A Dragon In Canada

Have you ever seen a cleaner downtown?

I say “Canada” but I’m really talking today about Vancouver BC. I realize that Vancouver is different than a place like Montreal.

I just got back. As usual when I travel outside the country, my schedule was packed. In less than four days there I…

  • Had two meetings with a branch office of a client company.
  • Had a meeting with a consulting prospect.
  • Gave two speeches to two different groups (one on time management, one on how to structure open relationships).
  • Had the Friday night thingy I mentioned on this blog, which turned into a Q&A coaching session with a handful of guys.
  • Did a few touristy things (boating, Vancouver Lookout, Chinatown, etc).
  • Had sex six times (I think).
  • Had an in-person coaching session with one of the SMIC guys.

…and that’s on top of all the usual running around when you travel (taxis, trains, airport stuff, screwing around with hotels, etc).

Regardless, I did have time to move around and observe the city and its people, to compare it to other cities I’ve visited. The following is strictly my very biased opinion based on my own very strong tastes. Feel free to disagree.

1. Vancouver BC is now officially my favorite major city on the west coast, knocking San Diego out of the top spot. Though not by much, because I love SD, just for very different reasons.

To quickly run through the west coast cities…

My hometown of Portland, Oregon is interesting, but too damn weird, too hardcore left wing, too small, and too hipster/hippy/granola.

Los Angeles is a cool place to visit, but it’s in a constant state of decay and disrepair. Just as an example, the freeways in Los Angeles are on par with those of a third world country. I’m serious.

Seattle is a decent place, but there’s nothing extraordinary or particularly interesting about it. Same goes for Sacramento/Stockton.

San Francisco is very cool. Good food, interesting cool people, and I love hanging out there. But everything there seems small and expensive.

For example, my brother lives there and his entire apartment seems like the size of one of my closets, even though he pays more for his place than I do mine. If you lived in downtown Manhattan that might make sense. Maybe. But to pay that kind of price just to live in downtown San Francisco? Um, no. Move out to the suburbs, dude. The in-your-face left wing stuff also gets a little tedious, every bit as bad as Portland if not worse.

San Diego rocks. It has the best year-round weather of any other city I have ever visited. It’s clean and cool and fun and beautiful. I’m taking my daughter to Comic-Con this July and I can’t wait to go (more for San Diego than for the nerd convention).

Vancouver BC, while not perfect, beats them all. It’s clean. It has a big-city feel while not actually being a big city (I will explain this in a minute). There’s lots of water, and that means boats, and boats are awesome. The people are chill and laid back. The chicks are hot (with a few caveats I’ll get to in a minute). The food is awesome. The culture is rich and interesting. It’s very racially diverse in a unique and fascinating way. It has a very modern, high-tech feel. All good.

On the minus side, it suffers the same terrible problem of all cities in the pacific northwest, which is terrible weather. Cold, clouds, and way too much fucking rain, damn near year-round. It’s irritating beyond belief.

It’s also in Canada, which means socialism, which forever disqualifies it from a place I would ever consider living in. Granted, it’s the nice, quaint flavor of socialism that New Zealand has, rather than the angry, “businessmen rip people off!!!” socialism so often found in Europe and Scandinavia. But you can’t sugarcoat a pig; high taxes and assloads of silly regulations and paperwork is still socialism. (Not that my own country is any better.)

It also lacks the majesty of the truly big cities which stir my soul, and that was a noticeable absence, but that’s not really Vancouver’s fault. There’s also a very distinct lack of blonde women there, which in my opinion is bad, even if the rest of the non-blondes there are very hot.

2. I’m pretty sure Vancouver is the most racially and internationally diverse city I have ever visited. It’s also a great example of a fully western city where North American white people are actually in the minority.

As you walk around the downtown area and observe and talk to people, you’ll find that about 50% are Asians (mostly Chinese, but lots of SE Asians too). Another, oh, 15% are middle easterners or west Asians of various types. Another 10-15% are white people who are either not speaking English or speaking it with a strong non-Canadian/American accent. And I’m not talking about French.

