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Newcomer to Vancouver: Here are a few of my favourite things

In this regular column, North Shore News reporter Mina Kerr-Lazenby shares the ups and downs of moving to Metro Vancouver, and all it entails.

Last month marked one whole year since I packed up my life and moved to Canada from New Zealand, where I had lived as a British expat since 2016. This month then marked one whole year since I started writing for the North Shore News, and one year since my Newcomer to Vancouver column debuted.

The columns, which unpack my experience settling into a new country and all the blunders and comical situations that come with it, have been churned out at least once a month since.

Some have poked fun at aspects of Canadian culture, others have honed in on unsavoury subject matter. So it seemed only fair that I would make my annual celebration piece something that errs on the nicer side: A compilation, of all my favourite things about my new home.

See below.

-Running along the Ambleside Seawalk. There is not a single stressful situation or crappy day that can’t be remedied by a run along Ambleside’s Seawalk, more so if it begins and ends at the dog beach.

-Timbits. I am obsessed with Timbits. So cute. So moreish. So Canadian. I don’t have to leave my car to stuff my face with them. Looking for the perfect ‘Happy one year Canadaversary’ gift? Timbits. The birthday cake flavour is my favourite.

And while we’re on the topic … doughnuts in general. Vancouver’s dedication to the deep fried treat is something else, there’s a boundless selection on the North Shore alone. Honey’s rocks my world. Harmony would knock the socks off Mary Berry herself.

-Despite my occasional ribbing, the pronunciation of ‘sorry.’

-Bears sloshing around in North Shore backyard pools. Baby bears crossing roads. Whales doing whale things. Hummingbirds flitting around the garden. Raccoons running around the Seabus station.

-The Seabus, where for a brief 15 minutes of the day a commute can feel like a holiday.

-Seabus Memes nailing it every time. Shania Twain singing ‘Let’s Go Girls.’ Crazy P running riot at Canucks hockey games.

-Turning back the first page of a fresh novel while sitting in one of Vancouver’s many rustic and cozy coffee shops.

-Finding a box of Annie’s pasta in the cupboard when you think there is no food in the house and you can’t be bothered to cook. Finding out the box of Annie’s pasta is the white cheddar shells flavour.

-Listening to JR Country in the car with the windows down. Before moving to Canada I was adamant I would never like nor listen to country music. Well, here I am, singing along to songs about drinking whiskey and cheating on my wife.

-These fun and cheery sketches by West Vancouver artist Ian Cunliffe.

-The entire month of October. Driving around with no aim other than to look at all the glorious Halloween displays. Gorging on the 2800 pumpkin flavoured things. Watching classics at a drive-in movie with the perfect blanket.

-Replace October with December, Halloween with Christmas, and pumpkin with gingerbread.

-The vague possibility of bumping into Ryan Reynolds or Seth Rogen or some minor Netflix actor in a local restaurant, cafe, or 7-Eleven. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will (surely).

-Sun-drenched mornings that turn into typical raincouver afternoons, so I can hike for a bit and then abandon all plans in favour of lying on the sofa and watching Harry Potter without a single shred of guilt.

-Pigs racing at the PNE.

-Poutine on a winter’s evening. Coffee crisps. Celebration cookies. Caesars. Pumpkin pie. Those little maple-leaf shaped biscuits with the cream in the middle.

-The White Spot in North Vancouver where you can sit in your car and have your burgers brought to you on a tray like you’re the Queen.

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