Zombie Nation

I decided to think about why I hate Canada and pinpoint precisely what it is that drives this loathing. After some contemplation I’ve reached a conclusion:

This is a nation of the living dead.

That is why I hate it. Sure I complain about the weather, cost of living and other national absurdities – but those alone don’t drive these feelings of revulsion. Bills, bad weather, rude people and racists all exist everywhere else. I can endure those things (even all of them) in other locations, but not here.

For instance, I didn’t find Londoners very friendly or nice. I think a Monarchy is a redundant relic, and the class system in Britain is snobbish and shameful. A new politically-correct culture has manifested itself wherein the worst elements of sexism, brutality, homophobia and terrorism flourish under “tolerance” of “foreign culture” and immigration – in some sort of self-flagellation for past Empire sins.

And for all the great things about Brits (dry humor, wit, films, music, pubs, etc.) their rain and weather is comparable. Whether you feel a connection to British culture or not – most of us agree that a culture is in fact there, and there’s a sense people are alive and living.

Likewise with Ireland, there is the good and bad. The beer was great, the people (mostly) friendly, the cities full of history and quaint charm, great music, hurling and all sorts of things to enjoy. But there were also negatives: abortion is illegal, schools separated by gender, too much denial or avoidance about the Catholic church, and so on. Again, whether you identify with Irish culture or not – it is unavoidably real and you sense the Irish people are living very real lives.

The United States is a mixed bag: there is plenty of gun crime, intolerance, racism and divisive politics. There are also varying (state) cultures and geography, history in abundance, tropical weather, cheaper cost of living and more opportunities. There is a wide array of choices in climate, location and lifestyle. Regardless of how you might feel about the United States of America – it is a nation of people living their lives through the good and bad.

Someone wrote that Canada was “a dull, passionless country. Stable, boring, safe, sterile. Lacks an identity, lacks a soul.” That summed it up perfectly in three sentences. Somehow the nothingness is worse than any complaints you can make about the imperfections of other western democracies.

I get this sensation that people aren’t really living. It’s like a nation of the walking dead just going through the motions. I’ve compared it to a hospital ward; someone else said a hotel.

The prevailing theory of Canadians is that naysayers are “embittered people who won’t be happy anywhere”. However that theory doesn’t wash once citizens have travelled. I distinctly recall being happier and feeling alive in other countries, even if I disliked some things about them. This point is only driven home once you’ve travelled across Canada and find yourself still despising it one city and province at a time.

At one point I thought this pervading sensation of numbness could be outdone by activity. Surely if I partook in exciting activities and really tried to live to the fullest – I would find some respite from my feelings? Go on outings, go to the theatre, see the sights, go camping, hike mountains, do everything one is supposed to do …

BUT NOTHING WORKS.

Learn a language. Read the classics. Watch good films. Try and enjoy nature. It’s all so fleeting and unfulfilling. One blogger coined the best term for Canadian national culture: “starve the soul, feed the ego.”

My soul is starving, there is no nourishment here: only a nation of zombies who appear to be going through the motions; who have no true culture; are rarely passionate; who resent others; who can’t leave.

The Quebecois hide away in their province they consider a country and try to separate. The Inuit and Aboriginals mostly live on reserves and away from the main population. Over one-third of male immigrants leave and return home – even to developing nations. To me, this is the best indictment of Canada’s nation of living dead: people would rather return to poverty, crime, violence or developing nations just to feel alive.

Changing cities, provinces or jobs won’t help. Staying busy or going through the motions won’t help. Only one thing will: GETTING OUT.

I am genuinely curious how many others feel this way?

Perspective: II

As Canadians watch events unfold down south regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and overall discussions about race, they pay lip service to these topics without looking inward. So here I am, to point out the obvious.

Let’s start with slavery.

Canada had slavery for two centuries. While enslaving any person is an abhorrent act, enslaving Black people strikes me as particularly egregious.

Why? Down south, the enslavement of Blacks was the driving force of the whole economy and building of a nation. Here in the north, enslaving Aboriginals was a part of the Boreal economy and sustaining the fur trade. So why enslave Blacks in Canada? Simply put: because they wanted to. Again, I must emphasize: they went out of their way to enslave Blacks when the economy didn’t depend on it.

It’s a disturbing, chilling fact that makes the enslavement all the more revolting. You might think if Blacks were down south and in short supply locally, and if Aboriginals were enslaved for the Boreal economy – there should be very few Black slaves, right? Wrong. Stunningly, Black slaves still made up at least a third of all slaves! And this is despite the fact they cost double the price!

To have a Black slave was to confer prestige upon yourself, and of course – to keep up with the American neighbors. Canadian slavery never reached the heights it did in the United States or South America, but this is only because Canada was a poor, sparsely populated colony which no slavers felt could finance the cost of transport and purchase. (Even France refused to send shipments.)

Canada did try however: it legalized slavery as an institution in 1709, and three authorizations to ship slaves were given upon request in 1689, 1701, 1721. In 1733, a legal precedent was set: even though a slave was ‘Christian’ he could still be sold and purchased as a commodity. Slavery wasn’t abolished until 1834, and even then it was done through a British mandate – NOT the mandate of the Canadian people.

We’ll move along to the cover-up.

I will compare this denial to the best analogy I can conjure: imagine a wife who denies her husband has been sexually abusing their daughter. Is the denial worse than the crime? No. Is it as bad as the crime? Perhaps not. But is it heinous, cruel and sickening? Absolutely!

So it is here as well. Enslaving Blacks purely for ego was already evil enough, but then to hide and deny the truth afterwards is heinous and repulsive! I cannot stress this point enough: it truly sickens me.

Slavery in Canada was not taught in schools. I didn’t learn of it until I was in my 30’s – much to my shock. Even then it was only because I read an article about a historian’s book on the subject. The book pointed out that “generations of historians maintained a virtual conspiracy of silence about slaves owned and exploited, bought and sold, by Canadians themselves.” From the end of slavery until the 21st century … Canada simply pretended it never happened.

I’d only learned about the “Underground Railroad” and how Canada had been a safe harbor for runaway slaves (even though there were slaves here and it was still legal, unknown to me).

For generations Canadians have sanctimoniously looked down their noses at Americans because of the slave trade, civil war, Jim Crow and racism. While Americans enslaved Blacks for economic gain, Canadians did it for prestige and ego. While Americans fought a civil war to end slavery, Canadians did it when the British Empire abolished it. While Americans celebrated heroes such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, Canadians hid from the truth and lied to generations of the nation’s children. Then they had the gall to proclaim themselves superior!

And the racism carried on. In 1870, Hiram Revels was the first Black member of the Senate and Joseph Rainey was the first Black member of the House of Representatives (during the Reconstruction Era). In contrast – Canada’s first Black member of Parliament was Lincoln Alexander in 1968. The first “Black” (biracial) president was elected in 2009, while Canada has never had a biracial or non-white Prime Minister.

And the racism carried on. The Ku Klux Klan was openly acknowledged as a part of American history, but Canada’s KKK was never acknowledged: hidden and whitewashed out of existence until only recently – by mainstream media, authors and the nation.

While everyone here knows about segregation in the American South, fewer know of segregation in Canada’s East coast provinces. Fewer still know that Canada was also segregated in law and/or practice; the last segregated school in Ontario closed in 1965, the last one in Nova Scotia closed in 1983.

And the racism carried on: through racist laws which were effected because Canadians considered Blacks inferior and undesirable. There was: Section 38 of the 1910 Immigration Act; the Black Immigration Ban in 1911, various court rulings in favor of segregation, all among other things.

Why are they so racist? A curious case indeed …

Racism cannot be justified, but there is usually some historical context for bigotry and prejudice. For example: in the United States, because of marginalization and deprivation – many Black people became associated with ghettos, the drug trade and gang culture. Although being forced into these situations was not their fault, the general context became the justification for present bigoted views and continued racist sentiments.

Going back to an earlier time: slavery and its aftermath created a societal hierarchy in which Black Americans were viewed as inferior to generations of citizens.

In Canada, the case was paralleled by Aboriginals: originally slaves, then segregated from society, confined to tiny reserves, ‘educated’ at residential schools and then left in poverty and dysfunction. Being forced into these situations was not their fault, but the context became justification for hating them for generational trauma, overall dysfunction and receiving treaty rights or financial assistance from the government. Canadians (like their American counterparts) label their undesired group as: ‘welfare bums, degenerates, lazy, uneducated, criminals, thugs, moochers’ and so on.

If Canadian Aboriginals are akin to Black Americans, then so it is reversed in another parallel: Black Canadians and their history are conveniently ignored and forgotten, much like Native Americans. Or so I once thought … but the theory does not hold up.

Some Americans admire and revere American Natives. Others with racist views may sneer at them, but mostly they are forgotten and ignored – especially in comparison to African Americans. But overall, hatred is not present.

Year after year, decade after decade – Black Canadians have been the number one target of hate crimes. This is astonishing when you take into consideration the fact they represent only 3% of the Canadian population. Also consider the context: only a third of slaves (with a reduced history of slavery), small numbers, no real large immigration influxes, and a lack of criminality (due to low numbers) that is usually associated with Aboriginals.

In fact, it looked so bad that Statistics Canada has stopped taking down the relevant information on individual races. It has never compiled federal statistical data on other issues (police shootings, murders, crime data, etc) so as to avoid the topic completely. One could never compare Black issues in Canada against the United States because the nation collectively refused to compile any data which could prove its racism.

Some can be gleaned from localized records, media reports and so on. One news study showed that Black Canadians made up 9% of police shootings despite being 3% of the population. Only this year (2020) has discussion taken place about compiling race-based data on police shootings and other subjects.

In the United States there is a long history of injustice and searing pain, which remains raw. Canada has always looked on with hypocritical disdain while not even admitting the truth about its own history and racism. Now it begins to confront it: only thanks to the United States.

It would have been wonderful if Canada had taken the initiative, but as usual it waited until the Black Lives Matter movement erupted in the United States and then copied the protests and self-reflection so as not to be left behind. NOW the government releases a statement, NOW the media saturates with news stories and programs, NOW people begin inquiring into the past and the cover ups. (I suppose better late than never.)

And Canadians wring their hands. The media admonishes us: “there is racism in Canada too!” Individuals and groups proclaim and exclaim. While doing so they also congratulate themselves on their ‘voluntary’ self-reflection.

Swallowed down is the sanctimony and schadenfreude they usually indulge in while looking south … at least for now.

The questions remain: Why are they so racist? And what will they really do about it?

What I would like to see from the Canadian government, media and people, an acknowledgement:

That you are as racist as Americans.

That there has been less violence because there has been less immigration and fewer minorities generally throughout Canada’s existence.

That Black Canadians are particularly singled out for hatred with little historical context as a back drop.

That you have purposefully refused to compile data which proves the disparity and racism.

That ignoring slavery, your history and the past – has been a heinous act which merits an apology by the state.

That there is no greater act of contempt than to refuse to admit past crimes: in this sense you minimize wrongdoing, negate the suffering, disallow survivors to become heroes and most importantly – preempt future change.

That you understand and admit all these things openly and among yourselves, and not simply pay lip service to change, going through the motions and making empty pronouncements.

Truly look inward instead of putting on a show (feeding the ego, starving the soul).


Post Script: More Thoughts

Crime and violence against African Americans is often used in comparison with Canada, the obvious inference being that Canadians are by and large less violent and being Black in Canada would’ve been better. I’m not sure I buy this argument.

Generally speaking, Aboriginals can expect worse treatment and living conditions than Black Americans. The murder rate of Black Americans is significantly higher – but this can be attributed mainly to the drug trade in inner cities.

The United States is one of the most populated nations in the world. It is also linked by land to South America and Mexico. Both these factors contribute to the national drug trade, and historic impoverishment of Black communities explains their connection.

As of 2016, Canada’s Aboriginal population sat at nearly 5%. Despite this low percentage (at a historic high) their overall conditions are as bad or worse than Black Americans – who account for 13% of the American population. Also include the fact that half of Aboriginals live in remote areas and on reserves.

If it’s this bad – what would it be like if they were 13% and lived in cities? And if Black Canadians are treated this way now, how would they fare at 13% and if slavery had been a larger industry historically?

There’s no doubt that violence against African Americans has been worse over all than Canadians, but I feel it is due to context. If the situations were reversed, I don’t believe Canadians would have been any better – most likely worse.

Perspective: I

As Canadians watch events unfold down south regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and overall discussions about race, they pay lip service to these topics without looking inward. So here I am, to point out the obvious.

Let’s begin with mass murder.

Small pox

We start with the First Nations people and begin with Jeffrey Amherst. Amherst was a British Army officer who fought to conquer New France and was the first British Governor General of the territories (later Canada).

Smallpox was an infectious disease brought to the New World by European conquerors; since Indigenous people had not previously been exposed they were decimated by the disease when it spread in their communities. This applies from Canada on down to South America – and everyone knows this.

Fewer know that Amherst tried to deliberately infect the Indigenous with small pox – which clearly shows he knew the disease was deadly among them (no herd immunity) as one of many ways in which to “reduce them”.

This has been known for some time by authors and historians (see: Atlas of the North American Indian, 1985 & The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada; 1886.)

Francis Parkman, the historian who wrote The Conspiracy of Pontiac, quotes in his book:

“Could it not be contrived to send the Small Pox among those disaffected tribes of Indians? We must on this occasion use every stratagem in our power to reduce them.”

Vol. II, p.39 (6th edition)

Now Amherst’s attempts to kill via small pox had been known for quite some time among Indigenous peoples (and apparently a few others), but was denied at large by “polite white society” as some type of urban myth.

Researchers had to go and and find evidence of the letters and writings in microfilm. (The papers had been microfilmed as part of the British Manuscripts Project in the 1940’s.) The research was done on a promise to Floyd Red Crow Westerman of the Dakota Nation who wanted to find legitimate evidence of the crime.

The quote from the book has not yet been found in microfilm, but others have.

P.S. You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect, but England is at too great a Distance to think of that at present.

Microfilm reel 34/41, item 114. (Letter image)

This quote was a response from his subordinate lieutenant colonel Henry Bouquet:

P.S. I will try to inocculate [sic] the Indians by means of Blankets that may fall in their hands, taking care however not to get the disease myself. As it is pity to oppose good men against them..”

Microfilm reel 34/40, item 305. (Letter image)

The letters clearly prove a conspiracy among at least some in the British Army to use biological warfare to help reduce or exterminate the Indigenous nations.

The most basic definition of genocide:

the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”

Now some may argue (weakly) that Amherst and his co-conspirators may have been only been referring to specific tribes they were in conflict with. However it shows little concern for Indigenous peoples as a whole when the disease could easily spread between tribes, killing them all while most Europeans remained exempt.

