Growing up in Canada being a hockey player, you know the bigger cities well because each of them is home to an NHL team, Vancouver happens to be home to the Vancouver Canucks. I grew up rooting against them and throughout their history they haven’t seen too much success.
This, however, shouldn’t dampen the moods of Canucks fans or Canadians living in Vancouver because the city is beautiful and flourishing; plus there is an abundance of things to do in Vancouver.
You could describe the city as a land of opportunity and I felt highlighting a few reasons why I feel it’s destined to have a bright future would provide some valuable insight into the city.
Entrepreneurial Culture in Vancouver
I’ve been to Vancouver a few times before but recently visited and I had an amazing trip. I stayed along the waterfront at the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel and it was a perfect destination for my stay. I saw the ocean and mountains directly out my window each morning, but the amenities that the hotel provided were world class. My highlight happened to be their club lounge on the top floor as it allowed me to work somewhere other than my room.
I attended some meetings and events throughout the downtown core visiting the Vancouver Convention Centre and I was located smack dab in the middle of it all. Vancouver is a relatively easy city to get around in, at least around the downtown core. This was a huge plus, especially someone like myself who usually schedules meetings no matter where I travel to.
What I found on my trip was that there are a lot of businesses opening up and big thinkers locating here or already calling it home. The city has a millennial spirit and I noticed it right away with the people I was meeting and the businesses I went into. There’s a certain type of energy that is enlightening.
Vancouver is home to global companies like Hootsuite and Lululemon and their startup culture is growing by the day. The city boasts a great entrepreneur and startup culture that is perfect for any existing or new business.
Vancouver Staying Active
Vancouver has always been known as an outdoor enthusiast’s playground because of the vast amount of activities at everyone’s doorstep. You can choose to go skating or skiing nearby in the winter, (locals enjoying heading up to Whistler for the slopes in the winter) or you can head out into the bay area or the Pacific Ocean on your canoe, kayak, or sailboat in the summer.
The magic of the city though is that you don’t have to be a sports junkie to enjoy it. One of my favorite places to go is Stanley Park because every time you are inside the park, you feel like you aren’t in a big city anymore. There are many trails to follow and explore the beautiful park. Stanley Park is 5 minutes from downtown Vancouver with lush green landscaped gardens that resemble a Central Park feel. This is a must visit place if you visit Vancouver.
If you are into the yoga or fitness scene, there are many studios available throughout the city.
Being able to disconnect from our super-connected world is very important today and I feel it will continue to be this way for many years.
I feel Vancouver provides a great contrast of living in a big bustling city home to over 4 million people, but then at times, you can find yourself in places that make you feel like it’s a small town.
I feel this is a major strength for Vancouver and why people enjoy living here. There is that sense of balance I feel that a lot of other cities miss. Vancouver doesn’t disappoint, and I’m confident if you decide to go, you will experience similar experiences.
Being home to a company that started the yoga pants and leggings craze that is taking over the fashion industry, boasts as a major strength for Vancouver. Lululemon is definitely not the only Vancouver business success story though, but one all Vancouverites can be proud of.
You may have predicted this with such amazing amenities and features, Vancouver is not necessarily the most affordable city to live in. With such beautiful surroundings, activities, and amenities at everyone’s doorstep, there has to be a catch right? The catch is that Vancouver real-estate prices are ridiculous.
You can hardly find a house to buy in the city itself or neighboring cities for less than $1 million. People from all over the world have taken notice of Vancouver and its amazing culture and city and they’ve started to buy properties or move to the city. The thing that still needs to be taken into account is that Vancouver is still a more affordable place to live than Silicon Valley, New York City, Los Angeles, or London.
If you didn’t know much about Vancouver before, you now have a taste of what it’s like. The way I see it is that Vancouver is destined to become one of the fastest-growing and top major cities in the world on several factors and one of the major reasons is because they are attracting the next generation.
Being able to lure millennials to your city or country is a recipe for success and the goal of any country or city leadership team. The working class is changing and it isn’t just about clocking in and out anymore, we need more than that.
Millennials need a place they feel good about going to every day, that gives them autonomy but also allows them to enjoy their lives as well as the work they do every day. Vancouver presents a unique opportunity to establish that balance and I hope one day you decide to visit and experience the culture yourself.
*If you have a city you feel should be profiled during this new series of articles please comment below or connect with me on social media. Always looking for thriving and innovative cities positioning themselves for the future to profile that have a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Clinton Senkow is the Co-founder & COO of Influencive where he manages and oversee’s all business development and partnership activities for Influencive. He’s also the CEO of Senkow Ventures which is a digital consultancy for high-growth startups and SMB’s, a member of the invite-only Forbes Business Development Council, and was named a “Top 20 Speaker by Forbes”. He’s also a three-time Top G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada.