I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia!

Ana Venture First Day in Vancouver ExploreMy First Day in Vancouver!

Today was my first day in my new home Vancouver British Columbia! I spent most of the day going back and forth between the pharmacy and the grocery store to get the stuff I needed for my new home. I’m now the proud owner of a bunch of compost bags holding my things lol. I got really lucky because the place I found is only a 10 minute walk to a grocer and pharmacy. That’s rare! 

Vancouver Differences.

However, it was still a day of many discoveries! I didn’t even know that British Columbia license plates say “Beautiful British Columbia”. In Quebec, they say “Je me Souviens”. Also, the grocery store Dean’s No Frills is called Maxi’s in Quebec and the Shoppers Drug Mart is called Pharmaprix. 

Explore Vancouver?

Finally, I did manage to snap the shot above at the end of the day after deciding to go for a walk through Queen Elizabeth Park! Gorgeous view! And damn! BC lives up to its reputation! It was beautiful and green all over!! In Montreal, the grass is still all yellow and gross after being covered by snow during the long winter. Not so for Vancity! The grass is LITERALLY greener over here! Can’t wait to explore more of my new home!!

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: #16 My Goodbye & Tulips for Montreal.

Ana Venture Goodbye Montreal Bucket List Tulips for MontrealI said Goodbye to beautiful Montreal by dropping tulips in the city!

I said my final goodbye to my home city in the best way I could come up with: buying tulips for Montreal. I bought 150 Canadian Tulips, to be exact, with plans to spread them in different parts of Montreal City. Of course, it didn’t go exactly as I planned, but that’s life and I gained even more valuable experience than I thought.

Why did I buy Tulips for Montreal?

Many people asked me why I wanted to do this and why I was willing to spend money on such a thing. The reason I wanted to do this, is because I’ve always found goodbyes to be cathartic. I truly believe gaining closure is important to mental health. I’ve had a long and often bitter relationship with my hometown of Montreal. There were many times when I hated this city and blamed it for my problems. Every city has its problems and Montreal is no exception. I wanted to be able to let go of my anger and frustration with my past. So I created this whole Goodbye to Iconic Montreal Bucket List to force myself to remember the good in Montreal and let go of my past negative thoughts.

The Montreal Tulip Drop.

Ana Venture Goodbye Montreal Bucket Say Goodbye Tulip Drop Message

This is a picture of the message I attached to a number of the tulips. I wanted to write something that I wish someone had said to me when I was younger and just starting my life in Montreal. I wanted to give hope to anyone who felt a bit lost and confused in their current life. I knew that if I could just touch one person then I would be happy. I didn’t know if anyone would get back to me, but I knew it would be a beautiful experiment.

Originally, I planned to visit all of the places which meant something to me in Montreal, throughout my life. I did visit 2 out of 3 of my high schools and put flowers there. I also visited my elementary school and put tulips there. However, after my second high school, my plans started to unravel a bit.

My tulips started to die in the heat of the day and also with the rough transportation. The petals were just falling off the second I touched the flowers! I was then on a very tight time crunch to pass out the tulips before they died. So I ended having to just choose one location to pass out flowers and that ended up being the Old Port of Montreal.

Ana Venture Goodbye Montreal Bucket List Saying Goodbye with Tulips

The Old Port is a section of Montreal (by the water of course) which hosts continual activities throughout the year. Picture a mini carnival all year round. The Old Port is also in the super old area of Montreal where the streets are all cobblestoned. I started off pretty good. I gave out tulips spontaneously to anyone who seemed interested. But I was actually super shy to attach my message to them. However, (thanks to my friend Steph who was kind enough to accompany me on this experience) I did manage to do it at the end with the last 25 Tulips. The solution was to basically leave them on benches, much less awkward. Then we left the scene quickly lol.

How did it all end?

After I left the tulips on the benches, I didn’t think anyone would pick them up. I was actually feeling really embarrassed about how badly my plan went. I wanted to give back and try my best to pass on positive thoughts to other people but I ended up feeling like a silly fool. I was sure no one would bother to pick up the tulips. But as it turned out, some girls did get back to me! I heard back from some wonderful ladies @utopia_haze @maarjoriiee_ @jenn_dasilva @kimcodes and @suzannity!! I was so thankful to hear back from them and especially to know they appreciated my message! All I want to do with this blog is to give back to the world by spreading positive thoughts! This first time was an experiment that I intend to follow. I’m committed to learning how I can help other people.

