The ’Burbs

A Primer for Van­cou­verites

Vancouver Magazine - - FEATURE - by Jen­nifer Van Evra ad­di­tional re­port­ing Jes­sica Pala­cio & Al­lie Turner

Have ris­ing Van­cou­ver hous­ing prices got you feel­ing ’burb-cu­ri­ous? We got the low­down on the Lower Main­land’s most in­trigu­ing sub­urbs—places that are chal­leng­ing cul-de-sac-and-chain­store stereo­types with unique new iden­ti­ties. Sur­rey Rich­mond New West­min­ster Burn­aby Port Moody

Sur­rey Hottest ’Hoods

With its prox­im­ity to beaches, na­ture trails, golf cour­ses and cross-bor­der shop­ping, South Sur­rey is a peren­nial favourite for re­tirees and fam­i­lies seek­ing to escape the city din—and for those look­ing to up their postal-code cred. And while Sur­rey proper still hasn’t shaken its long-held rep­u­ta­tion for theft, van­dal­ism, drug crime and vi­o­lence, Sur­rey City Cen­tre rep­re­sents a new leaf be­ing turned. There, condo tow­ers, a walk­a­ble core, a grow­ing num­ber of hip cafés, a stun­ning Bing Thom–de­signed li­brary, a Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity cam­pus, a SkyTrain hub and more have trans­formed the area from one of the rough­est ’hoods west of the Rockies into one of the re­gion’s smartest up­starts. Still, it’s a bit of an is­land, as run­down houses, strip malls and payday loan places aren’t far from the new lus­tre.


Cres­cent Beach Since 1912, Cres­cent Beach has been pro­moted as a re­sort area, and for good rea­son: it’s the per­fect place to take a dip, soak up the views, go boat­ing, break out the bar­be­cue or stroll along a na­ture trail. The north­ern­most point is Blackie Spit, where more than 300 species of birds stop on their an­nual mi­gra­tions north and south; thou­sands of golfers also ock to the area, which has some of B.C.’s top cour­ses. Wan­der too far be­yond the large boul­der, how­ever, and you might nd nud­ists who love to, er, feel the wind in their sails.

Cen­tral City Sur­rey is the fastest-grow­ing city in B.C.,

and Sur­rey City Cen­tre is the lo­cus for that sky­rock­et­ing ex­pan­sion. Cen­tral City Shop­ping Cen­tre, which has gone through var­i­ous in­car­na­tions since the 1970s, now shares its home with Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity, while Bing Thom’s mod­ern City Cen­tre Li­brary pro­vides a breath­tak­ing ar­chi­tec­tural land­mark. The new Civic Ho­tel, a B.C.-themed bou­tique ho­tel by Mar­riott, re­cently opened its doors, and Hil­ton just an­nounced a new seven-storey ho­tel that will be topped by a 180-unit res­i­den­tial tower.

Sur­rey Art Gallery Van­cou­ver proper is home to most of the city’s best-known gal­leries, but Sur­rey Art Gallery is the sec­ond-largest pub­lic gallery in Metro Van­cou­ver and well worth a de­tour. You won’t nd Emily Carr and Group of Seven ret­ro­spec­tives, how­ever, be­cause the gallery, which fea­tures renowned in­ter­na­tional, na­tional and re­gional artists, has a de­cid­edly con­tem­po­rary air—as well as a soft spot for au­dio and dig­i­tal art. They also host talks, tours, work­shops and sym­po­siums, and ad­mis­sion is al­ways free.

