Vancouver – ‘Lazy’? Or Successfully ‘Non-Ambitious’?

Inquiring minds want to know, “What makes Vancouver tick?”.
This interesting exchange recently at RETalks [23 Nov 2011 10:54am onwards]

rofina – “The better we can understand how money flows affect Vancouver, the better we can diagnose the issues. The reality of the matter is that we need to start being proactive in other ways than just hoping for a property crash. … The solutions need to be broader, rather than just focused on asset prices. The most realistic and net beneficial approach is one of bringing high paying jobs here.”

jesse1 – “The only competitive advantage Vancouver seems to have is attracting a subset of people who are willing to work for less than other parts of the country.”

rofina – “This is an interesting topic on its own. It has always puzzled me why Vancouver attracts lazy, non ambitious people. With how expensive it is, and how little nightlife there is you would reckon its not the ideal spot for a lifetime underachiever. Its a bit of conundrum in its own right.”

jesse1 – “In my view it’s not necessarily laziness, it’s a lack of business drive. A friend of mine who worked 10 years in Silicon Valley opined at how unsophisticated the business development climate is in general.”

kramster – “Non ambitious and lazy are not synonymous. Well, non ambitious when it comes to slaving for the man anyway.
Take me for example. I have to do a career development review every year. Each year I put that I don’t want to expand my responsibilities, I don’t want to move up the ladder, I just like it where I am. Because to move up would require me to go on Salary, which means the 200 hours of overtime I work each year would not get banked into time off that I can use to do the thing in life that so many people don’t. The part of your life where you’re actually having one. Not to be confused with the life where people get up and go to work with big ambitions to work harder, make more money, get divorced, get fat, lose touch with their kids, retire, get bored and go back to work and then die of heart disease. It’s an epedemic so widespread people mistake it for being the opposite of lazy. My ambitions exclude those things.
So to counter the lazy argument, and to shed some light on why it may seem that such a subset of society has taken up home here, consider the following. This season I rode my mountain bike 134 days. I went skiing 30 times and ski touring a number of times. What I did not do is go to the doctor, take medication, get sick, miss out on my family, lose touch with my friends, suffer from anxiety, watch my weight, buy something because it made me feel better or make me cool, scream at a stranger in traffic, eat emotionally or get depressed. Before I moved to this part of the world, I lived in a place that oozed all of the above and it was very hard to meet people that didn’t ask what you did for a living before they asked what you did for fun. Here, there are a much greater ratio of people that I can relate to, and they have moved here for the same reasons. To work less and play more. Lazy? You tell me if having a resting heart rate of less then 50 is a sign of laziness, or the product of putting your ambitions in the right places. Sometimes we need a good night’s sleep before we climb a mountain, hence the quiet nightlife compared to places with nothing better to do.”

Question for readers:
Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?

– vreaa

73 responses to “Vancouver – ‘Lazy’? Or Successfully ‘Non-Ambitious’?

  1. Vancouver does promote very healthy things like outdoor exercise. Vancouver’s done an amazing job of not ruining its beautiful harbour, of keeping its air clean, and of trying to provide and promote recreational opportunities in its communities (via community centres) and its surroundings.

    Living a balanced life is important, obviously, and I’m glad Kramster feels he can do this here.

    On the other hand, I agree with people who find Vancouver too unambitious in too many areas for its own good. “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp/Or what’s a heaven for?” (Browning)

    • I don’t think Vancouver deserves any credit for keeping its air clean. I think that’s primarily due to the proximity to the ocean, weather and local geography.

      I agree that Vancouver has done a better job of keeping its waterfront beautiful than say, Seattle.

      I agree that the community centers here are significantly better than what I’ve seen in many other cities. Hillcrest Pool and Creekside are gorgeous.

  2. Vancouver is rapidly becoming a retirement community for the rich and middle-aged (at least for those that aren’t buried by their mortgages)

  3. “Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?”

    Sure why not. Just don’t suck or it won’t be an easy go of it.

  4. Royce McCutcheon

    I’d commend kramster for clearly knowing what s/he wants. It sounds like very logical, reasonable choices were made. And I agree with the notion that “non-work-ambitious”/”lack of business drive” are more accurate descriptors than “lazy”.

