I grew up in metropolitan Toronto, but I consider Vancouver to be my home. Upon visiting my sister while she lived in Vancouver and was attending the University of British Columbia (UBC), I fell in love with the city and had a strong intuition that this is where I, too, would go to university. Being as I am six years younger than my sister, by the time I ended up at UBC in 1998, she had moved on. But I made a life here and started to grow roots. Even before I met the Hubs in 1999 (which of course sealed the deal), I had decided that I wasn't going anywhere. This was the city for me. And here are just a few of the reasons why:
1. The mountains. Which are visible from most parts of the city and are very handy for helping the directionally challenged (like, say, moi) find North.
2. Ocean and beaches. There is a quote on my Lululemon (a company which, by the way, was founded in none other than Vancouver) water bottle that reads: "Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water. Vancouver will do nicely." Amen to that!
3. The outdoorsy feel to the city. With such easy access to local mountains and to Whistler/Blackcomb, you can't swing a cat around here without hitting someone who skis or snowboards. Not to mention the mountain bikers, kayakers, and surfers. It has always been important to me to raise my child in a city that reveres outdoor activity.
4. It is metropolitan enough to have culture, arts, entertainment, great shopping, and most any variety of restaurant your heart desires, but not so large as to be cold and uninviting.
5. You may have heard that it rains a lot in Vancouver. This is true. But that just means there are plenty of opportunities to perfect the art of puddle jumping.
6. Vancouver summers are (almost always) well worth, the long, wet, grey winters.
7. The cherry blossoms in spring. Hard on the allergies, but easy on the eyes. Absolutely magical.
8. You just never know when you are going to discover a secret garden.
9. The Vancouver Aquarium. This is something I discovered only since having a child to entertain on wet days, but it is one of the city's many gems.
10. Simply and truly, the beauty of this city will sweep you off your feet.