First, there are many technology companies in Vancouver. Hootsuite, Bench, A Thinking Ape, Clio, Slack, Amazon.. these are just the ones that came to mind. I know authoritatively that each and every single one is looking for senior sales, marketing, engineering and product talent.
Here is a slightly more comprehensive list: http://www.techvibes.com/company-directory/vancouver/tag/sta...
Is the tech ecosystem as big as in SF? No.. but where else is it?
Second, yes.. it is an incredibly expensive place to live. Part of this is due to the large number of homes which are owned by foreigners and are vacant. I'm not aware of a concrete way of measuring this.. but anecdotally, I suspect it's close to 30-40% of the downtown residential core. This is definitely a worrisome issue, but too complex to cover in just a few lines of this post.
Third, be careful not to compare (downtown) Vancouver with it's suburbs. The downtown core is one of the few places in the world where people live and work in the same area... there are a multitude of activities. As many as you'd expect of a city of this size.
Finally, commutes range from 5-30 minutes (and that's going to cover people who walk, bike and take transit).
Vancouver is consistently rated as one of the most livable cities in the world.. but there will definitely need to be changes if we want that to continue to be the case in the long term.
It's a complex comparison because:
- SF has crazy amount of capital flowing around, people are earning crazy $, but there's also high cost of living and tax rate
- Seattle is not as crazy as SF, but still has plenty of high paying engineers. Cost of living is quickly rising. Locally, it's starting to become a problem in some areas like Capitol Hill, like SF's Mission area. However, WA don't have personal income tax. So while on paper we don't make more than we do in SF. The general consensus from those that made the move north from SF says they end up keeping more.
- Vancouver doesn't have crazy tech capital. But it's got a really nice environment. Has public health care whereas in the States we have to account for health care cost. Generally American tech jobs provide health care with co-pay/deductible options but it's still thousands out of pocket before the 100% insurance coverage kicks in.
The Canadian brain drain thing has always happened since early 2000. I think the biggest problem with Vancouver is that there isn't enough venture capital flowing in. In many places where there doesn't exist an already established tech scene, like Detroit, the government has a lot of subsidies for companies to move there. However, there doesn't seem to be enough or any for companies that want to move to Vancouver. In fact, many of our subsidies are starting to expire, and that's why many gaming and SFX studios are shutting down. Without the much needed capitals, start-ups have harder time competing with Seattle and SF which offer comparable/better climate and surrounding with much better pay. Often time when I hear a Vancouver company pitch it's by saying how nice and active the city is. Sure, the city is nice but is it worth the difference in pay? To me, at least not at this point. Not at least with the money I am making I can afford to come back whenever, or fly down to SF for a few days. Especially not with the pay I am making after tax in BC, and have to pay for housing and transportation.
Easily as diverse as Seattle, just different. Startup community is more vibrant than Seattle, more personal than SF -- but if you want a cushy job at a large tech firm, Vancouver is not the one.
The Vancouver up-and-coming is where it's at. Tons of my friends and colleagues are moving from all over the world to take advantage on the rise up.
Invoke, Highline.vc, WavefrontAC, Spring.is, Launch Academy, are accelerators powering startup names you all are familiar with. Not to mention the Canadian government basically throwing money at tech through grants, tax rebates, and mentorship programs because they recognize it will carry the economy no matter what happens with natural resources. Not sure what subsidies you think are expiring.
I get offers from SF regularly but it's not worth it. My friends there tend to get overworked and leave after burnout. Vancouver is a place to set down roots -- Canadians know how to enjoy the weekend and each other's company outside of work events.
Background: Living in Seattle for a decade, founded a startup in Vancouver last year, have many friends and past work in SF.
Definitely agree Vancouver is awesome to live in. To be perfectly honest, I'd love to move back to Vancouver. It's a very nice city, nice enough that I'd want to visit twice a month! I have to be honest, for the right job and at the right time in my life, I wouldn't mind taking a slight pay cut to enjoy the life style here. I'd love to still enjoy a place of my own though. :(
Funny last weekend I was in SF Mission and a friend recently bought a new condo there. $600K, and small just like the Vancouver ones. However our sentiment is that SF can support that kind of market because the price is mostly backed by the crazy tech money. Unlike Vancouver where the housing price don't seem to be backed by any economic boom.
At the end of the day, I guess money still talks. Especially if one tried to raise a family or do anything significant in life like owning a home.
I definitely think Vancouver has great transportation... As long as you live close to a Skytrain station. Many new developments in Vancouver outside of DT seem to emphasize on walking distance to the Skytrain. Some are even built on top of or next to the Skytrain stations, like the ones around the Cambie Canada Line! Otherwise, I don't think Vancouver's bus system is any particularly better or worse. Also, with some of our light link rails and street car projects coming online in the next 24 months, the situation will definitely improve in Seattle. There is already planning into extending the LLR to the Eastside to Redmond/Bellevue areas.
First off, many major tech companies SF (and to some extent in Seattle) offer private buses. Automatically, these people are no longer counted by the study. In a city like SF where there is a huge Google/Facebook/Adobe/Company XYZ population, they all offer buses or shuttles from urban areas to Palo Alto, Cupertino, and even within other places in SF. Nonetheless, almost 100% of the people I talk to that lives in SF either doesn't own a car or owns a car but almost never drives it because their companies offer alternative transportations. They also don't ride the BART or Muni or CalTrain much because of Uber/Lyft.
Secondly, places like NYC, SF and Seattle have a big ride sharing culture. Obvious Uber and Lyft are prevalent around the city with their staches' and U's. Recent stats in NYC indicates that there are now more Uber drivers than taxi drivers. These ride sharing economy definitely takes the ridership out of public transit. In fact, on my recent trip to SF I decided to take Uber to my door instead of the normal BART because they cost similar except I don't have to get off at a BART station and transfer somehow. Compare that to Vancouver, where Uber and Lyft are outlawed, with the city even going to extra step to make sure they don't even get a start over existing taxi services, it's definitely going to push more people to public transit.
Also, I don't think this article or study is even non-partisan at all because of the upcoming city-wide transit referendum. Honestly, I am taking this with a grain of salt.
To be honest the same can be said for London. Despite an abundance of capital available, investors this side of the Atlantic are far more conservative than in the US.
I don't know what it is in the US that makes investors take a punt on risky ventures, in the UK they just don't. If you're not making revenue in 12 months then they don't want to know.
Much of this has been the seed of the 2008/2009 financial crisis. Funny how crisis in one industry turned out to be a boon for another.
Here's my comment to back up dennispi post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9245915
As per my post (the TL;DR summary here...): Intermediate Engineer 90k or more, Senior 110k or more. Better health insurance/coverage. For example: child-birth cost almost nothing (VIP room costs $100 ish for 2-3 days after corp. insurance cover the rest, regular room is covered by basic health insurance I think).
>Finally, commutes range from 5-30 minutes (and that's going to cover people who walk, bike and take transit).
I'd like put that in bold (as stated in my comment as well). This is different compare to the States where Highway is the One True Way :). (I used to live in LA before settling down in Vancouver).
LA is highway culture, SF the city is transit culture.
Of course, this is anecdotal, but for every one of my 6 co-op terms in Waterloo, I always made finding a job in Vancouver one of my highest priorities, but in the end I always ended up choosing a job in Toronto over the Vancouver ones because the quality and selection of interesting places to work is just so vastly different ever single time.
Once you factor in the costs of living, it's ridiculously difficult for a young professional working in tech to justify choosing Vancouver over Toronto (and trust me, I tried, Vancouver is still by far my ideal city to live in), let alone SF/Seattle where the salary disparity comes into the equation.
You're definitely right that housing price is affordable in TO but there are people who still want to go back and prefer Vancouver over TO. They don't mind to pay more for the quality of living in Vancouver.
If you take a look at the AngelList jobs board (https://angel.co/salaries), you can see triple the number of postings in Toronto vs Vancouver, and more than triple of those that pay 60k+. This is by no means completely representative, but I believe it's good indication of a much more vibrant startup scene, and my job search experience so far seems to confirm this (despite being biased towards Vancouver due to personal preference).
> commutes range from 5-30 minutes (and that's going to cover people who walk, bike and take transit).
So, in general, it is like a classical European city, where the streets are even full of life after the end of the workday? If that’s true, than this is actually amazing.