Murder through biological warfare had been known for some time, however most liked to say there was “no proof” or that intent was not there, it was simply an after-thought prescribed to an accident.

The fact that letters have been found after hundreds of years, and describe the will to murder through smallpox is astonishing. This is when you take into account the time elapsed, the poor system for correspondence, the storage of the letters and so on. If this small trace exists and these men had the hubris to put their designs to paper, one can only guess at the actual attitudes and behavior of the time.

And even if you remain unconvinced about Amherst, we move on to a more recent time, with more damning record evidence.

(With thanks for source material from Peter d’Errico.)

Tuberculosis

Most Canadians now know that many children in the residential schools died of tuberculosis. But they wave off the idea these children were intentionally killed, and again prescribe the incident as accidental or perhaps a bit of ‘well-intentioned’ neglect.

A national journalist attempting to be the “voice of reason” against allegations of murder, wrote this:

“There were front-page stories a century ago, too. In 1897, senior Indian Affairs officials started blowing the whistle on the cavernous, shoddily-built, creaking institutions, pointing out that you couldn’t have built more efficient incubation vectors for contagious disease, and for mass death, if you tried.

Back then, P.H. Bryce, the Indian department’s chief medical officer, conducted a study of 1,500 children interned in 15 different Indian residential schools across Canada. He found that one in four of the children never made it out alive. A separate study of the Kuper Island school found that four of every 10 children sent there over a 25-year period never survived to graduate.

This is sufficiently damning. It is not necessary to assert, as Annett does, that infectious diseases were deliberately employed as part of a plot to “cull” Canada’s aboriginal population. Everybody knows what happened. It is no secret, and is not even a secret that there are mass graves.”

The Tyee: Truth and Native Abuse, 2008

Even while defending the Canadian government on public record, this journalist admits that senior Indian Affairs officials were publicly blowing the whistle: “you couldn’t have built more efficient incubation vectors for contagious disease, and for mass death, if you tried.

He also then admits the children were dying en masse; that the issue had been studied, was known in government, that nothing was done, and that it’s no secret currently there are “mass graves”. The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

Conditions were such that officials felt the need to “whistle blow” (reach out to the public with incriminating evidence the government was ignoring) which subsequently is damning evidence against the Canadian public – many of whom were aware as well.

I ask you to imagine a scenario: the Chinese come and take over Canada. They place all the children in mandatory “re-education” schools. COVID-19 mutates into an extremely deadly strain which the children begin to catch. In the schools the children begin dying at an alarming rate: 25% in one school, 50% in another, 75% in some. The Canadian government begs the Chinese to allow the children to stay home as the schools are killing them. Yet the Chinese refuse, explaining this is an incurable disease anyone can catch and they must be ‘educated’.

Is this not the willful murder of children? The Canadian government still clings to the narrative that it tried to help ‘civilize a savage people’, and in doing so ‘accidentally’ killed off a large amount through incompetence or at worst, neglect.

But if you know you are killing children – is it not murder? If you know half the children will die by being at school, and you keep them there – is it not murder? When the chief medical officer for Indian Affairs says the conditions are encouraging disease spread and will kill children – and you sit by indifferently – is it not murder? Of course when you know the outcome there can be no excuses.

They did not need to put their deeds onto paper like Jeffrey Amherst, they did not need to specify in writing – their deeds speak for themselves when taken into context.

If my coworker wanted to put a hit out on his wife, and hired a hit man and I did nothing – I would still be culpable because I knew the outcome and took no action.

Dr. Bryce, an employee of the Canadian government and Indian Affairs, wrote a book called The Story of A National Crime. It was not called the National Mistake or the National Accident – he called it a CRIME.

Crime: “an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.

Duncan Campbell Scott, superintendent of Indian Affairs brushed off years of Dr. Bryce’s warnings, reports, studies and ultimately his book.

“It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habituating so closely in the residential schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem.”

Department of Indian Affairs Superintendent D.C. Scott to B.C. Indian Agent-General Major D. McKay, DIA Archives, RG 1-Series 12 April 1910

Conclusion

Before I listen to anything the government has to say about the United States, its past, its history or issues, I would like to have the following:

An acknowledgement that Canada’s Governor General Jeffrey Amherst attempted to kill off Indigenous nations with small pox in order to obtain and keep Canadian land.

Acknowledgement of the innocent Indigenous girl slaves “who worked as household help and served as concubines for the French. They were often hardly ten years old. Their average age at death was 17 years.”

An acknowledgement that Canada’s chief medical officer in the 1900’s wrote a book claiming the government of Canada was committing a crime.

Acknowledgement that the Canadian government participated in the willful murder of children through both action and omission, ultimately knowing the outcome but pursuing their agenda despite the cost of life.

An acknowledgement by the Canadian government that it continues to protect the abusers of children in residential schools, and puts money before the pursuit of justice.

An acknowledgement by the Canadian government that by protecting the perpetrators of child abuse, and by not admitting to past crimes of murder, it has attempted to protect itself from financial litigation and legal accountability.

Perhaps then I will care about your thoughts on America.


Post Script: I understand what the journalist is trying to convey: that this was not some diabolical scheme etched in the halls of power on par with the Wannsee conference.

There is no need to assert “that infectious diseases were deliberately employed as part of a plot to “cull” Canada’s aboriginal population.” When you are killing children, and know your actions are killing children but that does not “justify a change in policy”, I would argue that is indeed “culling the population”. These children were in the schools and dying because they were not white. One can speak of Canada’s “polite, quiet” way of killing the Indigenous and levels of intent, but the outcome and facts remain the same: the government chose to kill children to fulfill its agenda.

CULLING according to the Cambridge dictionary:

When people cull animals, they kill them, especially the weaker members of a particular group of them, in order to reduce or limit their number.

Canada: bland and flavorless

The ‘American experience’ relies heavily on context.

You may have had a mostly happy childhood growing up in the Midwest; filled with small town football games, teenage love and fishing with grandpa. You might listen to country music and have an American flag hanging on your wall.

Maybe you grew up in an inner city with a drug-addict mother; dysfunction, chaos and slinging on street corners. You listen to rap and don’t believe in the ‘American dream’.

You might have come from a ranch in Montana or a high-end neighborhood in California. Maybe your dad was a cop in Texas and you love the shooting range, or your parents were marine biologists and you grew up in the water in Hawaii.

You might live in Miami, speak Spanish and own a boat. You might live in Washington state and take your dogs out for walks in the woods.

The experiences are as varied as the land. But one thing is for sure: there is choice. No matter where you came from, you can always pick up and go somewhere else. You can be someone new in a new place. If you hated rainy Seattle you can move to sunny Los Angeles. If you hated the boredom of Boise you could go to New York City.

Anything is possible.

In Canada it is all the same, mostly-flavorless, generic goop: you can have vegan goop (B.C); eat goop with a cowboy hat on (Alberta); try some wheat goop (Saskatchewan); drink booze with goop (Manitoba); you can have goop with a dab of maple syrup (Ontario); or eat goop with a bit of Atlantic salt (Maritimes) … it’s all just prison slop.

The Inuit are so minuscule a population the “north” isn’t worth mentioning. Very few will learn French or venture into Quebec (poutine-goop) so we’ll pass it over. The Indigenous (dry, cracked bannock-goop) living on reserves don’t apply to the majority.

No matter where you go: cold, cold, long bitter winters. Sky-high living costs and a mostly unaffordable housing market. Generic places, people, companies, and things stamped with a maple leaf (made in China of course).

No choices in where or how to live: generic slop with the odd dab of some watered-down variety of dressing – a cheap imitation of other places and cultures.

Most don’t qualify to leave. Most can’t go.

Immigrants who make the hell-sojourn return home.

The rest wait … drowning in slow motion.

Small town Canada, again

As mentioned before in another post, a third of Canadians live in three major cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver) and their metropolitan areas while the remainder live in small towns and cities, including a slight portion in rural areas.

As mentioned in that post (confirmed by Statistics Canada), the most violent and dangerous places in Canada continue to be small towns and cities – betraying the myth of a “safe” benign Canada. Especially so, when two-thirds of the population live in these communities.

To further illustrate the point I am going to use contemporary headlines from the past 60 days alone in Nova Scotia (a small province with less than a million people).

A man went on a shooting rampage and managed to kill 22 people and wound 3 before being shot by police. He began in Portapique, (a small rural community of about 100 year-round residents), traveling through 16 other locations and was killed in Enfield (less than 5,000 residents).

His killing spree was no doubt helped by the fact he was traveling to small, isolated communities and less likely to be discovered in the 13 hours this took place. And while you could argue such an incident is generally unlikely, the fact is that outside Montreal – most spree killings and shootings occur in small places in Canada.

In Truro (population just over 12,000), a guard at the women’s federal prison has been charged with six counts of sexual assault after a year-long investigation. There is also a civil lawsuit pending from inmates claiming sexual assault, who are suing the Correctional Service of Canada.

Also in Truro, a three year old boy has gone missing. The presumption is that he drowned and searches have turned into a ‘recovery effort’. His boots were found at different locations by the river.

While it’s unlikely he was taken by someone, it’s not outside the realm of possibility – especially if no body is recovered. Again, owing to the small community, lack of CCTV, and trusting the “locals”, this could never be confirmed even if it had occurred.

In Hammonds Plains (population approx. 12,000), a 45 year old man killed a woman and has been charged with second-degree murder.

In Preston (population just over 3,000), a man was stabbed during an attempted home invasion, but will live.

In Cole Harbour (estimated population just over 12,000), a 48 year old teacher has been charged with sex crimes against a 15 year old girl, with additional victims likely.

In March, in Priestville (population less than 200), 3-4 masked men broke into a home, hit the occupants in the head with a baseball bat and made off with some small items.

The police also put out a call for any information on the disappearance and suspected homicide of Tony Walsh who had gone missing in Truro.

I could go on, but I’ll end it here. Suffice to say that small cities and communities in Canada have plenty of murders, rapes, home invasions and other petty crime. While it may seem like stating the obvious, you wouldn’t know it judging by the local propaganda.

For some strange reason the media and nation pretend as though violent crime is a rarity in Canada when it exists everywhere and the largest cities are safest for both familial and non-familial violence.

150 Reasons to hate Vancouver

A list of reasons to hate Gotham, in no particular order. This list is a work in progress …

(1) Grey and overcast:

If you were born and raised here you’re used to it. But come from somewhere else, or move away for a decade or two and come back … it’s hell! Where is the damn sun for 10 months of the year? I’m not a vampire I NEED SUN! Grey, grey, grey. Overcast, rain, grey overcast, fog, mist, grey, rain. WHERE IS THE SUN?!???

You complained about the winter conditions elsewhere but it’s not much better here. Like the east, it’s black at 5 PM until late morning in the winter … rain pouring down. At least in the east there’s SUN reflecting off the snow during the day and part of the evening! It’s actually brighter!

(2) Too much rain:

“But everything’s so green and nice because of the rain!” Sure, that’s true. But what’s the point of nice looking surroundings when you’re inside 9 months outta the year because of the downpour!? Do you go out jogging, hiking, walking the dog, taking the kids to the park in the downpour of rain? NO!

But … I love paying an extra $1500 in rent a month to live here and hide from the rain!

In the east you hid from the snow all winter, and now here your bills are doubled/tripled to hide from the rain all fall, winter and spring …!

(3) Housing:

You live in the most expensive province in Canada (generally speaking ) and the most expensive housing market in Canada, or a close second. A house now costs over A MILLION DOLLARS; a condo is now over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS! A dumpy place in the lower mainland nearby is nearly $800,000.

Canadian law states that a down payment of 20% is required. Have you got an extra $200,000 kicking around on top of currently paying rent and bills? You’ll also have to pitch in for closing costs (inspection, titles, legal fees, etc) so tack on an extra $40,000 or so.

If you do have that money and you’re not filthy rich, why are you so dumb that you’ll pay that to live here and scrape by instead of living like a king somewhere else?

I know people who were actually dumb enough to sell their homes and come here where they will RENT for the entirety of their life/retirement years at $2000-3000 / month!

(4) The Walking Dead:

Get used to seeing the mentally ill, homeless and drug addicts everywhere, especially down town! You’ll be shopping while crackheads smoke their pipes right beside you. Take a stroll with the family as people go into seizures and overdose in front of your eyes. Walk to work while businesses and the city are hosing off the feces in the street.

People flock here because it’s the warmest place in the country, exacerbating the problem. Most of these people are mentally ill or seriously addicted. The city pretends to “help” by spending money on shelters or other facilities down town, which do nothing but propagate the issue. To seriously help these people you would need to change the laws, reopen the mental hospitals and have dozens of recovery centers and 24 hour live-in facilities downtown. But of course, that’s too hard and too logical. Instead we’ll just open shelters with crowded bunk beds and give people clean needles and vending machines. Why attack the sources of the issues when we can just treat the symptoms?

They spent a BILLION on the Olympics a decade ago, and some want to spend billions getting the Olympics back here, but they don’t want to fix this mess!

The DTES (down town east side) is infamous and has been notorious for decades! Even major cities like London and New York don’t have areas like this. The only comparable place is skid row in Los Angeles – a city with a population nearly as large as the entire province of BC! In the words of Snoop Dogg: “clean this shit up!

(5) Greater Vancouver Zoo

So the zoo is technically in Aldergrove, but what a pitiful place! Absolutely pathetic: overpriced, uninspired and sad; wandering around a small, ugly little area viewing a handful of bored, lonely animals. What a goddamn embarrassment. Not much to see or do. The aquarium is nothing compared to American ones, but at least you won’t feel completely ripped off. Don’t waste your money on this dump!

(6) Smug locals:

The idiots here think they’re “so great” because they live in Vancouver. Since the rest of Canada is a shit hole with arctic winters and the rest of BC is a dump with more of the same … they feel smug living in “warm” Vancouver. It doesn’t matter that a house will cost a million dollars, that living is unaffordable, that salaries are lower than elsewhere, or that it rains 3/4 of the year … they’re smug and self satisfied.

Despite the smugness they’re also cripplingly insecure. When someone makes a humorous, inconsequential Tumblr blog it makes the news. When a few people complain on Reddit it makes the news again. When some kids made the film “Crack Ass” about Surrey – a city in Metro Van – it made the news and the mayor got involved. Nobody is allowed to actively criticize “the best place on earth” (yes the license plates used to say that). Sure you can complain about city issues, but you’re still pressed to acknowledge how amazing this place is and superior to elsewhere. Fools !

