Here’s part 3 of Leaving Lotusland. Again, this is all in response to Richard Florida’s question of why do you live where you live and how did you come about to this decision? I’m focusing a bit on the negatives kind of because I have seen many people leave Vancouver over the years.
For those of us who love Vancouver, the statement that somebody is bored with Vancouver is almost equivalent to sacrilege. Boring? There’s all the outdoor sports you could do. All the nice, summer weather to enjoy (minus last week’s rainfall).
However, for those who have visited other towns know that Vancouver is small potatoes in the world. For those seeking more, Vancouver is not the place to be.
Many are interested in working up the corporate ladder. The ladder only goes so high in Vancouver depending on the company you work with. The excitement of being high up in a company is a rare position in Vancouver. You could be head of the branch office, but you’re rarely going to be in a head office in Vancouver. Corporate career folks will often move to places like Toronto to be part of the excitement of corporate Canada. Some may move to Silicon Valley to join the synergy of the IT industry there. Those seeking a serious work culture need to look elsewhere. Many serious business types have complained bitterly of the lotus land attitude to business.
Some are seeking higher salaries, as well. With the higher cost of living in Vancouver, it’s hard to save up a lot on a smaller salary. So somebody may go to Hong Kong and make a nice ex-pat salary at a big company and be able to spend less on clothing and food. Plus, they get the arts and culture perks of an international metropolis of 7 million folks.
Others complain of the lack of night life here. I’m not much of a night life person, but from what I’ve seen, we got nothing compared to amount and size of nightclubs in a city like Toronto. Toronto’s Entertainment District is simply a buzz on the weekend. You could just walk around those blocks and feel the energy. Go into the clubs, and they’re a step up in decor, mood, and, of course, cost.
Vancouver, being only 2 million people, cannot support major arts industries nor cultural events. Mind you, this may be one area that Vancouver isn’t too bad in. Again, scale and synergy are everything. So those seeking the arts and culture don’t normally think of Vancouver. It doesn’t help when NIMBY-ists are shooing away public art like The Device to Root Out Evil.
Shopping. This is more a lady’s complaint, but Vancouver is not a shopping paradise. You see the same stores over and over again. You only have a few key malls and a handful of interestingly eclectic shopping streets. Prices are high, choices can be few.
These are not my complaints, but complaints I’ve heard people say. I know of quite a few people who have had to leave Vancouver for one reason or another.