Click here to read part 1 in the article series
Strolling from my apartment, I roam down Lonsdale Avenue, passing Victoria Park, which breathes me in and draws me to an empty bench under a looming tree. I turn my gaze to the other people in the park. A family enjoys a picnic in the sun. A soccer ball rolls by followed by three friends, while a group of runners chase the pavement through the bike path that runs through the park. This park swells with life as passers by wave hello to one another. Finally I look across the grass to a second bench where an elderly man sits. I smile and he returns it, we are both clearly here for the same cathartic experience.
The peacefulness is broken only by thirst, so I stand up and continue my journey. Descending the hill, the streets are full of people. Faces I know, faces I don’t know, yet there seems to be a general sense of community connecting us. I see these same faces everywhere. At the park, at the grocery stores, in the restaurants, and it’s that certainty and security that makes Lonsdale feel like home.
Everyone seems to look out for each other and extends themselves to others around here. I walk into Beere Brewing, and am immediately greeted by a friendly employee, with a warm welcome who eases me into a table facing the rest of the brewery. With its thick pine tables and beautifully minimalist decor, the place radiates comfort. I catch the eye of my neighbour, who walks over with her 5 month old puppy and I can’t decide who I am more excited to see. If you go out on Lonsdale, it’s a guarantee you’ll see a familiar face. Chelsea has lived near Lonsdale for many years with her husband Jordan and if there’s one pair who knows it all about the corridor, it’s them.
Chelsea was the first person I met here in the corridor. Looking to involve myself in the community, I signed myself up at Modo Yoga, where she teaches part time. I didn’t know a soul in North Vancouver and was nervous, alone and felt quite frankly, lost. She greeted me warmly with a big smile and ushered me into the class. Her willingness to connect and assure my comfort made my experience so positive and supportive.
Later, we end up having beers together down the street at House of Funk, one of her favourite brewery district spots, and she tells me all about Lonsdale living. She shared her extensive knowledge of the area with me, and introduced me to other members of the community. The instant friendliness and willingness to connect was almost alarming. In such a big city it can be hard to find your place, especially after moving from a different neighbourhood, city or country. Being on the north shore allows for that same cosmopolitan experience without the intensity of inner city claustrophobia.
If you’re visiting from out of town, a long standing resident, or maybe just looking to checkout new and upcoming developments in our wonderful city, I’d highly recommend a trip walking down Lonsdale Avenue, you wont be disappointed and there’s always something to do and see.
This article is part 2 in a series and contributed by Brie Miachika – a North Shore resident, Brie resides in our cultural corridor with her long term partner, Eric. Battling health deficits resulting in the loss of most of her vision, she has persevered and strives to channel her experiences through writing. A voice for her community. She takes refuge in our local yoga studios and can often be found in the public parks, trails, local breweries and is always happy to engage with our other residents. Inspired by people and their stories, Brie strives to capture the unique wherever she goes. Her stories are framed through her photography, her journaling and her artistic abilities.