And creates the new question: Why did it work in vancouver, but not in so many other cities on the american continent.
It's somewhat like downtown San Francisco, except Vancouver is even smaller. No point in downtown Vancouver is more than 1 mile from water. This helps keep everything within walking distance.
Compare this to, say, Los Angeles, where there's not much to stop the city from expanding in every direction.
There have been studies out of UBC that estimate 30%+ van can't condos in the downtown area by using anonymize do BCHydro electricity usage data. As far as I know this number has been increasing. This has gone on for so long that the city, province, and federal government (all three are implicated) are between a rock and a hard place. Canada has one of the highest levels of personal debt-to-income ratios because property prices are overvalued. Anything they do now to try to correct for affordability, and bring down property values would result in a large number of defaults for domestic owners, and big hit to the economy.
Anyway, here is the study I think you were talking about, which says that 42% of Vancouver condos are vacant, compared to 3-6% in other areas of Metro Vancouver:
Structural changes are always painful in the short term. It's the long term total return value that counts.
Also, domestic owners in downtown vancouver would be just fine. If the place is worth over 600k (which they all are) then they are already/mostly rich enough to absorb the hit. Note that the larger the price tag of the home then the larger the hit will be, but on that end it's filled with people who really can afford that hit. The smaller the price tag of home then it's also a much smaller hit taken and the odds are then extremely high for them to regain that value back over time.
I saw an interview on CBC about this and the person interviewed simply said "Look up." He pointed to row after row of full condominium buildings with only two or three lights on in each building.
I just wish the media didn't try to spread so much FUD just to sell views.
Ha, ha, ha, a 30-minute commute would be luxurious. Richmond to VGH for 9:00 takes 45 minutes by car. Coming in from Surrey, Langley, or Maple Ridge I'm sure is worse, and good luck getting to UBC or downtown in less than an hour from these places.
Transit in Vancouver is a joke, and that 45-minute drive takes more than an hour by Skytrain+bus.
I have to agree. My commute is 45 minutes, 65 if you follow the speed limit, and significantly better than many of my coworkers. I would really love a sub 30 commute, but not sure I want to pay an extra $300-450 a month for it. It also takes 1.5 hours by bus+skytrain+bus.
I would really love for the 5-30 minute commute to be true, but it just isn't.
Then, single story buildings in Kits, for example, gave way to three+ story multi-use (commercial downstairs, residential upstairs) units. Some of this is still happening around the city. Where older 2-3 story condo buildings exist, some were vacated for building some more towers.
Funny this story shows up now. It is something that has been happening for almost 20 years.
It is also amazing to me, given the beauty, the availability of technology, and the desirability, Vancouver never has become a tech hub. There were a few startups circa 2000-ish that made waves, some were sham puffed up deals like those lead by Dick Hardt (sxip). There has traditionally been a lot of media (popular for hollywood filming), gaming, and smaller startups, but nothing that served as an anchor.
Vancouver and BC are probably at the top of my favorite places on the west coast, but the issues it has in technology, building an industry, and being affordable go back in time well before this simple blog post.
Price Waterhouse Cooper has a "BC Techmap" project:
This is a big poster you can order.
Unfortunately, the preview site for it is defunct.
The map traces the linage of tech companies in BC back to the 1940's.
Here is someone's shot of the 2003 version:
If your idea of a tech scene is that there must be a mushrooming of "like Facebook, but for dogs" type startups, then indeed, no, Van is not a hotbed for that kind of thing.
I don't rule out Vancouver has companies and a tech scene, but it has potential (and has had) for more. I think of Austin, Raliegh-Durham or Berlin as examples of comparison than SF or Palo Alto.
Almost every company I've worked for in a quarter century has participated in the co-op program; we've had bright interns every year, and they all went on to work either for the same company or elsewhere.
Many people are satisfied with that, and have other hobbies outside of work other than going to meets with other programmers. Or those who have programming as a hobby would rather be actually doing that.
Also, people have significant others and families. Geek get-togethers are mostly for single people who don't have a significant other that isn't also a geek.
Vancouver doesn't really have any technology industry that's in a virtuous cycle yet.
