Prior to living here, I had only paid one visit to British Columbia and spent much of my time in the Fraser Valley. Flying from Ontario and seeing the Rockies for the very first time was the beginning of a love affair with this beautiful place. As we drove away from the airport, I couldn’t stop staring at the mountains that were perched just behind the very busy and vibrant city, Vancouver. After spending a few days in Vancouver, I knew that this was a place I wanted to call home and here are a few reasons why.
The Seawall – What was once built just around Stanley Park to prevent erosion has turned into the quintessential Vancouver experience and has expanded all around much of the city’s shoreline. Whether you want to run, bike, Rollerblade ,or walk your way around it, the spectacular views will always be the same. Thanks to Vancouver’s mild year-round weather (well, compared to the rest of Canada) the Seawall is accessible for all 12 months of the year.
Jericho Beach – Summer nights seem to last forever and it’s not uncommon to get to the beach in the early afternoon and stay until the sun has set, around 10 or 11pm. Sunsets from Jericho give you views of downtown Vancouver, the North Shore mountains and the wide open Pacific Ocean. Grab some treats from Granville Island and eat al fresco on the beach. It’s the best! (Pro-tip: little hibachi grills are a popular beach accessory to grill some local Oyama sausages)
Deep Cove – Though it’s not too far from downtown, it’s one of the best places to go for an afternoon hike. As the name suggests, it’s a cove that’s surrounded by vast mountains and it’s very easy to forget about the busy city when you’re there.
Gastown – This area of town has seen a huge face lift over the last few years and many fantastic shops and restaurants call this neighborhood home.
OceanWise – When it comes to seafood, British Columbia has some of the best around and we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to local oysters, mussels, salmon, crab, and tuna, just to name a few. OceanWise is a program that was started by the Vancouver Aquarium and has since gained a tremendous amount of support from local fishermen and restaurants that want to see our ocean life continue to grow, rather than be depleted. OceanWise promotes sustainable fishing so that we can continue to enjoy seafood for years to come, while maintaining the health of our ocean and its eco-system.
Sushi – I think it’s pretty safe to say that Vancouver is known around the world for having spectacular sushi, which isn’t surprising with the number of trained sushi chefs and the fresh seafood they have at their fingertips.
Wine – Locals and visitors flock to the Okanagan during the summer to take advantage of the hot weather, peaches, cherries, beautiful lakes and abundant wineries. In the spirit of buying local when you go to the liquor store, make sure to pick up a bottle of BC wine and you won’t be disappointed. While the BCL (our government-owned liquor stores) has some selection, private wine stores tend to have a much wider variety of local wine and they can help point you in the right direction to picking out a bottle that will suit your palate.