How do People who have lived in Seattle and Vancouver compare both cities
Jerry Wing, grew up in Vancouver
Has lived here for 25 years.
Lived in both. Grew up in Vancouver but spent 2 years in Seattle, so he may be biased.
Some quick pros of each (that also include the cons):
Much, much better technology jobs market. At least an order of magnitude. If the Seattle tech job market is a Big Mac, Vancouver is a single lonely french fry.
Buying housing is much more affordable. Vancouver is still cheaper to rent, but due to foreign speculation insanely expensive to purchase.
Way better coffee. There is no comparison. Independent coffee shops in Vancouver are rare, and roasters even rarer. In contrast, everyone in Seattle has a non-national-chain coffee shop they like.
An active live music scene (compared to barely existent in Vancouver).
Dramatically better public transit. Multiple mass transit rail lines (compared to one, that goes nowhere except the airport). Bus service is dramatically faster, cleaner, and safer.
Much lower violent crime rate. MUCH lower.
Dramatically less urban decay. Downtown Seattle is a hodge-podge of high-rise office towers, drug abuse, and poverty. Downtown Vancouver suffers substantially less from these problems - or, more cynically, is more successful at containing them away from residential and commercial cores.
More racial diversity in more meaningful ways. Seattleites like to think they're diverse, but in Seattle minorities are an underclass, there to provide tasty dim sum and efficient dry cleaning. Foreign cultures are watered down in a way that they are not in Vancouver. This applies to Japanese, Chinese, Indian cultures, and more. There is a legitimate and sizable middle class of minorities.
More sociable. There is the infamous Seattle Freeze that many transplants experience - the population is very heavily divided between those who were born/raised in Seattle, and those who came later. There is animosity between the two sides (even though everyone claims there isn't). Seattleites waffle between insisting this effect is just the imagination of antisocial hermits, or that it's caused by the weather. Vancouver weather is identical and suffers from none of these accusations.
Better food. Like, an order of magnitude better (this leads from the more racial diversity part). If Seattle's food scene is like chicken mcnuggets, Vancouver's is a lobster raised on kobe beef.
Vancouver, hands down, is the better city, for many definitions of better.