Vancouver is considered to be a relaxed city, but it is smokin', particularly by North American standards. Affectionately called Terminal City, Lotus Land, the Big Smoke, Hongcouver, and, of course, Raincouver. With its heady ethnic mix and range of music and culture, even a New Yorker can find satisfaction here. Some have called it the “city of neighborhoods,” each with a distinctive character and ethnic mix. The city is consistently ranked at or near the top of the best cities in the world to live. Increasingly, however, this popularity comes with a price. Vancouver can be an expensive city. A recent survey comparing median house prices to median incomes found Vancouver was the most unaffordable city for housing in Canada and the fifteenth worst in the world, just slightly better than London. The city has adapted various strategies to reduce housing costs, legalized secondary suites, increased density and smart growth. Nevertheless, as with many other cities on the west coast of America, homelessness is a concern, as is the growing gap between rich and poor. The city’s residents are thought incorrectly to be affluent, a superficial perception reinforced by the number of luxury vehicles on city streets and the rate at which residential properties sell. The median house price was $638,000 for the first quarter of 2006, despite a median household income of only $56,000. The downtown eastside district of Vancouver is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Canada. A major and ongoing downtown condominium construction began in the late 1990’s, financed in large part by a huge flow of capital from Hong Kong immigrants prior to the 1997 handover. This has resulted in real estate values gaining as much as 10-15% per year. The density of the city itself is the third highest of any metropolitan center in North America, after New York and San Francisco. Wanna know more? Find out more about what makes Vancouver so great on Wikipedia. Above info gathered from

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