Until the mid 2000s, I was looking for a viable company / excuse to move to Vancouver (meet the required points/immigration first bar), but never felt like tech was taking off there.
I was involved in the identity arena from the late 90s to mid/late 2000s, the aware of sxip (Dick's company) and had me again exploring the vancouver scene. Funding and major players then were a handful of people and not growing. Not healthy for long term growth -- at least for the risk assessment I was running personally.
Imageworks is taking 2 floors in the same building, Amazon is already in the Telus building at the 555 Robson Atrium and have leased numerous floors in the new Telus Garden tower which will be open momentarily: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/10/amazon-vancouver-office-t...
I used to live around Vancouver, I really like it there. I'm not going to choose that over Seattle where I can make more money.
With TN visas being a pretty painless path towards working in the states why not move down?
Of course if I can work for good money at a good company in Vancovuer then I'd stay. Didn't really seem like an option.
I'd love to see something take hold. I'd love to move there, but the infrastructure and base for something more isn't there.
Amazon is the only one hiring locally but I often find that they just advertise positions but never really end up hiring
There are a lot of talented games or ex-games people in Vancouver, a lot of them interested in indie games, but because games is not a repeatable business model and it is incredibly hard to predict what will be successful, there's no real VC environment and it's hard to find the cash to start up a studio. The age of big publishers like Sony and Microsoft dumping cash on people for exclusives seems over.
I know a few games guys that have gotten out altogether and gone to work at non-games companies, but in general I'm not sure if there's a great deal of interest from non-game companies in hiring ex-games people. Unfortunately games is weird highly specialized skill set.
Oh wait, corporate contributions are only a tiny percentage! Wow, this party is funded by The People!
Now scroll all the way down (previous to last page) to see corporate donors. Observe every single developer in Vancouver being on that list donating tens of thousands of dollars, more than any other corporation.
Notice how that doesn't stack up with the pie chart you just saw. Now scroll back to the top of the page to and observe that the contribution-bysource piechart is by number of contributions rather than by aggregate value.
This should tell you enough.
I've heard that said many times without any hard stats behind it. How many absentee purchasers would it take to drive prices up? What about the effects of low interest rates and everyone desiring to get in the market before it gets hotter? Everyone seems to be an expert on this, and I highly doubt that.
Normally a boom in high-end housing is good for local trades (plumbers, electicians, carpenters, painters, decorators, etc) as the first thing most upper-tier home buyers do when they buy a place is renovate, remodel, or at least redecorate.
This has been thoroughly debunked many times. Real estate agents are hiring helicopters filled with asian actors to drive fear. The actual number is something like 3% foreign buyers.
Now, if you look at our mortgage rates - the lowest ever in history with the loosest requirements ever, you'll see why prices have skyrocketed.
We're following the US housing bubble, but about 7 years late.
Not surprising, given that Richmond is 55% Chinese. West side Vancouver is probably around the same.
I do not have such a name, and, by golly, I'm a citizen of this little patch of dirt.
I suspect that it would certain that such a renaming requirement would violate something in the Canadian Constitution and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I remember realizing that all the cafes closed around 6 or 7 in the downtown area, then finding out it was because of lack of demand. A city of 2.5 million people that can't keep a coffee shop open past dinner - coming from Toronto it was bizarre.
I also remember the absolutely awful experience of trying to find an appartment to rent. There were so many people competing that we had to line up and "audition" - I ended up getting to know a lot of my fellow contestants by name because you had to show up to practically every single Craigslist listing if you were to have half a chance. Then finally getting a place and seeing that half of apartments in the towers around us were empty.
Vancouver in the 80's was apparently one the hippest places in Canada, definitely not any more.
Firstly, you make it more expensive to own an empty home. In my home city in the UK, landlords are no longer able to claim council tax discounts for empty properties after 6 months. If your home is vacant. You pay up.
Secondly, you incentivise rentals through tax breaks to landlords.
Finally, you have to push prices down. After all, rising prices is why foreigners own these assets in the first place.
- Stop foreign ownership of more than 50% of a building. That way, projects still get funded and locals get housing.
