Vancouver New-B: A Newcomer’s Observations Vol 01

Hello Vancouver! My name is Britanny, and I’m a Vancouver newbie. I’m from Canmore, Alberta, I went to university in Calgary, after that I moved to Montreal, and now I’ve landed here in Vancouver. Though I’m a fresh Vancouverite, I’ve already come to adore this city and I’m proud that I now get to call it home.

As you can imagine, my senses have been overwhelmed by the stunning scenery, soothing smell and sound of the ocean, and the general hustle and bustle of people who are far more aware of their whereabouts than I am. From the moment I arrived here I’ve been noticing cool, quirky, interesting, strange, and great traits that are unique to this city and all play together to make it truly wonderful. Follow me and my column, New-B, as I get to know Vancouver and, inevitably, fall in love with it.

I’ve always been deeply intrigued by different people’s origin stories; how they got where they are, why they migrated there in the first place, where they came from, and what they do. Depending on where you are, it’s a safe bet that the answers you receive will include the following: Work, school, housing, love, scenery, and the list goes on. There’s rarely a “why story” (as I like to call them) that will surprise you.


As I’ve been navigating around and encountering new people, there’s been a consistent and incredibly interesting trend I’ve been noticing. Something is drawing people to Vancouver, far larger than a job or a degree, something mysterious in nature, and I’ve truly never encountered it before. Though there are, of course, the new Vancouverites who came here for work or school, it appears that those who didn’t all have something in common: They don’t know why, or can’t explain what it was that landed them here. It’s as if Vancouver is functioning as a sort of “Promise Land” which promises a certain elevated quality of life.

People are attracted to Vancouver the way you’d imagine aspiring actors are to Hollywood.

As I come across these puzzling origin stories, I’m reminded of similar experiences I had in Montreal. Namely, a number of my friends in Montreal spoke of one day moving West to Vancouver, a number of them had never even visited Western Canada! I didn’t even question them, I didn’t ask “why?” or “how do you know want to live there, you know nothing about it?” I guess it’s just an intrinsic truth that moving to Vancouver is a good, totally reasonable choice no matter the situation. People are attracted to Vancouver the way you’d imagine aspiring actors are to Hollywood. I’m left to wonder, what is it about Vancouver that somehow promises “the good life” to people who have never been here or know very little about the city? And why are people blindly picking up and moving West? The only answer I can come up with is, we’re living in The Promise Land, friends!

Each day I am introduced to something phenomenal about this city, and though there is so much I have yet to explore, I feel an overwhelming sense of comfort and belonging after just a few short weeks. I’m going to speak for myself and new Vancouverites alike when I say, I don’t know that deciding factor that made me choose Vancouver as my new home, but I could not be happier that I did! The Promise Land drew me in, and I’m in for the long hall!

Until next week,


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4 Responses to Vancouver New-B: A Newcomer’s Observations Vol 01

  1. Matt

    Wonderful to see a positive article about Vancouver rather than the usual drab whine about how no one can afford to live in a 2/3 bedroom apartment in the middle of the city!

    • Britanny Burr

      Glad you liked it! I truly couldn’t say a negative thing if I tired.

  2. Kathy

    I read your article via my daughters like on FB as I was a newbie in 1970. My boyfriend (now husband) and I moved here from New Brunswick with such excitement, with so many places to explore and so much to do. We got great jobs right away and life was the best for us. We have two wonderful children and they love it here.

    • Britanny Burr

      That’s incredible, Kathy! I hope my story sounds just like that down the road.