Interestingly enough, Vancouver was the first city outside of Seattle that Starbucks opened a branch in, back in the late 80's. Even then the push towards global market domination was there.

Despite the fact that Starbucks tends to muscle in on established markets (occasionally pushing out Mom and Pop coffee shops), Starbucks is at the same time mostly responsible for these same small coffee houses being commercially viable. Back in the 70's you might only find specialty coffee houses in Italian neighborhoods (ie. Commercial Drive in Vancouver), whereas they are almost as omnipresent as Starbucks is now.

On a side note, Vancouver is the only city in the world (IIRC) where there are two Starbucks kitty-corner to each other (Robson & Thurlow), with different clientèles and (somewhat) stable bottom lines.