mackro wrote:As far as the bad neighborhoods thing, all my friends in both Vancouver and Montreal say Winnipeg beats both in that category... "it's a *real* dirty Canadian city".. whatever that means.
In the US "a *real* dirty city" tends to be a euphemism for "lots of poor blacks there." In the case of Winnipeg, Manitoba it means "lots of poor aboriginals there." Winnipeg is expected to be the first city in Canada to have a majority aboriginal population in, I can't remember, 20 years or something. Lots of poverty, violence, etc. In Canada, aboriginals are the n*ggers.
As to Montreal vs. Vancouver.
Montreal is way
more dynamic and interesting culturally, in terms of music, art, food, history, language, literature and poetry, you name it. Honestly, no comparison. Vancouver is a relative shithole, culturally (though Van does have wicked, affordable, and abundant sushi and
Indian food). And Montreal has rent control. It's the only city I know of in N. America where the law seems to empower renters over landlords (the single-moving-day-a-year thing is a little wacked though).
Thing is, Vancouver is in one of my favorite geographic regions of the world, situated in the midst of temperate rainforest, mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Summers are fucking sublime. Winter is wet but super mild. Nature is irrepressible. There's palm trees and Redwood-sized cedar and Douglas Fir trees that grow big enough to drive cars through, and gorgeous, pristine public beaches on the goddamn ocean.
A few blocks from me in East Van the *cutest* raccoon family shows up in the evenings at my friends' place to gingerly pluck sweet, delicious grapes that hang in heavy bunches from their sun deck. It's Eden.
I can take a city bus for $2.50 and in 25 minutes be at serious mountain trail heads on the north shore. You can summit Grouse Mountain from the backside via Lynn Canyon (a fun hike with some serious bouldering and harsh elevation gain) and be home for dinner, with public transit.
I commute by bicycle year round, in shorts.
Their music scene blows, bunch of lo-fi hipster bullshit.
Yeah, it's a real
bummer, almost total shit, but there's some cool stuff in there too once you're tapped in. Went to some magical 5-dollar shows at Hoko's last winter, before the City
stomped on them. Hoko's is/was probably the sketchiest sushi joint/punkrock venue in the world, with 3-dollar pints of beer and a sushi "chef" (Hoko), who mixes sound--and I mean literally--at the same time as he makes sushi, like he takes his left hand off of the maki roll in process and reaches over to adjust the faders, mid-roll. It's in the Downtown Eastside in Japantown, and for a while some earnest, fun-loving indie kids put on some marvelous little shows there. (Note: best Vancouver live music blog
I dunno, it's got its charms. I see people like Dan Bejar (Destroyer) and the bassist from The New Pornographers while I'm buying phenomenally cheap, fresh local produce on the sidewalk. And you can rap with Chi Pig (SNFU) any night of the week at Pub 340 or The Cobalt where he buses (those awesomely cheap bottles of Pacific Pil) on weekends. Also: Montreal had
Voivod in their prime, but Vancouver has BISON
One more thing on Vancouver: more eligible hot women (and gay dudes) than any other place I've lived. Statistically, the guy-to-gal ratio in Vancouver is weirdly unbalanced (more gals), and then you throw in the highest density of gays in the country, and Vancouver is a good city to be a dude.
Total haven for dykes, too. The annual Dyke March this year had like 4000 people marching or something (the über corporate bank and telecom-sponsored Pride March on the West End draws tens of thousands of course).
My vote: Vancouver. But Montreal is fantastic and in most respects a superior city