I get asked regularly whether we enjoy living here. My answer is always a resounding yes. North Vancouver has got to be one of the best places in the world to live. Why…?
- Summer – beautiful, long, sunny warm days and gorgeous sunsets. It took a bit longer to make it here this year, but summer is here!
- Night-markets, summer concerts and lots of festivals. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, every weekend, all summer! Bring on the food trucks and live music!!
- Free and cheap children’s activities daily – during the school year, we do an activity every day and most weeks end up paying $1 – $3, or taking some fruit for a snack to be shared. There are playgroups (one of which includes access to a city animal farm), Strongstart (a school program for 0-5 year olds), open gym, kids library programs and low cost art programs. Over summer, the playgroups take to the playgrounds, so there is still something to do. The north shore is an amazing place to raise children.
- Winter activities – Skiing at the North Shore ski mountains – Cypress, Grouse and Seymour (1/2 an hour or less away, door to door) and Whistler (1.5 hours). I haven’t tried snow-shoeing yet, but I’m hoping to try this coming winter.
- Hiking and gorgeous scenery – nothing more needs to be said! A few hikes I have done are:
- Restaurants – I may be widely criticised for this, but for me, the restaurants here are better than I have experienced in Melbourne / Victoria. This may largely reflect where I live here compared to in Melbourne (outer suburbs), but I also found the food to be great on our trip to the Rockies – food in Kamloops, Revelstoke, Banff and Jasper was delicious. My opinion on food is somewhat skewed by the fact that don’t eat meat, and a lot of places just don’t know how to do vegetarian food, especially out of the city.
Some of our favourite restaurants and eateries have been:
Finch & Barley – North Vancouver
Raglan’s Bistro – North Vancouver (their falafel burger is amazing!)
Tap and Barrel – North Vancouver and other locations
Tacofino – Food trucks and restaurants. The burritos are so so good! First experienced in Tofino, but have also been to the Burrito bar in Vancouver and the Vancouver food truck
Zephyr cafe – Squamish (on the way to Whistler). If you read the website, you might think it’ll be a hippy vegetarian place, but they do meat (for those inclined) and the food is great.
- North Vancouver Recreation and Culture – the local community spaces including fitness centres have all banded together to create the North Van Rec. If you are a fitness member, you have access to multiple gyms, ice-skating rinks in Winter and swimming pools. There are also seniors activities and bazillions of kids programs for sport, playgroups and camps.
- Easy access to Vancouver. The Seabus is an easy walk or bus ride from much of North Vancouver, particularly if you are in the Lonsdale area. The Sea-bus is a 15 minute ride across the water and delivers you to the busy CBD / downtown area. This is the view of Vancouver from the Seabus. You can also drive to the city, which will usually take a bit longer, depending on where you live in North Van – but could take a lot longer at the wrong time of day! Some touristy things I have blogged about are: Granville Island, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park (Chinatown gardens) and Vancouver Lookout Tower.
- The lack of flies and mosquitos – this one is going to depend where a-bouts you live. When we moved here we were dismayed to find there are no fly guards on the windows or balcony doors. How do you open your windows without them? Well, mostly because there are just not that many flies in North Vancouver. We get one or two in the house some days, with everything wide open. And I am not sure we have ever had a mosquito! It might be different for those living closer to the forest.
- City and water views – people here complain about house prices in North Vancouver and Vancouver as a daily thing. But I cannot imagine any place with amazing views and outdoor activity opportunities without this sort of price tag. And again, the sunsets!
I’m sure I have missed some other things – what else is great about living here?
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