Column: What’s best about Richmond

Richmond News editor Eve Edmonds weighs in on the positive aspects of life in Richmond, B.C.

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You may notice that today’s Richmond News is a fair bit heftier than usual — even without the advertising flyers.

That’s thanks to our “Best of Richmond” supplement, listing the results of a readers’ poll we ran, asking readers to tell us what they think are the best businesses in town.

The project got me thinking what I would consider Richmond’s best features. As I often use this space to tell all who will listen what’s wrong with this city, I figure here’s a chance to talk about what’s right. 

Here’s my list of Richmond’s best features:

1) Geography: The fact we live on an island with the Fraser River pouring into the Strait of Georgia on either side; the fact one can walk north along the West Dyke (thank you city planners) to see the North Shore mountains, look west to watch the sun setting in the water or behind Vancouver Island (depending on the time of year); the fact we can do an about-face and see Mount Baker looming on the horizon. These are features of Richmond that inspire awe and wonder. They also inspire a powerful sense of protection of our environment, but as this is an all-things-good column, we’ll leave those nasty bits about pipelines, bridges and massive fuel tankers for another time.

2) My commute to work: I know this is a bizarre one for someone living in the Lower Mainland, but just yesterday morning, as I biked up the Railway Greenway, I marvelled at the rainbow of wild flowers lining my route. Along Granville (especially heading west in March) I feel like I’m in a wedding procession with boughs laden with cherry blossoms hanging overhead. As I head north on Minoru Boulevard, I look to the Lions, Cypress and Grouse mountains. (In winter, when there is a fresh snowfall on the mountains, the view is simply breathtaking.) My commute is 25 minutes of easy, flat riding — just enough to get the blood flowing in the morning and the stress releasing in the evening. I ride year-round, rarely get soaked and honestly don’t know why more people don’t do it.

 3) Low crime rate: I know crime happens and it’s devastating when it does. But, comparatively, this is a remarkably safe city.

4) Our community centres: I’ve waxed on about this before, but I have to mention such a fine example of why I like to pay taxes. 

5) The people: I’ve lived in other places where folks are quicker with a smile and may be more connected, but I’ve still met some truly beautiful people here; friendly parents on the soccer pitch and caring neighbours who help out. Through this job, I’ve also met some gems, in person and on the pages of the paper. People who fight the good fight, support others and do their part to create a caring community. It’s these people who show us all the “Best of Richmond.”

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