A Fool Visits Vancouver. Conclusions.

Jul 31st, 2005, 08:22 AM
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A Fool Visits Vancouver. Conclusions.

Thinking back to my trip, I can't believe I listened to those people who said they didn't like Vancouver.

For the first time in my life, I actually thought I might prefer somewhere to my beloved home city Montreal. I think of how I walked from my West End hotel and was able to walk to the beach on a whim and go for a jog up Sunset Beach, English Bay Beach and all the way around Stanley Park. I've never jogged so long (1 hour, 10 minutes) but I kept going because the views were so beautiful and I kept wanting to go around the next corner to see the next vista. Sure beats running around a track (tedious enough to do for a measly 30 minutes), which is the only option in Montreal when it's 30 below. No wonder Vancouverites are so healthy!

The much-higher-proportionally-for-North-America Asian population of the city also gives the city a certain character and culinary variety. The sushi I had (Samurai on Davie) was the best I've tasted, with nice big slabs of fresh salmon & tuna at a reasonable price... much better than the little slivers I seem to get on the East Coast. Fun also the selection of bubble tea establishments on offer, which I'd never had before.

I felt sad to leave my final day, as I dipped my feet into the water of English Bay Beach. What a superlative place this city was... I reflected on the charm of West End & Kits, the accessibility of raw nature to all Vancouverites in the form of mountains, beach, hiking trails, white-water rafting. The vibrant nature of Davie & Denman, the relaxed ambience of people enjoying life on the beach and in parks, the eclectic shops, the openness towards Gays/Lesbians, the health-consciousness, the pro-environment nature of many of its citizens, I could go on... While I did see that the city has its share of problems too (heroin addicts near Chinatown, skyrocketing rents, to name two), I felt that the plusses far outweigh the minuses. I hope Vancouverites continue to recognize the treasure they live in and work to preserve the delights that surround them. Thank you so much for showing me a great way-of-life, Vancouver!


Daniel_Williams is offline  
Jul 31st, 2005, 10:51 AM
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... and I heartily agree, Dan. Thanks for posting your thoughts, and come back soon.

BowenLinda is offline  
Aug 1st, 2005, 10:48 AM
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A great report, Dan. So if the plusses far outweigh the minuses, will you be moving to Vancouver??
lovesprada is offline  
Aug 1st, 2005, 03:00 PM
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Thank you BowenLinda and Lovesprada for your kind comments.

As much as I loved my visit to Vancouver, I do not think a move is in the cards presently. I really do have a great social network here in Montreal and think I may have found my niche career-wise. Plus I enjoy the cultural ambience and electricity of Quebec's largest metropolis.

Vancouver, more laid-back but fascinating, definitely gave me pause for thought though, especially with the incredibly easy accessibility of a wide variety of outdoor activity, life-inspiring beauty and milder winters. Were my ties more out west, who knows?
Even without them, I felt a certain tug from this Western Canadian jewel...

Daniel_Williams is offline  
Aug 1st, 2005, 09:23 PM
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My verdict on Vancouver is that it is a nice place but it rains and drizzles and rains and drizzles and rains and rains and rains....and then rains some more...In June of 1999, they had 8 hours of sunshine. And when the sun doe comes out, try getting a hold of a collegue on the phone - it's enough to drive a pushy Toronto type crazy.

If you love bumping into Racoons, you need travel no further than Toronto - we've got a couple hundred thousand of them who are in tune with Toronto's garbage day pickup schedule. They travel in packs of three. You have to wonder why people own dogs the size of very large rats here?
HogtownJim is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:42 AM
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dw, thanks for your trip report; such an interesting viewpoint. My son went to ubc and lived in vancouver for a few years so I went to visit him a few times and really enjoyed it.....

mitchdesj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Perhaps true about Van but then again Toronto and Montreal have often muggy smoggy summers and often frigid winters (Toronto more than Montreal for former, and Montreal more than Toronto for latter, but description still fits).