But for now, especially after completing my Goodbye to Iconic Montreal journey, I finally felt ready to move on to the next chapter and adventure in my life. I moved to British Columbia!

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #9 L’Homme Sculpture in Parc Jean-Drapeau

Ana Venture Goodbye Montreal Bucket List L'Homme Calder piknic electronikL’Homme Sculpture of Parc Jean-Drapeau: A Montreal Festival Icon.

The L’Homme Sculpture in Parc Jean-Drapeau was the last site of my original Iconic Montreal Bucket List. This sculpture is referred to as the Piknic Sculpture by local Montrealers. It has that name because during the summer, this is where the Piknic Electronik festival takes place. Usually, the DJ is set up right underneath this sculpture. It’s obviously off season so I’ll just call it by its proper name L’Homme by Alexander Calder.With this

With this picture, I completed all of the sites of my original Iconic Montreal Bucket List, and this shot also happened to be my favorite of the whole series. Funny how things happen that way. I’m actually not posing in this picture, maybe that’s why I like it so much haha. Every now and then my clicker malfunctions and the picture is delayed. Originally, I was sitting down beside my sign. I thought the picture was taken so I stood up to admire the scene. And what a view it was! I didn’t know there was such a great view of Montreal City from here. What a great discovery!

Know before you go:

This location is in the same general location of the Biosphere from my last post. You can take the metro and get off at Station Jean-Drapeau or you can drive. When you get out of the metro you head north for the L’Homme Sculpture or you can head south for the Biosphere.

Other tidbits:

The Piknic Electronik is a summer EDM festival. It happens almost every weekend throughout the summer. It’s full of food trucks and stoned Montrealers! Great way to get an authentic Montreal experience.

For more of my Iconic Montreal Bucket List posts, visit this page. For the starter list of the sites, I chose for this Bucket List, visit this page.

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #2 The Biosphere

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Biosphere Parc Jean Drapeau

The Biosphere: The most Iconic Montreal Structure.

The Biosphere is located on Parc Jean-Drapeau which is a park mainly on an Island called Ile Sainte-Helene, just off of Montreal. It’s a recreational mini-vacay Park/Island! It’s where Montrealers go to party or do outdoorsy activities, all year round. There’s a theme park, a festival area, a bunch of nature parks and other stuff. The Biosphere is a bio-museum all about nature, and during business hours you can go inside the sphere. The structure is viewable in the background from many parts of Parc Jean-Drapeau. So I’ve always seen the Biosphere from a distance and never actually checked it out up close. So I added it to my Iconic Montreal Bucket List and now I’m very happy I officially visited this site. I’m starting to feel Montréal-accomplished.

Know before you go:

The Biosphere has business hours, which I didn’t know. So check them before you head out if you want to actually go inside the sphere. But you can always walk around the outside at any time. I went around sunset and it was very beautiful. There is parking available in the park but personally, I found the roads a little bit of a maze and had trouble locating the official parking zones. I ended up parking in a sketchy area where I wasn’t supposed to park lol. I walked by the official parking zones later on though. The metro is the easiest option with Station Jean-Drapeau in the middle of the island. Everything is within walking distance from the metro station.

Other Tidbits:

During the summer the Montreal music festival Osheaga is held in Parc Jean-Drapeau.

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #3 Olympic Stadium

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Olympic StadiumThe Olympic Stadium: An Iconic Montreal Landmark.

The Olympic Stadium is so ingrained in Montreal’s identity that it’s all I remember seeing on Montreal tourist memorabilia as a kid. I didn’t even know what it was until I was in my teens but I always remember the weird shape of the building. No Iconic Montreal Bucket List is complete without this site. I also tried to get the Biodome in this shot too but all of the pics I took didn’t look very nice. So I settled for just the Olympic Stadium. Many people mistakenly think the stadium dome is the Biodome but the Biodome is actually the building behind the stadium. It’s the one that has the wavey bubble-shaped roof. There is a really awesome zoo inside the Biodome! That’s why it’s called the Biodome.

Know before you go:

The Olympic Stadium and the surrounding buildings are a really big tourist attraction so it’s very easy to access. It’s close to both the Viau and Pie-IX (pronounced Pee Nuhf ;-)) Metro Stations. There’s also a ton of paid parking inside the facilities, but if you look around a bit you can find some free parking in the residential areas nearby. I would warn you that the surrounding area is a bit rundown and there are not many nice restaurants or cafes.

