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Why is Vancouver called Lotusland?
February 7, 2009 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know why Vancouver is called Lotusland? On this previous MeFi arcticseal thought it's because Vancouver-ites have the most free time of Canadians. I saw this same question elsewhere, just without a response; there's a Vancouver tour company that uses the name and even a travel podcast for the city with the same name. My google-fu comes up blank on the meaning - any help?
posted by royalchinook to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (7 answers total)
 
It derives from the Lotus eaters of Greek mythology. I doubt that most people who call Vancouver Lotus Land are actually all that familiar with the reference so it has come to mean more that Vancouverites are new-age or hippie in a derogatory way (particularly naivete, laziness, etc.). Of course, that's the view from outside; hopefully a Vancouverite will offer the inside perspective. Lotus Land can also refer to the entire Canadian left coast or, less commonly, to all of BC, from a sufficient distance (i.e. from Central or Eastern Canada).
posted by ssg at 8:57 PM on February 7, 2009


Also, I think there is a fair bit in common in meaning between La-la Land, which normally is used to refer to Los Angeles, but sometimes also BC, and Lotus Land. La-la Land has the obvious connotations of being impractical and out of touch with reality (i.e. dreaming), which I think are also applicable to Lotus Land (or have been transferred to it by the similarity of the terms).

Or, approached from a different angle, the West Coast is, in some ways, quite different from the rest of Canada. Everyone else needs a quick way to dismiss people who are different: thus Lotus Land or La-la Land.
posted by ssg at 9:17 PM on February 7, 2009


Ah, hence the Rush lyric: "there are those who think that life has dealt a losing hand, the cards are stacked against them, they weren't born in lotus land". I just figured that meant like "they weren't born into a life of ease", which I guess it does, but now I know the deeper meaning that only Canadians were meant to get.

Yes, I like Rush. You wanna make somethin' of it, brah?
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:59 PM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


OOH! My first MeFi quote, you've made my day royalchinook!

On review, I think ssg nails it with the reference to the Lotus Eaters, as well as it being shorthand for those who aren't aware of the Greek mythology reference.

Mrs arcticseal is with DecemberBoy on her adoration of Rush, I have yet to be completely assimilated.
posted by arcticseal at 6:08 AM on February 8, 2009


I believe Allen Fotheringham, BC-er and veteran journalist/pundit, coined the phrase?
posted by docgonzo at 8:17 AM on February 8, 2009


As somebody that grew up in Vancouver until I was about 30, the only people I hear referring to Vancouver as 'Lotus Land' are tourists and tour operators.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was some city hall wank that decided the name 'Lotus Land' would be good for tourism. (See Vancouver's 'Blood Alley': full of myth, but probably a falsified tourism grab)

Most Vancouverites will give you a blank look if you ask them about 'Lotus Land', which I guess does lend weight to ssg's Lotus eaters explanation.
posted by thisisnotbruce at 9:14 AM on February 8, 2009


Also, a quick wiki search says docgonzo is correct in that it was coined by Allen Fotheringham.

However, the wiki article does not go into detail as to why he chose 'Lotusland'.
posted by thisisnotbruce at 9:16 AM on February 8, 2009


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