I recently read an article in the Globe and Mail about how a couple came to retire in Powell River. (Thanks to PR Coast Realty for sharing). The story made me think about my own path to living, once again, in the town I grew up in. The story of why I moved back to Powell River after 14 years away is pretty typical, I think, but the most important part is why? – and that is because of one very important factor: Lifestyle!
Powell River is like many Canadian small towns, I imagine. But it is unique in it’s own ways. I didn’t fully appreciate the amazing qualities of Powell River until I moved away. I was able to see it from a different perspective, but also appreciate the things that couldn’t be found in a bigger town or city.
So I thought I’d make a short-list of why Powell River is so awesome, it is not in any particular order, because I couldn’t decide! Feel free to comment and add your reasons why Powell River is so great.
An easy way to tell if someone has spent much time in Powell River is their vocabulary and lingo. Of course you know about the word we have become famous for; Zunga – a rope swing over water. It’s even in the Urban Dictionary. If you ask a Powell Riverite where they are from, you’re bound to hear “Paul River”, or at least that’s what my non-Powell Riverite friends tell me! We also spend a lot of time “up the lake” and have been known to take “the pole line” as a short cut!
The Chuck & The Islands
Spending time on the ocean (or as it is often called around here, the “chuck”) is a big part of living in Powell River. As the gateway to the Desolation Sound, there are endless coves, bays, narrows, islands and inlets to explore. There are too many islands to name, but some of my favorites are Savary (of course), Cortes, Quadra, the Redondas and Stuart. These are some photos of our travels on the ocean around Powell River;
Powell River is the only place I have lived where I have actually had ‘real’ neighbours. And by that I mean people in the community (not just right next door) who welcome you without judgement. I think it is because people in Powell River are proud of where they live, and genuinely happy in their surroundings. Living in the city, especially in condos, people seemed to look at you as a threat their happiness in some way. Like “are you going to be noisy or messy?”
People are laid back here. The pace is slower, you really can stop and smell the flowers. You’ve heard people say it a million times, but when you actually LIVE it, you understand. It’s not something that you think about or notice you are doing differently, it just happens.
‘The Hulks’ are giant ships used to form a breakwater at the Powell River mill. It is the world’s largest floating hulk breakwater, and it is a beautiful sight. You can learn more about the hulks here.
Local Food & Drink
It’s not that Powell River is alone on having home grown food and drinks, it’s just that we’re really good at it! The farmer’s market is one of the best, and the best fresh, local seafood can be found at Pacific Ambition if you are lucky enough to get there in time! Our newest bragging rights go to locally brewed beer from Townsite Brewing - they have named their delicious brews after local terms; Zunga, TinHat and PowTown.
The start of highway 101, or the Pacific Coast Highway, that runs all the way to Chile, Lund is a a quaint and beautiful ocean village. It is also a gateway to the world renowned Desolation Sound and serves the tropical island of Savary.
This photo of a Lund sunset is from Cheryl Young’s Blog
Lakes & Trails
Powell River offers the best and biggest backyard you could care to enjoy. There are dozens of great, clean, fresh water lakes accessible from Powell River and endless days can be spent exploring them by boat, dirt road or trail. Many a lazy summer day is spent “up the lake” on the floating cabins of the massive Powell Lake.
Powell River has a rich history including a mill that was at one time Canada’s largest pulp and paper mill, Sliammon First Nations history, historic townsite which includes the oldest continuously run theatre in Canada. You can learn more about the history of Powell River from Discover Powell River, PowellRiver.ca, Powell River Regional District, Powell River Museum.
What’s your favorite thing about Powell River?