Vancouver’s High-Rise Tower Dilemma

Based on a recent study on urban development, Vancouver cracks a worlds Top 10 list for the number of skyscrapers. The cities downtown core has become a concrete and glass jungle, much attributed to the 2010 Olympics. According to the website, Vancouver has 691 high-rise buildings, with 26 under construction and 74 more proposed, putting the city at number 9 out of 10 in the western world.

Most notable are the Sangri La Hotel, Trump International Hotel & Tower, The Private Residences at Hotel Georgia, and the Fairmount Pacific Rim Hotel.

The concern at hand is if Vancouver has gone too far in building only skyward.

“You could easily go from a current population of 600, 000 to 1.2 million without the necessity of going to high-rises. We just wanted to look at that and see if it was possible, the answer is: Absolutely. “ says Patrick Condon, UBC dir. of Urban Design Program

What is proposed is a more European approach of buildings only 4 stories high, but many of them along arterial roads. The city council itself intends to construct more mid and low rise buildings in the future to meet the market niche of affordable town houses.

This leaves some residents anticipating a New York style hyper-gentrification like that of Manhattan, with skyrocketing downtown costs of living, pushing even they upper middle class out of the downtown core to leave room for the ultra wealthy, often times, foreign investors.

How One Vancity Millennial Entrepreneur Budgets His High-Rise Lifestyle

As the cost of single family homes becomes further out of grasp for the average person, Vancouverites and looking a high-rise apartments as an alternative of permanent residence. Many perceive this as a major setback for millennials as they are of much less advantage than preceding generations. But in many regards, there are massive benefits to the high rise lifestyle which can be massively cost effective. 

Cost: Many buildings offer entry-level pricing that is based on location and size.

Lifestyle: The amount of time saved due to less chores in a limited space. 

Convenience: High rises are conveniently located in urban centres close to transit corridors which provide easy access and mobility throughout the Vancouver Metro. 

Security: Apartment living offers secure spaces with guarded parking, key-coded elevators and concierge staff.

So depending on how you cut it, Vancouver high-rises are perfect for the demographic who want accessibility and who make a more strategic trade-off between their time and money. There are always ways to cut corners in time and savings. 

Enter Jason. Jason is a single entrepreneur working in Vancouver’s developing tech scene who just recently moved into Beach Towers, located right on Beach Ave with an impeccable view of the ocean and English Bay Park

“I wouldn’t give up my apartment for the world. Friends often laugh when I tell them what I pay for rent. But for myself, I value my time. When you consider the amount of work I accomplish in very little time, I actually save money by commuting less, cleaning less, so on and so forth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always finding ways to cut expenses and save money, but so are they. This just works for me.”


“Take for example something like pressure cooking. 8% of my electricity bill is from cooking, so my stove is a big culprit. Pressure cooking allows me to cook in less than half the time while using much less energy. It’s a win-win. My mom was raving about them for months. So recently I purchased a Fissler pressure cooker for my kitchen; I call it the Rolls Royce of pressure cookers. Its gorgeous! I only should have told her, because only a week later while going through some Presto pressure cooker reviews, she bought me two different sizes. So now I’m stocked. But so is my fridge.”

Vancouver is considered to be one of the most livable cities in the entire world. High rise apartment living is a housing choice that provides freedom and lifestyle for those like Jason who manage their schedules and finances in hierarchy with their priorities. So the Vancouver high rise lifestyle may bit fit for many generations to come. 

(Resources: Pressure Cooker Cooking,

Vancity Urban Lifestyle Blog