    But to answer VREAA’s question – no, I do not think we can attain a “sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives [this] lifestyle”. On a gut level, it seems pretty clear that we will always need a certain proportion of people be work ambitious specifically. These people are needed to keep generating new industry (and employment opportunities) in the face of an evolving marketplace. It’s not as if we’re an agrarian society here or most of us make living as drawers of water or hewers of wood. In general, folks doing that sort of simple work – and surrounded by people doing likewise (and knowing that their kids or grandkids will do the same) – could maybe offer a society-wide prescription about just doing the work to a certain level and then applying motivation/energy to outside interests, but that’s probably not applicable to most cities at this stage.

    At the end of the day, picnics need someone to plan them.

  5. I love kramster’s statement in it’s entirety!
    I don’t think Vancouver’s situation is about needing ‘ambitious PEOPLE to generate new industry, employment and opportunities’ as mentioned in another comment. It’s about ‘the man’. From a business perspective, what’s in it for him? Why would any large corporation start-up or relocate to Vancouver when they can receive better tax incentives elsewhere. It’s about operating costs and what makes sense to the bottom line. Vancouver is simply not the first choice and our government has never (truly) made this a priority. Sure, we Vancouverites love our free time but I also know of many professionals who are willing (and do) put in the hours. Having also lived in Calgary, I’ve seen firsthand how they love their free time too. The bigger question is, what’s the difference between a city like Calgary and Vancouver? If you build it, they will come.

  6. Lazy people, eh?
    I have many friends in Vancouver who work two jobs just to make ends meet. I wouldn’t call them lazy…I think it is impossible to generalize that anyone who can’t afford a house, or enjoys taking weekends off, or would rather take an extra day off here or there than take the cash from OT is lazy. Being in shift work myself, I can certainly attest to needing time off.
    As far as jobs go, look around, they are there and they pay well enough if you know where to look. You don’t need to be a doctor, lawyer, or RE agent…work in construction, what about transportantion (last I heard Vancouver was a port town!) My dad’s a Long Shoreman ($42/hour), My husband work for CN Rail…not bad money either. Frankly I blame the “no job situation” on high schools that advise our youth that a BA or other degree is the only option for employment. A mantra that parents second. There is certainly more need for train conductors than for art history grads. And I would bet that the conductor makes more money.

    • Royce McCutcheon

      Not saying that the over-emphasis on university degree training that you describe isn’t an issue – it most certainly is – but barriers to entry on some of the jobs you mention can be high. For e.g., I am familiar with people who work (or looked for work) with railroads and while the pay can be good, jobs nearly always required relocations (plural) and there are way fewer opportunities for young people to be hired or advance with these companies than there were in the past. And construction gigs don’t always afford steady employment and can be really tough to do as you get older.

  7. Royce McCutcheon

    Don’t mean to derail this comment thread, but:

    $1.998M list price in May… http://tinyurl.com/8a4pd5v
    …Renting for $3250/mo today http://tinyurl.com/7mtzmdh
    (Monthly property taxes [based on listing estimate] = $560)

    $1.788M list price this summer… http://tinyurl.com/88lnmug
    …Renting for $3000/mo today http://tinyurl.com/6pg7olt
    (Monthly property taxes [based on listing estimate] = $415)

    (It feels like there are more of these popping up.)

    Anyhow: does anyone have experience with the way property management companies make money? Don’t they take a cut of the monthly rent (for on-call services, etc.)? I always thought this was the case. Assuming this – and that 1) it may be a lot of work to secure good, steady tenants and 2) shorter term occupancies might lead to more vacant months and less $ coming in – does anyone know what sort of promises they extract from owners regarding selling intentions? If purchase prices were close to asking, the yield is pretty terrible on the above e.g.s and it’s fair to guess that at least MAYBE downstream price appreciation is where the investor really expects to make money. I’m just wondering where the incentives lie for the property managers.

  8. Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?

    Of course it is.

    • Agree. How we define things like work and success should be personal first. Also, I recommend Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” – research on what motivates us is very interesting for anyone interested in how cool, creative, productive, fulfilling lives happens. The problem is with all the rich people who refuse to manicure their own nails or raise their own kids. The truth is we don’t need nail salons or nannies and human consciousness would probably be better without them. Let people design and build what they want, engage families and communities in caring for children… I suppose there could be people in the world who aspire to file and paint other people’s nails but I doubt it.

