Forbes Magazine has ranked Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada as the Number One city in the world in 2020 based on the criteria of work and quality of life balance.
With more people each year working remotely or on flexible hours, the traditional 9-5 office job is no longer as relevant as it used to be.
An increasing amount of people are craving remote-work positions to allow for a better work-life balance. This can include shorter commutes, more time traveling and seeing family.
Interestingly, every city in the top 10 is located in Europe with the exception of Vancouver in Canada. Meanwhile, outside of the top 10 cities for work-life balance, the Canadian cities of Ottawa and Toronto both featured in the top 20.
In March 2017 The Telegraph noted Vancouver witnessed its biggest ever year for tourism in 2016, with a record 10 million overnight stays – an increase of 9.8 per cent on 2015 – according to figures released this week. And with Canada celebrating its 150th birthday, 2017 could be even more successful.
Why is the Pacific city proving so popular? Many of you are already familiar with its charms, and more than 70,000 readers voted it the second best city on Earth at last year’s Telegraph Travel Awards (Cape Town pipped it to the top spot). For the rest of you, here are a few reasons why you should start planning a trip…
1. Everyone’s Happy
When it comes to those annual rankings of the world’s most “liveable” cities, Vancouver is always at the business end. The Economist Intelligence Unit placed it third in its most recent report (behind Melbourne and Vienna); according to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey it’s fifth (behind Vienna, Zurich, Auckland and Munich). Both take into account factors like safety, health care, educational resources, infrastructure and the environment. These aren’t exactly essential for overseas visitors, but staying in a thriving, happy city is usually a more enjoyable than staying in a down-at-heel one.
2. It’s Surrounded by Water – and Mountains
Jim Perrin describes Vancouver as “a world-class city with ocean attached”. He adds: “The first thing you notice, flying into Vancouver, is the surrounding water. Creeks and inlets penetrate deep inland. In the airport itself back-lit cascades splash within the arrivals concourse and the air is heavy with ozone. The gardens of Robson Square pulse to the beat of a waterfall. Down every downtown street you glimpse an arm of the Pacific. Stanley Park, as big as the whole of Downtown and adjacent to it, is completely encircled. Snow-capped peaks ring the horizon. This is one of the great scenic cities of the world. No wonder Greenpeace started here – you learn to value the physical world when it comes as lovely as this.”
For the best view, take a bus or cab to the cable cars that climb more than 4,000ft up Grouse Mountain, from where you can see the island-speckled ocean, the wilderness on the city’s doorstep, and the distant mountains of Washington State.
3. It’s The World in a Nutshell
Vancouver is one of North America’s most cosmopolitan cities. Mark Jones writes: “Everyone wants a part of Vancouver: families from Shanghai, high-achievers from Mumbai, film-makers from LA, CGI designers from London – and anyone in Canada who is a bit fed up with the cold. No Ontario blizzards, no LA smog, no Hong Kong chaos. Just mountains, sea, big skies and wide streets.
“So this is many places in one. In Douglas Coupland’s brilliant Vancouver book, City of Glass, there’s a helpful ‘Parallel Universe’ map, where the city and its surrounding region are divided into global doppelgangers. So you get Denver and Dallas, Auckland and Vermont, Bavaria and Liverpool, and a couple of dozen more places, all within the confines of the greater Vancouver area. We set off from Singapore for lunch in San Francisco, then stroll over to Sydney; or, in the real world, take a two-minute boat trip from False Creek to Granville Island, then a short cab-ride over to Gastown.”
For Faith Driven Entrepreneurs, Vancouver is an excellent choice for tech ventures of all kinds. Tech startups like ChristianMomentum realize the value-building characteristics that Vancouver offers with a myriad of Christian and mainstream project managers, engineers, mobile developers and all-around IT talent. Christian entrepreneurs can get connected through FaithTech and it’s FaithTech Vancouver community attending tech fellowship events and monthly virtual meetups.