Growing up in Edmonton, Alberta I became a habitual driver, the transit system in Edmonton leaves something to be desired and as a teen your life basically doesn’t start until you turn 16 and can obtain your license and a sense of freedom. I’ve been behind the wheel ever since. When I moved to Vancouver I had intended to adopt the transit system and embrace that sky train life. As things would happen I ended up working in the automotive industry for many years, which meant I was able to continue my love affair of driving.
When I bought my condo in the neighbourhood of Mount Pleasant, I was excited because it was so accessible to everything; there were major streets in every direction and so many new shops and restaurants to try. Again, my good intent came up short when I still continued to drive places instead of step outside my door to explore what my hood had to offer. This is where I challenged myself to walk for the weekends! This meant that I consciously would not drive places on my weekends if it could be helped, this included for errands, to meet friends, shopping etc. I would log some kilometers and get to know my neighbours, and I found some great ones!
Naturally Vancouver is a city that loves to eat and drink so there is no shortage of those, but it’s finding the out of the box one-off places that really make you feel like you uncovered a gem. Outside of the food and beverage, walking allows you to take in more scenery and appreciate your surroundings even more. I’ve compiled a round up of some of my favourite things I love about living in Mount Pleasant:
Cordoury Pie: A fairly new spot to the neighbourhood but has quickly become a local favourite. Found amongst the neighbourhood, this pie company creates a welcoming ambiance from the second you open the door. It’s not uncommon to see the staff greet their patrons by name and with a hug. It has a homey feel that keeps you coming back, you’ll often find a mix of families breaking bread in the corner, girls night enjoying the $5 glasses of wine and a group of runner’s picking up take out after a sweat session… this place is all about the customer experience they even made a heart shaped pizza to celebrate Valentines day! My favourite pie’s you must try are: Sausage and Peppers, Margarita and Lamb Sausage.
Milano Coffee: As soon as you walk in to this coffee shop you’re flooded with the smell of freshly roasted espresso and coffee beans. This place prides themselves on the art of good coffee and the quality of Italian beans. Their space is airy and welcoming and can offer the comforts of a home office, a gathering of friends, business meetings or an afternoon break. Their storefront is lined with windows that open up to their balcony that offers a city view with the peaceful feel of the neighbourhood. My go-to coffee is a their nut milk (they make their own!) Americano Misto, it’s my ideal start to the day.
Dutch Wooden Shoe Café: This one admittedly took me 3 years to notice, I literally drive by it at least 2 times a day. It’s open 8am -2:30pm everyday and is home to the original Dutch Pannekoeks. The décor is everything you’d expect, vintage Dutch glasses, and pictures of patrons of the years celebrating birthdays and family occasions and a bowl of delicious Dutch salty licorice at the counter. The menu is overwhelmingly filled with a variety of savory and sweet options; I’ll need to be coming back for years to try everything! I opted for an apple cinnamon pannekoek and it was delicious. I was having breakfast alone but the plate size pannekoek was the perfect breakfast companion.
Nat Bailey Stadium (also known as “The Nat”): I’m guilty of loving a good sporting event, and I’m lucky that this stadium is in my backyard. Home to the Vancouver Canadians this field offers a retro feel and a perfect summer time afternoon or evening outing all for a $12 ticket. Whether it’s girls night and no one is a baseball fan or you’re with your Grandpa who’s played the game for 30 years – the people watching, $10 beers and ambiance allows it to be a great time for all. The stadium also becomes home to a farmers market in the winter outside the stadium where you can find delicious local and organic produce and businesses.
The Cambie Bridge: This bridge has quickly become my favourite in Vancouver during the many times I’ve walked across it. I can be downtown in 20 minutes from my door walking this bridge and the views never tire. You get to see the ever growing city skyline, the ocean blues, the neighboring bridges and the peaks of the mountains – what more could you ask. Growing up in the prairies, the ocean will never be something I take for granted.
If you can’t tell from these favourite spots of mine, I love Mount Pleasant! I love that it has a community feel and pockets of unique spots. It’s still close and accessible to the rest of the city, which I appreciate as well, but I’m always happy to come back to my hood I’m proud to call home.
I hope I’ve inspired you to walk your hood!