just opened and ramp up the moral outrage for not getting the fuck out of the way pronto. In Toronto I more often apologize and thank people for holding doors I’m not taking, wrong floor in stairwells at work for example. No one I know who lived in Vancouver and elsewhere has ever called it friendly. Some born-and-raised locals who moved to Ontario (again, nowhere near as friendly as the East Coast or Albertans) have been much less kind. Canadian society in general… Read more »
alberto
Guest
alberto

I usually like to open the doors for the ladies but it seems that Vancouver ladies don’t appreciate that. did anyone notice that? Anywhere in the world it would be expected that from a gentleman.

patriotz
Member

@jesse:
“I didn’t understand the bars on the windows thing until visiting parts of Asia.”

I understood it when someone broke into my house back in the 90’s. Guess you’ve just been lucky.

mac
Member
mac
I think it’s interesting that young people agree that there is “too much” foreign ownership in this city. Those young people will be from different backgrounds but the one thing that is uniting them with regard to this statement is that they feel priced out of the city they were probably born in (some might have moved here from elsewhere in Canada). The developer response has been to try to develop cheaper and smaller units to sell them. But even the price of those units continually creep up. I wonder when this sentiment and the emigration of young people from this city to make room for the rich will result in some kind of policy change in Canada. Probably only when it occurs in Toronto, the Centre of the Universe. Until then, we continue to lose our young in favour… Read more »
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