Welcome to My City

Welcome to my city – Vancouver!

Vancouver is positioned in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, between Burrard Inlet to the north and the Fraser River delta to the south. We are known for our fine natural harbour facing the sea and mountains and having the mildest climate in Canada.

Ours is a coastal temperate rainforest where conifers and ferns flourish.  On average, rain visits us 165 days per year along with the wind that comes off the ocean.  The Greater Vancouver area has a population of about 2.5 million, which makes us the third largest metropolitan area in Canada.  But it is our density that takes first place with over 5,400 people per square kilometre.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas.

What does that mean for those of us living within cities?

According to Henry David Thoreau, “City life is millions of people being lonesome together.”

Michelangelo, on the other hand, wrote, “I love cities above all.”

Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian author and activist who influenced urban studies, believed “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

Cities challenge us to work together, to find common ground, to listen and learn from each other. Yes, there is loneliness but there is also compassion, belonging and hope.   Each day offers an opportunity to thrive within complexity, to engage with others, to seek positive outcomes for all.

Thank you for visiting my City – Vancouver.

Until next time we meet, dear friends, take care and be well.

64 Thoughts

    1. Thank you Sylvia – many thanks for joining me on Cambie Bridge!. For us, travel is not that easy even though their are promising signs that travel will come back. So now, I have decided to be a tourist in my own city. It has been a great time looking back into the history. So many stories that I am just now discovering.

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  1. I have never been to Canada, but thanks to an aunt who followed a family tree long before the internet and more recently to Ancestory DNA I know my grandmother’s brother emigrated to Canada a very long time ago and seems to have a lot of descendants. Your city is beautiful and I know friends who have visited love your part of Canada.

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    1. Then you must come to Vancouver one day. There are many wonderful cities in Canada to visit and to live. Do you know where your grandmother’s brother settled when they emigrated? That would be a very interesting story. He probably arrived in Halifax. In the 1900s, immigrants arrived in Nova Scotia mainly by boat, docking at Pier 21, a national immigration centre. Pier 21 welcomed about one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. I visited Pier 21 several years ago and imagined what it would have been like to arrive in a new country. Thank you for traveling to my side of Canada!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for joining me, Rudi. Isn’t it wonderful that we can share our cities/countries with each other virtually. I have missed travel, but have found that travel can happen from my kitchen table.

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  2. I love Henry David Thoreau’s quote, Rebecca. It’s true in many ways. There may be friendlier neighborhoods within the city. I love Vancouver. I can’t wait to go back to visit. We went once before my sister’s family moved there. It must be winter because my husband loves going north during winter. We went to Whistler but turned around when it started snowing. Our rental didn’t have chains for the tires.
    Your photograph and video of the city are beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Oh, snow on the Whistler highway is treacherous. With the 2010 Olympics, the road was upgraded but driving in snow on that road is not for the faint of heart. What I like most about Vancouver is its diversity. I have read that 52 percent of its residents are not native English speakers, which brings a cultural richness to our communities. From Chinese/Lunar New Year to Greek Days, to Italian Heritage month, to National Indigenous Peoples Day to Nowruz, Eid al Adha, Diwali, and Christmas, (and many more events) there is a marvelous sense of community that comes when we celebrate together.

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    1. Oh Shey, those blue skies have turned to storm, wind and a historic “weather bomb” this weekend. We are battening down the hatches. I have become a tourist in my own city. It really is amazing how little I know about the history of Vancouver. There are many stories to uncover. I am delighted that you traveled to my side of the world. Hugs and more hugs!

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  3. Oh yes! That’s a great explanation about a beautiful great city. You are lucky to have mountains and the sea. With this “big village” (I always call it), where I live now, I’d can never top it. Here is absolute chaos! When I came here it was a nice and cosy village, but the governments, one after another, had been trying to make a big city out of it, and failed though! I was born in a big city (Tehran), and I know what it means to live in a city of Millions. Anyway, we can’t have everything. But as you wrote; working together, to find common ground, to listen and learn from each other, is our salvation. Thank you, Rebecca, and have a good start into the new week.

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    1. Thank you for your insights, Alaedin! Very much appreciated. I have been reading about the evolution of cities given that “today, the bright lights are continuing to draw people at a faster pace than ever. In 1900, just 15% of the world’s population were city dwellers. Today, more than half of humanity lives in urban areas, and by 2030 this figure is expected reach 60%.” https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/10/these-are-the-megacities-of-the-future/. My early years were in a small northern community surrounded by nature. I now am a city-dweller. I realize that for most of the world’s population, cities will be home. Cities will evolve and we evolve. We live in very interesting times! Thank you for connecting and for traveling to my side of the world.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us. I really hope we can visit in person one day. But this is a marvellous substitute in the meantime! Sending much love and many hugs xxx

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    1. I know you will come to this side of the world one day, Liz. I promised Joan that I would do a series of videos of places that she would have seen when they visited Vancouver. We plan and life chooses a different pathway. Sending many hugs!!!

