A gorgeous city nestled between the mountains and the ocean, that ranks on most years as the city with the best living standards in the world. It's got the biggest per-capita health-care budget, best education standards, cleanest water, least pollution, healthiest lifestyles, sexiest moms, best seafood, and by far the most BMW's per capita for any city its size in the world. But for property prices, let's just say you'll need to be able to afford two houses in Toronto before considering the Vancouver market. It's also that place where people are perpetually drinking lattes, doing yoga, skiing and windsurfing all at the same instant, while wearing those coveted lulumon pants.
So why should anyone be surprised that Vancouver is more of a resort city than a head-office town. Familes constantly go out to eat, and enjoy hiking, skiing or kayaking on weekends. Food is cheap, but just about everything else isn't. Traffic is horrendous, and city council likes it that way so to make life difficult for businesses and force people to use bikes instead...resulting in the lowest percentage of private car trips in any North American city. Ironically car-ownership is highest in Canada at 2.3 cars per household...but nevermind that.
Vancouver has its embarrassing roots as a hippy town, where Greenpeace and adbusters once thrived. Though it has long since matured as a city, funny things still happen in Vancouver that don't happen in the rest of Canada, like foreign investors swapping condos that they've never lived in, teachers going on strike over wages that aren't higher than other provinces by a significant enough margin, environmental critics fussing over the best drinking water in the world, protecting mountain views by restricting building heights, immigrant families cooperating together to conceal offshore incomes, or those awkward situations at the gardening shop when you wonder what the sign means when it says "Best pot selection in BC". But this is what makes Vancouver such a unique place to live. Here, we live well, and all else can go to hell.
So the artsy fartsy turd from Toronto complaining about the prints in our pseudo art-galleries, can suck his broadway-loving metrosexual partner back in Central Canada - while Hollywood continues to film their movies on our West Coast- and thank his mayor for giving us the 2010 Games; and the rednecks belittling Vancouver's lack of head offices will hopefully enjoy the fumes from their neighbourhood Stelco plant.
Vancouver is the only place in Canada with a real chance of becoming a world city.