(7) Rental prices:

Forget searching for Noah’s Ark or El Dorado … try finding a decent, affordable apartment in Vancouver! Average rent is around $3,000 for a two-bedroom and over $2,000 for a one-bedroom which may be a little more or less depending on where you are. Rental vacancy is currently hovering around 1%.

I remember over a decade ago (when I left) I was paying $1500/month for a one bedroom – nothing included- in a garbage apartment where three people were murdered in the span of a few months and bullet holes filled the foyer. Oh but it’s totally worth the cost! To quote another: “but, but … muh mountains!”

(8) The “Big One”:

It’s inevitable that a major earthquake is going to hit the Pacific Coast. It’s predicted to be a 9.0 – causing massive destruction and a tsunami with waves up to 20 meters high. The last one was hundreds of years ago and the next one could quite literally be any day now. The prospect of the ‘Big One’ hangs over the city like a cloud, but most people aren’t prepared and assume it won’t happen.

Imagine spending $700,000 on a condo on Vancouver Island, or $1,000,000 on a house in Vancouver only to have an earthquake completely destroy everything! Better start looking up insurance … mind the deductibles and premiums!

(9) Pets:

It’s extremely difficult to find a place to rent if you have pets (particularly dogs). The Residential Tenancy Act gives landlords the right to prohibit pets, and unlike other provinces there are no legal protections or rights for pet owners. Only about 10% of rentals are pet-friendly and these tend to be very expensive, high-end places. Competition for the few overpriced units is stiff regardless, and tons of people are forced to give up their pets or face homelessness.

(10) Rioting.

In places like the United States, people riot as a protest over social injustices. These may be: poverty, income disparity, systemic racism, police brutality or any number of complaints. In spoiled, fool-hardy Vancouver they riot over hockey games and concerts!

They rioted over the Grey Cup in 1963 and 1966, and outside a Rolling Stones’ concert in 1972. They rioted in 1994 when the Canucks lost, and again in 2011. (And let’s not forget about the one in 1907 where they rioted over Asian immigration.)

(11) Wet dog.

Dogs make great companions: they’re loving, loyal and guard the home. They also stink when they’re wet. And it sucks when you live somewhere that rains 80% of the time because it demotivates you from taking the dog out. When you do: your dog gets all wet, the fur stinks, the stench is rubbed onto other materials in the home (which in turn stink), and muddy paw prints are left everywhere.

(12) Gas prices.

Gas prices are usually the most expensive in B.C., and especially in Vancouver. (Fuel taxes are the highest as well.) After reaching $1.70/liter the premier ordered the B.C. Utilities Commission to investigate why prices are so high. The B.C legislature finally had to pass a law mandating fuel companies disclose how their prices are set.

In typical B.C. corruption-style the report found “no collusion” but magical “unexplained price differences” costing consumers an extra half a billion per year. B.C.’s corrupt politicians also refused to provide provincial price regulations. Right now gas prices are hovering at around the $1.49/liter mark – the highest in the country and province.

(13) Car Insurance

Of course, in addition to all the other expenses – if you live in Vancouver you get to pay the highest amount for car insurance. B.C drivers pay the most in Canada, at an average of nearly $2,000 per year. ICBC (Insurance Corporation Of British Columbia) runs a monopoly in the province and its basic coverage is mandatory.

(14) “Mountains” excuse.

If you ever bother to complain to the smug, deluded locals you’ll hear some variation of … “but … but … the mountains!” The “mountain views” are the miraculous cure-all for any personal or financial woes and excuse everything.

There was a time when the middle-class in North Van and the upper class in West Van were situated in the lower mountain regions/ next to real wilderness. With urban sprawl, population-growth, and new construction that time is nearing its end. You’re not living in beautiful wilderness in down town Vancouver, or east Van, or shit ass Burnaby or Surrey. You might be near a park or can view the mountain tops from your window – worth the $3k rent? You decide! Only the rich are living the true “mountain” Vancouver lifestyle.

(15) “Ocean” excuse.

Another variation of the ‘natural beauty’ excuses – but this time the ocean. And by “ocean” they mean the beach/seaside. Who has ocean views? Unless you live in a multi-million dollar house right on the waterfront, you don’t! Or unless you live in an ultra-expensive apartment down town right by the beaches, you don’t, again.

The vast majority of renters in down town Vancouver, North Van, West Van, Burnaby, Surrey, New West and everywhere else – don’t have “ocean views”. Count on your fingers how many times you’ve been to the ‘ocean’ (sea) this past year, and ask the person next to you as well. Once? Twice? Five times? Once a week during the summer? Worth $30,000 in rent? You decide! Even the mountain-excuse is better than this one!

(16) Minimum wage.

B.C.’s minimum wage is not enough to live on. If you’re a student attending college, an immigrant, or need an entry-level position in the work field you aren’t going to get by unless you live with multiple other people.

According to a study: minimum wage workers can’t afford a one or two bedroom apartment in ANY of Vancouver’s 70 neighborhoods. That would require a 112 hour work week. To spend the recommended 30% of income on housing a person would need to make over $35/hour. People I know who make $4-5k a month and live alone still spend half their income on rent. So it’s either multiple generations in one house, a half dozen students living together, both parents working or toeing the precipice of homelessness! (And this isn’t including food, bus passes, daily necessities, etc).

(17) Lowest pay for tech workers.

Vancouver has the lowest wages for tech workers in North America, something the city actively bragged about while trying to attract business. The average wage of a Vancouver software engineer is $60,000 USD ($80k CAD) compared to $113,000 USD in Seattle.

(18) “Sun” bragging.

Sure, a warm sunny day is undoubtedly a good thing. Unfortunately, Vancouverites won’t shut up about it. After 40 days of rain and one sunny day: “See? It doesn’t rain all the time! It was a beautiful day today!” After 10 months of grey, gloom and downpour: “We’ve had four weeks of sun this summer. See? It doesn’t rain all the time here!” If there’s even one sunny day all year – Vancouverites will brag about it and downplay the other 364 days of rain. ‘Cause it’s “the best place on earth!”

(19) Money Laundering.

In 2018, 7.4 Billion was laundered in B.C. alone, 5 Billion of that coming from real estate – the majority of it in Vancouver. Why does this matter? It pushes up real estate prices, which in turn screws locals out of home ownership, distorts the economy, and causes breakdown as the middle class and working professionals go elsewhere.

(20) Seasonal Affective Disorder.

S.A.D is a mental health disorder wherein the weather/seasonal change can cause depression in some people. The most common form is found as the days get shorter and colder: generally fall or winter. Vancouver doesn’t have an extreme seasonal change as it is generally grey, overcast, and raining in fall, winter and spring – meaning if you have S.A.D, you’re screwed.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association it affects 2-3% of Canadians severely, and another 15% in a milder form. That’s nearly 1 in 5 Vancouverites!

(21) Overdoses.

Despite a recent decline in 2019, British Columbia has been setting new records for overdoses for the past six years. Of course – the largest number happen in Vancouver. (See: The Walking Dead, #4). This isn’t a surprise given the size of the city and the problems down town.

(22) Unhappiest city.

Studies consistently rank Vancouver as the unhappiest city in the country. This is no surprise given the low wages, skyrocketing costs of living, housing market, corruption, and rain. Whenever it doesn’t hold this distinction, it’s coming in second place to Toronto.

(23) Very little heritage.

British Columbia didn’t join the Confederation until 1871; the city of Vancouver wasn’t incorporated until 1886 making it one of B.C.’s youngest cities. That year a fire razed it to the ground and it had to be completely rebuilt. So there is very little by way of old heritage buildings, sites and history like you find in Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec city or even Halifax! (Something built in 1900 is “old” here.)

(24) Fires.

When there aren’t wildfires up north or in the interior of the province then they’re below in the United States. Time to breathe in that nice grey smokey air! Every end of summer there’s the feeling of apocalypse-lite as you wander around the smoke haze.

(25) Food.

Food isn’t necessarily a lot more expensive than other places (although it isn’t cheap either) but it’s required to live and feels terrible when you don’t have enough of it to eat. Affording it can be difficult when you’re paying the most expensive rent (or mortgage) in the country, the most expensive gas and car insurance in the country, and so on. Unlike the new shoes or movie tickets it’s not something you can forgo.

(26) Missing the snow.

After years of arctic temperatures, blizzards, huge snowfalls, and the rest of the inconveniences that come with the crazy winters – you’re complaining and wishing you could live in the mild winter climate of Vancouver … until you get there.

Years later I can actually say I prefer the snow. I’ve come to call Vancouver “Gotham” because of the gloom and dreariness that becomes oppressive for months on end. The black or grey skies, the constant downpours, the damp that chills your bones … it’s awful. At least snowfall is beautiful and snow reflects light making things brighter. If you have good quality winter gear and a good vehicle I’d take the snow any year!

(27) Assholes.

Assholes are everywhere and this place is no exception. But what’s worse than dealing with massive assholes all around you? Dealing with massive assholes while living in the most expensive place in the country and paying the most expensive rent, gas, car insurance, bills, etc. It’s the cherry on top of the shit cake!

(28) Lousy radio stations.

The radio stations pretty well suck, with Z 95.3 still being the same crappy station its been for decades. The non-rock stations still play “Soul Decision” !!!!!

(29) Shit service at criminal front organizations.

Prepare for the worst Chinese food you’ve ever tasted, a hideous tattoo, a pedicure accompanied by infection … ETC. Although most of B.C’s criminal money is processed through casinos, real estate and drugs – there are also plenty of front organizations. It sucks when you happen to use one (unaware) because of the terrible service and ’employees’ who can’t do their jobs. (You could even argue they are actively trying to drive away legitimate customers!)

(30) Shit help for the disabled.

For example, take the typical disability payments: $1,200 a month to live on for a single disabled person. Up to $1,600 for a single parent with two children. Keep in mind that the average one-bedroom rental in Vancouver is over $2,000 a month. Even if you move to Surrey, Burnaby or New West – you’d be lucky to get a one bedroom for $1,200 a month.

(31) Shit help for the poor.

On ‘Income Assistance‘ (welfare) you will receive $760 a month if you are single. Or a whopping $1,300 a month for a couple with two children. Vancouverites are so generous!

(32) Shit affordable housing.

Because Vancouver doesn’t care about the poor whatsoever – subsidized housing is a joke. There is a serious need and to keep up with it Vancouver would have to build 10,000 units a year, which of course they don’t do and build condos instead. Only 4-5% of Metro Vancouver’s housing is ‘public housing’ compared to 20% or more in many European cities. People will wait YEARS and as of 2017 there were 4000 people on the waiting list.

(33) Driving in the rain.

With the wet roads comes the glare on the puddles and rain from streetlights. It’s even worse at night in certain places because you can barely see the traffic lines and stops. In dimly lit areas it’s downright scary! (Don’t forget the hydroplaning!)

(34) Can’t even own a mobile home.

There are few areas set aside for mobile homes because of Vancouver’s real estate market selling off to foreign interests or big companies. Even if you find a park to live at (on land that isn’t disputed) the pricing is ridiculous. For instance, let’s take Surrey – generally considered the cheapest area – and have a look at listings. The cheapest you’re going to find is about $150,000 going up to $400,000 – to live in a trailer!

(35) Loneliness.

One of the biggest complaints about Vancouver? Loneliness. Year after year the complaints continue. People call it a cold, socially-isolating, depressing and lonely place to live. Whether you’re a senior, young person, immigrant or single – everyone seems to struggle with it.

From 2012 – 2017 it’s the same old (and you could even discuss it with an MP over a $25 breakfast)! Complaints about it in 2012; one out of four residents complaining about it in 2017; now in 2020 a guy who moved to Vancouver is making a documentary about it; some poor man made a cry for help about it in 2018 (that went viral); that led to a CBC special series about it (including a mental health crisis hotline centre where 80% of calls were about it); this could go on and on. It’ll still be this way 10-15 years from now, guaranteed.

The best advice would be “get out there” and “go meet people”. That’s kind of hard to do when you can’t afford to, when you live-to-work, with the urban sprawl and with racially self-segregated neighborhoods. Plus … it’s raining outside – AGAIN !!!!

(36) Highest single-family home property taxes.

According to SFU research Vancouver homeowners pay the highest single family property taxes in Canada – even beating out Toronto by $1,000 a year! In typical Van-style it’s not clear where all the money is going or what it’s being spent on, costs don’t equate to adequate public services and an audit is suggested.

(37) Earaches.

I’m not sure who else suffers from this but … painful inner earaches that feel like the start of an ear infection (but never seem to progress that far). Despite years in Ontario with temperatures fluctuating between 0 C to -30 C I never experienced this. I assume it’s related to being cold in the damp.

(38) Emergencies.

Living in the most expensive place in the country is a bad situation in emergencies … whether it’s a personal one, a pandemic, or anything else. If you can’t work you are soon in over your head.

Take COVID for example: how do you afford $2,000/month rent during a two-month shutdown if you aren’t allowed to work? If your business is forced to temporarily close how do you pay your $5000/month rental space?

There are endless examples but the main point stands: unless you’re wealthy Vancouver is a bad place to be with health problems, work issues, or local/national emergencies.

(39) Cockroach landlords.

One problem with living in an expensive, overhyped city with a vacancy rate of 1% (down to 0.4% in surrounding areas) is horrible landlords who are emboldened and entitled. They know there are dozens of applications for every rental and that risking eviction or battles with the Tenancy Board puts people in a perilous predicament. They use their advantage to take liberties in how they treat their tenants.

You can expect: slumlords who never do repairs; slumlords who mislead you into renting places with severe issues (mold, bugs, leaks, etc); landlords who expect “extras” from tenants free of charge: repair and maintenance, landscaping and lawn care, babysitting, “massages”, etc; landlords or building managers who are never available (since they live in China, or don’t speak English, etc); on and on.

(40) Damp.

The damp is awful for many reasons! First, is constantly feeling cold and/or uncomfortable. Second, is the structural damage done to buildings from condensation or rain penetration – causing mold, water logged walls, etc. Third, the damp can aggravate asthma, bronchitis, respiratory issues, arthritis and other conditions, worsening them.

(41) Leaky condos.

Built between the 80’s and 1998 there were a minimum of 65,000 “leaky condos” across the province. “The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation defines leaky condos as a “catastrophic failure” of building envelopes, which lets water into the building frame and leads to rot, rust, decay and mould.”

After spending over $500,000 on their condos, people began to discover the poor design and “California-style” construction was not suited to the wet, damp climate and expensive repairs were needed. Some spent over $150,000 on repairs while others went bankrupt.

