“Depending on what you’re looking for, Vancouver is actually a great city to live in. If you can’t be happy here, forget it and go live somewhere else where you can find your happiness…”

“Depending on what you’re looking for, Vancouver is actually a great city to live in. I don’t come from a 3rd world country, but from western europe. I’m not an aging baby boomer either, I’m 34! I’ve lived in London and Paris for years, so I know what’s living in a world class city is like. I also did my MBA at UBC (that’s the reason why I came here in the first place) and decided to get a job and live here (as did a lot of my fellow classmates). Depending on your chosen field, you can have a decent career here. For sure the opportunities might be more limited, of course you may have to compromise a bit on salary, but would I trade my life today to go back to London or Paris? Hell no! In fact, most of my work involved projects located anywhere in Canada and the US. I could be located pretty much everywhere I want, and I chose to be here.
Is everything perfect in Vancouver? Of course not. I wish so much I could afford a house here, which I can’t despite my 6 figure salary (that’s the reason why I’m on this blog!). But I’m renting a nice condo in a great location in downtown, the same way I was renting in London and Paris. I don’t have any problem with it and I’m patiently waiting (and saving) for prices to come down and be reasonable again, as they certainly will… If they don’t? well, I’ll be sitting on a pile of cash…
Vancouver is not for everyone, and there is no reason to be angry about it. I have a happy life here, and I know lots of people do too. If you can’t be happy here, forget it and go live somewhere else where you can find your happiness…”


“I agree this is not a city for everyone and a lot of my friends in Paris or London would have a miserable life living here. But Vancouver works great for me and this is where I want to raise my kid…”

“This city/province has a lot to offer, but not everyone enjoys nature and all the activities that come with it. If you prefer museums, a developed music scene and other cultural activities, you will have a pretty miserable life here.”

“When I went camping to Garibaldi Lake last month, there were all kinds of people, very young “party” folks, older mature ladies (early 60′s) and parents with young children (I brought my 7 month old baby up there and I was not alone, to my biggest surprised! Talking about family responsibilities…).
I agree with you there are a lot more important things in life than outdoor activities. It’s all about putting your priorities in order. I love great food and I have yet to find a good yet affordable restaurant in Vancouver. I’m still amazed at the costs of fruits and vegetables here, and don’t get me started about the price of cheese here. I would also love to have more music festivals in Vancouver during the summer season.
The same way some people go and spend spring break in Florida or Mexico to get sunny and warm weather, it’s possible to travel from Vancouver to satisfy your cultural (and other) cravings you can’t satisfy in Vancouver… Portland, SF or even NY are not that far away.”

Makaya at VREAA, 20 Sep 2011 at 12:44pm, 2:25pm, 2:37pm& 4:49pm.

16 responses to ““Depending on what you’re looking for, Vancouver is actually a great city to live in. If you can’t be happy here, forget it and go live somewhere else where you can find your happiness…”

  1. Perhaps it comes down to how much you hang out with the locals? I assume a lot of your class mates came from elsewhere? And if you’re into sports and outdoors, you’ll mostly meet people that are into doing stuff, and less into “living the dream” in the city: going out, wearing the right clothes, getting rich while doing as little as possible, owning objects of status, etc.

    • You’re right that in my social life, I hang mostly with people I’ve met through my MBA and most of them are coming from around the world. But i hqng out with locals too, which are not like the typical “Vancouverite” as painted repetitively on this blog.
      I like outdoors and yes, I share that with most of my friends. But again, some of them, since they have been here (6 years ago), have never gone skiing or hiking, yet they still love Vancouver.
      In my office, most of the people are locals (about 50+ people), and none of them fit into the typical Vancouverite description. There are all kinds of people, from fairly wealthy people to single mom having a hard time to make ends meet. Pretty much everybody there is decent and hard working.
      I don’t deny that such people exists in Vancouver, people that have made lots of money flipping flipping RE and now behave as “nouveau riche”. It’s jus that there are not in my circle of friends.
      I think the real problem with people complaining about them is that they have a poor choice of friends. If you don’t like them, get rid of them and get better ones. An arrogant person would have a very limited lifespan in my circle of friends…

  2. Regarding the music festivals, check out Live at Squamish. I went this year and it was a blast, comparable to Sasquatch (which I also attend every year, and it’s only about a 6 hour drive from Vancouver).

