I have moved to the district of West Vancouver, which is mostly crammed on the side of the majestic North Shore mountains across the water from Vancouver. Here are a few "facts" about my new community;
- It holds the dubious distinction of being home to Canada's first shopping mall, Park Royal(built in 1950). That's right, over half a century of mall rats, bad food court cuisine and impulse buying all in one place. Apparently it is a lot swankier now than it used to be.
- West Vancouver is home to a large cemetery where Canadian writer/visual artist Douglas Coupland has gone "Harolding" from time to time.
- The first non aboriginal resident of West Vancouver was apparently a Welsh deserter from the Royal Navy named Jack Thomas who thought this would be a grand place to settle back in 1903 (yes, folks this in indeed the newer part off the "new world").
- Making up for the perky a-historical newness of the community there are thankfully magnificent parks, beaches and awe inspiring views everywhere. Lighthouse Park is home to a few stunning old growth conifer trees that are up to 500 years old
- Due to the presence of many monster homes carved into the side of the North Shore mountains (plus the whole Hollywood North thing) there is a high ratio of celebrity types in this relatively small community. Recent encounters include Sarah McLachlan clothes shopping, and the dude who plays Superman on the show Smallville in line at Whole Foods.
- The social hub of the community is a 2 or 3 km stretch of the sea wall near Ambleside beach where you can stroll blissfully by the glistening ocean. Of course you will feel slightly out of place if you aren't lugging around a 20 oz latte, holding it out like some holy elixir in order to pay homage to the sea gods before you.