There was then an “inquiry” that led to “higher standards” and a short lived interest-free loan for “leaky condo” owners. There are currently around 200 (acknowledged) leaky condo buildings still in the Lower Mainland and twenty years later repairs are still ongoing. Beware of the leaky-condo lemons out there!

(42) Gangs.

Yes there are gangs in ‘nice little Vancouver’ too and they’re only growing in numbers, shootings and levels of violence. (And in typical-Vancouver style everything is ass-backwards!) While gangbangers in the US came from slums with extreme poverty and no prospects, most of Vancouver’s gangsters are middle-class and rich kids from good homes looking to make fast, easy cash.

Aside from classic bikers (Hell’s Angels) there are the Red Scorpions, United Nations, Brother’s Keepers, Independent Soldiers, etc; and the Indian and Chinese groups.

Yes there are drive-by shootings here too, where innocent bystanders are hurt and killed or wrong properties targeted. In fact, you’re more likely to witness a drive-by in an upper class neighborhood than Vancouver’s poorest areas. Gang-related violence accounts for 37% of all killings in BC.

(43) Port city.

Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal are Canada’s three major ports. Vancouver, by its very geography is a port city which makes it an automatic target for criminals and smugglers: guaranteeing crime, violence, gangs and corruption despite local laws and policing efforts.

More than 1.5 million shipping containers pass through every year, and only 3% are checked by Border Services. Corruption, incompetence and Vancouver-style idiocy run rampant.

Some examples: fully patched-in Hell’s Angels members are part of the local Union; gang members from other groups are longshoremen; criminal record checks aren’t required for longshoremen. Anecdotally, I know of alcoholic and drug addict longshoremen actively working – even while smoking crack!

Vancouver: Rants

“Shocking as it is, great hiking trails and natural beauty don’t pay my bills.”

***

“It’s getting harder to find trails that aren’t being trampled by the masses. Getting there is also becoming more irritating as the highways clog with traffic worse than ever.”

***

“I feel the same. If you want to relax on a lake, you need to either travel three hours or to get there at 7am and enjoy until 9am.”

***

“This is what I’ve been saying for a long (long) time; no one denies Vancouver’s beauty – but it’s not the only beautiful city, and the cost to live in it (or near it) is so exorbitant as to be (at least empirically if not subjectively) not worth the cost. People being unhappy in ‘paradise’ is completely possible; Vancouver personifies this. More younger/mobile people should really consider leaving.”

***

“We did. Once my wife and I had our daughter we moved to Melbourne. Salary is 60% higher for us. Cost of living is almost similar, but the salary increase means we can afford better opportunities for our daughter.”

***

“I deny Vancouvers beauty. The nature is lit, the city looks like ass.”

***

“This. So much this. I could never undertand the claim that Vancouver is beautiful. It isn’t. It’s a revolting dog’s breakfast of uninspired architecture and shitty design surrounded by remarkable natural scenery. While I am no fan of the majority of modern architecture, Vancouver goes out of its way to look extra terrible.”

***

“I’m not sure what you want here, or what any of this has to do with my original comments on how Vancouver is home to a load of fuckugly architecture, but I’ll bite. I don’t live there anymore. Lived there for a number of years (Kits, East Van, West Van) before getting tired of the quality of life and jetting. Live in Victoria now. Much better, nearly incomparable. There are aspects of Vancouver I miss, but it’s easy to find it elsewhere (and it’s often done better).

If you want to see the best west coast city, it’s Seattle. The best Canadian city is a toss up between Halifax and Quebec City with Montreal as a close second.”

***

“We also don’t get that beauty anymore in August when “Smoke Season” rolls in. You can’t even fully enjoy the summer here anymore because it’s ruined by a sense of existential apocalyptic dread.”

***

“Well, Vancouver sucks by pretty much every other metric too. Dating? Sucks unless you’re a fitness lululemon junkie, loaded, or LGBTQ. Friendships? Unless you have a core group of friends you grew up with, sucks. Making plans with people? Prepare for flaking out.

Cultural entertainment? We have Bard on the Beach and Vancouver Symphony if you’re not into lesbian surrealist renditions of snow white at Community Theatre, that’s pretty much it. Challenging/interesting career with growth potential? Only if you’re a realtor, or maybe in acting/VFX. Everything else doesn’t exist here or caps out very low.

Family? Well, even if you can get hitched, you still can’t have kids because you can’t afford daycare or a place big enough to actually raise kids in.”

***

” … And at the end of the day, money doesn’t directly add new happiness but not having money does significantly add unhappiness.

Maybe some people can be happy living in the West End or on Commercial Drive with 3 roommates in a 1-bedroom (yes, I know more than a few who live like that), but it’s not sustainable for vast majority past early 20s.

Career growth isn’t even a financial thing, it’s one of self-actualization and personal achievement. Knowing that if you want, you can put your roots down in the city, and eventually achieve that C-Level position without having to uproot your whole family.”

***

“The red zones are where the middle class and poor live, although Richmond is also red. The light yellow is shaughnessy, and UBC and west vancouver are blue.

You could almost read it as a map of striving and struggle. The poor, middle class, and the wives of new-money astronauts are unhappy. While old-money in the middle of it is doing ok, old money set apart from the rest is happy, and academia just doesn’t care.”

***

“weird because in my experience with academia, about 1 in 3 people are clinically depressed, and I remember reading a paper that stated a similar number for phd students.”

***

“This is mostly due to housing affordability and income inequality that has markedly worsened in the last 3 years. The housing prices have pushed people farther away from their jobs and social circles. There are also significant financial pressures on the average person. There are increases in property tax, gas prices, car insurance and consumer goods/groceries (due to the low dollar). Combine this with increasing mortgage rates and it starts to paint a very clear picture. Vancouverites face longer commutes, less time for leisure, less money in their pockets and the stress of massive mortgages with increasing rates.

I know that I for one spend way too much time in traffic and have been increasingly frustrated lately. The Massey tunnel, Alex Fraser bridge, Lions Gate bridge, Iron workers memorial bridge, Patullo bridge and so on are bottlenecks that cause people to spend more time stressed out rather than at home relaxing. Our road and transit infrastructure is decades behind what is needed for the region. Transit is significantly worse as it can take 2-3 times longer than commuting by car.

It’s also tougher to socialize as people move away and you lose your friends base. Add on the fact that it’s getting harder to meet new people in society due to everyone spending so much time online, in traffic, overworked or stressed out at home. It’s taking longer to establish your career and reach financial stability which results in people getting married in their mid-30’s instead of mid-20’s. It’s no wonder that the birth rate is dropping.

This is true in most major cities across North America. The bigger the city, the bigger the problems. Vancouver’s massive attraction of foreign buyers has accelerated and amplified our issues relative to other cities. The politicians and voters need to step up and address these issues or they will only compound going forward. I have high hopes that the NDP will make progress but so far progress has been rather slow and underwhelming.”

***

“The BC government has done a shit job taking care of their citizens from a housing / deter money laundering and illegal foreign investment perspective.

And this underlying unhappiness trickles down into everything (like implementing bike lanes for example).”

***

“I think if any serious investigation is ever done we’ll find it goes beyond ‘shit job’ and straight into ‘actively complicit.’ Hell until right before the last provincial election they were still telling us that it wasn’t really happening.”

***

“I think it’s the fact that people keep getting their houses broken into and bikes stolen, while a permanent drug addict population keeps growing with a complacent and often-times complicit poverty sector, that makes people unhappy.

But keep diverting your attention to the latest phantom “crisis” (it’s always some variation of “rich corrupt foreigners”) that has never affected you negatively, but that the media has gotten you worked up about. You need an external enemy to blame your problems on, because Vancouver’s real problems are too hard to face.”

***

“Living in New Zealand right now.

It’s amazing how much more content and happy with life people 20-30 are when there’s actually opportunities for success available, the ability to buy a house, etc.

I imagine Auckland is more like Vancouver though since it too is crazy expensive.”

***

“Most livable unhappy city.”

***

“Most livable for the rich, I would add.”

***

“You forgot about unaffordable”

***

“It is so liveable, professionals are moving away due to high costs of living. So liveable.”

***

“Kill me now”

***

“Can confirm. Went to Vancouver, was unhappy, flew back to Germany.

Things i expected: A smarter version of the us, beautiful nature, happy people, interesting culture, nice Asian food.

What i got: can’t pay the rent, earn nothing, basic food costs more than minimum wage, expensive gyms, expensive housing, expensive food, expensive mobile bill, crackheads everywhere screeching at nothing, Asians, rich Asians, richer Asians, someone breakes into a car, someone breakes another mans skull, someone lives in our trash bin outside on the street, this costs money, that costs also money, monotonous condos, worst night life ever.”

***

“This is perfect… but I cracked up at the “someone lives in our trash bin”

***

“I love this because it is so true. Not sugar coated, pure truth. I had family visit and live here for “6” months to travel and visit BC. They left after 4. They had the idea of moving from London city centre to DT Vancouver and being able to walk around to and fro. What they didn’t realize is the crackheads everywhere so they felt uncomfortable with all the screeching and yelling. Naturally for a family from London with children 4-7. Quite the shame. Our city is definitely getting a negative light for those who visit.

Another anecdote was when my MiL visited from Seoul, she thought Vancouver was clean and safe, and sure enough, more crackheads and bewildered screams and screeches from addicts. It’s a problem. Fuck these junkies. Not mental illness, they are junkies who are addicted to crack, meth, heroine and they are ruining the city.”

***

“I’ve lived in a handful of cities in northern North America and while the Vancouver area is without a doubt the most spectacular when it comes to both natural and man made beauty, it’s got the ugliest personality of them all. It’s downright not “Canadian” just how unfriendly the average local is.

The lack of affordability for the average Joe makes Joe stressed all the time. Stressed people don’t tend to enjoy life as much, so when it comes to interacting with one another, patience and fuses are short.

On the opposite side of that coin is all the greedy motherfuckers out there who got in early enough or have unlimited resources and have pushed the housing and rental markets out of the reach of Joe and his family. Plus you throw in the rental scams (both trying to find legit ads or getting evicted so the landlord can “move in” and bump up the rent for the next poor bastard) and the lack of stability will drive you to wits end.

I moved out here almost 3 years ago for work, which worked out well, being as my wife and l had talked about Vancouver as a destination since the mid 2000’s. I’m now looking forward to the project wrapping up so l won’t need to live here.

It really is a shame.”

***

“Maybe it’s not Canadian because more than 50% of the people are from somewhere else. At this point Canadians have to adapt THEIR way of being rather then them assimilate to our way of life.”

***

“Crazy, you’d think a place with a super high cost of living, low minimum wage and 9 straight months of rain a year would be a barrel of laughs.”

***

“Depressed and lonely here, can confirm.”

***

“I think a lot of people are sick of being told that Vancouver is one of the most livable places on earth when a bunch of people can’t find a place to live, and can barely afford it when they can. When they realize they have to choose a place out of town, traffic is a pain and transit doesn’t provide a viable alternative.”

***

“Yes transit outside of the downtown area is shit. I lived in the suburb where it was literally faster to walk than wait ans take the bus (which sometimes didnt even bother to show up). The Skytrain is fine but needs public washrooms.”

***

“We need to show people that Vancouver is no longer livable, in fact you will die here. Guaranteed.”

***

“Based on the constant flow of people moving to the North Island from Vancouver I definitely believe it.”

***

“Condo living isn’t so wonderful after all. Seriously, back when I was growing up by Lonsdale, nature was a lot closer. North Van is getting ruined by all the traffic. Not that I care much, since I can’t afford to live there anymore.”

***

“I think your housing situation is worse. I’m looking to move to Vancouver and your rents are shocking and I live downtown Toronto”

***

“This. Had a coworker who flew in from TO. 1 week of every month and he was shocked – apartments are smaller for more $. So when people say that the price for a 1br in TO and Vancouver are the same.. the size and quality of that 1br differ.”

***

“I moved from Vancouver to another major city. Much happier now that I’m out of Vancouver.”

***

“It’s because things went downhill so fast in the last 3-4 years that people think Vancouver is worse off than other cities. Affordability is definitely the worst here but the sudden decline is what has people stressed out the most. There are worse places to live but it’s still unfair how bad things have become here.”

***

“The option of immigrating to another country always crosses my mind when this comes up, but once you’re waist deep in tuition debt, uprooting yourself for a new life is a hard ask. Nevermind if you just straight up have a degree/skill set that just isn’t marketable.”

***

“If it was a lot easier to work visa / green card South, I think there would be a much higher percentage leaving for the US rather than going East. I would move to Longmont CO in a heart beat if able.”

***

They’re unhappy because they haven’t tried living in other cities.

“No shit. Everywhere in Canada is cold as fuck. Try living in another country, it is much better.”

***

“Real estate values in previously affordable areas of metro van have doubled (or more) in 3 years and rents have gone up almost as much, it’s happened far too fast for us to adapt and re-evaluate our lifestyles/standards of living/goals etc.”

***

“This is what confuses me. On the international subreddits everyone is “omg canada so friendly poutine is the best sorry!”. It is clear none of them ever visited Vancouver. We are polite but sure as hell not friendly.”

***

“If Canada merged with the US, I guarantee that Vancouver would lose most of its appeal as it would no longer be the warmest city easily accessible to Canadian citizens. Hence the unhappiness in this town.”

***

“The most unaffordable city in North America is also one of the unhappiest? Colour me surprised.”

***

“Can confirm, I hate living here.”

***

“All I know is my wife and I will never be able to afford a detached house here. And maybe if we’re super lucky and continue to live extremely frugal we’ll be able to have enough saved for 20% down on an apartment or condo or townhouse in like 10 years.”

***

“its true its really all quite depressing”

***

“But the famous idiots of Instagram tell me VanCity is the best place on earth and everything is great every day and oh god I love this city oh god we have ocean and mountains and live for the moment so like follow and favourite my vide..”

***

“As far as I’m concerned, summer is amazing. It’s the rainy season that is so far the opposite that I guess it negatively effects us overall.”

***

“The pacific northwest is generally a shit hole because it’s always grey, fact. The only place more depressing is Manchester.

And truth be told, if it wasn’t because of work I wouldn’t be living here tbqh. Nobody knows how to drive and it’s constantly raining 8-10 months out of the year. And did I mention the CoL? $2500/m for a small studio? Pretty soon Vancouver will be a tourist hot-spot and nothing more. It most definitely won’t be a place to raise a family. Who knows – in a decade Vancouver might even surpass Monte Carlo in that regard…”

***

“Melbourne is infinitely better than Vancouver. The only thing that sucks about living in Australia is that it’s far as hell.”

***

“It’s the frikking rain, people. No brainer.”

