I was asked by a friend who lives in downtown Vancouver what the big differences are between living in the burbs and living downtown. It is interesting to think about the differences.
The first difference between living in the burbs and living downtown that I thought of was the fact that in the burbs it is actually possible to swing a cat without hitting a Starbucks. Not that I am encouraging you to swing a cat. You may have to drive for a couple of minutes before seeing a Starbucks.
Another noteworthy difference between life downtown and life in the burbs is the fact that when you live downtown it is relatively easy to find places that are open 24 hours for virtually anything your heart desires, including interesting food. In the burbs the only places that are open are places that sell adult diapers and prescription refills.
Another difference is the type of grocery stores. Downtown you have special little shops like Urban Fare where you can buy special bread that is flown in from tiny bakeries in France. In the burbs you have grocery stores like No-Frills where you can buy bread baked in a factory even further out in the burbs, sometimes in bakeries from as far away as Alberta.
Perhaps the most striking difference between life in the city and life downtown is the fact that downtown it is common to see people walking at anytime of the day or night. As well, people walking downtown are often pushing strollers with dogs wearing sweaters. Conversely, in the burbs you are much more likely to see people pushing shopping carts with their life possessions heaped on them than you are to see a dog in a stroller.
These are a few of the differences I can think of. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments about the differences between life in the burbs and life downtown.