- Increase stamp duty taxes on foreigners purchasing homes
- Use the money you gain in tax revenue to fund cheaper real estate building for locals
- Any other real estate can only be bought by foreigners if they are locally resident in BC for a year or more
What is really outstanding with all of this though is that Canadians cannot own property in Hong Kong (lease only, lots of Government owned real estate) and cannot own property in the PRC without meeting residency requirements. Why should Canada treat people differently?
That being said I don't think any of this is possible with the likes of NAFTA.
We are not Seattle, nor SF, nor NY, nor London. Each city offers their own mix of good, bad, and ugly, and you need to determine which city provides the right mix for you. I'm from Ontario, but that right mix is Vancouver for me right now.
My parents immigrated to Canada and worked their asses off during a recession with a 20% interest rate on their mortgage. I'm sure the media said the sky was falling then as well. I always remembered how hard they had to work, so I learned that we cannot take things for granted. Internet commenters complaining about kids half my age with lambos? Not my problem - I have more constructive things to do.
If you are willing to fight to the good fight and enter politics to make positive change for the amazing city we all want it to be, I will vote for you!
People who just code and learn don't automatically get work. You need a network to get work. Some places make that much harder to acquire. It's good if you're doing well, but we are talking about people potentially wasting years of life in places which make it fundamentally harder for them because they were poorly advised that learning will somehow get you constant work no matter where you are.
Counter evidence: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/vancouver-tops-list-of-most-...
Compared to most other cities, yes.
Compared to the cost to buy identical properties, Vancouver's rental prices are extraordinarily low. I'm paying $1700/month to rent a two-bedroom condo which would sell for around $500k; after strata fees and property taxes, my landlord is making less money than if he had bought Government of Canada bonds.
If you look at detached houses, the situation is even worse; for $2000/month you can rent a house which would cost over a million dollars to buy.
I have contrary views regarding this differential treatment, which I consider excessively improvident in our current era. But the views are strongly unpopular in the mainstream and the mainstream views are embedded into the very warp and weft of most people's conception of wealth and income, so I shy away from discussing my views in depth (and HN is not the forum to explore the attending issues).
However, in much of the discussion surrounding Piketty's recent work , there is increasing acknowledgement of the role the growth in housing asset pricing (interpreted as "wealth" in most venues) is playing in the increasing returns to capital-holders. Whether those returns are ever-increasing or only currently-increasing depends upon whether you think Piketty or Rognlie is more persuasive, respectively.
This somewhat parallels our industry's own discussions around the productive or dubious nature and wealth-building or wealth-destroying trend of so much enormous human talent and inventiveness devoted to what proponents call new forms of capital and economics, and detractors call frivolous ("cat memes"). This discussion is far from over. There's a deeper, more philosophically-oriented set of decisions that our polities around the globe will have to grapple with in the unfolding years ahead, regarding the nature of wealth, income, and money.
The transit system in Metro Vancouver moves over 400k people a day.
SF refuses to allow for more housing and mass transit isn't extensive enough so you are required to live in certain areas.
And Manhattan is an island so that's why you get outrageous pricing there. People want to live close to where they work and there's a certain commute time that they are willing to put up with. If people could live 60 miles away from Manhattan in any direction, and reach it within 30 minutes, for example, then real estate prices would decrease.
I think there's more to the issue than it simply being a very basic supply and demand problem. The sort of supply desired (the cheap sort!) isn't arriving. It seems that even the experts and academics struggle to arrive at a coherent explanation of the problem, let alone a solution so I certainly don't have one.
However other contributing factors that are frequently brought up that seem like they could have an effect are:
* Difficult to build "cheap" buildings in Vancouver deriving from various city hall rules and low flexibility in what forms of housing one can build.
* No Federal tax support for low income housing or apartments results in developers only building luxury condo towers.
* No political interest from both Province or City in any changes in legislation or city zoning which could possibly lower people's property values.
As well the most incredibly expensive real estate is in single family detached housing, which Vancouver (city proper) can never make more of.
People are moving further and further out but the commutes are pretty outrageous. I live in a suburb that is a 45 minute bus commute to the city and nearly every house in my neighborhood is worth a million dollars.
Perth, Australia - for example - is another city that has gone through massively over-inflated property prices as, over the last few decades, foreign investors come to the place, see its beauty, and - because they have the context of other major, metropolitan wasteland-cities - heavily invest.
