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.