My first visit to Vancouver did not go well. I think I was 11 years old when my family took a trip to the west coast. Coming from small town Saskatchewan, I had never seen a homeless person and thought that escalators were amusement parks. As such, I cried for 7 hours straight when my dad took me to the Downtown Eastside and told me that that was what the real world looked like. My brothers and I then spent an entire day going up and down escalators, which might have improved my impression of Vancouver had I not tripped and torn off half the skin on my leg. By the time we got back to SK, I was so scarred (mentally and physically) that I vowed never to go back to Vancouver again.

But after 10 years of using coin flips to decide my future, I eventually wound up back in the city of skin-eating amusement parks. Although I recently left Vancouver, I have to say that the city grew on me even if I never grew on it (17 restraining orders and counting!). I would therefore like to pay tribute to my favourite Vancouver activities. If you’re in Vancouver, I highly recommend the following:


Partake in a random barbeque at the beach.
People in Vancouver are always barbequing at the beach and if there’s a large enough group, you can usually blend in, introduce yourself as *muffle name*’s friend, take a hot dog, and be on your way.

Go around the roundabout on Wesbrook Avenue on the bus.
If I’m sitting, it’s like I’m on a roller-coaster. If I’m standing I put my arms out and pretend I’m surfing. Try it and you’ll understand.

Bonus: Go around the roundabout with the bus driver who raps.
There is a rapping bus driver. He drives the 33 bus. Surfing around the roundabout while listening to him rap was possibly the best experience of my Vancouver life. 

Go to Science World when the BodyWorlds exhibit is on.
This exhibit changed my life. But it’s over now and you missed it.

Watch the Olympics. Live.
Oh wait. You missed that too.

Eat pancakes at Jethros.
There is nothing better than pancakes and these ones are the size of a small child. Not an obese child, but not a malnourished one. A good, stocky, pancakey child.

Tame coyotes.
They lived on my block but were too fast for me to catch. I pass my torch to you.

Pretend it’s summer when it’s winter.
I never stayed in Vancouver over the summer. For that reason, and because I don’t have socks, I made Sept-Nov my new summer and wore sandals up until November 30. Take advantage of Vancouver’s mild climate and do the same. And if it goes below 0, know that losing a toe gives you street cred.

 Find the treasures that I hid at UBC!
I couldn’t get rid of some of my things when I was moving out, so I cleverly hid them around UBC campus. Treasures include a math textbook, plastic army men, a compass, and a miniature hammock that I made out of shoestrings. Hint: Check the dusty bookshelves in Buchanan tower!

Run around in the forest.
Story: Once I was in India and there was no clean air. My lungs became used to breathing in smog and when I got back to Canada and ran through the forest, there was so much clean air that my lungs exploded.

Use the words “green”, “sustainable”, and “organic” as much as possible.
This is how you make friends in Vancouver.

 Watch the Improv Show on Granville Island.

Ride the skytrain.
Zoom zoom! This is the closest you’ll get to space travel.

Meet people.
I think that my main attraction to Vancouver is the fact that people were still friends with me even after reading this blog. That says something.