Aussies in Vancouver

Olympic Athletes Village in False Creek


The following article was submitted by Megan Hogarth, a recently tranplanted Aussie and Inside Vancouver reader. Megan shares some of her thoughts on why Australians seem to flock to Vancouver.

I’ve been in Vancouver two months. In that time, the only place I have met more Australians is Australia. They’re not easy to spot, especially at this time of year when the weather doesn’t permit the uniform of thongs (sorry, flip flops) and boardies (shorts). But they are here. A visit to Whistler will assure you of that. It raises the question, what are we all doing here? In short, we love Canada. More importantly, we love Vancouver. I wonder if you Vancouverites know how good you’ve got it?

1. Adventure and fun are so very, very close. If Australians want to get to a decent snow field, it’s going to be a few hours in a car, and that’s if you live in Melbourne or Sydney. Otherwise it’s expensive and often cheaper to go to New Zealand. But here? Oh, it’s so close. You can see it! It’s right there!

2. We get to wear our gummies. Rain boots, gumboots, Wellingtons. Whatever you want to call them. Back in Aus, they’re for the farm and usually the only thing decorating them is mud. But whether the world thinks Vancouver is unfashionable or not, this is one trend we love and support. Downpours and puddles present no challenge in day-to-day life when gumboots are socially-accepted footwear.

3. Beer in an eight-pack? Pure genius. But it doesn’t stop there. Vancouverites appreciate good beer, as do Australians. Granville Island, Central City, Old Yale . . . the list goes on. The pub will also serve decent fries at all hours. Bonus.

4. Vancouver is a beautiful city. Australia is rather easy on the eye, so we’re used to living in places that on any given day would make a pretty postcard. And to wake up and see those snow-kissed mountains or the sun sparkling on the waters near Granville Island, well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

5. Tim Hortons. This isn’t Vancouver specific; however Aussie’s have a soft spot for Timmies. You could hardly call it an underdog, but it isn’t Starbucks, so that counts for something. Plus it’s cheap and often open 24 hours. A backpacker’s dream.

6. Vancouver is the best of both worlds. It’s not a huge city as far as big cities go, but it’s got everything we need. On top of all the conveniences such as shopping, clubs and great restaurants, just a short jaunt away are mountains, lakes, the ocean and lots of other things we can play in.

7. There is a chance we could see a bear. Seriously. There are signs in Lighthouse Park warning of the possibility. A bear sighting would be extremely cool. Why? One, we don’t have them in Australia. Koalas don’t count. Two, “I remember when I saw a bear…” is a great opening for a story. This theory also applies to Killer Whales. A good animal encounter story is a lot more impressive if it has the word ‘killer’ in it.

8. You love your sport, we love our sport. While not at all condoning the Stanley Cup riot, it did demonstrate passion. When it comes to sport, that’s something for which Australians have nothing but respect.

9. Your government and our government are mates (buddies) so we get a good deal on a working holiday visa. It’s not really why we’re all here, but it certainly makes things easier. We can have up to two-years to work and travel, and if we behave ourselves, we can come back again, and again.


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3 Responses to Aussies in Vancouver

  1. lauren ashton

    You forgot one. We both think Yanks are irritating and way too loud on public transport…

    • Adri

      it wouldn’t be a canadian blog without someone attempting to slam an American….the word is h*a*t*e*r*s.

  2. Being a Canussie I love Vancouver. Has it;s own style and feel but is laid out a lot like Sydney. You’re right, it has everything you need and is beautifully scenic.

    I reckon Vancouver has more of a community feel to it than Melbourne or Sydney.