Vancouver, which is in British Columbia, which is in Canada, which is a different country, is much like a normal U.S. city, just with more poutine. Oh, and to quote one William Smith, “hundred thousand dollar cars, everybody got ’em.” I spent a week in Vancouver and came across not only some amazing coastal backdrops, but plenty of high-end supercars.
If you haven’t been, Vancouver is an incredibly beautiful city, and it’s worth a visit. For us in the States, I would liken it to our own Pacific Northwest, but with San Francisco prices. Thankfully, us Americans get an automatic 25 percent discount through the conversion rate. There are mountains, beaches, bodies of water and some really cool cars. Plus, being in Canada, there’s always the potential to see some vehicles we never got in the U.S. — but, instead, I mostly saw Italian supercars.
During my trip, I biked to Granville Island, which had one of the coolest arrays of high-end car dealers I’ve seen in one place. Within a square mile or so, you get Ferrari–Maserati, Audi, Aston Martin, Lamborghini (which includes Bugatti), Porsche, Lotus and a place called Pfaff (that promises Pagani, McLaren, Singer and BAC Mono, among others). I also ran across some smaller niche dealers (like SR Auto Group) that just have super-cool random cars like the 1-of-25 chrome McLaren MSO HS seen in the video. Which was sitting behind a Veyron. I almost fell off my bike.
Why all the incredible cars? For one, Vancouver is basically the only city in Canada with a year-round driving climate — and while most Americans wouldn’t consider its wet, gray winters to be good for driving exotic cars, it’s far better than the winter weather in Montreal or Toronto. As I mentioned before, Vancouver has also seen a huge increase in cost of living in the last decade or so; many foreigners especially are buying homes and condos there — and the supercars to go with their Canadian lifestyle. A large number of these foreigners come from Asia, where supercars can cost two or three times more than they do in North America due to taxes and duties — so they seem like a good deal by comparison. Of course, Vancouver is also a young, wealthy city — and with that comes the desire to show off with a loud exhaust and a flashy car.
So the city clearly has money — and there wasn’t a day that went by where I didn’t see some sort of supercar on the street. My room on the 25th floor overlooked Burrard Street, which is apparently used as some sort of V12 testing ground. I almost tripped over my laptop cord more than once trying to get a peek at what was blasting down the street toward the water.
I was fortunate enough to spend a month in Vancouver during the Olympics back in 2010, so I’ve had a soft spot for it ever since. I’m not sure I could afford to live there on a journalist’s salary, but it’s a hell of a place to visit.