  9. Remember everyone, unless Kramster has moved, he is living this lifestyle in Squamish, not Vancouver. In Squamish many people have been making their living on escalating RE until recently and now they are wondering what the hell happened and when it will stop.

  10. I guess you probably have seen this article on the Economist already. Some abstracts:

    “But in most other countries they have dipped by less than 10%, as in Britain and Italy. In some countries, such as Australia, Canada and Sweden, prices wobbled but then surged to new highs. As a result, many property markets are still looking uncomfortably overvalued.”

    “Based on the average of the two measures, home prices are overvalued by about 25% or more in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden (see table). Indeed, in the first four of those countries housing looks more overvalued than it was in America at the peak of its bubble.”

    “The average deposit needed by a British first-time buyer is now equivalent to 90% of average annual earnings, according to Capital Economics, a consultancy. It was less than 20% in the late 1990s. Another popular argument used to justify sky-high prices in countries such as Australia and Canada is that a rising population pushes up demand. But this should raise both prices and rents, leaving their ratios unchanged.” [it would be nice to calculate this number for Vancouver]

    “An optimist could therefore argue that our gauges overstate the extent to which house prices are overvalued, and that if markets are only a bit too expensive they can adjust gradually without a sharp fall. It is important to remember, however, that lower interest rates and rising populations were used to justify higher prices in America and Ireland before their bubbles burst so spectacularly.

    Another concern is that Australia, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden all have even higher household-debt burdens in relation to income than America did at the peak of its bubble. Overvalued prices and large debts leave households vulnerable to a rise in unemployment or higher mortgage rates. A credit crunch or recession could cause house prices to tumble in many more countries.”

    Bubble? What bubble?

    Here is the link: http://www.economist.com/node/21540231

  11. “Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?”
    sure, why not? it’s all in your mind. kramster does what he supposes to and enjoys his life.
    however, It’s impossible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives occupyvancouvers’ lifestyles?

    • fred! there is a conservative tanstafl angle in your posts that i do agree with. not the moralizing, however. party!

  12. any kind of life you want is awaiting you.
    If you want to have children, have children
    If you want to sacrifice income for lifestyle, do that too.
    If you don’t want the burden of home ownership, rent.
    But for craps sake quit bitching about what you don’t have because of the choices you made.

    • i think you mean house ownership. who’s bitching about what?

    • What kind of golden privileged life have you lived, you patronizing schmuck? DId it ever occur to you that there are people out there for whom everything doesn’t go just right as a matter of course? Not everyone can be as blithely sure as you seem to be that they’ve wound up in difficult situations because of the choices they’ve made.

      Come back to this blog when you’ve seen some tragedies that are not of the victims’ making.

      • Sorry, the above post to the patronizing schmuck was aimed at Formula 1, whatever brave soul he is with two monikers, and not Chubster.

  13. Could someone explain what I am doing wrong:
    As a bear who is very close to giving up, I started looking for properties in Greater Vancouver. My target area is the North Shore, mostly West Vancouver. Since July, I have found several properties on MLS that I was willing to consider. I have always contacted the listing agents via email or phone call.
    Here is my problem: I call the listing agent, but the agent is never there, so I leave a message with my name, phone number and the MLS number that I am interested in. However, the agent (almost) never calls back! So I send an email and – no response, ever! Out of ~ 15 agents I contacted, only one called back, only to tell me that the property I am interested in, is “not really good” and offered to send me a list of similar properties for the same price.
    WTF is going on?
    Some of the properties are still on the market, weeks or months later…

    I have also visited a few open houses and while I have met some nice agents, there were some terrible experiences too. One agent in West Van was smelling of booze and had difficulties walking and talking. Another one was making disgusting, slimey remarks and if there were no other people in the house, I would beat the crap out of him.
    There are some really low quality people among the RE agents. Some lazy and others just disgusting.

    I guess the good that comes out of this is that I didn’t end up with a mortgage in an overpriced market. I am no longer looking… still considering a move elsewhere…

  14. “Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?”

    somebody has to clean the kitchen.

    Does the kitchen cleaner gets paid well enough to get time off and afford skiing & mountain bikes & children?

  15. It would be interesting to know more about kramster’s situation:
    He/she isn’t on ‘salary’: Do they have a pension plan?
    Do they have accumulated assets for retirement?
    If so, how did they accumulate those assets?
    Do they have any debt?