Best Bites

My Shanti With its plethora of chain stores—Win­ners, the Gap and Star­bucks, to name a few—Mor­gan Cross­ing doesn’t ex­actly ooze soul, but star chef Vikram Vij brings a blast of cul­ture to the stucco-heavy land­scape (and of hot-pink se­quins to the build­ing it­self) with his most re­cent restau­rant o er­ing. Vij calls My Shanti “an homage to the di­ver­sity and rich­ness of In­dian cui­sine”— one that is in­spired by the culi­nary jour­neys he has taken across In­dia, with each dish re­flect­ing the unique­ness of a par­tic­u­lar re­gion. Its eclec­tic menu and over-the-top Bol­ly­wood style has won the shim­mer­ing

spot Gold for Best In­dian at our Restau­rant Awards, and, un­like Vij’s in Van­cou­ver, most nights there’s no wait—and you can make reser­va­tions. Tap Restau­rant 1 If you’re named B.C.’s top som­me­lier by the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sional Som­me­liers, you’d think that wine would keep you plenty busy—but Alis­tair Veen is also owner and chef at this top Sur­rey din­ing spot. Part­ner­ing with lo­cal farms, Veen blends French and West Coast cui­sine in dishes that range from mus­sels with co­conut curry to crispy pork belly to a sand­wich the menu prom­ises is the “Best Club­house Ever.”

The Carvery Sand­wich Shop 2

While its name says “hip­ster,” the Carvery’s King Ge­orge Boule­vard lo­ca­tion screams “Sur­rey strip mall,” so don’t ex­pect any af­ter-lunch board­walk strolls here. What’s re­mark­able are their sand­wiches, made from fresh lo­cal meats that are sea­soned and mar­i­nated to per­fec­tion then piled high, with hearty soups and chow­ders to match.

West Vil­lage Café 3 Sur­rey gets a dose of down­town Van­cou­ver in this slick, mod­ern day­time café, where you can boost your health quo­tient with fresh juices, kom­bucha, fu­sion tacos, grain bowls and, yes, av­o­cado toast. Not a health trend tracker? Fear not: they serve up more sin­ful eats, too, from ba­con ched­dar break­fast wraps to chili chicken sand­wiches.

Cen­tral City Brew­ers Long be­fore craft brew­eries fanned out across the Lower Main­land, Cen­tral City Brew­ers and Dis­tillers were pro­duc­ing some of the re­gion’s finest beers, ciders and spir­its—and they’ve been win­ning heaps of awards for their Red Racer beers, their Queens­bor­ough gin, and their Thor’s Ham­mer bar­ley wine-style ale. Vis­i­tors can check out their popular pub, lo­cated right in Sur­rey City Cen­tre, or head to the brew­ery down the road for a be­hind-the-scenes tour.

Field­stone Ar­ti­san Breads Lo­cal restau­ra­teurs Tom and Tracy Gass of the Cabin loved Field­stone so much that they not only served their baked goods at their restau­rant, but they also re­cently took over the bak­ery, too, which is leg­endary among lo­cal carb lovers. The bak­ery has al­ways re­lied on tra­di­tional tech­niques and fine in­gre­di­ents—or­ganic flours, fil­tered wa­ter, sea salt and plenty of real but­ter.

Old Sur­rey Restau­rant Nos­tal­gia is the bread and but­ter of this restau­rant, first opened in 1975 by Span­ish na­tive Valen­tine Aguirre—and one of two Sur­rey eater­ies named in a re­cent “Canada’s most ro­man­tic” list by OpenTable. (The other was Tap.) French clas­sics made from lo­cal in­gre­di­ents are the fo­cus, like lamb and veal from the fam­ily’s farm.

Com­ing Soon ——————————————————————

The push to turn Sur­rey City Cen­tre into a bustling down­town, com­plete with dis­tinct neigh­bour­hoods, an in­no­va­tion-rich busi­ness cen­tre, cul­tural venues, his­toric dis­tricts, green­ways, pub­lic plazas and more, con­tin­ues as the o cial City Cen­tre Plan en­ters its next phase and cranes dot the sky­line. Along the way the area’s pop­u­la­tion of 32,000 is ex­pected to more than dou­ble by the year 2033—and Sur­rey’s wider pop­u­la­tion is pre­dicted to sur­pass Van­cou­ver’s within the next three decades. That means a lot more peo­ple to move, so a key part of the plan is a new street-level light rail sys­tem that will con­nect sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties, with phase one link­ing New­ton, Sur­rey Cen­tral and Guild­ford, and phase two con­nect­ing Sur­rey with Lan­g­ley rapid tran­sit. It likely won’t lead to smooth sail­ing, how­ever, on al­ready-packed bridges and high­ways.

