Opinion: How to complain like a true Vancouverite

Dec 7 2016, 9:27 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Allie Entwistle.

Recent transplant to the city? Looking for ways to fit in with the Vancouver lifestyle? Every city has a “complaint culture,” a shared list of the things locals love to hate, and Vancouver is no exception.

So if you’re looking to feel at home, arm yourself with these Vancouver-specific complaints and watch yourself transition seamlessly into a local. Sometimes the best way to bond with those around you is to find commonalities in your misery.

Whether you’re new in town, or just looking to make conversation that you’ll know people will agree with, dish out these classic complaints and be sure that everyone is sure to agree!

Complain about housing prices while ordering a $5 latte


Ran out of things to say on a coffee date? Find common ground by lamenting about the universal struggle of not being able to afford a home in the city you live in. Gaze sadly into your $5 latte as you calculate the cost of splitting a townhouse with another family or two. Take a deep breath and a bite of your $4.75 croissant, and protest aloud your feelings on outlandish empty property percentages in Vancouver. Enjoy your $10 coffee break, it’s not like going to Timmy’s would have saved you enough money to buy a house anyway!

Bikes vs. cars

Person biking in bike lane on seawall in Vancouver

Biker on seawall in Vancouver (Caley Dimmock/Daily Hive)

To join in the bikes vs. cars debate simply choose a side and repeat the following sentiment:

Can you even believe those bikers/drivers? They are so inconsiderate, and take over the whole road! Yesterday I was biking/driving down 10th and a biker/car cruised right through a stop sign! They act like the laws don’t apply to them, and the cops don’t seem to care either! Honestly, I don’t think bikes/cars should even be allowed on the road.

Repeat a couple times a day to completely immerse yourself in the complaint culture.

Complain about hipsters in an artisanal ice cream shop


When a shop is full of questions like “is the Maple Sour Whiskey Glazed Bacon Ice Cream vegan?” It’s honestly too easy to take a jab at the plaid laden millennials surrounding you. Laugh with your friends about how every hipster restaurant ups their prices by adding the word “artisanal” to their menu items. Then secretly wonder how on earth their ice cream is so damn delicious.

Roll your eyes as you sample the “Strawberry Chocolate Balsamic” cone, yet feel your brow wrinkle as a decadent and complex taste hits your tongue. How can it be that good? Pretend that the ice cream is “okay,” say that the portions are “too small” and “too expensive,” before secretly heading back for more tomorrow night.

Be careful you don’t start loving it ironically though, or else how will you be able to complain about the hipsters?

Call Vancouver “No-Fun City” before cancelling your plans and watching Netflix all night

Vancouver skyline / Shutterstock

Vancouver skyline / Shutterstock

Nothing fun happens in Vancouver, and we know this is true because everybody says so. Sure, that one friend of yours invited you to some pop-up event today, and your colleague from work mentioned an art show— but you’ve only seen the Gilmore Girls revival once, and you should really stay in for a re-watch. Spend the night in a Netflix coma and prepare your “No-Fun City” diatribe for the next day.

Look at yourself in the mirror, take a deep breath and say “I’m not the problem” five times. You’re nearly a full Vancouverite!

Winter Olympics

Image: Alex Birkill / Flickr

Image: Alex Birkill / Flickr

Simply mention the word “Olympics” and bask in the chorus of a thousand groans. Everybody in Vancouver has at least one thing they can’t stand about the 2010 Olympics. Whether their grievance be that it was “too expensive” or “all for nothing” or simply that “people won’t shut up about it,” you’ll hit a goldmine of classic Vancouver gripes, and be bound to fit in.

Rain. Rain. Rain.

Umbrella / Shutterstock

Umbrella / Shutterstock

Look, it rains a lot in Vancouver, and that should hardly come as a surprise. Living through a November in this city seems equivalent to cruising through Mariana’s trench in a leaky submarine. Join the Vancouver chorus of “ugh, rain” and groan as you awake yet again to the sound of water pounding endlessly down from the sky. Worried you won’t fit in because you like the rain? Never fear, join the ranks of people complaining about those who complain about the rain— don’t worry, you’ll find your spot soon.

That’s it, you’re ready. So go grab yourself a North Face jacket or two, you deserve it, you Vancouverite!

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