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Portland way better than Vancouver? The debate continues

August 28th, 2009 · 8 Comments

There’s been a lively discussion going on for a while related to the series of stories in The Tyee about Portland’s alleged superiority to Vancouver, which I’m sure many of you have looked at. Here’s a Seattleite weighing in on the comparison, pointing out at least one interesting fact. Yes, Portland has less homelessness. It also has more people in jail.

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  • Andrea C.

    Ha, ha. People catching on so late in the game about Portland.

    Portland is a very bicycle friendly city, but there have been several cyclist deaths (hit and run) over the last few years. Demographically, it’s really “white”. Oh, and it also has more people in jail……. Wow!!

    What is this? A beauty pageant, in which the so-called rivals need to throw punches at each other?

    Now that Portland has caught a full-fledged case of “condo disease” and “infill flu”, it won’t be recognizable in a few years, I’m afraid. If Portland continues down its Larry Beasley-inspired path, there won’t be much left to be envious of soon enough. Think of Victoria. Feeling jealous, anyone?

    I thought so.

  • Frothingham

    portland is a lovely city. great book store and some very fine places to dine etc. but vancouver has it over the rose city.

  • shepsil

    I recall when I was dating my first wife in Seattle and people would ask where I was from and I replied Vancouver, they usually said something like, “Vancouver is such a cosmopolitan city!” Then when she was up here the same thing happened and all the Vancouverites replied, ” Seattle is such a cosmopolitan city!”

    It is hard to make a definitive comparison with cities without alot of study, and, the grass also tends to be greener on the other side.

  • Interestingly enough, I did a series of stories for the news outlet I work for in the same vein… every weekend, discussing a different topic with the mayor of Portland. Anyways, the main reason why Portland is better…

    Food carts.

  • Blaffergassted

    I’ve been to Portland only once, to help a friend retrieve a stolen purse that had been turned into the police after an earlier, and tumultuous, visit to the city.

    The scenery, etc., was very nice, and the people were friendly, but …

    We arrived at the police ‘lost property’ office, and stood in a line-up with two other groups — BOTH of whom there to pick up guns that had been previously confiscated.

    One group was even cracking jokes about getting their crack cocaine returned, too.

    Vancouver is where I’d rather be.

  • both cities

    I’ve lived in both cities, and think that they each have their own charm. One or the other will rate higher for you depending on what aspects of that city you value more. Portland has food carts, microbreweries (and now microdistilleries), bicycling as a religion, and relaxed, charming neighborhoods. Vancouver has a stunning natural setting, amazing parks, a culturally diverse population (and the restaurants that follow), and all the cultural perks that come with being Canada’s largest west coast city. Vancouver feels like a real city to me, whereas Portland is just a big town. Portland is funky and weird, Vancouver is corporate and chic.

    Personally I prefer Portland for the simple reason that the summers are warmer and gardening season is longer. Tomatoes and corn and peppers all grow better in Portland.
    Oh, yeah, one more thing: Portland has tons and tons of farmer’s markets. Vancouver only has a few, and they’re really small.

  • Darcy McGee

    Every time these conversations happen there’s a bit of a “grass is always greener” situation. I was living in Seattle and Vancouver for year, going back forth: a lot of Seattle-ites seem to prefer Vancouver, and vice versa.

    When a place is home…when you live there full time…you become much more aware of its shortcomings. When you visit, the charms stand out and memories are good.

    I like Portland. I like Vancouver. Right now I’d probably rather live in Portland, but that will wane.

    On another note, since when did Vancouver become a real city? The friggin’ place shuts down at 6 o’clock 5 nights a week still. Ridiculous.

  • Brenton

    Darcy, you have to leave downtown if you want to do anything after 6pm.