Vancouver May Be Livable, But It's Not Happy

This article from <em>Vancouver Magazine</em> looks at a recent study naming the livable and oft-envied city home to some of the least happy Canadians and asks why a great city has unhappy people.
August 25, 2008, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"A groundbreaking study found that, despite our glorious mountains and ocean, our mild weather, our good health, our Olympic future, and all the livability accolades, Vancouverites are just not as happy as people in St. John, or St. John's, or Winnipeg. The news was enough to wipe the smug grin from any world-class mug."

"So what does it take to make a city happy? Why aren't mountain views and a strong economy enough? In a town that looks to real-estate schemes for fulfillment, is it possible to build our way to happiness? To answer these questions, I hooked up with the Subjective Well-being Club, a collective of happiness-obsessed economists, psychologists, and educators at the University of British Columbia. Helliwell is the club's éminence grise."

"Self-reported happiness reflects all the varied ingredients of a good life. That's why the study on Canadian cities was so annoying. None of Canada's biggest, richest cities were among the happiest. Toronto and Edmonton were near the back of the pack. Vancouver trailed behind them. And for all its boom and bluster, Calgary brought up the rear. The happy charts were topped by Canada's small Nowheresville cities: St. John, New Brunswick, whooped us all. How is it that the places that attract us, the cities that cost us so much to call home, are emotional tar pits?"

Thanks to Brent Toderian

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Published on Monday, August 25, 2008 in Vancouver Magazine
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