is vancouver, bc good city to live in ?

I’ve been here for  over 20 years and have seen the ups and downs.

Space. We have so much of it. Only Russia has more space, but they’ve also got nearly 144 million people to Canada’s 37 million. Our cities - especially out west and up north - are far apart. Like, REALLY far apart. The majority of Europeans don’t really understand how big Canada is, so this might help. Above is just the province of British Columbia superimposed over a map of the entire UK.
The answer is: it depends. It’ll be good… if you like a city like Vancouver. Here’s what’s great about it.

Great to raise kids. Very safe, and the ‘bad’ schools really are not that bad.  Beats most schools in the US. However, more and more families are moving here and there’s a big shortage in community center programs for children.

Safe for everyone. There’s all this talk about the gang war happening a few years ago, but all the shootings were between the members. I don’t feel unsafe walking around just about anywhere in Vancouver, unlike other cities.

Very moderate climate. It never gets really hot nor really cold. We’ve had a few hot and cold spells but overall the temperatures are great.

Clean air, with lots of greens and mountains. Vancouver really is as beautiful as people say it is, and more. There’s trees and lots of green, and the air is very, very clean. Google scenic images of Vancouver, and it is as beautiful as the images you see. When it’s not raining (see below).

Lots of great restaurants - yes, that goes for just about any city this size. But we’ve got the selection of great ethnic foods that’s difficult to find elsewhere for similar sized cities. It’s not just the same piece of steak cooked 20 different ways.

Very active and casual city. A lot of people stay very active throughout the year, and it’s contagious. If you’re new here, you’ll likely meet friends who are active, and they will also get you active. People also dress very casually.

Lots of outdoor activities. If you’re an outdoors person, you will LOVE Vancouver. All the sea-side jogging, mountain biking, snowboarding/skiing/fishing/camping/hiking/whatever else you’d ever want to do. And speaking of snowboarding/skiing, one of the world’s top resorts - Whistler/Blackcomb - is only a 2 hour drive away.

Not many freeways, so the actual distance of getting from one municipality to the next is very close. HOWEVER, traffic can be horrendous.

Great, friendly people. I’ve heard many people complain it’s hard to meet new people and date (see below) but somehow it seems like everyone is friendly here.

Here’s what sucks:

Yes, it rains. A LOT. All throughout the year, pretty much, but October->April really sucks. “who cares, you just get a little wet”. Yes, but it also ruins your mood. Waking up to great weather - hello July and August! - is FANTASTIC. There are those who will say just suck it up, Vancouver’s still great. Yes, it still is. But after almost 20 years and traveling throughout the world, the rain still effin sucks. If you don’t think it sucks you probably haven’t left Vancouver much. Going through 20+ straight days of rain - no, seriously - is stupid.

If you enjoy nightlife, Vancouver is small and boring. Not much going on in the evenings and the nightclubs and bars, in general, get boring, very fast.

Difficult to meet new people. I don’t have much experience with this so I shouldn’t say much about it, but have been told it is extremely difficult to date and meet new pay, and the bar is very low. I don’t have much first-hand experience, but I’ve heard this many times from people outside the city.

Not many nearby out-of-town places to go to. It’s on the Northeast tip of North America, and there’s really not much to do around here outside Vancouver. Seattle is a 2 hour drive south, and Calgary is a 1 hour flight east, but there’s nothing special about either of those cities. California is a 2 hour flight south but beyond that, it’s hours and hours to fly anywhere. If you’ve lived on the East Coast or even in California, you’ll know it’s much easier to get out of town for a weekend.

Very difficult to find good job and career opportunities, especially in high tech. Do NOT - I repeat, do NOT - believe anyone who says we’ve got a “thriving tech sector”. They’ve probably lived in the Vancouver bubble their whole lives. Head south a bit to Seattle or California for much better career opportunities in tech. And tell a well-known tech company you came from Vancouver, and see if you get any respect because of that (answer: NO).

Cost of living ; Price of gas, pre-owned cars, and especially rent (with low vacancy rates) is like nowhere else, when compared to the lower incomes you can earn in Vancouver. 

Traffic is bad, transit system is broken, and it’s only getting worse. More and more people, less and less roads, and a crappy transit system compared to just about every other major city in the world. Not to mention the city can almost shut down due to a few centimeters of snow. This happens nowhere else in Canada, btw.

“You can’t survive in vancouver on their measly incomes” Yes. You can. Just don’t come in with very high standards. Don’t come in with the attitude that you would get twice the space in other cities for the same price. Groceries CAN be expensive but just be careful where and how you shop.

“Vancouver people are lazy” We are a very laid-back city. Work environments are generally very relaxed. I wouldn’t say we’re lazy. They just want to enjoy life and have their own time on the weekends. Not working overtime or 12 hour days does not make us lazy. But if you’re hiring workers here, be very prepared for that.