***

(Source)

***

“I’ve lived in this city my entire life and I find the longer I live here the more unhappy I become. I know Vancouver is beautiful and I should be thankful to live here but I don’t feel that way. And a lot of my friends have mental health issues and it seems like it’s only in Vancouver that it’s this bad. I travel a lot and I see people from other countries are much happier even with so little. Does anyone else think that living in a big city with so much opportunity that it’s causing a decline in mental health because more people are lost and feel like they have no direction? It’s also very competitive here and I find a lot of people are quite shallow and antisocial compared to other cities I’ve been to… does anyone agree?”

***

“All of the people I know that have left are actually significantly happier after leaving, which is why I was wondering. Wish I could do like a poll on here haha”

***

“I would have agreed a couple years ago, but my feelings have changed.

You’ll have to figure out what about the city is causing you to feel unhappy — cost of living, lack of engaging activities, etc. If not, if you go somewhere else with the expectation that you’ll suddenly be happier, you might be disappointed. The feeling from traveling doesn’t necessarily reflect the feeling of living somewhere. People in other countries may have their own challenges, and you generally have fewer responsibilities when traveling (e.g. you aren’t working).

Furthermore, Vancouver is not the only city with mental health problems. Suicide rates per 100,000 are very similar between Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver.

Big cities do give off a competitive vibe, and maybe that’s just not suited for you — there was a study that says that people in cities are generally less happier, and I think part of it is because some people are in cities by necessity rather than by choice.

Lastly, from people I’ve spoken to who have lived in other cities, the west coast is very laid back compared to other cities — friends from Seoul, NYC and Toronto say that Vancouver’s pace is a breath of fresh air (one friend had been suffering from stress related health issues in Seoul)”

***

“Yeah I failed to mention this as one of the reasons I feel it’s difficult to live here. The cost of living. I love everything about this city from the mountains to the trees and would be difficult to live somewhere like Toronto or somewhere that is just a city with no view. But it’s just so unaffordable.”

***

“Weather can have a profound impact on mood and outlook, and when we get prolonged rainy spells when we’re expecting mild and sunny weather, it can get pretty oppressive.

Before you draw any lasting conclusions, wait and see how you feel a few days after the weather has been nice and bright. You may find a dramatic improvement, suggesting that poor weather has been an influence. You may notice no real improvement, indicating a broader influence. It’s an easy little experiment to do (though highly susceptible to confirmation bias) but you may find it helps to inform your next steps in terms of how to improve your emotional/mental health.”

***

“My mental health certainly suffers more in Vancouver, especially in the fall/winter months, but it’s not city itself more to do with the weather, short days and lack of sunshine in the winter,so yeah living here is a bit more of a struggle for me compared to San Diego and Phoenix where I have also lived, in those city’s the depression was far far less and overall I felt better and happier in those city’s especially in San Diego, I was way more active there year round since the weather there is so much better.”

***

“I think the depressing thing is the standard of living tends to decrease. Growing up, most people I knew lived in houses that their parents owned working regular jobs.

People aspired to grow up, own a house, travel, have a retirement, etc. Now, the dream of something like home ownership is all but gone for a lot of people, and their standard of living aspirations are much smaller.

Everybody I know who was moved away, to the island, to Calgary, to Winnipeg, to the US, they have better paying jobs, and many own houses, with yards, and vacations.

Here, it’s good luck just renting a place and lower your standards. Don’t plan on wanting anything too fancy.

Seems to happen to a lot of West Coast cities like San Fran, Portland, Seattle…they all have an opiate crisis going on now too. Coincidence?

But yeah, in a nutshell, as each generation passes, we’re told to expect less and less out of life – lowest paid, highest cost of living, congested. Imagine a buddy living in Calgary who pays a fraction for housing, has cheaper gas and car insurance, gets paid more for the same job, etc…

I know we have milder weather and beautiful trails but still…”

***

“Yes, it’s the most depressing place I’ve ever visited around the world and I can’t wait to leave for good and never look back.”

***

“The sort of Vancouver I’ve been exposed to, is people not doing anything other than staying home, watching Netflix, playing video games, 420. This is because of some self-imposed excuse of weather/$$/SO, usually once they are past the age of trying to drive back from nightlife in downtown (drinking and driving back from the club, and cabbing is too expensive because there is no Uber). Others are more healthy and regularly participate in hockey/ultimate/dodgeball/volleyball/hiking/basketball/yoga/badminton/tennis etc., which is at least healthy and recreational. In general I also don’t sense much hustle from people because everyone’s parents already can pay for their downpayment, so they are living a deferred Peter Pan lifestyle. There is not much meaning and purpose that Vancouver readily offers, because there is no struggle and its too comfortable. (Edit: https://www.reddit.com/r/vancouver/comments/bfsrn8/does_anyone_else_living_in_vancouver_ever_feel/elgjqv0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x this comment actually echoes a lot of my sentiments) Most of Metro Vancouver just feels like a sleepy suburb where everything closes early, nice cars and blatant displays of wealth, while there is no obvious way to accumulate wealth other than converting into a FIRE industry snake and throwing away whatever education you got in your arts degree (not necessarily a bad thing). I actually have no idea what most people are even aiming for, other than trying to settle down and have brunch every Sunday and say they’re too busy with work, or because there’s not much apparent meaning, people end up on a hedonistic treadmill.”

***

“I moved to Calgary 3 months ago and honestly the sunshine helps me immensely. I know people will say “try taking vitamin D” but it didn’t work for me. I was honestly so tired of rain/overcast gloomy days. Since I’ve been here I find it a lot easier to be positive about things. Like my situation didn’t improve a million times over in Calgary vs Vancouver but the cost of living, weather and honestly the friendliness of people here is great.

This is just my 2¢, I love Vancouver and I called it home for a really long time but after visiting last week I can say I don’t really miss it.”

***

“I think the biggest problem as a country we don’t have the options for cities like it is in the USA.

He’ll there’s 70 cities that anyone can move to and there’s a different vibe.

We’re fucked for choices.”

***

“I grew up in Vancouver and moved east 25 years ago. I’m Scots Irish and my grandfather was part of a generation of men who arguably founded the city and turned it from a backwater rainforest into something resembling a modern metropolis. The city is a nightmare. I’ve never seen a place with so many isolated people leading lives that are meaningless. I think it has something to do with how isolated it is geographically. It is bordered on the south by the US border, trapped from the east by the Rocky/Cascadian Mountain ranges, and then further isolated and cut off by the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a relatively young city (compared to the rest of the world) with a terrible history of racism, poverty, drug abuse, and personal alienation. To add fuel to the fire, its housing market, literally where people have no choice but to live and make their lives, has been shockingly abused by rich foreigners who have treated it like an expensive, speculative, asset class designed to hide money (legally and illegally gained) from corrupt governments or foreign authorities. If that isn’t enough, there are at least two or three generations of Chinese immigrants (immigration is fine with me by the way) who can go to the same schools, eat in the same restaurants, and drive the same roads with you and your lives will never intersect in any meaningful way. It’s a failure of massive proportions. Behind a glittering, beautiful facade, Vancouver has a skull face like the angel/demons at the end of Raiders if the Lost Ark.

Unfortunately, that rant doesn’t really solve your problem, nonetheless, it addresses it. Some of the commentary here is telling you that moving cities won’t solve your problem. I can’t say if it will or it won’t. There’s an interesting documentary about a fuck up named Steve Fonyo (from the west coast) called Hurt you might check out. It seems to me that the thesis is that happiness is about where you choose to live and the people you choose to live with. ie. it has a “botanical” element. So, start something with other people that is meaningful to you – a book club, a running club, a paddle board club. Join something, build something, and do the hard work that puts glue between people and gives lives meaning. Best of luck.”

***

“You are correct. Vancouver living is overrated mostly due to the 8 months of rainy weather and subsequent darkness. Didn’t really like Vancouver that much but enjoyed living in North Vancouver and West Vancouver much more.”

***

“I find a lot of my friends as I get older in age are moving out somewhere East because its the price of living that’s causing the depression.”

***

“Don’t think I said anywhere that the city was making me depressed but simply saying that I’ve become unhappy as time goes by and have friends that are depressed and was wondering if it is because of the city. I’m a pretty happy person and never struggled with mental health but it’s just getting more and more difficult to be optimistic about a future living here. And people seem to be taking “the city” literally but more so everyone in the city as well as the city itself and what the city consists of. And it’s because of all the travelling I’ve done to so many places that I feel this way. For example there is trash everywhere in this city and so many garbage cans however you go to an extremely populated city like Tokyo where you can’t find a garbage can anywhere yet there is no litter anywhere…”

***

“I found the exact opposite when I travelled there. New Yorkers get such a bad rep but compared to Vancouver people they are way less shy, awkward and antisocial. I had more banter and great interactions with random strangers there than I’ve had in my whole year in Vancouver.”

***

(Source)

***

Why are people in Vancouver so unhappy?

“It’s not a difficult question to answer.

Fewer close social ties. Research shows social ties are a major predictor of happiness. As the city becomes more unaffordable people leave and social ties break. Building new relationships takes time. But fewer ties = less happiness, in general.

It’s harder to make ends meet. When you’re struggling to make ends meet, it’s harder to enjoy life. You spend more time working, have less income for the necessities (housing, food), less disposable income for discretionary purchases, less leisure time, less social time, and more worries.

Relative income matters. Research shows you’ll be happier if you earn 100k when everybody else earns 50k vs if you earn 200k when everybody else earns 250k. Vancouver has stratified along the lines of homeowners vs renters. If you’re a renter, you have less wealth than homeowners in your community. Because we’re social animals, we compare ourselves to our wealthier friends consciously and/or subconsciously. And the results of that comparison makes us less happy.”

***

” Salaries and unemployment levels did not emerge as much of a predictor of one’s happiness as did shorter commute times and what proportion of a family’s income goes toward housing. This confirms work by the Vancouver Foundation over the past several years that found that young people (between the ages of 18 and 24) in Metro Vancouver, and Vancouver in particular, are burdened by a sense of profound loneliness. It’s not a place where important human connections are easily made. “

***

“Moving backwards in life when you give it everything you’ve got, is depressing!!”

***

“Because it costs so god damned much to live there”

***

“Materialism and shallow people.”

***

“Seriously though, every time I go to the United States I always have random (not-homeless) people strike up conversations with me on the street. This almost never happens in Vancouver. The Seattle / Vancouver freeze is real. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Freeze

I think multiple factors are at play, but I suspect asian cultural influences definitely plays a part.”

***

“Because, at least in Vancouver, their salaries are comparatively shit and their cost of living, mostly due to housing but other things too, is ridiculously high. What a difference some spending money can make.”

***

“Wanted: Extremely experienced professional self-starter to drive 50 km every day into Vancouver and try and find parking in order to sit in our soul destroying office doing things you hate. Must be proficient in 20 things irrelevant to your duties. Competitive $45,000 salary. No benefits. You’re taking over a mat leave. When we’re done with you we will discard you like the temp garbage you are.”

***

“No community, wealth disparity, rain. My tops <“

***

Traffic.

And people.

“Oddly, I think you nailed it in three fucking words. Dude.”

***

“When you write this all you seem to show me is that you live a very sheltered and highly segregated lifestyle away from all the shitholes. You aren’t giving me any reason to care about what you say because all you are talking about is stuff other people experience. Can you give a reason that Vancouver should be good for others?

There are a lot of people who can’t afford to blow their money on weed, alcohol, parties and dining out. And there are many people who can’t afford or for various other reasons can’t take 2 weeks vacation off in Whistler to enjoy the nature. If you can’t afford the time or money to get out of the city all you really end up seeing are the slums or a bunch of absent low-density housing. I hope that explains to you why some people see a lot of ugliness in Vancouver and not any of the natural beauty.

And when you write about poor people who are angry at hippies and cries of “racism” you betray a lot of ignorance. I feel relative to myself you have to be very privileged and have a very thin skin to care about such problems. To me real problems are family and friends experiencing pneumonia, being crippled, teen pregnancies, broken homes, affording dental care and the premature slow decay, ageing and enfeeblement of gluttony, cigarette, alcohol and other diseases and addictions. It’s only words on the internet. In an environment where it is common to swear like a longshoreman racial slurs just aren’t that serious.

And maybe the reason that I am not a fan of the “pretty girls wearing tight outfits” is because my comparable peers were “white trash” who got pregnant in high school. To be honest, I should stop kidding myself that I’m much better and probably date downward around in the 2/10 range. I can certainly tolerate “pretty girls wearing tight outfits” but that doesn’t mean its something to be happy about.

I like to pretend I’m better than where I grew up and block out a lot of it but its just not possible to forget the anger. I hope this shows to you why there is a lot of some people see a lot of ugliness, just don’t care about the same problems as hippies and liberals, and have a lot of jealously and rage towards the rich and attractive. And of course there are a lot of people who had it worse than me such as a bunch of the First Nations.

Also what is this weird fucking obsession with “sushi?” It doesn’t taste like anything. It’s just bland and nothing like styrofoam.

Edit:

Also can you talk more about your Vancouver? I just can’t see how you can’t see all the fat, ugly, poor, crazy people with lots of problems.”

***

(Source)

***

“Stress levels are high here. It is understandable It is hard to feel secure long term as you might need to move and then face serious problems in finding and paying for a roof over your head. It is expensive. People are flakey and not all that friendly.

Overall it feels like things will get worse too as new rentals aren’t being built yet our population is predicted to increase significantly.

Transit is good but a lot of commuting sucks with packed buses and trains that are too hot and stuffy and everyone coughing and sneezing. Forget about driving, you will go nuts with the horrible lack of skill and poor etiquette here.

Adding to it is the fact that most of us feel trapped here because we can’t easily go anywhere else and many of the same problems are all over Canada anyways.”

***

“I have friends and family here, so that keeps me here. I’ve also got a niche career that locks me to a few specific hubs in the world, and of all of them, Vancouver is the most appealing. I grew up here, so my roots are here, and Im acclimated to the seasons and lifestyle.

At the risk of being a gatekeeper though, if you don’t snowboard/ski/hike, if you hate long raining seasons, if you don’t have roots here, and/or if you aren’t tied to a career in the city… I’m not sure why Vancouver would be high on someones list of places to live.”

***

“born and raised in vancouver for 26 years. Moved out to Japan for a job in 2017-18, and still here. Honestly the grass is greener on the other side. Vancovuer is a nice city to visit, but a terrible place to live. High real-estate prices, dumb PC culture, lack of useful transportation, poorly managed civic construction, etc. etc.

The slogan “Best place on Earth” does not even come close.”