Other tidbits:

The Montreal Botanical Gardens are also a part of this complex. The Botanical Gardens are awesome! There is an outdoors garden as well as an indoors garden. It’s best to go to the Botanical Gardens during their Lantern Festival, where they light up a bunch of Lanterns at night.

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #4 Habitat 67 Apartments

Ana Venture Goodbye Montreal Bucket List Habitat 67Habitat 67 Housing: A Montreal Architectural Icon.

Habitat 67 is an urban housing and apartment complex just outside of Montreal. The design of Habitat 67 is so weird and interesting looking, that it, of course, had to go on my Iconic Montreal Bucket List. I have to say I was looking forward to visiting this site the most. It’s so unique looking so it’s right up my alley! Living in this type of apartment design must really cut back on the noise you hear from your neighbors. Even though these homes are technically apartments, each owner has their own semi-detached structure. Also, Habitat 67 is super pricey. I walked around and I could see into some of the windows, and the apartments are also very expensively decorated. It was super cool to see a part of Montreal that I normally would never even have walked past unless it was a part of this Bucket List!

Know before you go:

This area is not on the Island of Montreal. It’s on the smaller island right next to Montreal, so it’s still considered a part of Greater Montreal. You can actually see Habitat 67 from Silo #5 which I wrote about in my last post. Anyways, I drove a car to visit this place. You could also take public transit but you’d have a really long walk ahead of you. The easiest transportation would probably be car or bicycle.

Other tidbits:

There is also a standing wave (constant waves in the water) in the lake just outside this building. People go surfing on it, which is unique because surfing is not really do-able in the water around Montreal. I did see someone in a wetsuit with a board when I was visiting, but I personally wouldn’t recommend doing this because the water is not very hygienic!

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #13 Abandoned Silo Number 5

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Silo #5Abandoned Silo #5: An Icon in Montreal’s historical industrial sector.

Montreal’s Silo #5 is a massive abandoned building in the old and historical industrial sector of the city. It is one of the most well-known abandoned buildings in Montreal and very popular with urban explorers, so onto my Iconic Montreal Bucket List, it went. Montreal used to be the strongest industrial city of Canada because of the harbor. It’s not anymore. Silo #5 is a Montreal historical landmark because it used to be an operating paper mill, originally built over 100 years ago. It’s been abandoned for years and is completely decrepit now. All of the windows are broken, knocked out and everything! It was pretty cool to absorb all of this Montreal history by visiting this site. 

Know before you go:

Silo #5 is abandoned but is still privately owned. So any type of full exploration of this place is dangerous and kinda illegal. I only visited the outside and around the perimeter. If you’re going to visit, be very careful. You could also risk getting in trouble with the authorities. But just so you know, many of the gates are already open.

I was also surprised by how big it was!

Other tidbits:

There are other buildings around Silo 5 that are also broken down and look abandoned. I drove by this place a couple of days before with my friend and we couldn’t make it out in the night. We thought it was another building that was also heavily graffitied and looked abandoned. However, in the daylight Silo #5 is unmistakable! It’s big and looks way more abandoned than the other buildings. Also, the Farine Five Roses building from my last post is just a short walk from Silo 5. So you can see the sign and Silo 5 together!

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #8 The Farine Five Roses Sign

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Farine Five Roses SignThe Farine Five Roses Sign: MOntreal’s Industrial Icon.

I went from the most colorful and artistic part of Montreal city to the grungiest and dingiest part of the city!The above picture is of the iconic Farine Five Roses sign from the historical industrial sector of Montreal. Back in the 40’s, this sign was created to denote the Flour Mill below it. Now the sign itself is a historical Montreal icon! You can see it from many parts of the city and it flashes with red lights at night. You never feel more like a Montrealer when you’re heading downtown for a night out, and you see this sign flashing in the distance. So of course, I wanted to say goodbye to it properly by including it on my Iconic Montreal Bucket List. The area this sign is most viewable

The area the Farine Five Roses sign is most viewable is the Montreal neighborhood called “Griffintown” and the Peel Basin. Griffintown, back in the day was full of the Irish immigrants who worked in the industrial sector. Now it’s full of new entrepreneurs and also a lot of young single dudes!