  16. Sorry Royce, I forgot that all white collar type jobs have no barriers to entry…lol
    For the record, for the past six years, every single graduating student from the BCIT conductors program has had a good paying job to go to before graduating…
    Perhaps not all of them were in the lower mainland, but most were. The only barrier to getting hired by a rail company is that you must be able to pass a drug and alcohol test(random). This fact disqualifies many unemployed people in Vancouver.

    • Royce McCutcheon

      Heh. Agreed that ‘white collar’ jobs – the well-paying ones – aren’t easy to come by. But I’ve known plenty of people holding generic BA and BSc degrees earning about 35-40k and sitting in a cubicle who, after a few years, tried branching out into more ‘blue collar’ areas based on pay, job satisfaction, etc. – and success was quite variable.

      As to rail jobs… [shrugs]. I’m basing what I said on what I’ve been told by friends and family who work, worked, or tried to work at CN and CP.

    • You also should be in quite good, maybe not excellent, health. I talked to an instructor at a BCIT open house. The thought occured to me that many working people (not just unemployed) would have a hard time with very limited booze intake and perhaps no marijuana (weed stays in your blood a long time).

  17. Renters Revenge

    I wouldn’t describe Vancouverites as lazy or unambitious. I see it more as smug and entitled, along the lines of Best Place On Earth. It’s already good, no need to seek or strive, isn’t it just amazing to be able to ski and golf on the same day, the Canucks are going to win the cup. We are world class end of story. We are the best place on earth why do we have to work for anything more?

  18. Renters Revenge

    And to answer VREAA’s question, Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?
    NO! Wealth has to be generated somehow and we have to have something to sell to the world. If all we have to sell is a cool hangout and be fit vibe, the world is not going to beat a path to our door.

  19. GarthT sez it best: “In the absence of robust economic growth, rising wages and lots more jobs, real estate values cannot continue to rise.”

    What does Vancouver really have to offer besides mountains, rain, the Canucks, and coffee shops?

  20. Renters Revenge

    Why The ‘Livable Cities’ Rankings Are Wrong
    “These places make ideal locales for groups like traveling corporate executives, academics and researchers targeted by such surveys. With their often lovely facades, ample parks and good infrastructure, they constitute, for the most part, a list of what Wharton’s Joe Gyourko calls “productive resorts,” a sort of business-oriented version of an Aspen or Vail in Colorado or Palm Beach, Fla. Honolulu is an exception, more a vacation destination than a bustling business hub.

    Yet are those the best standards for judging a city? It seems to me what makes for great cities in history are not measurements of safety, sanitation or homogeneity but economic growth, cultural diversity and social dynamism. A great city, as Rene Descartes wrote of 17th century Amsterdam, should be “an inventory of the possible,” a place of imagination that attracts ambitious migrants, families and entrepreneurs.

    Such places are aspirational–they draw people not for a restful visit or elegant repast but to achieve some sort of upward mobility. By nature these places are chaotic and often difficult to navigate. Ambitious people tend to be pushy and competitive. Just think about the great cities of history–ancient Rome, Islamic Baghdad, 19th century London, 20th century New York–or contemporary Los Angeles, Houston, Shanghai and Mumbai.”
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/10/cities-livable-elite-economist-monocle-rankings-opinions-columnists-joel-kotkin_print.html

  21. Kramster’s situation sounds like salary precludes flex-time, and because of that he’s staying with his hourly wage. If this dude is doing 200+ hours of overtime, he’s not being lazy, he’s allocating his time in longer work weeks and longer off chunks. If he has something to offer the company in an increased role, that sounds like an HR or management missed opportunity, to me.

    Creative and productive employees in all sorts of sectors need things like family, hobbies, and exercise. I’ve worked as an engineer in places with extraordinarily long work weeks – and there’s simple diminishing returns. *Tons* of frittered hours. Not every hour at a desk or pushing paper is a productive hour, even with the most ambitious people or companies. Burnout = not productive.

  22. it’s angst-city. wtf is going on folks? i feel like such a moderate. is it the seasonal liquidity? mental health interlude … camptown ladies sing this song do-da, do-da …

  23. I must say that when I visit Vancouver, it seems like nobody is working. Just from going out on a Friday morning – coffee shops are packed. Go to the mall – busy. Traffic – ridiculous. Of course there could be people working shiftwork, evenings etc.