To me this really means that those of us who live in the privileged band of Western civilization really need to get out of our little bubbles and go and see how the rest of the world really lives. If you're in some safe, comfortable city on the edge of it all - go pierce the heart of human civilization, and see what life is like in Hong Kong, Shanghai, or any other major metropolis in Europe for example. Being ignorant of the teeming masses is how these over-inflated bubbles occur in the first place - if you think your lifestyle is great, beware the attention it will gain from those who have managed to accrue substantial wealth, in lesser circumstances ... complacency and decadence will always be exploited by those who have run the gauntlet of human civilization.
So live somewhere else. I don't really get the problem, seems like normal market forces to me. Canada is a huge country.
I don't know what can be done about it. Wish for a serious financial crash in china, or wish for the politics to really mean what they say, or wish for a lot more crime (which would encourage those people to look elsewhere to spend their money), or find ways to move to smaller towns where all that dirty money has not been yet and property is still available ?
Amazon plans to hire 1000 people for their new office. Despite the claim that they only do interview but not hiring I think that's misinformed. They _are_ hiring people. I know a few people who work there and have a friend who's friend was hired there not too long ago. They have private invite sessions once in a while too.
Microsoft said that they're hiring 400 people for their new Vancouver HQ. They also had a private invite sessions around the end of 2014. The recruiter stated that they're hiring 120 people within a year, and more to come. Sounds like they will do this in phase.
Body shop like Facebook and Twitter pointed out up-front that they only do training and only hire fresh-grad to be shipped to the USA.
Salesforce is ACTIVELY hiring in Vancouver. They poached my co-worker last year. I've been hearing that their offer is in the range of 120-140k for intermediate engineer.
90k is the minimum current rate for intermediate engineer for mid-size to BigCo (Salesforce being the outlier). Small-to-mid offers around 70k to high 80k with laid-back/better work-life balance and frequent to work from home. Source: recruiters, I know some of them and have maintain good relationship.
SauceLabs is recruiting with 4 current "seed" employees for their Vancouver branch.
I know someone tried to recruit a Vancouver-based OpenDNS employee where the requested salary is between $110k-120k. I can only guess OpenDNS paid their employee here probably around 90k or more.
A Thinking Ape (YC backed) is here. Mozilla has a medium-sized presence here. The list goes on. So whether the pay is low, I'd say that's relative. I don't know the compensation for the rest of the USA cities except SF and Seattle.
Seattle is nice but damn... the food, the outdoor, the culture, the diversity are below Vancouver (I spent a short stint in MS). The commute is also bad.
Also don't forget we have basic health insurance and probably "saner" government.
Let's go over the real-estate a little bit:
I've been scouting and am invited to a few "VIP sessions" for apartments and townhouses (the kind of estate that none of these rich Chinese would probably buy since it's below their range; they only buy fancy houses no?) hold by the developers. Most of the sessions I went to usually managed to sell 100% of their "phase one" development and 70% of their "phase two" development. Somehow there seems to be an influx of buyers and NO, they're not dominated by mainland Chinese people.
A friend of mine recently purchased a townhouse (3 floors, 3br, 2.5 bath, super small backyard, 1400sq ft finished, brand-new, new appliances, etc) for $599k in the suburb, very close to the train station (10 mins walk), 20 minutes via train to Downtown core. This location is quite ideal too: near the biggest mall in Vancouver, relatively good suburban area, close to food and entertainments.
My manager came from Down Under (Oz) and said that at least he can afford an apartment in the downtown area that does not blow a huge hole on his wallet compare to Sydney (NSW).
Rent is definitely cheaper compare to the big cities (Sydney, NYC, SF, LA): 1400-1500 1br in downtown area, a wee bit more expensive in the posh-downtown area or near the Coal Harbour. 1200 for decent size 1-br apartment near the biggest Mall in GVRD (Greater Vancouver District).
Do keep in mind that the public transportation is pretty good compare to most cities I've ever been to (except Singapore, HK, NYC, or London). The buses and trains are well maintained despite a few occasional service hiccups. I've taken BART in SF before, smelly, dingy, weird people, and slightly more complex fare calculation. I've taken Sydney (NSW) train before, still manual (operated by human), not frequent, more expensive.