As it turned out, I probably lucked out, but had beautiful weather in Vancouver with some sun every day (low 20s as high). On my way back from Vancouver, stopping in Toronto, some Torontonians were saying that they didn't like Vancouver, too slow-paced... Must say, I *liked* that aspect of Van; while I like numerous aspects of Toronto life, I've met a few too many people there high-strung, status-conscious, impatient and superior-feeling. I'm sure Vancouver has some of those too, but seemed less pervasive.

Daniel_Williams is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:06 PM
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How can anyone not like Vancouver?
linda8 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Vancouver is without a doubt gorgeous when the sun is out. I enjoy pedalling around town out to UBC along the shoreline of English Bay.

It used to have a more balanced approach living life and working.

The cost of housing means that this balance is probabily now tilted in favour of work. A fixer upper 1912 clapboard home in Kitsalano likely built for working class mill workers is listed in MLS at an eye popping even for Toronto $748,800. More than likely, you have to move to Abbotsford and face wasting three hours of your life per day commuting across clogged bridges.

It would be better to invest in Montreal real estate in the Duluth and St. Denis area or rejuvenate some of the dilapidated Victorian office buildings near the Place Des Armes.

Toronto is the city Canadians who don't live here instinctively love to hate but should never forget that we work hard to create Canada's wealth and as well pay Canada's bills. This is where the opportunity is and I'm glad I left the mosquitoes behind in Winnipeg and live here where there are none...

HogtownJim is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Yeah, the cost of real estate is without a doubt high in Vancouver. I think I'd probably rent something small and central were I to live there... I wouldn't create much equity as they say, but life is short and I think it would be worth it to be close to beach & city.

"but should never forget that we work hard to create Canada's wealth and as well pay Canada's bills."

Hmmm...and TO should not forget that they're not the only ones doing this. Did I mention "superior-feeling" as something that I run across a certain somewhere...anyhow, before my blood starts to boil... Seriously though, I enjoy T.O. and have met some super Torontois in my life, even some that work-to-live so know anything said is only a gentle ribbing.

Cheers and Best wishes, DAN
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 02:28 PM
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let's face it-we live in a beautiful country from east to west. Everyone should visit the opposite side of the country in order to appreciate how beautiful it is. My husband and I have gone from east to west and there's no where that is ugly or horrible. We live near Toronto now after living there all our lives and we still love it,though. Can't really imagine living anywhere else because it is home for us.
shelll is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:06 PM
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Canada and it's people are gorgeous from sea to sea.

From south to North is not a well travelled road. My wish is to get up to the high arctic one of these days.
HogtownJim is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 08:46 PM
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Hi Dan,
Thank you for so eloquently sharing your westcoast experience with all of us Fodorites. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each of your three posts. Not only will I be exploring more of the places you mentioned, I am keen to step outside this Province and see more of this amazing country of ours. To quote HogtownJim ... "Canada and its people are gorgeous from sea to sea"
Thanks again and best wishes from Vancouver to Montreal!
bowen is offline  
Aug 11th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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Thank you, Bowen. I enjoyed reading all your comments and am glad to have incited you to explore some new things in the greater Vancouver area.

It is, indeed, a magnificent country in which we live.

Daniel_Williams is offline  
Aug 19th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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a pleasure to read ! Thanks for the information
Marko is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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ttt (for yeadonite)
Carmanah is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Thanks! Carmanah
yeadonite is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 04:04 AM
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I'm one of those rare individuals who voluntarily left British Columbia (and Vancouver) - I grew up on the coast and then lived in Vancouver until my mid-20s. It certainly is a beautiful place, but I got tired of people stopping me on the street and saying "slow down darling, smile, relax". And I wasn't much of an outdoor sports enthusiast, and therefore the prospect of spending all my days dressed (if I wanted to fit in) like I was ready for a "hiking emergency" wasn't for me. Funnily enough, the rainy weather never bothered me (but then again, I could probably live indoors, or underground, and not be bothered). It was the right decision for me, and I have enjoyed living in larger, less outdoor-oriented cities like Toronto, New York, London and Paris.

One thing I've noticed though is that, the longer I'm away, the more I appreciate the beauty of Vancouver and the surrounding region when I return home for a visit. When I lived there, I took the scenery for granted. Now I appreciate it - at least every time I get a chance to see it (it always seems to be cloudy when I go home ...)
Kate_W is offline  
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