I feel the same dilemma about leaving Vancouver. I have cold sweats on the regular about how unaffordable my rent is. You can find great art and food and culture and community in lots of smaller places. But the public infrastructure (transit, bike lanes, investments for pedestrians) and an older urban design (grid streets with alleys, proper sidewalks, major streets with amenities in every neighbourhood) that makes for a liveable city? Those are a lot harder to find. I REALLY don’t want to live somewhere that’s designed like a suburb, where driving is the default means of transportation, where people look at you like a weirdo for suggesting that a smaller home (even (gasp!) an apartment or townhouse) within walking distance of amenities is more desirable than an acreage on the edge of town with no bus service or sidewalks.