Vancouver also has an "express" train (different path/route than the main stream) that connects the downtown core and some of the further suburbs. The city keeps improving and expanding the train services further east to cover more area. A few years ago the city just wraps up the line that connects the airport to the end of the Downtown core where the Cruise sails, where the startup/hip/US-branch companies have offices. The path takes about 30 minutes trip.
And whenever someone said "40 minutes driving" from downtown core, that's 40 minutes via REGULAR street/road not Highway like in the USA. In the States, the default is almost always "Highway" if you're coming from the 'burbs. In Vancouver, it's just a normal street which means distance wise is not that far.
Crime rate is very low around here.
Hold on a second.
I think it's pretty rude, and bordering on xenophobic, that the author wants to call these folks foreigners. Especially if you turn it around and say outright what he's suggesting: People who gained their citizenship through the Immigrant Investor program aren't _real_ citizens like us.
Immigrants _are_ Canadians... even folks who used the Immigrant Investor Program.
> According to our Immigration Minister “There is little evidence that immigrant investors as a class are maintaining ties to Canada or making a positive economic contribution to the country”. Indeed, there is an estimated 300,000 – 400,000 Canadians living in China, the majority of whom are ethnic Chinese.
If someone who started life as a foreigner, with no ties to Canada at all, comes along and essentially buys Canadian citizenship, then continues living in China, do they stop being a foreigner? Whilst they are indisputably Canadian citizens, i would say they aren't Canadian in any other sense, and so yes, they are still foreign. They aren't even immigrants, as they never immigrated!
Whereas, of course, someone who moves to Canada and makes a life there is a real immigrant, and becomes a real Canadian. I don't think the author of the article would dispute that.
Here's an interesting study from U.Ottawa in 2010: http://sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/grei-rgei/fra/documents/W...
Of interest: 1986-2010 only 130,000 individuals gained citizenship via the immigrant investor program. Of those about 32,000 were the primary applicant, and 97,000 were family members (on average 3... so wife + 2 kids).
This bit is also pretty telling:
> Contrary to popular belief, a majority of respondents (82%) reside in Canada on average between 10 and 12 months a year (Table 4). In addition, another 11% of respondents indicated that they stay in Canada for 7 to 9 months a year. The only official and comparable figures on this topic come from the province of Quebec, where about half of all immigrant investors who landed in Canada since 2003 still lived in the country in 2007 (Figure 12). Our survey results give a higher estimate on a national basis of the proportion of immigrant investors who reside permanently in Canada compared with statistics from the province of Quebec
Trusting the Conservatives to tell the truth about immigration issues is foolish. The minister's comments are directly refuted by this study. Especially his "or making a positive economic impact"... here's a quote from the start of the study:
> The Program clearly constitutes a positive economic initiative for Canada. Considering that about 2,500 immigrant investor families enter Canada each year, this means that the Program provides an annual economic contribution of $1.9 to $2 billion to the Canadian economy
Then it's not a boom, it's a bubble. It's that simple
There's so many things broken with Vancouver but nobody is willing to confront these out of fear of displeasing the wrong crowd that backs them into power.
In other major cities, there's very good protection against foreign ownership of properties to prevent the exact situation vancouver is in.
In other major cities, there's a strong and large economy to grow with the cities cost of living. Vancouver's wages have remained unchanged for a few decades, barely adjusting for inflation.
Having grown up in Vancouver, I feel sad, sad that I have to leave my hometown to find better opportunities. I find that most sane people have already left Vancouver, including my circles. Senior engineers are hard to find in Vancouver because nobody with a family are willing to stick around for a low salary and high cost of living. Employees know that the labor market is tight and that people are desperate for jobs, and frequently exploit them. Tech companies are strapped for cash, large tech companies come to Vancouver to hire foreigners (Microsoft being the most controversial to date), video game industry is unstable.
Vancouver is a sinking ship.
Here's another factor that doesn't get much play: price inelasticity. Consider the 1970s oil crises. A 5% drop in supply availability would cause prices to go up 4-5 times. People can look at the statistics and say, "This only effects 10% of property, so it's not a big deal." Wrong. A small amount of supply destruction or removal can have a huge effect on the price. Why do you think De Beers sits on vaults of unused diamonds?
