The Makeup Of Vancouverites
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Vancouver is Canada’s largest west coast city, sitting on the Pacific, nestled into a range of mountains as a backdrop to the city. Even other Canadians from different cities will concede there’s no more beautiful city in Canada than Vancouver, and as far as Canada goes, you won’t find better weather than Vancouver. Of course, that’s a pretty low bar to beat, considering most of Canada is little more than a frozen wasteland in the winter, and a barren, dry, fly infested fight for your life in summer. By comparison, Vancouver is mild, the temperature stays in a range of between about 5-25 celsius most of the time.

If you were to ask 100 Vancouverites where they’re from, it’s highly likely that well over half would not be from Vancouver. Vancouverites are truly a broad mix of people from literally all over the world, but with a heavy emphasis on other cities in Canada, and China. It’s easy to see why Canadians flock to Vancouver, the weather alone is enough of a reason, but add to that the beauty, lifestyle, and cool cosmopolitan reputation, and kids from Moose Jaw Saskatchewan will not resist Vancouver’s charms.

I once did a census of sorts, a survey. I spent a fair bit of time downtown Vancouver in my travels, and would often meet new people in my business. So I decided to find out who decides to live right downtown Vancouver. After roughly 50-100 surveys, it became crystal clear; kids from small towns, for the most part.

They had grown up in a small, boring Canadian town and craved the urban lifestyle of a city like Vancouver, along with the new identity they would put on, hours within moving in. These are the “hip and cool” urbanites with tattoos, piercings, and sporting the acceptable downtown Vancouver apparel; which consists of baggy, tan colored “half pants” which stop about the knee, Vanns style runners, a black, somewhat tight t-shirt, and assorted leather bracelets, anklets, etc.

So, Vancouver’s downtown core trend setters are usually made up of kids from small towns in Canada, desperately craving a new identity. Somehow this wasn’t a surprise to me. I grew up in Vancouver’s core, not by choice, but because my mother couldn’t afford anything else. It wasn’t hip or cool, it was dangerous.

Another segment of Vancouverites we’ll call the “Lululemon crowd. Lululemon is a Vancouver based company which is at the very heart of the yoga lifestyle, extremely popular with urban career women to stay at home moms of successful men. They congregate at yoga studios all over Vancouver sporting their Lulelemon clothes and adhere to a look and style no less defined than the urban kids. It starts with Lululemon clothing, so it doesn’t have much room for creativity, since the clothes are already chosen. What’s left is the all purpose pony tail, cup of Starbucks, and possibly a young toddler as fashion accessory. These would be among the most strident defenders of Vancouver’s bubble real estate market, having fully invested themselves in a $1,100,000 shack on Vancouver’s west side.

Other noteworthy Vancouverites include the resource sector financiers on Howe street, which are a combination of big city businessman, can-do roughneck with experience in the field, and weathered investor, having lived through multiple boom, bust cycles common to the resource sector. Then of course you have a large and growing population of Chinese, who buy Vancouver property as a tax shelter or simply to move money out of China. Sometimes they stay and set up shop, sometimes they don’t. They tend to congregate in Richmond, the city’s destination for newly arrived Chinese. So Chinese is Richmond, that street signs are written in Chinese.

Vancouver is an easy city to write about in a Vancouver blog, due to truly awe inspiring beauty, to the world’s most extended housing bubble. Vancouver blogs don’t lack material, and yet there are precious few of them. Go figure.


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