Dear Vancouver, I’m breaking up with you

Dear Vancouver ... there’s no good way to say this. I’m breaking up with you. I know we can still be friends. Yeah everyone says that but there are still things I love about you. The seawall, West End, The Drive, Granville Island to name a few but you are just too damn expensive for me. I have a New city now, not only in location but in name: New Westminster

The view from Deej's new condo.
The view from Deej's new condo.

Dear Vancouver,

There’s no good way to say this. I’m breaking up with you.

I know we can still be friends. Yeah everyone says that but there are still things I love about you. The seawall, West End, The Drive, Granville Island to name a few but you are just too damn expensive for me. I have a New city now, not only in location but in name.

New Westminster

I’ve always had a connection to the place. The early part I don’t remember much. After being born at Royal Columbian back in 1968 my family moved around a lot through Burnaby, Coquitlam and PoCo. I do have childhood memories of going there as my Dad always went to the now defunct Shaver Shop to get his shaver foils replaced. Baseball games at Sapperton Park with my Dad, even if we had to bus from PoCo to get to them. Back when monthly bus passes were introduced and you needed a photo, those were taken at the Woodward’s on 6th and 6th. My mother loved going to the Hawaiian Village and that was where I had my 16th birthday.

Time and a couple relationships later, I lived there for 11 years with a man. With the exception of the time the bus strike was on (the hills of New West were never my favourite) living here was pretty good. In the heart of Uptown I had plenty of what I needed close by. Rent was affordable and included basic cable. The Canada Games pool is by far the best indoor pool in Metro Vancouver. That relationship ended and I was back in the West End of Vancouver and eventually to the East Village. I had dreams of getting back to the West End and the closest I ever got back was being accepted at a co-op in Gastown. But almost two years on the waiting list had me frustrated and I was outgrowing my current bachelor suite.

A friend told me about the Home Buyers Plan. Me? A home owner? I had dreams of that but figured co-op life was good enough for me. I met with a realtor a co-worker had suggested and base on what I could afford I was discouraged in what Vancouver had to offer. Even settling for Grandview or Mount Pleasant, everything was way out of my range. It was pure curiosity that led me to look in New Westminster. What a difference! I would still have to make some financial sacrifices until a loan was paid off, but I could get so much more for less money.

On July 25 I take possession of my new condo over on Mowat Street, and it is a move for the better. I am somewhat dreading the 10th Avenue hill, but I am deciding to treat it as more of an opportunity to exercise away some of the weight I gained during a major depression. I’ve slowly been impressed with how much New West is building itself back up in revitalizing the downtown. There was worry when I lived there when half of Royal City Centre was turned into office space. The Zellers disappeared. Even Westminster Mall had a major office conversion as shops weren’t doing so well. New things are on the rise. Just Plaza 88 alone is a place I plan to do a lot of shopping at. Not to mention the refurbished River Market and the new park at the riverfront.

Part of life, especially being a single gal over 40, is occasionally having to reprioritize your lifestyle. The reality of my situation is, more people I know live in New West, Burnaby and beyond. New Westminster is a place I can truly call my home as it’s a good blend of suburban living with an urban feel.

Vancouver, our time together has been great. It’s time to move on.

Now if the electrical utility would do an equal payment plan, it would be perfect.

Deej is a singer, actor, bass player and percussionist soon to make New West her home. Her life blog is at thedeej.livejournal.com

Deej Barens

Deej Barens is a really valued member of the Tenth to the Fraser community. Interested in joining our pool of writers? Please see these submission guidelines.

6 comments

  1. Hey, I used to live on Mowat Street!

    I have good memories every time I go by. That hill sure was a great work-out (but not too hard). With the new movie-theatre, etc., I think the whole area is now even nicer.

    Makes me want to take another course at Douglas, just for the fun of it.

    Congratulations!

  2. I also used to live on Mowat St., in our first owned condo. It was a great place to live in and that hill was my post-baby workout! Also being able to walk everywhere to get stuff done was so great- but I sure miss Zellers!!
    Good luck with your new home and new leash on life!

Comments are closed.

Tenth to the Fraser