Inelasticity has an interesting effect of creating a lot of fake wealth, which is why so many people are complicit in the crime: Baby Boomer NIMBYs in California who don't give a damn either way about Chinese corruption or money laundering, but who become financially vested in blocking any positive change that might threaten property values by increasing supply (i.e. letting the market do what it's fucking supposed to do).
Too many people are afraid to appear politically incorrect by blaming overseas malefactors. First, it's not just "the Chinese". It's corrupt officials and criminals from all over the world: including some from rich European countries like Italy and France. You don't see them in the SF or Vancouver market, but you have a lot of European drug kingpins buying in Manhattan. Second: these people are the exact opposite of the traditional immigrants that made (and are continuing to make) the U.S. and Canada great. The traditional immigrants were and are trying to get away from poverty, oppression, and a lack of opportunity. They were trying to escape the flaws of other (often corrupt and failing) societies. We welcomed them with open arms, as we should, even though many of them had nothing in terms of economic wealth. These new buyers are the opposite, because they often don't live here (and won't, unless they get caught stealing from their home countries and have to escape) and because they are just trying to park their ill-gotten assets somewhere. Instead of trying to escape from corrupt societies, they're people who actively profit from overseas corruption and our using our real estate to launder their loot.
Kudos for pointing out the complicity of baby boomer land owners in this. It's another way for them to screw their children, something they've been systemically good at.
The problem is that there is likely some corruption and bribing going on in Canada as well, thus nothing is being done about this issue.
No, he's just doing the same thing every Chinese leader since Mao has done, using anti-corruption measures as a weapon to smite his own political enemies.
Xi and his own family are as corrupt as anyone. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-29/xi-jinping...
Edit: Not just white people, I also mentioned aboriginals. I also have some chinese and indian friends who face the same issues, but I did not mention them due to the nature of the article. I grew up in the suburbs where the real problems seem to be much more obvious than a city-dweller who can safely live in his or her bubble and ignore the real issues. Don't really give a fuck what most of you think. If you want to see unhappy people, take a drive out to Delta or Surrey. Note: I am not comparing Vancouver to Oakland or some other ghettos, I was attempting to compare it to other major western cities. But obviously I have to be perfect with my words, otherwise I will leave myself open to leeches.
Like I completely agree with the sentiment that Vancouver is just too expensive to live in. But one of the "worst" places in the Western world is a pretty ridiculous hyperbole. Just as a reference point, where exactly else have you lived?
That may sound nice but it's not as neatly put as that. The way you phrase it it seems the Caucasians are the victims here, being squeezed on all sides by the Chinese and the Indians. Certainly the struggles of the Aboriginals are well-documented but Caucasians have certainly been profiting off the soaring real estate prices. If there is anything that "forced" Caucasians from many areas it was the rising value of their homes. Many have profitably sold their homes and either downsized or moved to other towns in BC (Kelowna, Okanagon). West Van was mostly white (in part due to restrictions on ownership to whites-only: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/05/16/b-c-property-titles-...) but if those West Van homes are now occupied by Chinese people then the previous white owners certainly sold them for a handsome sum.
To be more accurate, there are large Chinese communities in Richmond, Burnaby (near Kingsway), the western side of Vancouver, etc.
You know who is getting squeezed? It's people who grew up in Vancouver, whether they are Aboriginal, Indian, Asian, Black, Caucasian, Chinese, Whatever.
I just don't think this has anything to do with race but more with socioeconomic classes. Are certain cultures tend to be higher in the ladder? Of course, but anyone that is working and trying to live in Vancouver is feeling the heat from the lack of leadership.
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Also, as someone from Vancouver, there are black people - albeit very scarce.
>Kids can't seem to afford to do anything in this city except abuse drugs and vandalize.
Clearly your experiences say more about you and the people you know than the actual city.
Anyways, I take it you have not lived out near surrey or richmond. It's a bit different in the suburbs. The city is a much nicer place to live, especially when you have rich parents.
And yes it is amazing in the summer, in Vancouver, not the suburbs. The nature is undisputed, but that's about it.