  24. “Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?”

    Without being judgemental about such a society, I think the answer is yes. My example: Hawaii. Most of the people there are very laid back and not work-motivated.

    That sort of lifestyle is not for me, but I’m sure plenty of people love it.

  25. To answer VREAA’s question (and take a contrarian stance, it seems)

    Yes, it is absolutely possible. A hundred years ago it required 100 men hours to to harvest what one driver in a combine harvester does today in one hour. Take all the people employed in oil extraction, food growing and processing, agricultural equipment manufacture, clothing manufacture, construction and housing; add a smattering of legal and accounting and government, and I think we have food and shelter covered by hmmm… say, 50% of the working population. If we are prepared to accept less goods and services, you could have the other 50% join in in those sectors, thus halving everyone’s workweek. We all work less, and basic needs are met.

    Then we enjoy skiing and biking in our spare time (maybe some can manufacture skiis and bikes in that spare time as a hobby?). The beauty of this solution is, that less crap gets produced, so less oil gets consumed, less pollution enters the waters, and we have an actually sustainable DavidSuzukiWorld. (This present world is neither sustainable nor self-sufficient; oil will run out and then the Fecal matter will really spray from the whirling air mower, and even if it didn’t, the poisons of industry would soon put and end to this society). Happy thoughts, I know.

    Kramster’s way is the way to go.

    Just my $0.02.

  26. “productive resort” – hey, that’s exactly why I moved here

    but I find that most people in the Vancouver area would lead exactly the same lives if they were living somewhere else, just with less culture, and maybe a bit more yoga or snowboarding

  27. Warning, this could get a bit off topic.

    I hate to bring globalization into this, but in a way this is paralleled. Vancouver is becoming a service town, but you can argue the same thing about North America in general.

    Despite all the bad things that you hear about globalization, it is actually the best invention for the US GDP. Globalization basically allows everyone to do what they do the best. For example, US is great at innovations and business processes, China at Manufacturing, Canada at resources, etc. So in effect, everyone benefits because everything is now shifted to the most efficient producer. What it punishes are people who are jack of all trades, but masters of none. Hence you are seeing the disappearance of the middle class. But consider this, manufacturing is a very small part of the the product’s revenue, for every Nike shoe that gets sold, Nike US keeps about 97% of the revenue while some factory in China gets about 3%. So in essence, most of the money is still made by American companies, and in turn their shareholders who are also largely US based. So it is a myth that when an American buys a made in China product, he is helping the chinese, he is actually helping the American company who owns the brand to the product.

    In return, because China has now prospered, US can now resale some of their services in business processes, management expertise, money markets back to China. These things actually hold much much higher margins than the manufacturing that China gets. So the US GDP in theory should actually increase due to globalization because they now have bigger markets to sell what they do best. The issues that you are seeing in Europe is partly due to this. There are some European countries who are neither innovative nor are they exactly good at manufacturing, hence they suffer.

    But this is a huge problem as now the rich has gotten richer and the middle class gets shifted out. You end up with a U shaped society. However, as the money is still made by the American corporations, it is still in the US. So the government needs to ensure a better redistribution of wealth to balance out this global trend. So in essence, North America in general, will shift more and more to a big giant service / innovation sector with very little substance in the middle.

    Back to the original question, if you are to think of it that way, in a service sector, the most important factor is the availability of rich people to consume the service. If that is the model, then it does not matter where they come from as long as they are here. So to answer the question, it should in theory be sustainable.

    • “However, as the money is still made by the American corporations, it is still in the US.”

      Not quite correct. The money is made by multinational corporations, and it’s now sitting in the Cayman islands.

      “Globalization basically allows everyone to do what they do the best. For example, US is great at innovations and business processes, China at Manufacturing, Canada at resources, etc. So in effect, everyone benefits because everything is now shifted to the most efficient producer.”

      Look what happened to the UK. They tried to turn themselves into a “knowledge society”. In London there are good jobs in finance & advertising; in Cambridge there are good jobs in pharmaceuticals. Great, that takes care of the highly educated section of the population. And the bottom 50% (30 million people) have nothing to do but watch football and riot.

