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Four-storey walk-ups and modernist concrete towers are home to bachelorette geriatrics and substitute teachers with cats. The laundromats and corner groceries that accent residential blocks elsewhere don’t exist here. Even west of Denman’s large gay population is understood by other gay guys to be less likely to go to bars, more likely to be partnered off. The point is peacefulness (and, if you can swing the $1,800 rent, views of Lost Lagoon). Heron chicks squabble at the perimeter of the park; their noise has driven locals to ask that their nests be moved. It’s a rough life.—Pat Richardson
West Side expat Gloria Bailey, 59, was settled in a nice co-op in Burnaby when she realized being away from the city doesn’t mean you’re close to nature. The neighbourhood west of Denman, though, satisfied her desire to be close to the ocean and still in the thick of things.
The Realtor Jennifer Sale of Sutton Realty
The Search Bailey saved herself from buyer’s remorse by setting up in a False Creek rental while she did some serious research. After over a year of frustration with unhelpful realtors, she finally found one who actually listened. From there, it wasn’t long until Bailey was introduced to a cute one-bedroom near Stanley Park.In a ’50s-era tower (whose modernist aesthetic appealed to the baby boomer in Bailey) she found a “funky but not over-the-top” 650-square-foot unit. The place needs an update, but hardwood floors and good bones were enough to convince her it’s an excellent makeover candidate.
The Neighbourhood Walking home after sushi dinners along tree-lined streets west of Denman is when Bailey feels most alive. And being a block from both the beach and the park means regular communions with nature.—Darcy Smith
Amidst the dozens of questionable quick-eat options on Denman Street, major lineups form at a pair of very worthwhile noodle houses. 1) Legendary Noodle (1074 Denman St.) is a great show, with chefs constantly spinning fresh noodles. 2) Kintaro Ramen (788 Denman St.) is shabbier but totally authentic, and has more cred with exchange students.