The neighbourhoods of Vancouver are as vast and diverse as the city’s landscape. One of my own personal favourites has always been the historic area called Gastown. Known for its famous Steam Clock, Gastown is the oldest neighbourhood in the city and is the picture-perfect collection of old buildings and cobblestone streets.
Land of the free, home of the brave
The other day I was in Forever 21 and as I left, the change room associate said, “Just so you know, we open at 6am on Friday”. I gave her a puzzled look, responded “Thanks?” and walked away thinking “Why would Forever 21 be opening so early on Friday?”
It took a while but then dawned on me; Black Friday – apparently has become a big thing in Canada. I hoped it would never come to this.
I distinctly remember growing up in our household we were not allowed to bring out the Christmas decorations until after December 7th… my little brother’s birthday.
My mom would try her best to hide the Sears Wishbook (Canadian 90’s kids – you know what I’m talking about) from us and forbid decorations (with the exception of outdoor Christmas lights) until my brother had blown out the candles on his birthday cake.
I admit it. I have a habit of frequenting the larger retail stores in the city – H&M, Forever 21, and ZARA are just a few of the stores I shop at regularly. But on occasion, I crave a different kind of experience.
One that doesn’t have me entering a store filled with rows and rows of the same cardigan. A shopping experience that’s more intimate and inviting, allowing me the opportunity to truly find something special; an item that only a few are privy to.
That’s when I head to some of my favourite boutiques in the city, where I’m bound to find something that isn’t being purchased-on-repeat by the masses.
When people find out that I moved from Toronto to Vancouver, one of the questions I get asked most is, “Which one do you like better?” or “What is the main difference between the two?”.
It’s a hard question to answer, because despite both being Canadian cities, they are just so different. It’s a classic apples to oranges comparison.
Both cities boast some great attributes and both have a multitude of things I would change about them, but it’s easy to recognize three very distinct (and maybe somewhat obvious) qualities that truly show the difference between these two Canadian powerhouses.