***

“Best place on earth (to sell some fentanyl and then launder your money through overpriced realty)”

***

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-626-x/11-626-x2015046-eng.htm

“Welcome to the unhappiest city in the country!”

***

“Hey

I am from Edmonton and been living here for one year. Here is what I observed since living here.

-The weather is much better then edmonton, Its much drier in Alberta and you dont notice until you go back.

Way way more space in Edmonton, the parks here will be full of people unlike edmonton. The lines here suck, Costco on weekdays after one hour of opening, you cant even find parking on weekdays.

-The people in vancouver suck. People from edmonton are much more friendly, lots of people here are snobby. Also parts of Vancouver dont even feel like your in canada (ex Richmond).

-Traffic and finding parking is much worse and the roads are smaller, although there are not that many pot holes.

house affordability and obvious foregniers driving up the prices.

Everything is cheaper in alberta. From gas to rent to no PST and you make less money here than alberta. Its not even funny.

nature and events there are more of that to do but they are sometimes packed w/ people.”

***

“People are miserable here because of the high cost of living and seemingly indifferent and cold populace. That’s my perspective 13 years after moving from Toronto.”

***

“It’s really disheartening to see that people who are genuinely struggling to live here, or LEAVE here, are being written off as shut-in-nature-hating loners. Experiences vary. For example: It’s really hard to enjoy that nature beyond Stanley park if you don’t have a car. It’s hard to have a car if you’re spending 1700 a month on a one bedroom. Want cheaper rent? Share with people or move further away. Oh wait, now you have a long commute!

My advice: hope you’re someone who can get used to seeing people OD after you leave your trendy dinner restaurant, and don’t have, or ever want a pet.”

***

“Can’t stand it, but this is where the work and family is. I keep my sanity by escaping the lower mainland at pretty much every opportunity I get. I’m actively planning the construction of a small escape a few hours up the coast. Vancouver is great to visit but its nothing special to live in. I grew up in the lower mainland and have lived in some of the most desirable area’s of Vancouver for the last ~3 years to see if maybe any of them were better… nope, the only reason to live in the city is to cut your commute down or you have the cash flow to eat out and go bar hopping every night.”

***

“I lived in Vancouver for 10 years or so and it was ok. The Rain and gloominess did make it difficult in the winter. It got more depressing as the years went on. Moved to Melbourne a few years back and I don’t miss Vancouver at all. I think Vancouver is a very pretty city because its surrounded by the mountains and ocean, but the city itself itself is pretty meh. That’s just my personal opinion.”

***

(Source)

***

“The cost of living is extremely high. Wages are relatively low.

I guarantee you that’s the ultimate cause of 90% of the bitching you read around here.

It’s frustrating and stressful and makes young adults feel impotent.”

***

“I think you nailed it.

More so than just being expensive, many of the things you’re told you should be doing to be part of the Vancouver lifestyle cost a lot of money and are part of the resort town mentality here that exists, but people for some reason don’t want to admit to. It also doesn’t help that Vancouver is a resort town for the Pacific Rim’s economic elite. Many of the excellent activities really are only affordable to the top 5% of income earners but somehow everyone in Vancouver is expected to participate in them.

Oh, you don’t drive up to your second property every weekend in Whistler or have a seasons pass to local ski hills? Then what do you do?

Don’t go out for overpriced drinks and expensive meals at trendy restaurants a couple times a week? Then you’re just not taking advantage of this world class city. No wonder you’re a miserable fuck.

Fortunately, there’s also a ton of free or very cheap stuff to do in this city as well. The hardest part being that you need to find friends or have family that also like to do the same things.”

***

“That’s pretty much it. I do ok myself, but I know a lot of people who are not asking for much and work very hard, and despite that, they can barely afford a place to call home. I think to assume everybody wants a 3000 square foot home would be a lie, I think most people would be happy with a quality 650 square foot place that didn’t cost a fortune.”

***

“I was pretty happy in Vancouver, but I’m currently travelling and I’m constantly amazed how much cheaper life basically everywhere else is. I’m seriously thinking to move away and just make Vacations on the west coast. Maybe by the time I’ll retire I will be able to afford an island home and move back.”

***

“How about the 9 months of gloomy weather?”

***

(Source)

***

“Oh I’m leaving. I just signed a 1-year lease and I am seriously considering moving out east when it ends next year. I’m here for my career, I did really well for myself in tech. But I would take a pay-cut to live somewhere where there is actual quality humans, affordable housing, and place where you aren’t shamed for being conservative. I’m really interested in visiting Halifax to see if would be the right fit.”

***

“Grew up here. can’t stand the bad drivers and pretentious entitlement of people. There are tons of nice people too, but I’m done. Moving to kamloops because I can transfer up there and work in the same field of work, and afford a house with a yard. Seems like a no brainer.”

***

“I left Vancouver about 2 years ago and moved to Melbourne. Having grown up in Vancouver ( and briefly Edmonton) I decided I needed one last life shift. No regrets and loving it so far. When you move away you see the horrible aspects of Vancouver and also a few things you miss.

Honestly though, I have to say my most recent trip back in December was abit of a shock. The city seems even more so on this insane hyper change that just blew me away more than ever in the past.”

***

“My fiance and I moved from Nova Scotia to Vancouver roughly 10 months ago and we are already talking about moving somewhere else in a year or so.

It’s not that we don’t like the city itself, though walking by a pile of syringes on the ground on Robson didn’t really make for a great afternoon stroll yesterday, but we both took higher paying jobs when we moved here and even though we have a good income and no children, we know we could never afford to buy a place to live here, and when you have to admit that, it just makes it hard to see any type of long term future in this city.

I would also add that I have never lived anywhere that has such abundant wealth thrown in your face as Vancouver does, and it can be a little disheartening.”

***

“Same boat. High paying job no kids but I can’t afford to settle down in a home and enjoy life. Sick of playing rental musical chairs.”

***

“Vancouver Is a terrible, terrible city to live in.

I was born here. I leave often. 4 years in London England, 2 in Paris and 2 in Los Angeles.

I will say it again, and people will argue with me, but It’s true. Vancouver is the most expensive city I have ever known. Our wages are the lowest. Cost of everything is 2x what you will pay elsewhere.

My personal feeling is that they’ve conditioned canadians to not complain, we are supposed to feel grateful and appreciative for everything regardless of whether it’s a good deal. We are supposed to be “nice”. It makes for an awfully one-sided relationship with the corporations that dictate our lives.”

***

“My husband is 2 years away from finishing his PhD, and then we will be leaving Vancouver for probably the US. There are way more jobs in his field south of the border, and I’m working now for a multinational so would most likely transfer to another office in the US when we make the move.

I’m quite relieved, because it’s depressing how much Vancouver’s identity is rooted in real estate, money laundering, and birth tourism, with no real sense of community. So I’m looking forward to him finishing his degree and us having the opportunity to start a new chapter.”

***

“I left Vancouver, made a career in Edmonton, got wife and kids, made enough money to now move back. Took me 8 years.

I left Vancouver to make a living. If I was still in Vancouver, I would be sharing rent and complaining about housing until I was blue in the face.

Go outside of the lower mainland. Opportunity awaits. If you are trying to wait for Vancouver to change for you, it will never happen. Vancouver is an area of Canada where the class divide is probably the greatest, job opportunity the lowest and affordability impossible.

Go outside of your bubble, find work in other provinces, become an expert in your field and once you have all that, then come back to Vancouver if you desire. A paycut will happen and real estate is expensive so make sure you saved up.

But if you sit there struggling to survive, waiting for the government to give you the affordable housing to lottery, you might as well lay down on the road and act as a speed bump. If your entire life is stagnating, you are slowing going to die from your own self inflicted demise.”

***

“We moved here a year and a half ago(ish). We struggled to find a place to live in, and the day after moving in, they implemented the new foreigner tax thing. We knew we’d never make enough to buy a place here unless we take a crazy mortgage for like 40 years or I don’t know what. My friends working in construction have all told me that the apartments here are botched and are not in good conditions, so it’s another reason why we weren’t sure about what to do.

So we have discussed and discussed, and we know we will leave vancouver whenever possible. This city made me extremely practical : do we HAVE to stay here ? no ? Then why struggle here when we can have a better life elsewhere in Canada ?

We can’t afford a car. We can’t afford even having children ! We are not tied here, so we can leave, but I feel bad for everyone who grew up here and is pushed out because of how expensive this city has become.”

***

“I’m 26 years old, and leaving this summer, in about two months. I’m beyond sick and tired at having to pay exorbitant amounts in rent prices, and having next to nothing to do here for nightlife or real culture. Everyone here is so douchey, and the new influx of wealth here has really ruined the city. All you basically end up doing outside of work is smoking weed, watching netflix, and reading books. It’s a very lonely and isolating experience for a lot of people, and I’m one of them.

I’m also tired of the ethnic enclaves- I really want a place with real multiculturalism, and a culture that isn’t built around fear or political correctness. People don’t even make eye contact out here out of fear of ‘xyz’. It’s probably the downtown eastside that influences this… The drugs and homelessness problems here are extreme, and up the whazoo. The dating scene is absolutely dismal, as most people are just passing through the city on an exchange, and those that choose to stay are forced to confront the actual cost of living here if they want to settle. Most young people don’t want to pay the price of living three hours outside of the city in an overpriced house. I don’t blame them. Not even remotely.

Also, there’s this weird element of denial and stockholme syndrome here. We’re supposed to be “the best place on Earth”, yet the locals have been sold out, overseas investors have taken over, families in the east live in poverty, and nothing substantial has happened about the extreme drug/homelessness problems in the last twenty years.

In terms of career, there are next to no business or career opportunities. Even if you got a good job out here, it’ll be underpaid compared to virtually everywhere else you’ll go, and at the very least, half your money is likely going to rent. This is often coupled with infuriatingly stupid living conditions (rathole basement suites, esl landlords feeling entitled to telling you how to live within the space you pay for, etc). You’ll find a place for $800 with any of the following: no stove; no shower; no parties; no dogs; no overnight visitors; no cooking with spices; must babysit our children/dogs; must give me massage services; etc etc etc! It’s disgusting.

Yeah, I’m sick of it. There are other reasons I’m leaving, too. But all I know is that I’m tired of waiting around in the hope that I’ll get to experience the Vancouver I knew as a child. That Vancouver is dead. What it has become now is a shallow narcissist, and it’s time to accept that.

Also, prepare for the narcissists and sociopaths that have come out here en-masse, like a massive in-crowd from all corners of Canada and the world. If you have lots of money to throw around, prefer a status-driven social circle, and you don’t mind pretending to be someone else to impress others, then sure, it can be a good time.

In terms of architecture, there’s no real character to the buildings either in my opinion- it’s all glass boxes. Anything with a history or quirkiness to it is soon torn down to make way for new developments. Do you think The Rio Theatre is going to last long? Exactly.


Overall, in my opinion as a local, if you’re saving for a place and are seeking real growth, down-to-earth people, real culture, real music, and real community and trust, then you are almost certainly in the wrong place. Even the weather sucks out here. You’re waiting in the pouring rain, living out day-after-overcast-day in the hopes of two months of summer, and even then, that doesn’t always happen. And dear Vancouverites, other cities DO in fact have superior weather and amenities. Just so you know. We’re not the only city in the world with mountains, and it ain’t the mountains you’re thinking about on a day-to-day basis when you’re working out here.

I don’t mind paying high rent anywhere, but if I do that- I’d better be getting something out of it. Here, it feels very one-sided, like a relationship with an abusive partner that gives nothing back to you, no matter how hard you try. And the smug BC Pretentiousness is just nauseating.

Anyway, that’s how I feel.

I know every city has its problems, but I’m beyond sick of this one. It’s way past time I moved on with my life. I’m going straight to Toronto. If I don’t like it, I’ll find a way to settle in one of Europe, Japan, or L.A. Life’s too short. Way too short to put up with this nonsense. You can’t get me out of here fast enough. I know there’s more to life than this. FUCK YOU, VANCOUVER!”

***

(Source)

***

“I really like and miss Vancouver, but been living in Montreal for a while I see a lot of what Vancouver deeply lacks – art, character, history, culture, life! And the weather is pretty mild compared to these harsh winters we get here. Regardless, in a Friday night in Jan or Feb, at -20C, you go walk around at St Catherine, St Dennis or Crescent and there would be tons of people enjoying themselves, from pub to nightclubs, to burger joints to amazing coffee places. I would need a lifetime to try all places around here.

That said, I miss the seawall and the views. and I really dislike the political/separatism aspect fo QC.”

***

“I agree with your observations about Vancouver. I’ve lived here a long time, but have lived elsewhere too. This city is overhyped in many ways.

Our cheerleaders have done an amazing job selling our city abroad and locally.

To those who are looking for stability, safety, good education, healthcare, and nature, few cities beat Vancouver. But if you want long term affordability and urban excitement, Vancouver is low on the list of modern cities. Our nightlife generally sucks, there little in the way of a real arts district, there are virtually no good international-level museums and galleries, independent creative business are on the extinction list, there are very few affordable things for families to do during non-summer months besides visit malls, and our local governments have few ideas on how to make life fun.

If I was a millennial who could pick up and go, I probably would, but my roots are too deep here. Nevertheless, I sympathize with young people here who feel hopeless about this city that’s been way overhyped.”

***

“I think the entirety of the GVRD/Valley is over-rated. There are other worldly cities with mild climates and nice scenery that don’t cost an arm and a leg to live in due to high rent/real estate, gas, taxes, low wages, and so forth. Saying this is tantamount to heresy around here; people just point to the mountains, the ocean, and the mild climate as if this compensates for everything else – perhaps for some it really does, but for most, I think they’re lying to themselves. You want to see downvotes due to unpopular opinion, watch this comment for poof.”

***

“I was born and raised here. This city fucking sucks ass.”

***

“I would also add that everyone’s so busy working their butts off to live here, they can’t even enjoy this place.”

***

“Speaking from personal experience: it’s quiet because it’s expensive. I would love to go out every night and do something fun, but I can’t even afford to go to a bar and have a few drinks more than once a week. Shows and events are out of the question. I even make an events calendar every month only to find I can’t afford anything as it comes time.

Low wages and a high cost of living completely kill my ability to enjoy what’s “happening”, and i suspect it’s that way for many others as well.”

***

“Vancouverites are used to taking it up the ass it seems, in the salary department. I moved here also from another province and had to take about a 25% paycut. People here need to grow some fucking spines.”

***

“Vancouver is a nice place to visit. As for living and working, well that’s debatable. I left Vancouver after 12 years. While it wasn’t “terrible”, the lack of meaningful community, extreme competition among co-workers, low wages and astronomical cost of living had made living in Vancouver more of a chore than it was worth. What good were the North Shore mountains if I couldn’t enjoy them except to look at them from my office window? How pleasant was it to walk around a neighborhood, knowing the only way I could live there was by having tens of millions of dollars? And the whole “fake it till you make it” attitude was just getting too much.

The last year and a half of living away from Vancouver has reduced my blood pressure and stress levels, eased the strain on my bank account, allowed me to put together the start of a down payment on an actual property, and brought me closer to members of the community I now call home.

Just my 2 cents.”

***

“Agree about the COL in comparison to the wages. The wages do not compensate for how expensive it is here and that’s an understatement. Yes, everyone (especially newcomers) raves on about the beauty, the mountains, the water, the lifestyle but it doesn’t justify the costs.
And yeah, it’s not progressive like other cities; I mean, we don’t have Uber here, seriously! I grew up here and I feel stuck here given my age and situation.
I’ll make the best of it and I’m thinking of leaving the city when I retire. (although the way things are going, that may not be the solution either)”

***

(Source)

***

“Vancouver has changed a lot over the past few years, and not in a good way. Here are just a few ways in which everyone favorite ‘most liveable’ city has changed for the worse.

Some parts of the city are effectively empty. If you walk around Coal Harbour or parts of Point Grey at night, you’ll notice that very few of the houses/condos have lights on. Are they trying to save on their hydro bills? Nope. The new owners live outside of Canada. Either they are keeping the property empty so they can flip it in a year or two, or they use it for 2 weeks a year when they visit Vancouver.

Young families are leaving / have left. When you’re 25 and single, you can pretty much live anywhere. Things change when you have your first kid. Now you need space, and the $5m homes on the Westside are just slightly out of your budget. So where do you go? Either you move out to Coquitlam and commute, or you leave for somewhere like Squamish or Kelowna.

The ethnic mix is changing fast. Some of the Kindergarten classes now have more than 60% ESL students. There are areas like Richmond, Dunbar etc that are pretty much Chinese-speaking now. Diversity is unquestionably a good thing, but some of these neighbourhoods are actually so full of non English speakers that they have lost any sense of community.

The ‘rural’ feel has gone. People used to say that Vancouver was a city with a small urban core, surrounded by a leafy, semi-rural area. Not so true any more. Densification is ongoing. Homes have been turned into duplexes, triplexes, or torn down and replaced by apartment buildings. Expect this to continue.

There has been no attempt to preserve the city’s character. This is true in a couple of ways. From a purely physical sense, the city’s planners have allowed countless traditional homes to be torn down and replaced by charmless ‘luxury’ boxes. In a less tangible sense, the uncontrolled immigration and foreign investment has rapidly and irreversibly changed the demographics. Has anyone in city hall ever sat down to think about what Vancouver used to be, and what its turning into?”

***

“Vancouver: the city with everything but a soul.”

***

“I lived there for a year and was amazed at the divisiveness of the people. No real sense of community at all. After a year I had enough and had to leave even though it meant leaving a really cool job.”

***

“Vancouver is like a sex doll – looks good, nice to visit but empty, expensive, and likely to cause self hatred.”

***

“I grew up just outside of Vancouver, luckily in what is now a $3m home my parents built decades ago on relatively undeveloped land. My mum is an entrepreneur that spent 30 years building a multimillion dollar business and there is no conceivable way she could afford anything remotely like it now.

I’ve made peace with the fact that, barring a huge windfall, I’m not ever going to be able to afford a decent quality of life in my hometown, much less a property. I’m into my twenties now and everyone I went to high school with either still lives at home, or paying ungodly rent to be crammed into a divided home like a Dickensian workhouse. And this is the norm.

It’s not so bad though because I’ve also come to realize I don’t want to live there anymore. Ignoring how obscene it is that the whole city is basically one big investment/money-laundering scheme for rich foreign plutocrats, there’s a huge diaspora of Vancouverites. In 20 years, when I might actually buy a house somewhere, Vancouver is going to be a cultural desert populated by bankers, real estate agents, corrupt city officials, and Beijing billionaires.

“B-b-but muh mountains!””

***

“Here is my Rant:

I lived and owned a few business in Vancouver from 2008 to 2015. Through my time there I had dealings with the business community, City Officials, Real estate developers and property mangers.

I can honestly say the city is broken. It does not have the will or physical strength to enforce any kind of limit to growth. The companies and real estate developers simply outspend and outmanoeuvre a electorate that is too transient (bet you dont know many people that live in Vancouver that were born there), or too uninvolved in the state of things, and a goverment that is all too happy to play along.

There are so many appalling things happening within the power structure it would make a US city like Baltimore cringe.

I currently make 2/3 of what I once made living in Vancouver, but I reside in Montreal. I am telling you I live like a King in comparison.

Every time I go back for work I cant believe I once lived there…”

***

“I left Vancouver a few years ago. Actually, I left Canada completely. Living in Asia; figured since I’m already becoming a minority in my own country and Vancouver is almost part of Asia now, might as well move there for real and cut my living expenses by 3/4.”

***

“I am from the easy coast. I moved to Vancouver after uni and stayed for 5 years. Beautiful if you get out of town and play in the rockies. Two points I would add are:

6) parts of the city are like an episode of the walking dead. My second day there I got up super early and took the Skytrain to downtown from Burnaby. There were junkies laying face down on the side walk (this is like 7AM) that I thought they were dead (nope, just asleep). There were city workers with Hazmat gear (gloves and boots) using these grasping sticks to put syringes into yellow and white containers. The drug problems in that city are unreal. Maybe other Canadian cities are equally bad but more hidden, but, I am guessing not. Why are there so many gangs and drugs in that city?

7) Job Salaries. When I got tired of it and moved to Toronto, my salary doubled for the same industry. I suspect part of it was me getting older and being more mercenary in my negotiations, but, it seemed like the job front was super weak.

I do miss the mountains though.”

***

“The uncontrolled immigration and foreign investment is definitely what is killing the city. And a change in policy should be such an easy fix. It’s pretty brutal that Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, yet Canadians who grew up in Canada can’t even afford to live there and enjoy it.”

***

“Can confirm, Vancouver has gone to shit.”

***

“I left because I couldn’t afford to live there. Even making a fair bit above minimum wage (was 8$ at the time, I was making about 14$) I couldn’t freaking afford to live in New Westminster! Not that I lived horribly or anything. I could live comfortably and never really worried about eating and shit. But no savings of any sort. loads of cc debt. just lived to work. rarely went out or enjoyed life”

***

“As a native born and 2nd generation Vancouverite I feel your pain. What the hell happened? The culture of homelessness and rights of street people and drug addicts have been far more important than us taxpayers. Needles, garbage, poop both human and dog, city halls disregard for heritage, but the worst offender is this cult of density. Surrey has lots of space to grow so go grow out there.”

***

“I make 90k a year and live in a 1br in the west end with my two boys. I need to reevaluate my life choices.”

***

“I couldn’t agree more I also find that places like North Vancouver are being torn down house by house and are being replaced by overly priced apartments. As a 18yo male who has grown up in North Vancouver I find this situation a bit sad. I have always pictured living where I have grown up, but this seems financially impossible. We should limit foreign buying as this is exploding housing pricing.”

***

(Source)

***

“Vancouver is fractured. The communities don’t mix. The city has always been multicultural yet xenophobic, cliquey and shallow. Friendly on the surface but not really kind or less there’s something in it for them. It’s been like this since moving here in 1990 and it will never change because it doesn’t want to change. The locals are so deluded and brainwashed into thinking it’s world-class and this behaviour is completely normal. Ultimately, they will tell you to leave if you don’t like it so you give up and become anti-social yourself. You have assimilated.”

***

“I’m from Vancouver and I wish I could take back the time I’ve spent here and have spent that time elsewhere.”

***

“the most bland classist gentrified pretentious place on earth”

***

“Every city has its spirit and Vancouver attracts the people who suit it. That’s why you can’t connect. Those who can’t tolerate it leave quickly. Some of us are stuck until we can save enough to leave, all the while keeping to ourselves because the alternative is to interact with the shallow self absorbed poor hygiene degenerates. It’s only getting worse. Leave. You’re better off. Take a good soul with you.”

***

“This city is a middling place that offers nothing unique to the average person. It’s woefully overpriced and severely lacking. It’s a movie set dressed up as a metropolis. The desperation that many have here referring to this dump as world class is downright pathetic.”

***

“Born and raised here, Van is bad, but North Van (where I live now) is the worst cesspool of entitled wastes of space I have ever seen. Have hated it since day 1, I don’t want my son growing up in this twisted, toxic atmosphere, and we will be leaving.”

***

“Vancouver has slowly but surely become a disgusting nightmare.”

***

(Source)

***

“They suffer from the secret delusions and lies spread around the continent about how wonderful Vancouver is. It is NOT! I’ve been stuck here for the last 30 years, and I have hated every damp, dripping, dark, dingy minute of it. Retirement is nigh, and I’m already packed so as to Rip This Joint as fast as I can.

It’s the nonstop dampness. Even in the summer sunshine, you’ll find yourself damp and clammy under what you’re wearing.

The other big complaint I have about Vancouver is the dark, foggy, low-cloud-ceilinged winters. I read somewhere that of all Canadian cities, Vancouver has the worst suicide rate. No wonder..All this WETNESS is enough to make anyone wanna get outta here.

AND my last big b**ch about Vancouver is how the wealthy are so neatly hived off geographically from the peasants. They live across the bay, over the Lion’s Gate Bridge in “West” Vancouver. Well, La Dee Fuggin DAH! When I happen to be in West Egg I smell snotty attitude everywhere.”

***

“Culture:

I just moved to London UK after 17 years (mostly) in Vancouver. In one week here, I saw the Parthenon Marbles, a dozen Van Gogh paintings, dinosaurs, a dodo, Raphael’s sketches for the Vatican frescoes. – all for free. I ate Bangladeshi and Keralan curries, and heard more languages spoken than I can name. I got everywhere on transit without waiting more that 10 minutes for any train or bus even late at night.

Vancouver culture: one tour of sketches or lesser known works by a Rennaisance artist will come to the VAG maybe every 18 months – otherwise, hope you like Emily Carr… Museums? UBC Anthropology is OK, I guess – but when was the last time they had a David Bowie show? Vancouver Aquarium is world class, definitely, but it’s hard to fill a year of culture going between the VAG, Aquarium, and a handful of local-interest museums.

I’m sorry to say, but clean air, ocean and mountains do not make for ‘culture’.

And, yeah, rent is the same here in expensive London as it is in Vancouver…”

***

“Does anyone remember that earthquake we had at the end of 2015???

Well, this part of the world is waiting for the BIG ONE….

Most of the year we have rain, showers, horrific rain & wind, spitting rain, pelting rain and of course misty rain…..

If you are single and make at least $20/hr you’ll be A-OK add anything more and you definitely won’t be A-OK, even if you live outside of Vancouver….think about that!

Traffic and shitty, shifty drivers (anywhere in the Lower Mainland!)

Vancouver is a mostly conservative city so I consider Vancouver extremely boring, especially in the winter if you don’t do sports outdoors. Generally speaking, boring if you don’t have a lot of money.

Daycare is very expensive and hard to get your child in (waiting lists are insane)

There is gang life and criminal operations but they usually don’t involve the general public, outside of the city is a completely different story though

For the DTE (downtown east side) it is really a sad place, the smells, the activities etc…. Personally it doesn’t bother me at all, its OK if you wanna walk around the area however late at night (after 10pm) I probably would not do that alone.”

***

“Vancouver doesn’t have economy. It’s a very strange city in that it has a lot of inhabitants who lead a pretend live-work lifestyle. In a way, living in Vancouver feels like spending prolonged time at an international airport. The airport has a mock city feel, there are some stores and restaurants, but they don’t feel real, because it’s not a real city.

Eventually, sooner or later, your flight is gonna come in and you’ll take off to a more exciting destination. It’s inevitable.”

***

“1. No corporate growth opportunity
2. Forget about buying a house and if you do forget about saving anything
3. Travel time to anywhere is so much
4. Ferry terminals are far
5. In and out of Vancouver is getting painful day by day
6. Streets are getting crowded
7. Politics is getting dirty
8. Prices are rising”

***

(Source) (Source)

***

  1. Incredible high cost of housing (rental or purchase) which makes the cost of living very high.
  2. Wages that do not match the cost of living for many people, leading to poverty and homelessness even among working people.
  3. An entrenched drug using, mentally ill, chronically poverty-stricken and unemployed/unemployable population concentrated in the East Hastings area. Do not go down there alone at night…and I’d avoid it during the day as well.
  4. The WORST traffic congestion in Canada and possibly in North America, according to some rankings. When I’ve gone to the lower mainland, I try very hard to NEVER bring my vehicle. I HATE driving in Vancouver.
  5. Snow is rare and temperatures are generally mild – especially for Canada – but it can be depressingly gray with non-stop rain from November to March.
  6. A recent surge in what I call activist entitlement…such as tent city organizers who maintain that society MUST provide housing and income as a basic right.
  7. People who take advantage of Vancouver for criminal activity, including money-laundering, human trafficking, smuggling, and immigration fraud. It is a major port city and sits just north of the US-Canada border, so draws those activities.
  8. A surprising number of murders for a Canadian city. Most seem to be the result of rival gangs and the drug trade, so the victims are often reported to be ‘known to the police’ which is Canadian media code for criminals.”

***

“The prices for living is ridiculously high. A townhouse that looks like a dump is over 1 million.

Homeless crowd the streets, they build camps, and sometimes fires break out, burning houses around the camp.

Drug addiction, is horrible. When in Chinatown for a field trip, the druggies were so bad, we paid attention to the ground. Watching for needles.

EI – unemployment is under $700 dollars, my parents rent ou5 a 2 bedroom coach house for $2000 dollars a month. No renting near anything important is under a $1100.

In the Fraser valley, or lower mainland the bus routes are not out in the country like area, making cars a must.

Sidewalks where I live is rare.

The Provincial Gov’t is corrupt, to win two parties combined against the conservatives at the last moment, after voting, to have a house majority of 1! The Liberal and Green Party.

Lots of good happens in Vancouver also, the sea wall is a must.

Fraser Valley – Horse country. Drive around people have acres and every second house you’ll see horses.

Campbell Valley park , and Stanley park. The area is amazing. Horse trails too.”

***

“High cost of housing, to a large extent driven up by absentee Chinese speculators, has driven up real estate prices to the extent that most Canadians can’t afford to live there, even if they work in Vancouver. They have to commute from suburbs, often an 45 minutes to an hour each way. The downtown eastside is disgusting, dirty, full of homeless people and druggies. It’s so full of foreigners that it doesn’t even seem like a Canadian city anymore…it’s not the city I recall from the late 70s and 80s.”

