My family and I moved from East Vancouver to Queensborough, New Westminster a year and a half ago, and it was the best move we could have made. Though we lovingly call it “the ghetto” due to some dilapidated old houses and people’s tendency to leave cast off furniture dumped on the side of the road, it is truly a hidden gem.
If you are a young Vancouverite family struggling to make a one or two bedroom condo work for a family of four (been there), it is worth a gander. Here are ten reasons to love Queensborough:
1.) Where else can you buy a newish three bedroom townhouse (or a charming character home in need of some love) for under $420 and still be only a 30 minute commute to downtown Vancouver via transit?
2.) Queensborough Community Center: newly renovated and housing a daycare, preschool, library, gym, and activities for all ages of children and adults (our favorite is the indoor playland, two bouncy castles, ride-em cars, and lots of little friends, what more could a young family ask for?).
3.) An abundance of playgrounds within walking distance of any area of Queensborough you choose to live in: from Pembina street we are a five minute walk to three amazing parks, two of which include water parks. Many other fantastic parks are only a twenty minute walk away and what mama can’t use a little extra exercise?
4.) Outlet shopping within walking distance: Guess. Aramani Exchange. Mexx. The Gap. Etc. ‘Nuff said.
5.) An abundance of young families. Because the area is so affordable there are hordes of young families. Queensborough’s limited expanse ensures that you run into the same people over and over again, cultivating a tight knit community.
6.) Cultural Diversity: It is a beautiful to walk around the neighborhood and see such a lovely blend of faces coming from different parts of the world, bringing with them their unique dress, languages and customs.
7.) It’s flat. Really flat. You can walk, run, and bike along the gorgeous banks of the Fraser River without being bothered by the pesky hills which may deter some people (me) from venturing out often sans car.
8.) You can drive most places in a jiffy: 30 minutes to my mom’s home in Coquitlam. 30 minutes to my sister’s home in Kitsilano. 20 minutes to Bible study in Richmond. 30 minutes to Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen. 15 minutes to Metrotown. You get the point.
9.) Port Royal Beach: You may not want to go swimming in the Fraser River, but it’s amazing to be able to walk to a beach, lay out a blanket, and let the kidlets play in the sand and splash their feet in the river’s shallows.
10. Bulk Barn: Yes. This is really one of my reasons. Recently opened in Queensborough Landing near Walmart, the Bulk Barn carries a large variety of bulk goods including those that can normally only be found in chi-chi Vancouver stores (ie. almond flour, coconut oil, hemp hearts etc). And as with most places in Queensborough, I can walk there.
Don’t let a little bridge traffic (it’s not that bad) and the sight of some industrial spaces turn you off. Come have a look. Take a walk through my hood. You’ll be surprised by what you find.