Ten Big Reasons to Bring Your Family to Vancouver, Canada

The view of snow-capped mountains as one approaches the city of Vancouver's downtown core from the Mount Pleasant area.
The view of snow-capped mountains as one approaches the city of Vancouver's downtown core from the Mount Pleasant area. | Source
The electric blue bus is as perennial as the grass in the streets of Vancouver and offers a 24-hour service, turning like a pumpkin princess into a night bus at the strike of midnight.
The electric blue bus is as perennial as the grass in the streets of Vancouver and offers a 24-hour service, turning like a pumpkin princess into a night bus at the strike of midnight. | Source
Sampling one of Vancouver's many Chinese restaurants offering up to 20% off after 4 p.m.
Sampling one of Vancouver's many Chinese restaurants offering up to 20% off after 4 p.m. | Source
On the Waterfront of Vancouver, where lots of tourists come down from luxury cruise ships
On the Waterfront of Vancouver, where lots of tourists come down from luxury cruise ships | Source
McDonald's is very much alive here in Vancouver
McDonald's is very much alive here in Vancouver | Source
An annual parade turns Vancouver into Vancouver United
An annual parade turns Vancouver into Vancouver United | Source
The view from Gastown, the town where everything in Vancouver began
The view from Gastown, the town where everything in Vancouver began | Source
We are all Canadians: Vancouverites enjoying a summer barbecue
We are all Canadians: Vancouverites enjoying a summer barbecue | Source

Enjoying Paradise Before It's Lost

There are many good reasons to relocate to the city of Vancouver in the province of British Columbia in Canada. Wherever you are coming from, whether from within Canada or outside, Vancouver as a permanent destination is one great choice to make. Me, I moved from the city of Toronto, which is usually the first city that most tourists think of when Canada is mentioned, actor Ben Affleck included.

To most Canadians, Toronto the great is the city of choice, particularly because of the fact that there are more jobs available there than anywhere else, or at least this is what most Canucks (the colloquial word for Canadians) are inclined to think. For example, when I took an old-time friend to the city of Calgary once, he remarked at how the houses were older and much smaller and how there were less tall buildings. Now my friend is from Toronto who tends to think that his city of choice kicks every other city's ass because of its highly cosmopolitan nature. Whether this is true or untrue, it does not matter because this is what majority thinks and majority rules.

But the fact remains, if you are a nature lover like me, you will probably fall in love with Vancouver at first sight. While Toronto is flat and mostly made up of buildings, houses and wide roads (as evidenced from a rather high perch at the CN Tower); in.comparison, Vancouver is naturally littered with waterways and parks and surrounded by mountains like the North Shore and the Burnaby mountains. From the Waterfront, you can take a boat where you can come fairly close or maybe too close for comfort with Orca whales prancing in the waters. You may even get a wink from a baby seal resting on a rock in one of several Stanley Park beaches.

It is no wonder that Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, making it only the second city in Canada to do so, with Calgary being the first. Of course, the city of Montreal remains as the lone Canadian city to host the summer Olympics, but comparatively, this city has a charm of its own, namely that of a typical European city like Paris, France.

In contrast, Vancouver is a nature lover's paradise; I have to caution you though, not for long. Not if the Enbridge Northern Gateway has its way, a project that will move diluted bitumen deposits otherwise known as "dirty oil" from the province of Alberta to Vancouver, dubbed the gateway to the Pacific. Picture it this way: On any given day, cruise ships from Europe and Alaska dock at Vancouver's ports; and that includes China's gigantic cargo ships en route to making trade with the rest of Asia.

A paradise lost, perhaps the poet Milton will say, but what can you do, he may already be turning in his grave. Man sometimes needs to make certain big sacrifices in the name of progress and commerce, often without the wisdom to consider the cost or the toll it takes on the environment. When I visited Vancouver for the first time in 2003, one of the first first things I noticed was how I never seemed to tire of walking or biking around, until I realized that it was the seemingly unlimited supply of oxygen that was doing it, that it was definitely not something I ate.

With the massive foliage that neighboring Stanley Park provides, there is still plenty of fresh air but maybe not for long. Still, Vancouver is the place to be, and for nine more reasons, namely:

·The most temperate weather compared to the rest of Canada (winter is almost absent yearly)

·More rain which translates into greener lawns, trees and forests

·Government services like health, child and senior care are accessible

·Less congested compared to say, the city of Manhattan or Calgary

·Closer to the Pacific Ocean and hence Asian travel

·A comprehensive and widely available low-cost housing program that includes a network of hotels, hostels and senior residences

·Proximity to Seattle, Washington in the United States

·Convention facilities that are second to none such as the Vancouver Convention Center

·Lots of playground and parks for kids and parents such as Stanley Park

The cons include the high cost of housing that rivals New York City and Hongkong, although the worldwide economic crisis is changing that grim picture with some real estate experts predicting a crash in the average price of a house for sale. And oh yeah, you always have to bring an umbrella with you, but this is certainly a better alternative to the scorched earth that exists in the plains of the Prairie cities of Winnipeg and Saskatoon.

Need I say more? So.come on, bring yourself, your family and your friends here; come to where nature is, come to Vancouver, where even the mayor is handsome and still bikes to work, and everything else is beautiful like nature intended, but maybe not for long or is it a little while longer? It sure is expensive living in Vancouver but it does have its perks, dedicated bicycle routes included and a daily fresh dose of oxygen courtesy of Stanley Park. I guess we have to enjoy Vancouver while it lasts like a swarm of hungry locusts; oh well, but that is life or what's left of it.





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