Vancouver BC vs Paris France

Here’s one readers thoughts on the comparison between living in these two ‘world class’ cities.

Right now I’m renting an apartment in central Paris for two months. I agree completely with the previous comment that these ratings are usually aimed at the rich. I’m a member of the working class and the important question for me is whether a city works for those of us who do the work.

Some things I’ve noticed here in Paris. The cost of shelter is very high, particularly in central Paris, and living spaces are small. But the city itself functions as a kind of back yard and social space for those who live here.

If you buy an apartment you know it’s going to last because it’s usually been around for well over a hundred years already. These things are solid!

Despite the high cost of shelter I see a lot of families with children. The age of the parents are noticeably younger than in Vancouver. It’s not uncommon to see parents with two and three kids. Unlike Vancouver the parks and playgrounds are often full of children. This no doubt reflects the efforts by the French government to assist families with children. Daycare is free. Almost every school has after school care. Families receive significant subsidies for their children. Families with lower incomes receive financial assistance to pay for housing. The minimum wage is significantly higher. Working parents have a lot of vacation time.

These advantages are a product of a working class that has a strong history of fighting for measures that benefit everyone. As everywhere there are problems but nothing like the extreme challenges that face parents in Vancouver, particularly the toxic combination of high housing costs combined with unaffordable and often inaccessible daycare. Canadian governments feel no need to do anything about it given the lack of organized resistance to these hardships.

Read the full comment here.

Any other Vancouverites here who have lived / are living in another city?  What are your thoughts on how the two compare?

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
jesse
Member
CBC: China’s growth still robust: President Xi Jinping Chinese President Xi Jinping sought Monday to reassure Asian business and political leaders that his country only aspires to peace and that he is confident its economic growth will remain robust despite a recent slowdown. China’s growth and other indicators are within reasonable expectations, Xi told a business conference on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum. “I want to emphasize that I am fully confident about the future of China,” Xi said in a keynote address at the CEO conference. “I am deeply convinced the Chinese economy will sustain its sound growth…” “We are focusing more on improving the quality and efficiency of growth,” said Xi, likening the process to finding one’s way to a “new village.” “China must undergo structural reforms, even if it involves… Read more »
ChinaOne
Guest
ChinaOne

My cousin can’t immigrate to Paris. My Dad and Mom can’t immigrate to Paris. My uncle family can’t immigrate to Paris. My Dad work in China and we family live in Vancouver we can’t do that in Paris. My cousin go to Ubc and get easy tuition we are PR now. My grandma and grandfather and great grandma get Canada pension. They not get it in Paris. We all get free healthcare we not get it in Paris. Vancouver will be mandarin speak majority in future not will be Paris. More of my cousin coming here want to live near other cousin.so no going to Paris.

NASA
Guest
NASA

Jesse:

Just saw a press conference by NASA. Caught the ending. Said an asteroid the size of the Lower Mainland would wipe out civilization. WTF? Surely that would cause RE to crash. 😉

Oh, didn’t see the first part where the speaker said the chances were “infintessimally small”. Should I have left that out?…more of an impact then 😉

space889
Member
space889

Hate to point this out but France is like the new Greece when it comes to unsustainable government debt and structural deficit. I doubt this level of social programs will last very long…..

Plus, this is definitely socialism, if not communism and we all know what great evils socialism brings….just ask any Americans or our own Fraser Institute! Remember, housing and daycare costs don’t matter when it comes to raise kids as recently found by the Fraser Institute.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

In a nut shell, China one is right.
Vancouver is becoming an Asian city, and Paris, well remains Paris.

Melba
Guest
Melba

….. The cool climate without ice makes it a runner’s paradise…..

i.e. ‘I love Vancouver because I can run in the cold rain….’

So, you live in the most expensive city in Canada so that you can practice the cheapest hobby in the worst weather. Hmm. Is it any wonder what’s behind the crazy prices in this city?

UBC in crisis mode
Guest
UBC in crisis mode

People who said Paris and Vancouver are world class cities probably have never been to Paris. Paris is a City, and Vancouver is a Village with over priced huts.

Laurey
Guest
Laurey

I will visit Madrid at Christmas Time, so i will write report and post it here about differences between Vancouver and Madrid.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Just to show you, how fragile the soil is here in Richmond.
I noticed my house slightly shaking during the last hour.
First I thought it was a small earthquake, and I went outside, just in case.
Then I noticed that they were bulldozing a teardown about five houses away, which caused the foundation of my rental house to shake.
Scary.

