High-Rise Connection

Nearly one in five Metro Vancouver homes is a high-rise dwelling — an apartment in a building more than five storeys tall. And more and more of us are living in homes like these: From 2011 to 2016, the number of high-rise apartments in Vancouver grew by 24%. Vancouver now has the third-highest proportion of high-rise dwellings in Canada, right behind Toronto and London.

That’s great news for the city’s housing supply, but is it good news for Metro Vancouver residents? Our 2017 Connect & Engage report took a close look at what high-rise living means for community connection and trust.

Who’s living in a high-rise?

High-rise dwellers are a little younger than the overall Metro population and they’re less settled. Close to half of those living in high-rise dwellers are renters. These folks are more likely to be new to their neighbourhood and living alone.

How connected are high-rise residents?

Age and mobility combine to make Metro Vancouver’s high-rise residents somewhat less connected and trusting of their neighbours. Compared with the overall population, high-rise dwellers are more likely to get out and about in their neighbourhood on a daily basis and yet seem to trust and know their neighbours considerably less.

Connecting high-rise residents

As North American cities grow – in height as well as population – we’re learning more about what strengthens community for high-rise residents. We can improve the lives of high-rise residents with design choices like…

  • Lobby layouts that make it easy to sit and visit with neighbours
  • Lighting that keeps neighbours comfortable in halls and open areas
  • Acoustic design that separates common spaces from residences
  • Comfortable furnishings that invite residents to spend time in common spaces
  • Shared outdoor space – especially kid-friendly spaces that let parents meet and connect


This report is based on data from Vancouver Foundation’s 2017 Connect & Engage report. All data comes from a survey that was administered by Mustel Group and completed online in either English or Chinese by 3,785 Metro Vancouver residents between June 15th and July 7th 2017. Of these, 477 respondents are in high-rise buildings; all data points for high-rise dwellers are based on these respondents. The final sample was weighted to match Statistics Canada census data on the basis of gender, age, and region of residence.

For more, see vancouverfoundation.ca/connectandengage

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