It should be a wrenching good bye, since most of my 74 years were spent here, in this city. I expected to be sad,a bit nostalgic for the good days and the bad nights, but it’s not happening. Instead, I am anxious to get on with actually moving,purging,reordering and refocusing. It feels like freedom. I look forward to meeting new people and exploring my new home, Victoria the lovely. My friends in Vancouver are sad to see me go, but I admit I enjoy being missed. I miss them, but there is a ferry, folks.
Having said all that, why is it so very easy to leave a city I once loved ?
Let me count the ways : first, Vancouver doesn’t know what it is. The onslaught of wealth from Asia has made it one of the most expensive cities in which to buy a home or raise a family. People born here find they have to move to Surrey to do that. Condos stand empty because they are simply investment vehicles. The result is a palpable lack of community, a hole at the centre. The fact that London has the same problem is cold comfort.
Second: while loudly proclaiming how green and sustainable our building plans are, we force citizens to accept high density planning done badly. The small business owners trying to survive in a city without rent controls smell a rat at City Hall. Mayor Robinson is in bed with developers and big money, they say. It adds up to a lot of discontent among ordinary folks like me and my friends.
Third: the weather sucks! Due to Climate Crisis, we now get 30percent more rain and correspondingly less sunshine than in the past. The humidity is horrendous, it’s like living in a rainforest. Oh, of course we are.
In due time I expect to find flaws in Victoria as well, but for now it looks like a friendly small town with a lively arts scene and flowering trees everywhere. Come to think of it, Victoria is a lot like the Vancouver of another time.