The native English speaking whities make up whatever is left over, and that’s well under 50%.

Side note: There are no virtually black people there. I think I saw three during my entire stay. There are virtually no Latinos. I don’t remember seeing any in four days. Such a strange thing for me, since I’ve lived on the American west coast my entire life and seeing vast amounts of Latinos is just something you become accustomed to.

This diversity makes for a really vibrant and interesting city. Diversity kicks ass. Just so long as it’s something that happens organically and is not something government or political correctness shoves down your throat. (My mom teaches college courses and is involved in a lot of “diversity training” and a lot of it is really sickening. And frankly, racist. Yes, the PC version of “diversity” is racist. But I digress.)

You can scan a popular bar or restaurant and see a group of Asians, then a group of middle easterners, then a mixed group, then a white group, often all speaking different languages, and getting along fine with no dirty looks thrown towards each other. It really is a wonderful thing.

3. The most interesting thing about Vancouver, at least to me, is its illusion of bigness. It really isn’t a big city. Something like 2.5 million people live there, which in my world is small…about the size of Portland which is very small. At least to me.

Yet when you’re in the center of downtown, it looks and feels like a city of 7 or 8 million people. This is because the population density is so high. The residents tell me it’s the third most densely populated city in all of North America. I’m not sure if I believe that, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

I’ve been all over the world, and mostly to big cities. After hanging out in places like Mexico City, Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo, population density is nothing new to me. However because the density is high but the population is low at the same time in Vancouver, you get the vibrancy and majesty of a big city without the usual trash, graffiti, stress, crime, and social/racial strife that typically accompanies such a configuration. It’s the best of both worlds.

4. In the U.S., Canada has always had the reputation of being “like America, just nicer”. The reputation is accurate; this trip has pretty much confirmed it for me. It’s like the USA, but people here are more laid back and more friendly.

Many times complete strangers would start conversations with me, something that would never happen in Los Angeles, or even in a place like Denver. Not once in four days did I witness an altercation. Try spending four days in Manhattan or Shanghai without seeing one argument. Hah!

When I made a joke to one of the Canucks about their primary mass transit system being ironically called the “Skytrain”, when most of the airport line is underground, they were quick to point out that, “The first two lines were in the sky, ay?” As usual, no offense taken. No eye rolling or sarcastic glares at the stupid American you would normally get in so many other parts of the world.

Canadians really are just…nice.

5. Lets talk about the women. The women in Vancouver are clearly hotter than average. I said hotter than average, not amazing. It’s not like southern California where you’ve got smoking gorgeous babes walking around all over the place. But the number of cute gals downtown is definitely more than in most cities in the world.

Because of the racial aspect, there are lot of Asian women in Vancouver, but unlike the rest of the west coast, they are very attractive Asian women. Asian women in most cities are just like the white women, i.e. some hot, some average, some ugly. In Vancouver, the number of hot Asians is much higher. If you’re one of those Asian-lover guys, you’d be in heaven there.

There are also a lot of hot white women and mixed women. It might be my imagination but women who have big boobs tend to show them off a little more than in other cities. Not that I’m complaining. (Though the number of big-chested women in Vancouver is definitely lower than in most cities, probably because of the high Asian factor.)

6. Vancouver has a vibrant Chinatown which I enjoyed very much (what little time I spent there). My favorite food is dim sum, so whenever I go to any city of Chinese influence I make a beeline for the best dim sum restaurants and stuff my face and gain about five pounds, causing me to spend a week of diet catch-up time when I return. It’s worth it.

7.Overweight people are scarce. There are so few of them, when you see one (like me) they really stand out. This, along with the Latino thing, was the oddest thing to me. Not seeing lots of overweight people walking around really is a bizarre thing for an American. The vast majority of men and women of all races in Vancouver were quite skinny. Not since my first visit to Hong Kong was I so amazed at the overall thinness of big city dwellers.

