Is it too expensive for first time home owners to buy a place in Vancouver? I know the buzz is that we are the most expensive city in Canada to live in, but I think the smart and hip will figure out a way to make homeownership possible. Take Whalley, for example. A neighbourhood in Surrey with access to downtown Vancouver via the Skytrain in 35 minutes. It has an energizing food and lifestyle scene, plus where else can you buy a condo for under 200k, enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine, toss back a cold craft beer and have Sunday Brunch at a diner that has been around for over 60 years?
Venue — Let’s start with where to live because that is the heart of your life. A 10-minute walk from the Gateway Skytrain station is a new development under construction called Venue. I toured the show suite, and if you were to build one of these 1 bedroom units in Yaletown, they would easily go for $500,000+. Here they are selling for a mere $200,000. Well within most working people’s budget.
Ultramodern appliances, open concept living and amenities such as a gym and communal rooftop patio complete with BBQ area make for easy living and guarantee you’re the host with the most. Did I mention they are planning on having a custom beer brewed just for the rooftop? No more going to the liquor store if you have guests pop over for a BBQ.
1 Taqueria Jalisco 13646 Grosvenor Road — Got a craving for authentic Mexican food? Less than a 5-minute walk from your home at Venue you’ll find yourself at the unpretentious Taqueria Jalisco. Plastic tablecloths are on the tables and sombreros adorn the walls. This is where you go for $2 tacos and Dos Equis. Order as many as you need to satisfy your hunger, it won’t break the bank. I recommend the Carne Asada (steak) and the Pollo (chicken). BONUS: Also a great place to pick up Mexican hot sauces and other specialties. Muy Bueno.
2 Round Up Cafe 10449 King George Hwy — It doesn’t get any more old school than the Round Up Cafe. Open since 1949; this diner has served up exactly what the customers wanted; home cooked food like Grandma makes. A hugely popular brunch spot, this place is famous for three things: Perogies, Ukrainian Sausage and Cabbage Rolls. This diner hasn’t changed much in 68 years, and why should it? It is perfect just the way it is. Oh, by the way, the waitress is not named Flo.
3 Central City Brew Pub 13450 102nd Ave — One stop on the Skytrain past the Gateway station and you arrive at Central City, home to SFU’s Surrey Campus and a nice mall with all the shops you need. It is also home to Central City Brew Pub and Red Racer Beer. For those nights when you don’t want to cook, there is no better place to gather with friends, enjoy a cold pint or two and watch what’s on the big screen. You are also steps away from one of the best outdoor entertainment plazas in the entire Lower Mainland. Happy Hour is from 3-6 pm every day, and the Sunday special is 1/2 price Burgers! Will this be the new Sunday night routine?
4 Sports Sports Sports — Do you like football? Walking distance from Gateway Skytrain station is the BC Lions Training Facility at 10605 City Parkway. Open to the public; you can watch your favourite Leo practice their moves before the big game.
If football isn’t your thing, how about baseball? Whalley Little League has been hitting the ball out of the ballpark at 106a Ave. for 60 years. With over 34 National titles and four appearances at the Little League World Series, this team is synonymous with excellence and hard work. Take yourself out to the ballgame and enjoy an afternoon of sports excellence. The Little Leaguers you watch today may play in the Majors in just a few years time.
This is what I discovered in an afternoon, imagine what you could uncover if you lived at Venue. Yes, Vancouver is expensive, but it is the best place in the World to live, and Whalley may just be the perfect fit of affordability and eclectic urban diversity. Best of all you’d still have some money left over after the mortgage is paid to explore all the area has to offer & plan that epic adventure vacation.