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  5. Your city is beautiful Rebecca! You’ve described so many interesting and unusual places in your posts I’d really like to see them for myself… 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your heartwarming comments, Meg! You must come for a visit one day. These photos were taken during a sunny period. Right now, we have a weather warning for an approaching storm. The weather network is saying that this storm is a “historic weather bomb” that will bring intense winds and heavy rain to B.C. We are battening down the hatches!! YIKES!

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  6. Your wonderful video and important message convince me that cities offer us so many things, positive and negative ones, one has just to choose the most suitable ones, dear Rebecca! I enjoyed to spend some time in Vancouver together with you.
    Big hugs:)

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    1. Thank you for traveling virtually to my side of the world, Martina. I agree that cities do offer us both positive and negative. Vancouver is on the lists of “top cities” for livability. But Vancouver is also on lists for very expensive cities to live. “Vancouver has edged out the top spot as the most unaffordable city in North America, beating locales such as New York City and Los Angeles.”https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vancouver-housing-affordability. The City of Vancouver has responded with: “Housing Vancouver is our 10-year housing strategy to reduce Vancouver’s housing affordability gap and to provide a strong foundation for the future of Vancouver.” To create a robust and sustainable city, housing will be key. We have limited land space so there are ongoing discussions on affordable housing. I just received an invite in the mail, which was sent to every household in our area to participate in discussions how we want Vancouver to grow and thrive. Cities evolve and so do we!

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      1. The fact that Vancouver’s citizens can participate in a discussion about how to evolve it as far as housing is concerned, shows me, dear Rebecca, the democratic values in your country:) It seems that space is getting more limited everywhere, but we, in Ticino, have a lot of empty houses/aparments, due to over ivestments!
        I would not have suspected Vancouver to be so expensive, almost like Zurich, which seems to be the most expensive worldwide!
        Thank you very much for this conservation and all the best:)

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    1. Thank you for walking the Cambie Street bridge with me, Liz. You would be interested to know that Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada. I read that Vancouver metropolitan area is expected to reach a population of 3.5 million by 2041. https://worldpopulationreview.com/canadian-cities/vancouver-population

      The influence on housing will be enormous, given our small land area. We will certainly grow upwards with condo and apartment living which means that we will need to find innovative ways to live in smaller homes, something of which we have embraced with enthusiasm. Less if more is very true.(smaller, innovative build forms is happening across the globe). Cities evolve and so do we. Exciting times.

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  7. Hi Rebecca, lovely to learn a little more about your marvelous city. My husband’s uncle, who lives in VAncouver, is currently visiting the family here in South Africa. I had a lovely chat to him about some of the places you have mentioned on this blog and his wife has visited some of them. He mentioned that they had attended the recent van Gogh display at the art gallery. He said Picasso was coming.

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    1. How exciting to hear that you have a relative in Vancouver. I love the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is celebrating 90 years since first opening. Great news to know that Picasso is coming. Thank you for joining me virtually on Cambie Bridge, which is scheduled for an upgrade this year. A couple of years ago they added bike lanes. Cities continue to evolve. Vancouver is growing upward because of our limited land area. Most of the downtown towers are residences.

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  8. Thank you, Rebecca, for inviting us to your beautiful city of Vancouver. I didn’t know it was so
    densely populated. Interesting in a land with so much space. 😊. It must be special.
    The quotes you chosen are very interesting and deep. I
    Loneliness exists in both cities and villages. Cities do offer more to take part of. Do you have parks and
    other nature features?

    Miriam

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    1. I agree – loneliness is part of the human experience, no matter the location. I believe that nature is essential for our well-being. Vancouver Park Board maintains more than 230 parks that make up 11% of Vancouver’s land mass. Then there is the remarkable Stanley Park, which is positioned on a peninsula almost completely surrounded by waters of the Pacific Ocean. In the park, there are more than 27 kilometres of forest trails, an 8.8 kilometre seawall, 2 fresh freshwater lakes and 1/2 million trees. Back in 2011, the city of Vancouver set out an audacious goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. Green spaces was a big part of that plan. I am delighted you joined me, Miriam on the Cambie Bridge overlooking Olympic Village and the Vancouver Skyline. Always enjoy your company.

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  9. Rebecca, I love the way you often give Vancouver the spotlight it deserves as you explore your beautiful city during a time when it’s still chancy to travel afar. Great words by you and great quotes by others, and great photos and a great video. BC stands for British Columbia and Blog: Captivating. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement!!! Did you know what BC stands for? If you are coming to BC to live, it means Bring Cash. Affordability housing is front and centre on the City of Vancouver’s plans, along with being the greenest city. These are ambitious goals, but ones that must we make if we are going to have a livable city. Vancouver has a three year housing plan to “Prioritizing housing for Vancouver residents, addressing the impact of speculation on land prices, and protecting and supporting our renters and most vulnerable residents.” https://vancouver.ca/people-programs/housing-vancouver-action-plan.aspx. Vancouver has limited land area which requires innovative thinking to increase housing stock. We live in interesting time, Dave.

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      1. “Bring Cash” — sad, funny, and brilliant! 🙂 😦 It’s a shame some of the nicest places are so expensive. My town — which I moved to 28 years ago — is also becoming that way. 😦 I hope Vancouver eventually gets a good amount of affordable housing!

