A Metro Vancouver content creator first gained attention for a video comparing how people say hello on the trails in B.C. versus Ontario. As you might imagine, in her version people in Ontario stop to have a chat and people in Vancouver, notorious for being cold, keep moving without saying anything.
Now, Maya Kapouranis is back with a video building upon her original premise with a list of Vancouver "icks"—her pet peeves as someone who moved to the city from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
She makes some good points. It's a common complaint from Vancouver transplants that it's hard to make friends here. Other "icks" however require context and backstory.
1. No one waves when you let them into traffic
This may be a pattern but it certainly isn't a rule. Kapouranis says "it's just not neighbourly" to ignore someone holding open a door or letting you into traffic, and she's right. As a Vancouver local who always waves thank you I'd say the ratio is 60:40. Unfortunately the 60 per cent don't say thank you.
2. No direct highway to the airport
Kapouranis says she's used to hopping on the Gardiner Expressway and heading straight to Niagara Falls or Ottawa so she finds it weird that there isn't a direct highway to the airport. While Vancouver might be an urban anomaly, it was a very deliberate choice. Vancouver has no freeways bisecting the city and rejected a proposed highway in the 1960s. The precedent has continued ever since and, anyway, we have a direct SkyTrain to YVR.
3. People give you an awkward look when you say 'good morning' in passing
We'll just leave this video here to illustrate Kapouranis's point.
She says she will get a "good morning" back eventually but it's an awkward interaction where people appear freaked out. "I didn't murder your first child, don't worry it's gonna be okay," she jokes.
The perfunctory smile and head nod on the trails is what Vancouverites are used to.
4. Getting restaurant reservations is impossible
Now, Kapouranis specifies Nightingale, but really this applies to getting reservations at any popular restaurant during the prime 6 to 8 p.m. spots. There's really no solution to this other than booking early (a week ahead at least) or showing up at 6 p.m. hoping to nab a walk-in spot before it gets busy. Our resident foodie put together some tips and useful information for getting reservations at Vancouver Michelin-star restaurants.
5. It's hard to make friends
Again, this is a frequent criticism but there are lots of locals and transplants working to combat the issue. Individuals and organizations arrange meet-ups and events to make friends and for people willing to put themselves out there, there are options. We have even put together a guide on how and where to make friends in Vancouver.
6. Dressing affordably for the changing weather is hard
Yes, we are a city of Arcteryx and yes, the weather is hard to predict eight months out of the year but there is a simple solution to this "ick." Layers. You don't need to drop $800 on a rain jacket to stay dry as Kapouranis suggests or if you are set on the Arcteryx label there are plenty in local thrift stores thanks to the saturation of the local market.
7. Pickleball snobs
"People in North Vancouver and especially West Vancouver have some tudes," says Kapouranis. The noise of the sport causes a lot of complaints in quiet neighbourhoods and local tennis players are protective of the courts. The Pickleball wars aren't limited to the North Shore either, neighbours in Coquitlam petitioned the city to put a stop to the pickleball noise at Blue Mountain Park last year. However, it is a popular and accessible sport as Kapouranis says and the West Vancouver council, after threatening to close the courts, appointed designated spaces for the game last May.
8. People not picking up after their dogs
I mean...this is an obvious one and there's no defending it. Pick up after your dog!
9. Right of way on the hiking trails
Now, this may be controversial. When you're hiking on an incline, who has the right of way? The people going up or the people going down? Kapouranis thinks the people going downhill should step to the side and let the people going uphill pass. Her logic is that it's harder work to go up than it is to go down. On the flip side, there's less traction walking down than there is walking up. Stopping while walking down a steep incline can be a slipping hazard.
According to hiking forums, including Outdoor Vancouver, Kapouranis is right. The official rule is that uphill hikers have the right of way because they have a smaller field of vision than those going downhill. Stay on the right and overtake on the left but let someone know as you pass.
Say hello while you're at it.
@vancouverisawesome Do you have a Vancouver ick?👀 stitching @maya kapouranis 🎙️ @Maria Diment #vancouverisawesome #vancouvertiktok ♬ original sound - Vancouver Is Awesome