Know before you go:

An easy way to ensure you see the Farine Five Roses sign is to take a stroll along the Lachine Canal. The Lachine Canal is a body of water along the southern side of Montreal. It has many bike paths and picnic tables, and it’s a really great place for a walk or jog. To take this picture, I drove to the area but the nearest Metro Station is Bonaventure.

Other Tidbits:

The Lachine Canal actually has a number of historical attractions along its path. You can see the cobblestones in my picture above. Yeah, those are old as heck! They’re from the olden days of Montreal.

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #12 Plateau Murals!

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Plateau Murals Saint Laurent 1

The Murals of Boulevard Saint-Laurent: Montreal’s Iconic Street Art. 

Montreal’s murals are a much-beloved fixture of the art scene, so onto my Iconic Montreal Bucket List, they went! Montreal, in general, is super big on Street Art and you can find murals in all parts of the city, but the Plateau is the most common. Boulevard Saint-Laurent is the main street that runs through the Plateau neighborhood and that’s where most of the Murals are placed. The Mural above was placed in a parking lot, just off of Boul. Saint-Laurent.

The Mural above was placed in a parking lot, just off of Boul. Saint-Laurent and it was right next to some garbage cans. Yeah, that’s right! In Montreal, even the garbage bin alleys can be gorgeous. This Mural was my favorite of the day. I saw this one from the distance and was completely drawn to it. Epic scary cliff! Sad romantic broken home! What’s not to love? 

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Plateau Murals Santropol Roulant

This second of Montreal’s Murals, in the picture on the side, is from the Plateau’s Santropol Roulant! The Santropol Roulant is the Meals on Wheels of Montreal. I used to volunteer there and it’s a great place full of great Montrealers! I mostly worked in the kitchen but you can also do deliveries. The delivery routes are a great way to explore a new area while doing some good. The whole building is covered with this mural, and it’s very picturesque. Anyways, it was super fun to walk along Saint Laurent and discover these very Montreal art pieces!

Know before you go:

This is the same area of Montreal from my last post on the Colorful Plateau Houses. So the best place to start your tour of the Plateau is Sherbrooke Metro Station. But paid and unpaid parking is available on the streets!

Other tidbits:

New Montreal murals are added to the Plateau during the Mural festival which is held every summer around June. So to see as many as possible and at their freshest, it’s best to go around that time.

Boulevard Saint-Laurent, which is where you can find most of the murals, is also called “the Main” by Montrealers. It is one of the main streets for nightlife and clubbing in Montreal.

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Iconic Montreal Bucket List: Site #11 Colorful Plateau Houses!

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Colorful Plateau Houses Saint Louis Square

The Houses of the Plateau: Montreal’s most colorful icon.

Iconic Montreal Bucket List Colorful Plateau Houses 2The Plateau is a neighborhood in Montreal known for its colorful, vibrant, artistic community. It also has a strong hippie bohemian spirit. Of course, it’s also known for its classic Montreal-style houses, which is why it had to go on my Iconic Montreal Bucket List.The houses in the picture above are from Saint-Louis Square. They are the most photographed houses in Montreal. You might’ve seen them on vintage
postcards and memorabilia in the past.

The Plateau is full of colorful houses very similar to the ones in the Saint-Louis Square. You just have to walk around to discover them. That’s what I did and I didn’t even need to plan my route. Walking through the Plateau is a very magical experience! It’s so trippy to think people actually live in these super cute houses too.

KMontreal Bucket List Colorful Plateau Houses 3now before you go:

The best starting point to explore the Plateau is the Sherbrooke Metro Station. Saint-Louis Square is just a 2-minute walk outside this metro station. You can then easily explore the streets surrounding to find more cute colorful Plateau houses.

However, you can also find parking in this area too. Though it’s a hip part of Montreal, it’s also a primarily residential area, so parking on the streets is an option. The main streets will have paid parking with coin machines, but you can also find some free parking on the less common streets.

Other tidbits:Montreal Bucket List Colorful Plateau Houses 4

The Plateau is the neighborhood at the foot of the Mount-Royal Mountain. After visiting the Plateau, you can also go to the Jeanne-Mance Park to follow the trail up Mount Royal. During the summer there are many festivals in this area and there are also wonderful restaurants.

For more of my Iconic Montreal Bucket List posts, visit this page. For the starter list of the sites, I chose for this Bucket List, visit this page.

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