Jane O’Hara, originally from Dublin, Ireland moved to Vancouver in 2011. In a new blog series exclusive to Moving2Canada, Siobhán Condon asks her 10 quick questions about life in her adopted home.
1. Why did you move to Canada?
I came in search of adventure. It was time for a break from Ireland, and Vancouver made sense as I had some friends living here already who loved it. Also, it looked like the job prospects in research and science were promising.
2. How long have you lived in Vancouver?
Almost three years.
3. What are your three favourite things about Vancouver?
- It seems easier to live a healthy lifestyle. The great outdoors is just on your doorstep and people take advantage of it on a daily basis — walking on the beach, running or cycling on the seawall, taking public transit to the nearby mountains, where you can also go hiking or snowshoeing. It’s really clean, with trees everywhere in the city. The views of the mountains stop you in your tracks when walking across the Burrard Street Bridge or strolling downtown.
- The wide variety of dining options. Sushi has become a popular one — there are spots everywhere and it’s so cheap!
- The bus drivers are typically very friendly.
4. Why did you choose to live in the neighbourhood that you are living in now?
I live in Kitsilano (aka Kits) and I looked for accommodation here on recommendation from a friend. He said that Kits is great for people new to the city, and I agree. I have not been able to leave Kits ever since! It has shops, bars and restaurants, the beach and outdoor pool are right there, and it’s close to downtown and UBC, where I work.
5. One thing you’d like to change about Vancouver?
I don’t go out on the town as much as I used to, and one reason is that in Vancouver they like to make you queue outside almost every pub/club, even if it’s empty inside! It makes it necessary to go out earlier and plan your evening, and harder to move around between venues
6. What is your favourite bar /cafe in the city?
Guilt and Company in Gastown was the first place I ever went, and I still love it for the atmosphere and live music, although it was a sad day when they abolished the giant Jenga set that used to be in the back room. I had hours of fun with that.
I also love Corduroy, a small but cosy bar on Cornwall, close to where I live. Great pizza and they have a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament every Monday, which is entertaining!
7. What is the best tourist spot to visit in BC?
In Vancouver I always bring visitors around the seawall on bikes. Cycling on a tandem is even better, and you can rent one near Stanley Park. Granville Island is a must as well, for the posh shops, huge food market and views of the ocean and city.
Out of the city I really love visiting Vancouver Island and just driving around to different camping spots in the summer. You can find many hidden gems, usually deserted beaches. In the Eastern direction, a trip to the Okanagan wine region is the business. It’s usually several degrees warmer than Vancouver.
8. What was the last out of town trip that you really enjoyed?
Seattle for my last birthday. A bunch of friends and I went down. It’s only a couple of hours’ drive away and is full of great restaurants, bars, cafes and opportunities for mischief. Oh and the trip to Hawaii in the middle of winter wasn’t bad either! With cheap flights from Bellingham (Washington State) it would have been a crime not to go. Possibly the best place on Earth.
9. Is Vancouver home?
I think about this a lot, and talk about it with my other new-to-Vancouver friends, but the way I finally feel about Vancouver is that it will never be home in the same way that Dublin is, but it’s definitely become a second home. Though it takes the right people to make a place a home — if none of the friends I have made here were to stay, it would feel like just any old (beautiful) place.
10. What super power would you most like to be gifted with?
The power to teleport. It would make trips across the Atlantic a hell of a lot easier!
Next Saturday, Siobhán poses 10 questions to Yavuz Kaya from Turkey who gives a local’s insight into the city. Don’t forget to check out part IV of Siobhán’s My Vancouver series!
Siobhán likes the simple pleasures in life: coffee, a good film and a leisurely bike ride. She currently works for the Reel 2 Real Film Festival in Vancouver. She tweets all things Short Film related for Kids here — Kids Short Films