Dear Vancouver, Get Your Shit Together!


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Dear Vancouver,

Its been eight years and I’m worried about us. You’ve changed, and I’m afraid not for the better.

Like all new relationships, we started out great — everything was new and sexy — but now, you’ve grown angry and bitter and you don’t seem to care about anyone, even yourself.

I’m tired of your Yaletown, social-climbing weekdays and Gastown plan-shopping, no-commitment weekends. “Just keeping it loose and flowy” you always say.

Sure you’re fancier and making more money now and your breweries and sandwich shops are the best north of Portland, but I think you have forgotten where you came from.

Wheres the fun, adventurous Vancouver I met right after the Olympics? You were full of possibilities and excitement. Not like that false start in ’86. Remember Expo ‘86? What about the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Remember how awesome that was and all the people in the streets… Er, scratch that last one.

You are still as beautiful as the first time we met in 2011, back when our love was new and exciting. Your oceans, tall towers and hipster coffee shops impressed this prairie boy. You showed me a world of artisan bread, public transit, mixology, secret night clubs and 20% restaurant tips.

I thought it was cute how you needed everything to be slightly more expensive than everywhere else for absolutely no reason. HLN Channel fanatics and amateur real estate speculators loved your half-a-million-dollar 500 sq ft condos. Gas was more expensive because heaven forbid a human being attempt to burn a carbon atom in your vicinity without being taxed for it. And would you believe it: Even your Whole foods cost two arms and a leg compared to other parts of the country.

There is a lot of things I still love about you: Your semi-diverse, Pan-Pacific pseudo-culture, your scenic vistas and beaches, NIMBYism and other big-city problems.

Best of all, your temperate climate and lack of snow exposure make you the best city in Canada, by far!

But you can be fickle too. Sometimes even mean.

I’ve learned the hard way that you don’t take kindly to outsiders, whether foreign or domestic, but mostly foreign you-know-whos.

Do I have to say it?

Fine: You’re a bit racist.

Maybe you don’t realize it, but I know exactly who you are talking about when you complain about “Asians” buying up all your real estate. (Hint: It’s not the Russians, Indians or Burmese.)

Oh, and it’s painfully obvious you have a drug problem you can no longer ignore.

Frankly, I’m worried about you.

I’m afraid you will do something rash. You are built on a shaky, and an unstable foundation and I’m afraid you won’t be able to handle the tsunami of problems to come if you don’t fix your issues

Look I can see a real future for us. I would like to spend the rest of my life with you, but you need to change and bring back the fun-loving, happy, spirited Vancouver I used to know.

This is hard for me to say but, you’re hurting me. You’re spending all my money and I’m working so much I barely have time for you anymore. At this rate I’ll have to keep working just to maintain your lifestyle, never mind retire.

Every day we stay together, I wonder if we will ever get our spark back. I feel trapped with someone I barely recognize anymore.

I think we both need to take a step back and re-evaluate our priorities. If not, I might hit up Halifax or Boise later.

Your move Vancouver.

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