We lived in downtown Vancouver for the last 10 years before having to change provinces. Going back for a visit this year, I must say, we miss it greatly. Despite the traffic problems, you can walk anywhere downtown and always be fascinated by the sights. There are buskers playing on the sidewalks, great restaurants everywhere and a real vibrant city feel.
Sadly there is a lot of drug and homeless problems which the city is continually dealing with and with the warmest climate in Canada, there is no end in sight.
Despite this issue, downtown Vancouver is highly recommended as a must see. You won’t be disappointed.