      I dread to think what would happen if the US tries to rely solely on innovations and business processes. What will their bottom 50% (now 150 million people) do? Actually, I’ve seen “The Wire”, so I think I know the answer.

      • “Actually, I’ve seen “The Wire”, so I think I know the answer.”

        “Frank Sobotka: You know what the trouble is, Brucey? We used to make shit in this country, build shit. Now we just put our hand in the next guy’s pocket.”

        yeah. hello Detroit, Youngstown, Cleveland, Pittsburgh.

        And Canada would be wise to push well beyond resource extraction. That’s a role for colonies, not major powers.

      • Exactly my thoughts – all that American corporate cash sitting in low tax jurisdictions – only to come home if Obama gives a one time tax holiday – see Bloomberg Businessweek Nov 7 – 13 issue for a discussion.

        Almost all economists agree that trade/economic/financial protectionism creates jobs. The opposite is a myth that corporations would like you to believe – you know, the whole cheaper products free up disposable income for productive investment baloney. You can’t keep substituting labor with capital and cheaper overseas labor because eventually you will have no demand. Loose credit can boost aggregate demand in the short term (just as all those cheap consumer goods) but it eventually all stops when liabilities exceed the value of productive assets. The developed world is now realizing this last stage of global capitalism. Zero rates plus quantitative easing are symptoms of this global disease. The end game appears to be either a global money printing free-for-all or outright socialism. I really don’t know which one will be better for whom.

      • The UK has 8% unemployment so based on your “estimates” this means the UK working population is an astonishing 375million.

        Meanwhile Canada’s “official” unemployment rate is a really low 7%!

        Wow we must be really fantastic eh

      • @airdales, so basically what you are saying is that efficiency is bad. What I am saying is that efficiency is good, but the government need better tax regimes to balance things out. Essentially what Obama is trying to do.

  28. Hasn’t Vancouver essentially been getting by on ‘imported’ money?:
    (a) from banks (debt being spent: personal, mortgage, HELOC).
    (b) from tourism, foreign investors, etc.
    What happens if the rate of flow of capital from these sources drops?
    Has kramster actually earned his/her lifestyle (now and through retirement)?

  29. “Is it possible to have a sustainable, self-sufficient society where everyone lives kramster’s lifestyle?”

    The key question here is “everyone.’

    Neo-classical economics rests on the assumption that full employment = 5% unemployment. That is assuming equilibrium/ full employment. There are about 33 million people living in Canada. That means at full employment — 5% of the population actively searching for paid employment cannot get it.

    This number does not include any of the underemployed.

    I don’t understand how those 5% could possibly be living kramster’s lifestyle. The structure of the system doesn’t permit it unless the state, a really great friend, or an affluent relative gives those unemployed people food/lodging/gas money/ a secure retirement/ ski lift tickets/ and a mt. bike.

    • uhm…isn’t that what a lot of government employees do? 35 hr work week with lunch and really only does 2 to 4 hours of actual work per day?

    • If humanity had a little more imagination and compassion we could do it. Machines do most of the productive work in our society, so there is no reason that all of us could not live comfortable lives if we distributed the surpluses produced by these machines more evenly.

      Instead our incredible productive capacity serves to make some incredibly wealthy while the majority of humanity lives in subsistence.

      Our stupidity is our only real problem.

  30. Robert Dudek | 25 November 2011 at 11:09 am |
    LA doesn’t have neighbourhoods. It’s just a collection of towns linked by a web of highways. It’s not a city.

    Los Angeles is a collection of neighbourhoods linked by a web of highways, true, but it does have a downtown and many of the neighbourhoods are close enough to each other that you don’t have to get on a highway to go from one to another. (Though there are too many highways and not enough light rail for instance.) It’s definitely a city and btw it’s more affordable than vancouver.

    • Yes, even Newport Beach is now less expensive than Vancouver. You could also live in east LA and get the Vancouver East experience for only 20% of what a house cost in Van East. You’ll have to learn Spanish over Chinese, however.

  31. I would not call them lazy at all. According to the current Housing Trends and Affordability report by RBC Economics Research, in Vancouver, the second most expensive city in Canada, homeowners spend about 92.5 per cent of their income on the cost of home ownership and that, I think, is a very high percentage. The remaining 7.5 per cent is spent on other payments so there is simply not much left then.

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