That’s it for now. My next international trip will be my long-delayed visit to Singapore, hopefully with a stop-off at Melbourne, Australia for a Blackdragon Retreat out there. We’ll see.

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  • Socialkenny
    Posted at 06:45 am, 3rd June 2013

    You rate Vancouver pretty high. I never been there but met a Russian online from there. I should be visiting there soon. The nightlife is decent I heard.

  • Ross
    Posted at 10:47 am, 3rd June 2013

    Glad you liked Vancouver!

    Too bad the weather wasn’t too good recently.

  • Jon
    Posted at 01:27 pm, 3rd June 2013


    How did you line up six sex sessions on such a short trip, esp with it being a business/work trip?

  • Blackdragon
    Posted at 06:32 pm, 3rd June 2013

    I did it the easy way: I had someone accompany me.

  • Anon
    Posted at 08:14 pm, 3rd June 2013

    BD, you say Canada’s socialism disqualifies it from being a place you’d ever move to. But you’re about to move to a communist police state (China), aren’t you? And aren’t you at least worried about your free speech rights?

  • Bo
    Posted at 08:20 pm, 3rd June 2013

    You’re crazy if you think Vancouver beats SD. Diego thoroughly stomps YVR in terms of tits, ass, and warm weather. Plus you have L.A. a short 2 hours away

  • Blackdragon
    Posted at 10:21 pm, 3rd June 2013

    Anon – I answered that question in my “moving out of the country” post. But I’ll be a little more specific.

    I’m very concerned about my free speech rights, but that’s one right out of about 30 that are all equally important (to me). You’re focused on just one right; I’m looking at all 30. What about my right to keep the money I work so hard to earn as a small business owner? (China corporate tax: 25%. Canada corporate tax: 38%) Or my right to start and operate a small business with a minimum of hassle? And paperwork? And legal fees? To hire whomever I want? To fire whomever I want whenever I want? Send my kids to any school I want? Without being taxed up the ass if I don’t send them to a government school? Etc, etc, I could go on and on but you get the point. There are many other rights very important to me in addition to free speech. They all must be accounted for on the whole.

    Bo – Hell yeah, San Diego rocks. No argument there. But I don’t think it “stomps YVR’s ass”. In weather, definitely. In other areas I’m not so sure. Vancouver is cleaner, people are nicer, the buildings newer, etc. Maybe I’ll call it a tie.

  • Bo
    Posted at 11:30 pm, 3rd June 2013

    Btw, as a probably irrelevant but interesting tidbit, Victoria gets about the same amount of rainfall that San Francisco does, and less than half that of Vancouver. Small city though.

  • JF
    Posted at 06:46 am, 4th June 2013

    “(the right)… To hire whomever I want? To fire whomever I want whenever I want? ”

    I am sorry about the threadjack, but as a hardcore libertarian I asume you are against all forms of governmental employee protection and anti-discrimination laws? Do you really believe its ok if business owners are able to fire someone “whenever they want” pretty much for any reason? Or to make it an official company policy not to hire black people?

    So in a libertarian world a boss could hire a female worker and, at any later moment, threaten to fire her if she doesn’t sleep with him. And that would be perfecty legal. She is free to find another job if she wants to so she is not really being forced to do anything.

  • Wils
    Posted at 12:22 pm, 4th June 2013

    It’d be too stressful to live in China, where I wouldn’t even be able to trust what I buy or eat as genuine and non-toxic. (artificial eggs, toxic milk powder for babies, sewage oil for cooking; just to name a few horror stories reported in the news)

    BD I assume you didn’t visit Richmond during your stay? If you like diversity you should check it out next time.

    Higher concentration of Blonds in Langley. In Vancouver/Richmond I don’t see a lot of them. Frankly, a lot of white chicks I see, I consider kind of fat. But up in Langley, they were jaw dropping-ly hot.

  • Blackdragon
    Posted at 12:42 pm, 4th June 2013

    as a hardcore libertarian I asume you are against all forms of governmental employee protection and anti-discrimination laws?


