By kaaist on October 17, 2007 - 4:06pm
1) Combination of Mountains and Ocean
I can't think of anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere where you have such an epic combination of mountains and ocean beside a major city. The backdrop of the North Shore Mountains is permanently etched in my mind, as once you have lived in the mountains it's hard to ever live without them again. The rainforested lower slopes rise gracefully from the blue ocean toward their snow-capped summits soaring in the misty heavens above. As mountains can be a little addictive, so too can be the openness and tidal rhytmns of the ocean and this city provides a combination of the best of both worlds. Vancouver is a year-round mountain playground with sandy beaches thrown to sweeten the special blend. There are few cities in the world that rival Vancouver for it's natural harbour, mountain scenery and spectacular setting. This place is a photographer's dream.
(2) Walkable Neighbourhoods
Life is so much simpler and healthier when you can walk, bike, bus or take the SkyTrain whereever you need to go. Driving long distances through the urban landscape in a car, truck or SUV is a waste of time, money and resources. This city is well-planned for getting around by public transit, a bike or on your own two feet, enabling many of it's residents to kick the addiction to gas-guzzling cars. Living in prime city neighbourhoods like the West End, Kitsilano, Yaletown, False Creek and English Bay may not be cheap, but it's worth selling the car, ditching the traffic-clogged bridges and long commutes to afford the extra rent. Striking a balance between walking, biking and driving can be difficult as most people end up driving everywhere because it's just too easy, so it's probably best to ditch the car entirely. The fact that there is no superhighway running through this city, makes Vancouver a place of cozy, walkable neighbourhoods and a lively, liveable downtown core. But this fact also means this a terrible city to commute long distances in, especially if you are required to reguarly cross one of the major bridges to West Vancouver, Maple Ridge, Richmond or Surrey.
(3) Stanley Park and the Urban Seawall
The seawall for walking, biking, rollar blading and accessing parkland around the urban core of downtown Vancouver is the greatest thing that ever happened to this city (along with originally setting aside Stanley Park in 1889). Stretching from Canada Place on the edge of Gastown, all the way around Stanley Park, the downtown core "island", through False Creek to Kitsilano Beach - the seawall is the greatest urban recreational trail in Canada (and one of the best in the world). Everything you need is on the seawall; from coffee shops, to sandy beaches, outdoor pools, beautiful parks, excellent people watching, outstanding views, restaurants and hotel resorts. I couldn't imagine this city without the seawall, it just wouldn't be the same place. From the 8.8 km seawall around Stanley Park there are many opportunities to adventure into the urban wilderness and explore 1000 acre Stanley Park's lakes, lagoons, coves, totem poles and hidden secrets. Due to the massive size of Stanley Park and the length of the seawall, it is best explored on a mountain bike.
(4) North Shore Extreme: Skiing, Snowboarding and Mountain Biking
(5) Liberal, Educated and Laid Back People
(6) Fit, Active and Healthy People
(7) Winter: A Powder Wonderland
(9) Weird, Eccentric and Interesting People
(10) The Sky Is The Limit