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  10. YES, we live in a beautiful city, a most beautiful place in this world! ! I like the photos you have selected to adorn your really well chosen and descriptive words. It is true, our city is very large and growing daily, with new housing developments being completed daily–but I am sure you agree, Vancouver has, in many ways, a small town feeling. Coffee shops and other inviting places of fellowship dot our city on well kept streets to give opportunity to gather for fellowship with family and friends, A fantastic place to live

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    1. We have seen Vancouver grow over the years, haven’t we? I remember when Granville Island Market was opened. Now it has become a thriving art and theatre centre where once was an industrial park. Vancouver is a city of neighbourhoods – from Kitsilano to Mount Pleasant to Oakridge to Strathcona and South Granville. North Vancouver has the same feel of a small town, as does Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey and Langley. Looking forward to meeting up for coffee!

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  11. What an amazing video!!! I absolutely loved this guided tour of your city…so beautiful. I love how you captured the light on the buildings…I felt like I was there! I enjoyed seeing all the sailboats and the rowing team going out. One of my sons rowed in high school and he made it to Canada for a regatta. It was a wonderful experience for him.

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    1. Thank you for joining me on Cambie bridge – I enjoy your company. The Dragon Boat races are happening this coming week on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Crossing my fingers that the sun will decide its times to make an appearance. How wonderful that your son made it to Canada for a regatta!! Travel opens new possibilities and opportunities!

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    1. I am so glad that you came to my side of Canada, Jennifer. Isn’t it wonderful that we are able to travel virtually these days. I have learned that the world can come to me, sitting at my kitchen table. The weather bomb came and went. Vancouver Island took on the brunt of the storm. The rain is still with us, but there seems to be sunshine at the end of this week!!!

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  12. Thank you for this wonderful sight see and education on Vancouver.
    Made me a bit nostalgic, actually. The city has really grown since I left. Or, should I say filled in.
    Whatever, it’s a fabulous city. {{{hugs}}}

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    1. Oh Resa – filled in is a perfect way to describe the changes since you lived here. I just read this morning in Vancouver Sun that there are plans for South East False Creek (from Cambie Bridge to Science World). “The False Creek South neighbourhood plan proposed increasing the number of units in the waterfront neighbourhood on the south shore of False Creek from the current 1,849 to an eventual target of 6,645. It would also change the housing mix, increasing the proportion of market stratas and rentals.” https://vancouversun.com/news/future-plans-for-vancouvers-false-creek-south-to-start-fresh-with-public-planning-process/wcm/1b27c89c-1b43-4b1d-8932-fc655ffeb5e7/amp/
      This plan has been put on hold for more public hearings, but the density is increasing, as it will in cities across the world. We live in interesting times – as all that have come before and will come after!

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    1. I am delighted your joined me virtually in Vancouver, Inese. While we recognize that nature provides restorative respite, living in nature is not easy. Camping is great fun, but after a few days we go back to our natural habitat that offers us water, electricity and internet on demand. Groceries can be found at our neighbourhood grocery store and the pharmacy and doctor offices are nearby. When I lived in Northern Manitoba, while we have all the basic necessities of grocery and warmth, our dentist would fly in for a couple of days and then we would be without a dentist for over a month. While that doesn’t seem a long time, consider having a toothache for more than 20 days. Going deeper into nature brings up the survival questions of what to eat and how to shelter ourselves against the cold. It seems that wherever we live, there will be as you said so well, “great opportunities and the issues and problems.” Many thanks for your heartwarming comments.

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  13. There are so many similarities, Rebecca, between your beautiful city of Vancouver and my city of Sydney. As I watched your video I often thought it could have been taken here in Australia in so many of our capital cities.

    Aren’t we so fortunate to have been born into such wonderful countries.
    xoxoxo

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    1. I LOVED the video you shared, Carolyn. Our cities look very much alike, especially with the green spaces that have been created. One of Vancouver’s goals is that every person lives within a 5 minute walk of a park, greenway or other green space. That seems to be Sydney’s goal as well. Sending hugs along with my thanks.

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  14. I couldn’t help myself. After watching your video I was inspired to search for a great memory of some decades past. I’ve always loved this song; it means a great deal to me, as I know your city means an enormous amount of love to you. Hope you enjoy!

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    1. I LOVED the video, Carolyn – very enjoyable. The song and the lyrics are heartening – there is a feeling of belonging. Thank you for sharing your city with me. The aerial photos were amazing. Isn’t it wonderful that we can visit each other’s city virtually. Sending many hugs.

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      1. ” Isn’t it wonderful that we can visit each other’s city virtually.”
        And then there’s ‘google maps’ that bring so much of the world to our fingertips.
        Once again, Rebecca, you need to know how much joy you bring with your wonderful commentaries, videos and your written word. They are all such a pleasure!
        xoxoxo

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    1. I’m delighted that you joined me on the Vancouver Seawall. I have become a tourist in my own city these past few months. It has been a great travel experience. Thank you for connecting and for leaving a comment – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

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