“It is not the type of beach that I expected.”
#1 in Kitsilano
1499 Arbutus Street
In 2014, the late lamented local satire website Syrup Trap wrote an article called “Vancouver ranked the most city in the world”, teasing the symbiotic relationship between the media’s enthusiasm for clickbait lists and this city’s desire to be a little bit extra about everything, particularly when it comes to global validation.
Anyways, if Vancouver is the most city, Kits is the most beach.
It’s beautiful and where the beautiful people go, the place see the views and see the people, and easily the most packed beach in the city on a warm summer day.
That’s somewhat due to its relatively central location (less of a slog to get to than Spanish Banks or Jericho, but not requiring downtown travel like Sunset or English Bay), and somewhat due to the feedback loop for fit 20 and 30somethings, who flock to Kits Beach as much for cultural affirmation as for the sand.
Lots of people go through that phase where Kits is the place to be, and then you have kids, or don’t want to pay $2200 a month in a poorly ventilated 50-year-old apartment, and those memories recede.
Even when you’re no longer its target demographic, Kits is still great. The famed saltwater pool is one of those things every Vancouerite should do at least once, the playground built for the Olympics has a steep curvy tunnel slide, the grass surrounding the beach is large enough to satisfy people who want to keep their toes dry. The tennis and basketball courts are kept in good condition, and there’s quieter (if rockier) parts of the beach to the north and west of the more packed section.
Oh yeah, there’s also *that* view, the towers of downtown closer than any of the other west side beaches, the curved nature of the park providing interesting looks to the west, north and east.
It’s all immensely appealing, though the feeling can sour if you start to think about how the land became a beach in the first place, and the paradox between how it came to be and who it is named for. And if you’re someone who prefers a more natural, quiet feel, Kits provides pretty much the exact opposite.
At the end of the day though, there’s so much to do and so much to like about Kits.
Have a tolerance for crowds, and enjoy the most beach in the most city.