  3. When are we going to have a “how much do you make” post vreaa

  4. Oups, I had to say that El Magnifico and Makaya were the same person (on two different computers!)

  5. Matt, if you look at previous posts, many people have said they make certain % more than in Vancouver or they make way more than in Vancouver.( I make about 20% more in Calgary) I was born and raised in Vancouver, and there are many of my friends, and myself, who left because we wanted jobs in our fields after spending 5-6 years at university. Many people I know struggled to get jobs in their field. The extreme costs of real estate have only enhanced some people’s desire to leave. Would we come back??, Of course the majority would like to, but also many say they don’t miss the traffic, crime, rain, taxes, rude people etc. We realize when we come back that we will take a hit on our salaries/taxes, but that is the cost to live in “the best place on earth”

  6. Today upon walking past a small pub/eatery on 1st Avenue & Cypress, the following was noted on their outdoor chalkboard sign: “SMILE! You’ll confuse people”

  7. no need to start “howmuchdoyoumake”. posters in this blog make six figures a year with ton of cash sitting in the bank earning interest beating average return.
    unlike those poor homeonwers!

    • 6F salary is nothing exceptional, even in Vancouver. Just have a look at the crown corporations salaries in BC to convince yourself. And saving is fairly easy when you’re not buried under a pile of debt and enslaved to your oversized mortgage… With a bit of discipline and common sense, life can be easy!

      • Actually, a six figure salary and up represents the top quintile of family incomes in Vancouver. (I’m adjusting for inflation from 2006 numbers.)

      • top quintile means 20%, which is consistent with what I said: it’s not so uncommon.

  8. I just came back from Caracas and Bogota and it really gave me a total reality check. i feel so lucky to be only worried about real estate instead of getting murdered on my way home.

  9. I like Makaya’s perspective, it’s well expressed but I think the reality for a lot of people who are very upset and frustrated with the housing market is they have a much stronger tie to the area, so simply packing up and leaving is a gut wrenching decision.

    It’s great for a single unattached person to say “go live somewhere else” and really have that as an option, but if you have family or life long friends and ties to greater Vancouver it’s a very hard to weigh those against the cost of housing.

    If you are raising children here already and you want them to know their grandparents, aunts & uncles it’s not the easiest judgement to basically say that you value the financial benefit of a more affordable housing market to close family ties. Sure you can pay $2k to fly back from Ontario once a year for a whirlwind visit, but that is much different from going to a family dinner twice every month, the kids having a sleep overs and getting spoiled at Grandma’s house and your aunt taking the kids instead of paying a stranger to babysit.

    It’s also hard to simply quit an established job (or two) and try to find a new one in another city, not all jobs are portable.

    Why can’t greater Vancouver just return back to reality, let ordinary people who only know this area continue to live here, have families, and prosper in the area? For people who want to stay here renting should only have to be a temporary/short term solution.

  10. You can’t seriously be comparing Vancouver with London & Paris?

    One of the cities is the World’s joint financial centre & the other is the World’s biggest Tourist draw not to mention at the centre of the Worlds largest trading bloc.

    No wonder the Real Estate market is on the edge of a precipice.

  11. You can’t seriously be comparing Vancouver with London & Paris?

    One of the cities is the World’s joint financial centre & the other is the World’s biggest Tourist draw not to mention at the centre of the Worlds largest trading bloc.

    He is not saying they are equivalent in any way. He’s saying he likes living in Van more than in Paris/London. This is not a “better than/worse than” issue – that type of thinking is only for those prone to dichotomous thinking.

  12. Howdy! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could
    locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

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