    Do you really believe its ok if business owners are able to fire someone “whenever they want” pretty much for any reason?

    Do I think it’s okay? No. Do I want it to be the government’s business? No.

    Cheating on your spouse is wrong. Should the government get involved in that too? Do you want to make everything bad or wrong the government’s business? See my point?

    It’d be too stressful to live in China, where I wouldn’t even be able to trust what I buy or eat as genuine and non-toxic.

    That’s why I’m leaning more towards Singapore.

  • Onas
    Posted at 06:52 pm, 5th June 2013

    Loved your comments about Vancouver, I live in Seattle and I totally agree that Vancouver tops San Diego!!! While I dig San Diego’s great Weather, you really can’t top the NYC mixed with SFO metropolitan feel of Vancouver. Great weather during the summer, really approachable women, and a great park downtown to have fun. I won’t even get started on the Nightlife. You guys are sleeping on Vancouver!!!!

    “Seattle is a decent place, but there’s nothing extraordinary or particularly interesting about it.”

    Totally agree about Seattle and I live here!!

  • Ross
    Posted at 01:03 pm, 6th June 2013

    Wils: You’re right man. Though there are some Asians, it’s mostly white people here. Langley has a tax when big East Indian families to all live in 1 house. Unlike Surrey where Caucasians are heading to be the minority (other than white rock)

    Are you from Langley?

  • Sticky Fingers
    Posted at 01:58 am, 10th June 2013

    Interesting to see all the praise for Vancouver, especially from the Americans. I’m an Ottawan-cum-Montrealer who’s spent a couple months in Van, and while most of the comments are accurate, you’re way off on two points – the most important ones, game-wise. Vancouver, by Canadian standards, is notorious for scarce and extremely expensive nightlife (on par with Calgary, its that bad… and at least Calgary’s a sure thing during Stampede week), and the women are probably the most unapproachable in the country. Too many also dress and groom like the hippies they are. ‘Nuff said. This is confirmed by all my Vancouver friends & family, too.

    But it’s all relative. Montreal is one of the best cities in the world for nightlife and ease to meet women, and the nearest American metropolises, Boston & NYC are also positive outliers. So reading these comments, I thought… wow, things must be even worse in the US than I thought. Or maybe the entire west coast is just granola-crunch-cum-wannabe ingenue “special”.

  • 0---
    Posted at 03:01 pm, 1st July 2013

    I like your posts about non-seduction topics like cities or politics etc. I often don’t agree, but your writing is so crisp clear and logical it’s refreshing.

    “Yes, the PC version of “diversity” is racist. But I digress.”

    I would like to read about this one. But then again, I might be in the minority here.

  • 7gj7
    Posted at 05:21 am, 3rd June 2014

    THE most multicultural city in the world is Toronto. It is fantastic.

    Vancouver, and Seattle and Portland are warm, especially in the winter. You guys have NO IDEA what cold is like! Have you every heard anyone say that Minneapolis-St. Paul was “Down South”??? Didn’t think so.

    For me, the North American cities with the best women available are Toronto and Vancouver.

  • Dan
    Posted at 07:37 pm, 19th April 2015

    I’m curious. Selfishly, is there a better city in Canada for someone who:

    – From the capital region of Canada
    – Is 23 years old (still very young)
    – Is about to graduate into the professional health field, and wants to get a job to make money
    – Wants to break into the music scene
    – Busks on the streets (playing music), and makes a seriously decent income in 2-3 hours on top of working
    – Wants plenty of highly attractive women around to flirt with and sleep with.
    – (who)se life purpose is to make it in the music biz as a performer.

    ? Thanks.

    Ottawa is alright, but it is very political, most attractive girls have boyfriends, the nightlife is lackluster. I’m considering Montreal, as it might meet most of these things, like very chic, hot women, and a thriving music scene. Vancouver could be good for music and career, but it seems the women there are, let’s say, difficult. Plus, it rains all the time, so busking would be a no-no.


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