Kristina Matisic

Vancouver Species – The Royal Visit Edition

If you’re visiting, or are new to, Vancouver and interested in learning more about the local wildlife, I’ve complied an easy-to-read guide for identifying the indigenous flora. Here are some tips on where to find them and how to spot them. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars!

grind5

Image: grind5

The Grinders

Where to find them:
This species congregates on the North Shore, and can be found at the start, , at the finish and all along an outdoor staircase known as The Grouse Grind. This grueling 1231-meter ascent has some spectacular views, predominantly of the bum cheeks ahead of you.

How to spot them:

This species is obsessed with time-keeping, often asking, “What’s your time?” as if the rest of us are operating on some other time. Silly grinders.

Image: Fomo Vancouver

Image: Fomo Vancouver

The Yogis

Where to find them:

Seen predominantly along the 4th Avenue corridor and Commercial Drive, though in recent years, clusters have been spotted all over the city. For guaranteed sightings, visit one of the city’s many Lululemon stores where they can be seen purchasing their 97th pair of black stretchy pants.

How to spot them:

Yogis often carry long tubular foam mats. We believe this is in case of sudden fatigue. Also, the males are more hirsute than other locals. Whatever you do, don’t pet the man bun, it takes years to perfect.

Image: Vancouver Sun

Image: Vancouver Sun

The Gym Rats:


Where to find them:

This species tends to hide indoors, usually in dank, sweaty dens known as personal training gyms. Most of these dens are located on Vancouver’s west side, with a few outposts in West Vancouver.

How to spot them:
Gym rats are often confused with yogis, as they do dress somewhat alike. Two differentiating factors: rats love to run in place and they failed math. Thus, they employ brawny companions to a) pick them up when they fall down and b) count down from 15 for them.

Image: Vancouver 24 hr

Image: Vancouver 24 hr

The Dog Walkers:
Where to find them:

This species can be found wandering aimlessly all over the city. They are often seen loitering around parks and beaches, looking sleepy and disheveled.

How to spot them:
The walkers are by far the easiest to spy, as they’re always accompanied by their companion species, the four legged canine. Even more remarkable, they are usually seen carrying bags containing (if our noses are to be believed) excrement. The purpose of this is unknown but we speculate that it’s intended to ward off attack from runners.

Image: Vancouver Sun

Image: Vancouver Sun

The Runners

Where to find them:

Rain or shine, sleet or snow, morning and night, runners can be trotting along Vancouver streets and seaside walkways. To see one at rest, visit a local running shoe store. They often gather here in advance of their weekly migrations.

How to spot them:

They can be hard to see as they tend to either move very quickly or very slowly and can easily be mistaken for walkers. Keep an eye out for reflective stripes.

Image: Vancouver Sun

Image: Vancouver Sun

The Cyclists

Where to find them:

Once you start touring this fair city you’ll notice we have an abundance of underused bike routes. This is not where you’ll find members of the cyclist species. They can usually be seen on major arteries and highways, cycling on mass, often two or three abreast.

For this species, cycling is not a mode of transportation. It’s a lifestyle that involves regular and constant training for something called a fondo. Note, this has nothing to do with the immensely more appealing fondue.

How to spot them:

The cyclist species dresses exclusively in team uniforms. You’ll note that if they are not in spandex, it’s impossible for them to ride.

Enjoy the wildlife!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Tina September 27, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Kristina Matisic you’ve found your calling – your sense of humour always cracks me all the way up!

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