For several years running Vancouver enjoyed the top spot in The Economist’s Intelligence Unit’s “Liveability Ranking” -a “rating of relative comfort” (sic) considering more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
Blah, blah, blah etc: it’s all bullshit. The Economist –a periodical with the relative rating of “dull” and a strong readership from those that tend to spend their Saturday night reviewing retirement plans- is hardly qualified to judge “liveable.” Nonetheless, it’s just the kind of blessing that shifty politicians peddling vague policies and their greasy benefactors can enthusiastically agree on: Most Liveable! Buy Now!
That was then. In 2013 Vancouver slipped to third spot, behind Melbourne and Vienna, and just a schmidge ahead of Toronto.
Now is not the time to lament our fate, but to desperately grasp at the next thing that could serve to move a few units before the whole show goes down the shitter. Surely we could lay claim and monetize some other distinction?
A few possibilities to consider:
According to SeekingArrangment, a service specializing in introducing women to wealthy benefactors, Vancouver is the sugar daddy capital of Canada. There are 3.86 sugar daddies per every 1,000 adult males in Vancouver, compared to a paltry 2.9 in second place Toronto –in your face, Hogtown! Vancouver: from gold minin’ to gold diggin’. Unfortunately, we’ve got some way to go topple Atlanta and its impressive SD girth of 5.98.
Perhaps we need to focus on our relative strength: speculation. As Vice notes, we’re well placed to serve as a cryptocurrency capital. Not only is Vancouver home to the first bitcoin ATM in North America, “it feels like the city’s patented mix of real estate market speculators, gaming industry nerds, recreational druggies and lefty counterculturists have created a perfect storm of bitcoin enthusiasm.” Bitcoin not speculative enough for you? This last February the world’s first Dogecoin ATM went live in Vancouver during the two-day CoinFest decentralized currency festival –you read that correctly.
Never mind “most liveable”, let’s cut to the chase: MOST EXPENSIVE. According to those that know the value of a buck –The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, again- Vancouver is the most expensive city in North America, edging out New York City by 6 per cent.
According to the Canadian UFO Survey, Vancouver reported more unidentified flying objects than any other city in Canada in 2013 at 116 sightings, beating out Toronto’s lucklustre 111. (Pffffftt.) Surely a buck could be made on having a statistically significant proportion of cranks and simpletons?
Planner and researcher Andy Yan notes that Metro Vancouver has one of the lowest rates on the continent of residents who are locally born. Only one-third of the residents of Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby were born in British Columbia. In this regard we handily beat such immigration hot spots as Montreal, New York and even Los Angeles. This proliferation of shallow roots explains much. Last year the Vancouver Foundation found that connections between Vancouverites are weak, that its difficult to make friends here, that people are withdrawing from community life. I see it every day, in the reluctance of bus riders to move to the back to accommodate their nominal fellow citizens waiting, often in vain, on the curb. Capital floods in, but social capital remains scarce.
And there it is: the Antisocial Capital.