Summer in the City

It’s summer in the city.  The kids are out of school and hopefully not driving parents too crazy.  Summer weather finally arrived in Vancouver just after the Canada Day long weekend.  Good thing as people were starting to get grumpy, waiting for our best season to begin.

Summer is truly glorious in Vancouver.  Usually not too hot, but warm enough to swim, sunbathe, sail, bike, whatever outdoor activity you’re into.  My husband and I are from Saskatchewan and we go back to visit our families every Christmas, and have since we’ve had our eight-year-old daughter.  We don’t often go back during the summer.  Why would we?  There really is no better place to be during the summer, than British Columbia.  When I was growing up, my family drove out to BC every year for our annual summer vacation, from my earliest memories, until I became a teenager.  I could never understand why we didn’t live in this province and went back to the prairies after each trip.

Most houses, condos and apartments in Vancouver do not have air-conditioning.  Even multi-million-dollar houses in West Vancouver, and sky-high condos in Yaletown.  Why?  They don’t need it, most of the time.  Our normal summer high temperatures are around 24-25 degrees Celsius, dropping to about 14 degrees overnight.  It cools down enough that you can open windows and let the breeze cool things off.  Now, this doesn’t always apply in the suburbs of the Fraser Valley like Surrey, Langley, etc.  They are too far inland to benefit from the effects of the ocean and mountains.

Vancouver does not have many bugs.  There is a particular lack of mosquitoes, which is one of the things I appreciate the most, being from Saskatchewan.  I remember being amazed when we first moved here at the lack of screens on the windows.  I had never seen such a thing!  I don’t really know why there aren’t mosquitoes, or other biting bugs, but I’ve heard it’s because of the salt air from the ocean.  They can’t successfully hatch their eggs, or something.  That’s the story I usually go with when someone from back home asks me.

Vancouver has amazingly beautiful beaches, right in the heart of the city!  Really, how many other cities can say that?  Sure, plenty of cities are beautiful and are located on the water’s edge, etc., but are the beaches as easily accessible and free for all to enjoy?  We can enjoy them without much smog either.

During the first few summers we lived in Vancouver, we often rented sailboats from Granville Island.  We’d sail around in English Bay and even to Bowen Island for the afternoon.  While bobbing along out in the bay, we often saw seals swimming by.

Walking the seawall is one of my favourite summertime activities.  If I’m really ambitious, I’ll circle around from Lost Lagoon, to English Bay.  Or along Coal Harbour, from the Westin Bayshore to the new convention centre.

It’s always during the summer that I sometimes find it heard to believe I actually live in this amazing city.  I hope to stay here forever.

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