Move in Now 3 Prop­er­ties in the ’Hood

Rich­mond Hottest ’Hoods

It’s a heck of a com­mute, es­pe­cially for tran­sit types, but with its pic­turesque wharf and tra­di­tional feel, the shing vil­lage of Steve­ston—which was also the back­drop for seven sea­sons of Once upon a Time—is a hot spot for locals look­ing to step out of the ac­tion while stay­ing within reach of Van­cou­ver. But more a ord­able price points and tow­er­ing high-rises have made Rich­mond’s al­ready busy City Cen­tre by far the fastest­grow­ing area in the city—and one that’s ex­pected to reach a pop­u­la­tion of more than 90,000 in 15 years. Those seek­ing more up­scale digs are head­ing for fam­i­lyfriendly Terra Nova, best known for its $1-mil­lion kids’ ad­ven­ture play­ground as well as a top grown-ups’ play area, the Quilchena Golf and Coun­try Club.


Steve­ston With its wooden wharf, shing oats, his­toric build­ings and the Gulf of Ge­or­gia Can­nery, this pic­turesque shing vil­lage re­ally feels like tak­ing a step back in time. Tour the can­nery, grab a pack of Pajo’s tasty sh and chips for the stroll, and stop by the pub­lic sh-sales oat for fresh-caught seafood.

Rich­mond Night Mar­ket Hur­ri­cane pota­toes, grilled squid, mango desserts, dragon’s beard candy and bub­ble wa es: the leg­endary and long-run­ning Rich­mond Night Mar­ket fea­tures a sum­mery sea of food stalls and ven­dors, as well as live per­for­mances, car­ni­val games and rides. Devo­tees got a scare ear­lier this year when they heard the mar­ket was can­celled, but it turned out it was the smaller Il­lu­mi­na­tion Sum­mer Night Mar­ket—which started in 2008 near the Knight Street Bridge—that was shut­ting down.

McArthurGlen De­signer Out­let Van­cou­ver Air­port Rich­mond Cen­tre is still the go-to spot for Rich­mond shop­ping, and crit­ics say the best out­let deals are still south of the bor­der, but those want­ing clear­ance prices mi­nus the bor­der tan­gles can check out this rel­a­tive new­comer, which in­cludes brands such as Coach, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade New York and more. Van­cou­verites want­ing to check out their wares can hop on the Canada Line and get o at Tem­ple­ton Sta­tion.

Best Bites

Bánh Mì Très Bon 1 Named for the French-in­flu­enced hand­made bread that’s found in north­ern Viet­nam and baked in-house, the café uses or­ganic in­gre­di­ents and free-range meats, and puts a twist on Viet­namese clas­sics from flavour­ful pho to hearty beef stew, as well as sand­wiches that are truly très bon. Kirin 2 Roasted squab and pan-fried black cod are just a few of the items on the ex­pan­sive menu—the à la carte o er­ings alone run 18 pages— at this top des­ti­na­tion for Chi­nese cui­sine, famed for its pol­ished ser­vice and metic­u­lously pre­pared dishes (a feat that caught them a Bronze at our Restau­rant Awards). Pajo’s 3 Ask where to find the best fish and chips in the Lower Main­land, and most peo­ple will point you to Pajo’s. Line­ups at Steve­ston’s Fish­er­man's Wharf lo­ca­tion can be lengthy on a sunny weekend, but the wild cod and salmon and fresh-cut fries are well worth the wait. Golden Para­mount Seafood Restau­rant Cur­rently lo­cated in a Rich­mond strip mall but headed for more up­scale digs, Golden Para­mount may not look like much, but the restau­rant’s award-win­ning dim sum (they nabbed Sil­ver at the

Civic Ho­tel


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