***

“Traffic is hellish, and drugs are becoming a real problem in the Downtown Eastside. But the real problem is housing, both the exorbitant cost and the general lack of availability. Finally, certain areas such as Surrey and Abbotsford are experiencing unprecedented levels of gang violence. Don’t get me wrong: the situation generally does not impact the general public, but shootings are occurring with disturbing frequency.”

***

“it is extremely expensive rents are very high food gas cell phones everything is the highest in the world here.The traffic is horrendous and crappy transit unless you live in the city.Huge rich asian population the have and the have nots basically.Plus it rains a lot ,the city has no charismatic soul, other than that its great.”

***

(Source)

Feel free to add your comments. Are Vancouverites dull? Compare these comments to other rantings and see how passionless they really arecan’t even be roused to anger.

Recommended Reading

Here are some books I recommend reading (if you can be bothered to read about Canada) mentioned in this blog and elsewhere.

We’ll start with my favorite on this list: Black Ice by Darril & George Fosty.

“In 1895, The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes was formed in Halifax, Nova ScotiaThe Colored League would emerge as a premier force in Canadian hockey and supply the resilience necessary to preserve a unique culture which exists to this day. Unfortunately their contributions were conveniently ignored, or simply stolen, as white teams and hockey officials, influenced by the black league, copied elements of the black style or sought to take self-credit for black hockey innovations. Black Ice is the first written record of the Colored Hockey League in the Maritimes.

This book is about so much more than hockey: the Maritimes, slavery and black history in Canada, and interesting, worthwhile people.


Keeping Canada British: The Ku Klux Klan in 1920’s Saskatchewan by James M. Pistula.

“The Ku Klux Klan had its origins in the American South. It was suppressed but rose again in the 1920s, spreading into Canada, especially Saskatchewan. This book offers a new interpretation for the appeal of the Klan in 1920s Saskatchewan. It argues that the Klan should not be portrayed merely as an irrational outburst of intolerance but as a populist aftershock of the Great War – and a slightly more extreme version of mainstream opinion that wanted to keep Canada British. Through its meticulous exploration of a controversial issue central to the history of Saskatchewan and the formation of national identity, this book shines light upon a dark corner of Canada’s past.

It can be a bit of a dry read at times, and the bumbling characters of Saskatchewan aren’t too exciting, but it’s educational regarding Canadian racism and the Klan.


Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage by Marcel Trudel and George Tombs.

“… By painstakingly combing through unpublished archival records of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Marcel Trudel gives a human face to the over 4,000 Aboriginal and Black slaves bought, sold and exploited in colonial Canada. He reveals the identities of the slave owners, who ranged from governors, seigneurs, and military officers to bishops, priests, nuns, judges, and merchants. Trudel describes the plight of slaves–the joys and sorrows of their daily existence. Trudel also recounts how some slaves struggled to gain their liberty. He documents Canadian politicians, historians and ecclesiastics who deliberately falsified the record, glorifying their own colonial-era heroes, in order to remove any trace of the thousands of Aboriginal and Black slaves held in bondage for two centuries in Canada.

An eye-opening history of slavery in Canada and the best place to start on the subject.


Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, 1959-1984 by Michael Arntfield.

” … From the earliest documented case of homicidal copycatting in Canada, to the fact that at any given time up to six serial killers were operating at once in the deceivingly serene “Forest City,” London was once a place that on the surface presented a veneer of normality when beneath that surface dark things would whisper and stir. Through it all, a lone detective would go on to spend the rest of his life fighting against impossible odds to protect the city against a tidal wave of violence that few ever saw coming, and which to this day even fewer choose to remember... Murder City is an explosive book over fifty years in the making, and is the history of London, Ontario as never told before. Stranger than fiction, tragic, ironic, horrifying, yet also inspiring, this is the true story of one city under siege, and a book that marks a game changer for the true crime genre.

There’s a lot of information here and it does jump around a bit. It’s a horrifying, disturbing look at serial killers and unsolved crime in Canada.


Loss of Faith: How The Air India Bombers Got Away With Murder by Kim Bolan.

On June 23, 1985, Canada found itself on the international terrorism map when two bombs built in B.C. detonated within an hour of each other on opposite sides of the world, killing 329 men, women, and children... When charges were finally laid against three Sikh separatists, the families believed justice was almost theirs. But their faith was shaken when one suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got a five-year sentence for more than three hundred deaths.

A disturbing look at terrorism in Canada and the men who got away with mass murder. It’s difficult to read about the incompetence of Canadian law enforcement and its judicial system.


The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper.

“Writer, historian and poet Afua Cooper tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734 and condemned to die a brutal death. In a powerful retelling of Angélique’s story—now supported by archival illustrations—Cooper builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on a rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her indentured servitude. At the same time, Cooper completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada, revealing a damning 200- year-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery.

This book is not just the story of one condemned slave, but a sweeping history of slavery and early Canada.


This list will be updated periodically.

Starves the Soul, Feeds the Ego

It was another blogger who coined the term “starves the soul, feeds the ego” in regards to Canada, or at least introduced me to it. There is no more apt description of Canadian life.

There is something incredibly hollow and shallow about its society and culture. The media feeds the constantly needy caker-complex, bathing the national ego in anecdotes about politeness, kindness, desirability and superiority. Raging with insecurity, the caker is fed a nonstop barrage of supercilious tales regarding its southern neighbor; no matter the ailment, smug-condescension is the balm that soothes.

I often imagine the personification of Canada: a frail, thin, frowning man sitting at a long feast table among a crowd; the more they eat the fatter they grow, and yet Canada sits there woefully, malnourished, eating and eating while never feeling full. The more he eats, the thinner he grows and the less satiated he feels: starves the soul, feeds the ego.

Such is life in a cultural wasteland where honesty is never valued, the past remains hidden, progress is undermined and souls burning with passion are slowly extinguished until they languish, whither and smoke out.

In Canada appearances are everything and take precedent over integrity, change and growth.

To make itself appear progressive and liberal, Canada placed a black woman (Viola Desmond) on the ten dollar bill to gain plaudits from the international community. And yet, this same country hid its past of slavery for hundreds of years, from generations of its citizens. To this day, the overwhelming majority of Canadians don’t know their country had slavery for over two centuries, and the few who do learned from open information now available through the internet, not their government.

On the opposite side of the bill is an image of the Museum for Human Rights, located in Manitoba. Beside it is a feather, meant to represent the First Nations peoples. Here too, lies massive irony and rot. The museum cost $351 million dollars and is located in a small province [pop: less than 1.5 million] with the worst statistics for Indigenous people (racism, crime, poverty, living conditions), where one third of children are living in poverty; a figure which rises to over 75% of Aboriginal children on reserves.

This bill is but one obvious example of Canada’s rank hypocrisy and desire for global promotion and accolades over substantial action at home. Starves the soul, feeds the ego.

When a sore point is touched on Canadian policy (foreign or domestic), or a light shined on internal issues, the default reaction is to look to the United States as a red herring for inaction and ineptitude. But despite the many well-known issues of America, I am in agreement with this commentator:

There is something seriously sick about Canada, something that permeates the air with its rotten tones of corruption, denial, and monstrosity. At least in America there is an active and robust social dynamic that keeps the fresh air flowing over the dead bodies and the hope of change, but in Canada? They’re still a monarchical colony who worship a queen …

Rot, corruption, denial and sickness: the culture shows no promise of changing any time soon, but will continue to put on airs for the international community.

Starves the soul, feeds the ego.

Remember When? … #airindiabombing

Remember When is a new series of posts where we take a look back at some of the funny, bizarre and downright disturbing incidents in Canada’s past.

Since cakers like to judge everyone else (particularly Americans) and point out their historic wrong-doings, it’s time to take a mirror to these incompetent hypocrites. Enjoy!

Loss of Faith: How The Air India Bombers Got Away With Murder

From Amazon:

“On June 23, 1985, Canada found itself on the international terrorism map when two bombs built in B.C. detonated within an hour of each other on opposite sides of the world, killing 329 men, women, and children.

Canadian Sikh separatists, upset at the Indian government for attacking their religion’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, were immediately suspected by the RCMP of perpetrating the worst act of aviation terrorism before Sept. 11, 2001. But while police agencies scrambled to infiltrate a close-knit immigrant community and collect evidence against the suspects, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was destroying taped telephone calls between the same people the RCMP was investigating.

For years those at the centre of the terrorist plot tried to protect their dark secret. Two Sikh newspaper publishers who overheard an alleged confession by one of the bombers were assassinated. Other potential witnesses were threatened and intimidated. Journalists who wrote about the suspects were targeted by death threats and harassment. The suspects founded charities and participated in political parties, attending fundraising dinners for premiers and prime ministers. And the families of the victims fought to be recognized for their unimaginable loss as the result of an act of terrorism plotted in Canada. When charges were finally laid against three Sikh separatists, the families believed justice was almost theirs. But their faith was shaken when one suspect pleaded guilty to manslaughter and got a five-year sentence for more than three hundred deaths.

The Air-India trial judge spoke in his ruling of the “the senseless horror” of the bombings. He called the plot “a diabolical act of terrorism” with “roots in fanaticism at its basest and most inhumane level.” He then acquitted Sikh leaders Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri on all charges, leaving the victims’ families reeling and the biggest case in Canadian history officially unsolved.

Kim Bolan is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered the Air-India bombing case since the day Flight 182 went down off the coast of Ireland. Her work on the Air-India story has taken her to Punjab five times over the last twenty years where she met with militant Sikh separatist leaders and victims of the violence. She also followed Air-India mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar to Pakistan before his 1992 slaying and chased down other suspects in England and across Canada. But she faced the most danger at home in Vancouver where the stories she uncovered about the Air-India case led to a series of death threats against her.”

Terrorists? Bombings? Destroying evidence and tapes? Assassinations? Murderers rubbing shoulders with politicians? A five year sentence for killing hundreds of people? Wow, this is India – right? Nope, this is good ol’ British Columbia, Canada!

(Welcome to BC … also known as Bring Cash or Be Corrupt.)

So why don’t Canadians ever discuss the Air India Bombing? Why do they know so little about it? Why doesn’t anyone care? Questions asked by a piece in The Tyee:

“All 329 people on board Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985, 33 years ago today, were killed, including 280 citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

They were lost to a bomb that exploded while their plane was in Irish airspace, en route from Canada to India. The bomb had been planted in Canada in an act of terror planned by extremists allegedly advocating for a separate Sikh state in the Punjab. It was Canada’s worst mass murder, yet it is barely remembered in this country.

Today, Canadians commonly regard the bombing as an Indian tragedy, or at most an Indo-Canadian tragedy. They typically dwell on the terrorism, but rarely on the grief and hardship of fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, children, friends and neighbours left behind.

Why hasn’t this tragedy claimed a prominent place in Canadian history and public memory? Some now call it Canada’s 9/11, but until the attack in New York City some 16 years later, they didn’t call it much at all.

The Canadian families of the dead wonder year after year why no one but them seems to care, or why their grief is seen as less worthy than that of others who are more openly taken into the nation’s heart.

The answer is simple: Canada hides from the truth. No doubt racism is involved (these people are less “Canadian” being brown or immigrants), but much more than that – Canada never acknowledges its corruption, rot, or hypocrisy. To do so would involve honesty and then efforts to change … Canadians prefer to ignore, whitewash or deny. Ignoring facts is easy, action is difficult.

The controversy would rear its ugly head again with the election of Jagmeet Singh as NDP leader. He was asked questions about one of the suspects (considered a leader in the conspiracy but never found guilty due to insufficient evidence) – and in typical Canadian style there were no straight answers, whining about “racism” and absolutely nothing constructive accomplished or discovered.

From The Georgia Straight:

“Not long after Jagmeet Singh was elected NDP leader, he sat down for an interview with the CBC’s Terry Milewski in early October….

Given Milewski’s history covering this story, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that he asked the new NDP leader if he would denounce Parmar—who’s been glorified as a Sikh martyr at the Dasmesh Darbar gurdwara in Surrey.

Singh, a baptized Sikh who wears a turban, replied that “we need to make sure that the investigation results in a conviction of someone who is actually responsible”.

And for a few days, there was a media and social-media firestorm over Milewski’s question, Singh’s answer, and the CBC journalist’s subsequent tweet…

Critics of Milewski said he would never ask this question of a white political leader. Singh himself called the question “offensive”, saying any Canadian would denounce anyone held responsible for terrorism.

Milewski’s defenders, on the other hand, said it was a legitimate question to ask of a man who wanted to become prime minister…

Then there’s Jagmeet Singh, a trained criminal defence lawyer who says he would like to see convictions before commenting on who’s responsible. And as long as Singh maintains this position, he can expect to be roasted periodically by those who utterly reject that proposition and insist that it’s been proven that Parmar was the mastermind.

The Air India bombing occurred more than 30 years ago and at this stage, it appears unlikely that anyone else will be charged.

But it still has the potential to play a role in the 2019 federal election. This is particularly true if Singh’s point of view comes under criticism from his Liberal and Conservative opponents, senior Canadian journalists, former B.C. premier Dosanjh, and relatives of deceased passengers.

The Air India bombing still matters for a multitude of reasons, especially for the painful losses endured by so many Canadian families. Many of them were appalled by Josephson’s court ruling in the case involving Malik and Bagri and these relatives likely won’t stay silent about a potential prime minister who refuses to condemn Parmar.”

Singh changed his tune after the backlash, from the CBC:

After having expressed some doubts, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said today he accepts the Air India inquiry’s conclusion that Talwinder Singh Parmar was the mastermind behind the deadly mid-air bombing that killed hundreds of Canadians — and he thinks it’s inappropriate for some Sikhs to glorify Parmar by displaying his photo.

Despite his more recent statement, there will now always be some who wonder if he harbors terrorist sympathies since he couldn’t simply spit this out at the beginning. Telling sign, or rookie mistake?

Post Script:

It’s got everything one would expect: a belief that terrorism couldn’t happen in ‘magical Canada’ and incompetence by CSIS and the RCMP. (In fairness to CSIS – it was a new organization, nonetheless it’s doubtful results would have been much different otherwise.)

As you reach the middle of the book it gets to be a slog reading about these odious thugs terrorizing the community, murdering people and scamming the government out of millions of dollars. Towards the end it’s also difficult to read about them getting away with mass murder.

This has all the hallmarks of a classic Canadian story: racism, incompetence, corruption, and of course no change or improvement after thirty years. Did anyone expect anything less?