If you’re tired of hearing constant negativity about Vancouver, the now-trending #VancouverIStay hashtag might be just the tonic.
The hashtag was created by Good Life Vancouver‘s Cassandra Anderton, YouTuber Josh Rimer, and Mary in Vancity‘s Mary Sheridan as a response to articles and social media rants from people threatening to move away. The trio hit the streets of Vancouver, asked people what they loved about the city, and tweeted about it.
Now Vancouverites are using the hashtag to talk about what they love most about the city.
— Meighan (@megzzz) April 1, 2016
Love Vancouver for its amazing food, and unbelievable views esp.from the top of the mountains #vancouveristay
— smittels (@sbmittel) April 1, 2016
— Jamie Smith Coaching (@JamieSmithCoach) April 1, 2016
For Anderton, a letter published in The Province by Jennifer Fox on why she’s moving out of Vancouver was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“We just decided that we wanted to just do something to show Vancouver our love,” she tells Vancity Buzz. “We really wanted to focus on the people and the community because we really felt that it wasn’t an unfriendly city.”
Anderton rebukes the notion that Vancouver is a cold city, and she thinks it gets a bad rap because of the cost of living.
“The property is hugely expensive and that’s something that we don’t deny – it’s really hard for anyone to rent or buy right now, for sure,” she says.
Still, Vancouver has many shining attributes that get bogged down in the negativity, and Anderton wants people to recognize how lucky we are to live in such a fantastic city.
“We want to acknowledge that there’s a lot to work on, but we want to focus on the positive and bring people together and say hey, yeah there are issues, but lets work together to change them rather than just sort of throwing our toys out of the toy box and running off.”
So far, the reaction has been mostly positive, but naysayers still manage to pop up, as is the way with social media.
— Thomas Falcone (@thomas_falcone) April 1, 2016
Anderton does have a message for people who have a problem with the city, though.
“I would say just try to put a little more effort into being the one to first smile or to first reach out. Try to look at all the city has to offer.”
“I understand people leaving, but try to focus on the positive and think about how you can contribute and make it a better city,” she says.
Watch Anderton, Rimer, and Sheridan hit Vancouver’s streets to find out what makes the city great.