City Guide 2014 Jun. 2014 - Page 6

Suburban living on the BY JESSICA BLUMEL North Shore .......................................................... I grew up on the North Shore of Vancouver and, even though I moved away for five years, here I find myself raising my children back on the outskirts of our beautiful YVR. There’s just something about the lifestyle that draws me here and keeps me here! Although I love ‘city’ life and all that downtown Vancouver has to offer, suburban living definitely has its perks. From the dimly lit side-streets to the quiet evenings in our backyard, I feel worlds away from the buzz of the city and, with that, I feel a certain calm. My husband and I had a few reasons to choose suburban life over city life when we were ready to buy our first home together. In no particular order, here are some of the things I love most about the suburban living on the North Shore. 1) The silence and the star-gazing In the warmer months, we will sit in our backyard and not hear a single car go by. I love the peacefulness of a city that sleeps. Because of the reduced lighting on streets and buildings, we can look up at the night sky and watch the stars appear one by one. 2) Parks, gardens and greenery We’re lucky in Vancouver that green-space is highly valued. On the North Shore we have the added bonus of hiking trails, canyons, and rivers to explore. There are so many great outdoor experiences at our doorstep, waiting to be enjoyed. 3) Accessibility to local mountains Another special part of Vancouver is the fact that we have local mountains begging us to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and so much more. On the North Shore we are just that much closer to all the fun to be 06 • had on the slopes and in the snow. 4) Housing costs Vancouver is one of the most desirable places to live in the world! Housing costs reflect this well-known fact and owning a home in this beautiful city of ours is definitely not as feasible as it was in the past. While homes on the North Shore are not inexpensive, suburban real estate generally comes with a smaller price tag and larger square footage. While I would love the ability to step out our front door and find a coffee shop a few steps away, I do love the suburban quaintness of all the little neighbourhoods on the North Shore. With two young children, this lifestyle really suits our family’s needs and we are grateful for our home with outdoor space to roam free. I have to admit though, that it is nice to know we are only a fifteen-minute drive away from all the great shopping, restaurants and excitement of the city. It is a privilege to live in Greater Vancouver, whether it is right downtown or one of the great surrounding cities. I’d say we’re pretty darn lucky! Jessica Blumel is an elementary school teacher and the publisher of She has two daughters who are doing their best to keep her on her toes.