WS
Guest
WS
I left Vancouver over 10 years ago for Southern California and would find it very troubling to ever move back to Vancouver. I just don’t think I could readjust to the weather (or the current property prices). I have bounced around Socal but currently live in the South Bay of LA (Hermosa Beach). LA can be difficult and overwhelming for many people (especially if you have a long commute) but there are many areas that are amazing. The weather is just plain ridiculously good. 30 degrees and sunny this past weekend that included beach volleyball (actually too hot to play in the afternoon) and surfing (no wetsuit til November or so). If you can control your commute then most of the coastal areas are far superior places to live than Vancouver. Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa and Redondo Beach…All… Read more »
Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Laurey,
One of the similarities between Vancouver and Madrid is the housing bubble caused by foreign investors and speculators. In Spain it was mostly the Brits.
We all know what happened Spain’s RE bubble.

Son of Ponzi
Guest
Son of Ponzi

Of course, most people would kill to live in Newport Beach or Laguna Beach, but RE is more expensive than Vancouver.
My first choice would be San Diego.

Laurey
Guest
Laurey

@Ponzi.

Yeah i know about bubble but i am more interested to learn about the little things that make the life enjoyable in certain places.

CanNeverThinkOfAGoodName
Guest
CanNeverThinkOfAGoodName

Thought provoking and informative post. Thank you.

This is off-topic, but I wanted to share this link about new strategy in US for cities to use eminent domain to reclaim houses from banks for people with underwater mortgages. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/05/richmonds-rules-why-one-california-town-is-keeping-wall-street-up-at-night/?hpid=z1

Laurey
Guest
Laurey

I visited Newport and Laguna Beach last Feb. Yes I mean it is nice. but really who lives there? extremely wealthy people.
My vote is also for San Diego for what i have seen.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@Jesse

“I am deeply convinced the Chinese economy will sustain its sound growth…”

Nobody needs convincing. If they want x% growth they can easily get it by spending and borrowing on useless projects like they’ve been doing.

They can worry about the rising mountains of debts that come with their fake growth at a later time.

victoria
Member
victoria
I lived and worked in Paris for 13 years. After 13 years I never got bored. Walking to work was magic. Most people with children however live in the burbs but the burbs can be pretty awesome. Not all (some are boring cookie cutter houses and big box stores) but the good burbs are wonderful. My first child was born in Paris and we now have 4. If we were in France we would be laughing tax wise. I stay home with the kids and our taxes would be minor compared to what we pay now. My French/British husband said we would be in much better financial shape if we were in France tax wise but he would not have been able to start a business over there. The French bureaucracy is insane and it is very hard to develop… Read more »
Unplugged
Guest
Unplugged

Paris – Beautiful city and a city where (at least the short time I visited) seemed that everyone really had a “purpose” in life that did not revolve around 1 hour commuting and water cooler talks at jobs that barely paid the mortgage payments. People seemed for the most part genuinely happier and content with what life had to offer even if it meant living in a small space in the city. This contrasts immensely with the North American style of contemporary prefab neighborhoods and engineered social environments in the lobby centered around a common theme where ignorance is bliss… http://mayer320.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/ignorance-is-bliss/

WS
Guest
WS

I am not sure Newport Beach or Languna are that expensive realtive to Vancouver. Granted those areas are at a premium and maybe not the best middle class example (Maybe I am wrong, but they still seem cheaper than the premium areas of Vancouver). Take a look at the adjoining coastal and near coastal areas – Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Nigel, Irvine, Alesio Viejo, Mission Viejo. You can get a nice SFR in the 400-650K range.

Global RE Investor
Guest
Global RE Investor

REALLY? Newport Beach and Laguna Beach California RE not MORE expensive than even the most premium Vanvouver RE? Oh my….Can someone please explain these PRICES then?

http://www.surterreproperties.com/california-properties-for-sale.php

VanRant
Member
VanRant

Many people from China call Vancouver a village and others do not know where Vancouver is. They are know New York, Paris and London, Tokyo….

Barb Rennie
Guest
Barb Rennie

Lately the real estate in California is being snapped up by China buyers. There are “Buying Tours from Mainland China”. Who would have thought that the Chinese would value warm climate, an american education, and cheap real estate?

aa4
Guest
aa4

The middle class is not really wanted in Vancouver anymore. It is sad, but that is the reality that has emerged. It is a city for wealthy people who have made large amounts elsewhere, and for the low who don’t mind being poor, who can look up to those rich like gods.

taylor192
Member

France also has a deep history of debt that pays for all those social measures. Not something I’d like to copy.

Nigga
Guest
Nigga

“France also has a deep history of debt that pays for all those social measures”

you mean debt like Amerika, only without social services.

Softy
Guest
Softy

Mounting mortgage debt is putting our national economy at risk, municipalities tell Harper:

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/10/07/mounting-mortgage-debt-is-puttingour-national-economy-at-risk-cities-tell-stephen-harper/

So obviously people are still buying and getting into debt and the debt party is till in full swing.

wpDiscuz