I'd also like to re-post something I wrote as a comment on another blog, since it seems appropriate. Kimli recalled her experience loving Vancouver even more after having lived away from B.C. for several years.
I was born and raised here, and so were my mom, my wife, and my kids. But you don't need to move away to know how lucky we've got it. I traveled a fair bit when I was younger, and saw all sorts of places, from Moscow and (then) Leningrad to London, Rome and Florence and Milan, New York and Chicago and Denver and San Diego, Melbourne and Honolulu, Toronto and Ottawa and Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary. And (as a traveling musician) most of the B.C. Interior and Vancouver Island.
I could probably manage living in San Diego or Melbourne. Maybe Portland or Seattle, because they share similar climates and topography. But they're still not Vancouver. We've lived on the north side of the Metrotown hill in Burnaby most of my life, and we're way too used to the unbelievable view from our front window. But every once in awhile, there's a big snowfall followed by a sunny morning, and we get this (and that's just part of what we can see):
My jaw still drops when that happens—merely from the what-it-looks like part. Sure, we're not as culturally vibrant as Austin or London or Montreal; not as hopping as Tokyo or NYC; not has historic as Berlin or Quebec City or New Orleans or Buenos Aires; not as architecturally interesting as Prague or Paris; still a bit prissy about when and where you can drink and party. Sure we haven't sorted out our problems with poverty and addiction and such.
But we're shiny and new and polyglot, and you can buy cheap great sushi everywhere, and eagles fly by my window and I can walk 20 minutes from my house and see a real live wild beaver lodge, and my kids like going to both the Aquarium and the Pride Parade, and I have good friends and all my family here.
When you visit a tourism website or see a brochure, or when the Olympics coverage features sweeping helicopter beauty shots of the city and mountains, you can say, "Wow. Yeah, it really is like that a lot of the time."
I wouldn't move if I had any choice, and if I had to, I'd want to come back as soon as it was feasible. That's my black and white. Sorry, rest of the world.