I'm from Eastern Canada (Frederiction, N.B.), and spent time in Sion, Switzerland. I went to McGill University to do my undergraduate degree in biology. After that, I took a year off to travel and work, and then went to Merton College , Oxford, to do a D.Phil with Prof. Paul Harvey. Then I took another year semi-off, and luckily ended up at U.B.C., where I did a post-doc with Prof. Dolph Schluter. After that, I went to Amsterdam for a job in the Zoological Museum of the University. After three years there, I have come back to Vancouver for a job at Simon Fraser University.
U.B.C. is a great big corporation, but the Zoology Department was, and is, fabulous. Vancouver is fairly quiet, and politically very schizophrenic (with a very conservative core and pockets of strong labour and green sentiment), full of too-beautiful people, and surrounded by some of the most wonderful unspoiled hiking country. They are doing a good job of ruining this, though, with increasing urban sprawl and highway mania.
Amsterdam must be one of the best urban places in the world to live (assuming one can find a place to live). It is vibrant, affluent, forgiving and charmingly anarchic. It is has great public transportation and as a consequence the centre is relatively smog and noise free. The Netherlands is generous to its citizens; it can afford it because it is so well-off. The University of Amsterdam has great faculty, great students and is well-housed.
SFU has inspiring architecture and history (honestly, but you have to like concrete), and feels both efficient and vibrant. It sits on top of a great big hill (small mountain), which makes commuting a serious endeavour and makes the weather a bit of a pain. Both the students and faculty are cause for quiet celebration.
I should add here that I now have a little daughter, and so have become interested in things like universal daycare. It confuses me why Canadians vote for folks who want to see mothers stay home and look after the children. It's retrogressive.