5 Things That Surprised Me About Vancouver Locals After Moving Here From Toronto

Toto, we're not in Toronto anymore.

Sierra Riley in High Park. Right: the CN Tower and a blue sky.
Sponsored Content Contributing Writer, Studio

Sierra Riley in High Park. Right: the CN Tower and a blue sky.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Somehow, it's always Toronto vs. Vancouver — after all, there can only be one centre of the universe. Since moving from Ontario to B.C., I've noticed some key cultural, environmental and social differences.

Maybe it's something about that ocean air out here — or smoky wildfire air, depending on the time of year — but people on the West Coast act differently.

They aren't as neighbourly

It's a well-documented experience among Vancouverites: this city can be lonely, and people here often stick with the "cliques" they already have going.

In Toronto, I find it's easier to strike up a conversation with a stranger without feeling like said stranger just wished I would go away. I don't think it's just a me thing! If it is, please don't correct me.

"Hustle culture" isn't as prevalent

Capitalist ideals are a part of the cultural fabric. Despite this, there's a slower pace of living on the West Coast that I deeply appreciate.

In Toronto, everything feels like a competition: who you know, how many rings you closed on your Apple Watch, how many books you read, how many plays you've seen, how many followers you have. This inexhaustive list is just one of the reasons I needed to pack my bags and leave the city.

They flex their outdoorsiness

Connecting with nature is a beautiful experience, one that I personally believe the City of Toronto has robbed its residents of by overdeveloping, whereas B.C.'s got nature coming out of the wazoo.

Vancouver locals love themselves a good hike — and I can't fault them for this — but I'm not exaggerating when I say that at least once a day I walk by people talking about the biking conditions or the surf in Tofino.

Even at parties, people tell stories of their time spent tree planting in a tone that I can only describe as condescending.

It's gorpcore country

Named after the colloquial term for trail mix, according to Grailed, gorpcore is the style of choice out in B.C.

In contrast to Toronto's sea of Canada Goose jackets and Super Puffs, Vancouver has a highly concentrated population of Arcteryx and Patagonia enjoyers. Walking through my neighbourhood, it's all Lululemon and Blundtstones as far as the eye can see.

People are ready for a hike at all times, and I kind of admire that about my neighbours. They might not say hi, but I'd trust them to guide me through the wilderness or a yoga flow any day.

It's a one-sided rivalry, honestly

"Onterrible" and "Yawntario" are just a couple of the adorable quips that folks in B.C. love whipping out when I tell them where I'm from. The levels of hostility towards Toronto are kind of hilarious and largely unreciprocated.

In all my years in YYZ, the only negative thing anyone ever said about Vancouver was that it's a little pricey. Also, they have those "Toronto vs. Everybody" shirts. I get it, that city kinda makes itself a target.

Sierra Riley
Sponsored Content Contributing Writer, Studio
Sierra Riley is a Sponsored Content Contributing Writer for the Studio department focused on sponsored content and is based in Vaughan, Canada.