It’s a clear blessing to live or have lived in North Vancouver. The quiet, soft-spoken city embodies the outdoor lifestyle that Vancouverites love to brag about.

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But as beautiful as the top of Quarry Rock can be, or as satisfying the trek up the Grouse Grind is – there are a few constant struggles that all inhabitants of North Vancouver can relate to. At least that was before COVID changed everything. 

1. SFU and UBC are an eternity away – by bus AND EVEN by car.

Here’s a shoutout to all the Cap U students reading this right now, that bus ride to Phibbs and up is nothing compared to the serious trek SFU and UBC students make. At least the food offerings are better at SFU and UBC…

2. It takes a bus, the sea bus and probably a taxi to go downtown for the night.

Going to any bar or club downtown (or multiple) is definitely a staple weekend plan for any Vancouverite. Too bad you always seem to miss the Sea Bus by 20 seconds, you swear you got the timing down. How much is the taxi ride back to North Van if you split it two ways?

3. Karaoke Thursdays at Two Lions is awesome... but it is on a Thursday. 

We do boast Two Lions on Thursdays, but the lines can get ridiculous. It's hard to believe how crowded the bar can get for a weekday night. And the McDonald's on Westview gets CHAOTIC afterwards.

4. The movie selection at Park & Tilford and Esplanade is NOT the greatest.

So you've already seen "Beauty and the Beast" once - or multiple times really. Why does Scotiabank Theatre and Silvercity at Metrotown get the best movies? I guess you could always binge watch more Netflix…

5. Regardless of what hour, what weather, and what day, Deep Cove is IMPOSSIBLE to park in.

Deep Cove is a nightmare to park in. It could be Quarry Rock, the canoeing and paddle boarding, or maybe Honey’s famous doughnuts – but the Cove is always crowded with cars and people, both locals and tourists alike.

6. Park Royal has undoubtedly succeeded Capilano Mall as the dominant shopping mall. But it’s a world away and there’s bridge traffic.

Is Capilano Mall still a thing? Let’s face it, Park Royal is our new one-stop shopping destination without a bridge, Sea Bus or Skytrain. They JUST got a Chipotle too: they’re seriously catching up in the food game.

7. There are far too few food options that remain open after 10pm.

Raglan's Bistro does boast amazing poutine. But let's be honest - there is a such thing as too much poutine. Between Raglan's and your staple McDonald's, I think I might just eat at home.

8. Sushi Town's prices may have finally exceeded it's value.

Did Sushi Town raise their prices - again?! *sigh*, what happened to the cheap, plentiful, sushi haven that we knew and loved? I heard a Mr. Sushi on Lower Lonsdale just opened...

9. Nobody wants to be caught on public transit between 3pm and 5pm.

Is it the horrendous traffic; or the hordes of high school students? There's always one or the other. And trying to wait it out REALLY isn't much better.

10. The construction on the North Shore is seemingly never-ending. 

First it was Upper Lonsdale, then Edgemont, and there's always something on the lower levels. And what are they even building at Lonsdale Quay?

11. Red Robin's on Marine Drive has closed, and it's hard to find a replacement. 

Where else can I lie about my birthday, get free ice cream, and enjoy bottomless fries? Sure it's no Cactus Club, but it was reliable and a solid fringe choice.