Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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We lived in the West End for 3 years when my kids were little. It was a great area and we loved it! I could walk everywhere, do all my errands around our place. There were great places to go (English Bay, Stanley Park). Transit was superb and we could walk to the fireworks display! If you love ethnic food you'll be in heaven. We had two Persian grocery stores within 2 blocks of us that sold amazing fresh dates for like $3 a box! We rented a 950 square foot 2 bd 2 bth for $1500/month. That was about 2-3 years ago. We still miss aspects of that neighbourhood and remember it very fondly.
The Commercial Drive area is also a wonderful place, especially if you lean towards the crunchy side of life. There are many families with young children living there, a great community centre, park, and good transit although it is a bit farther out from the city than say the West End. If you are near Broadway there is a Skytrain station but most of the action happens lover down on the drive.
Kits is pricey and not so errand-friendly, IMO. You can walk to many stores but they are mostly designer boutiques. Transit is pretty good and if your hubby likes to ride a bike it's an easy commute. I'm not sure you'd fine as many young families that are like-minded. I used to go to the community centre there and most kids were accompanied by their nannies. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I didn't exactly get to meet many families that way.
North Van can be an easy commute depending on where you live. Lower Lonsdale is prime location because you can walk to the Seabus which takes you right downtown. My mum lives there and I grew up in North Van and just recently lived there for 2 years. It's a nice urban-style neighbourhood but it IS the suburbs (as in, everything is closed by 9 pm). You could do well without a car if you lived there (but not the rest of North Van, which definitely requires a car!).
Hope that helps!
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Mama to DD14 and DS12, both born on MDC.