I ended having written “Hence, the Canadian Migration to Vancouver” in my last post. Yes, the Greater Vancouver Regional District is a beacon to Canadians looking to escape long cold winters and hot, humid, smoggy summers. In fact many people move here as I have in search of more. More being, in the way of housing, experience, lifestyle or job choice. Many people are searching for a greater acceptance of every walk of life than where they had lived before, regardless of where they migrate to or from. The GVRD’s slogan is “Building a Sustainable Region”.
I read an article in the Georgia Straight this evening entitled “Real Estate Sticker Shock”. It hit home with me. Charles Smith states that from the air, Vancouver is simply planned better with high rises located in central communities with transit access and are not, to quote “…all over the place in a disordered jumble of development” as in Toronto.
Vancouver has international appeal. With the Olympic Games coming in 2010 Vancouver development and promotion are at an all time high. Adbusters and Greenpeace are going to have a field day! Hooray!
Why then can’t the middle class afford to buy a home of any kind in Vancouver? Smith mentions in the last paragraph that Vancouver could begin to resemble Whistler in that none of the people who work there can afford to live there. To me that is all to true and a question my boyfriend and I are contemplating seriously. Can we afford to live in Vancouver? We rent currently at $1000 a month, heat and hot water in, a 600 square foot dwelling with 400 square foot deck. It’s a nice place. We don’t need to worry about maintenance and have a gorgeous view with ample room on the deck to garden in huge pots.
My Brother, on the other hand just purchased a 30 year old home in Saint John, New Brunswick for $85 grand. That same home here would have sold in the vicinity of $550 grand! Yes, they are two different areas of Canada but it makes one contemplate. Truth be told, both my boyfriend and myself, as far as wages are concerned would earn the same income on the East Coast as we do here in Vancouver.
The question becomes why do we stay? Love. Beauty. Ocean. Mountains. Culture. Health care. Opportunity. I could also ask myself why not go? The answer would be the same. The mountains are not as magnificent but NB has just as many striking natural beauties as well. I made the choice to stay in Vancouver. Forever? That is like saying never. It’s all about choice.
Over the next four years as Real Estate booms I ponder ahead to 2011 when the excitement of the two week advertisement bonanza is gone, done, no more. What will happen to all those condos being built? Who will live in them? Will there be culture? A condo culture? Will there be any Children? Will ALL the middle class just pick up and move East to populate smaller towns and cities to raise families because there will not be enough daycare here to look after the children while both parents work to afford a condo? And what about single parent families? What if this all happens before the 2010 Games? Who will manually labour to build all the condos for the planned Southeast False Creek Development located between Science World and Cambie Street? We won’t be able to live there either because of the recent changes. 80 percent of it will be sold at market value with the remaining 20 percent being affordable housing as mentioned in City’s Axe Falls on Kids by Pieta Woolley in the Georgia Straight.
Asking questions, pondering possible outcomes or solutions to these questions and above all gaining awareness. Being aware gives one the ability to make informed decisions. Being too aware could cause anxiety or mental breakdown. KISS – keep it simple stupid.
Be yourself – within yourself you will find the median.
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