Professional lacrosse: The most underrated sport of all time

Seats are filling up as the most underrated, hidden gem in Vancouver is being discovered. When I say that attending a Vancouver Warriors game is like going to a party, I mean it. Cheap beer, loud music with bass that shakes your bones, cup pong, audience competitions for prizes like gift cards, a dance team, AND a full-fledged lacrosse game? There’s nothing more exciting!

It sounds like a lot, but everything works well together, and the chaos makes the atmosphere more electric. You’ll walk away with an insatiable feeling you’ll find isn’t satisfied by anything else. The Vancouver Warriors put on a show, a party, and a hard fight in every game they play. 

The Vancouver Warriors went into their second last game of the regular season against the mighty Halifax Thunderbirds. The Warriors had their work cut out for them, with forward Ryan Benesch posing as a daunting opponent as one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the game, ranking 10th all-time in assists (577) and points (1,010) and 11th in goals (433).

However, the Warriors have Keegan Bal, their top player. The offense and defense start and stop with him. This is his sixth season with the Warriors (previously known as Vancouver Stealth), scoring a formidable 5.12 points per game this year. He’s a key part of the culture that Warriors head coach and general manager Curt Malawsky is building into the sport and the team. 

Vancouver started the game with a three-game winning streak, so stakes were high, seats were filling up, and Rogers Arena was buzzing with anticipation and excitement. 

The first quarter was pretty rough for Vancouver. The Thunderbirds scored four goals, with Vancouver only getting a lone goal. I felt things were unfair for the Warriors, and I honestly thought the game would end here. But oh man, was I wrong! Our local lacrosse team doesn’t lack persistence and perseverance, even when the opposing team’s goalie is twice our size, and even when Halifax was playing dirty.

To get a goal, the Warriors had to be aggressive and whip the ball as hard as they could into the net. Their strategy was to use their physical conditioning to their advantage, knowing Halifax didn’t have the stamina they did. 

Making their offensive players run 200 feet so they have to run a load back on defense and then sometimes they get off, sometimes they have to defend and you know they’re not able to play the next shift and that wears them down,” explained Malawsky. “If you just stay resilient, stay with your game plan, and trust the guy next to you. I think all those little things add up.

Malawsky got a little fired up during the postgame interview, saying he encouraged the team not to let Halifax’s snide and cocky behavior deter them.

“I was mad. They were tripping our guys. They were tripping our bench. They were laughing at us – like one of their players said ‘I’ll do what I want on here’. And then Kevin (Crowley) got slid on it and it wasn’t dirty, but he got hammered in the first quarter,” he said.

The message the coach sent to his players was for them to play from the heart and battle for each other.

“I was like, ‘Are we gonna take this, or are we gonna go and do something?’ I’m not saying punch someone in the mouth, but you go out there and put the score on them. If you want to get some back, you win the game. We do it with our play and we do it with our heart. I wanted to go and get the guy that got Kevin, and that was my message. ‘Boys, you gotta feel it in (your heart). Like, feel it… that (play) should bother you.’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, I got it.’”

Time for the second quarter. Vancouver picked up their pace after Malawsky’s encouragement and scored four goals. To this point in the game, Ryan Martel had three goals, and Kyle Killen and Crowley each had a goal. The Thunderbirds put up a solid fight though, also getting four goals. This left the score 8-5 going into halftime. 

I could not believe my eyes when the Lululemon dance team jumped in the back of a white truck and drove in a circle around the floor throwing t-shirts into the audience. And just when I thought it couldn’t get better, there was an audience flip cup competition and a “horse” race. It was hands down the best-organized chaos I’ve ever seen.

During the game, the music played and there was even a live band playing for Country Night 2.0. Despite all the other things going on, the lacrosse game was still the center of attention. The interactive games helped the audience get more engaged and into the spirit of the sport. The culture was intoxicating with giddiness, competitiveness, and best of all, fun!

Something to note about lacrosse is that it seems like there aren’t so many rules as other league sports. It’s still a professional game with talented athletes, however, you don’t get that rigidness that you feel with other professional sports like the NHL, NFL, or even the MLB.

Lacrosse is very aggressive, they tackle each other a lot and ram each other into the boards, and best of all, use their sticks to hit each other. One guy from the Thunderbirds tried to trip a Warrior, and another time, the same guy grabbed one of the Warriors’ sticks and used it to pull him to the ground.

Most of the time though, they just use it like a big stick and hit each other with it. It’s really funny to watch, and it seems like 90 percent of the time the refs don’t call them for penalties. Another thing is that players are allowed to kick the ball. Altogether, lacrosse feels like a combination of basketball, hockey, and soccer, and it’s just as intense, if not more, and much more exciting and fast-paced! 

The third quarter is where the whole game took a turn. One after the other, the Warriors pumped in goal after goal. Every time they got a penalty, the crowd erupted in boos and every time Halifax got one, they cheered. The first two goals came from the star of the show – Bal! Then Riley Lowen, Bal again, and then the tying goal scored by Steph Charbonneau! To top off the spectacularity of the goal, Charbonneau stopped his momentum in a backward somersault. Talk about amazing! The game was tied 10-10 at this point and you could see the Thunderbirds hope fizzling out like a dying sparkler.

Vancouver scored five times during this quarter and Halifax only got two. It was a remarkable comeback from the Warriors, not only tying the game but also making up for a rough first quarter. Vancouver goalie Aden Walsh was on fire. There were so many marvelous saves where I was certain the ball went in the net, but he stopped them all.

Malawsky said that despite the goalie’s slow start, he never considered swapping him out. He knows his team well. The Warriors figured out how to score on Halifax’s massive goalie, as most of their goals were from rebounds when he was slightly out of position. That’s where Vancouver’s efforts of working as a team and trusting each other paid off.

Going into the fourth quarter tied brought on such intense anticipation that you could feel the tension in the air. Right off the bat, Adam Charalambides found the back of the net before Bal came in with another marker and another right after that! It marked five goals in the game for the Warriors’ star player.

“We’ve fought for everything that we’ve earned so far this year and we’ve been unlucky in some really close games early on the year where we thought it should have gone our way or could have gone our way, and at no point were we willing to just give up, (we had to) continue to grind and understand that it’s a long season,” explained Bal.

The Thunderbirds weren’t so confident after Bal’s fifth tally. They started tripping over themselves and you could tell they were getting worn out. Then the most insane thing happened. Charalambides was at it again, took the ball down the floor on his own, was checked by at least four Halifax players, did a couple of pivots, and BOOM – into the net! It was insane to watch – the amount of skill to do something like that is beyond what many athletes could achieve. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the epic goal didn’t count.

The floor is set up so there’s a crease around the net, which a player can’t step in, and if they do, the goal won’t be counted. Unfortunately for the Warriors and their fans, despite the remarkable effort and skill, Charalambides was standing inside the crease.

At this point, Halifax had scored twice in the final quarter but were still behind by one. Two minutes left in the game doesn’t seem like much, but with a sport as fast as lacrosse, that’s a lot of time for things to go sideways. Then Martel potted his fourth goal of the night — followed by a little backward somersault.

The effort shown by the Warriors was a product of Malawsky appearing to take the high stakes, final-game pressure off the players. “We don’t focus on the outcome. I always say (to) focus on the process and the outcome takes care of itself. (Sports psychologist) Dr. David Cox taught me that years ago (and) that’s always sat with me. But I just said, ‘Guys, tonight is no different than any other game and you just do your job’.”

Owen Grant then potted another to unnerve the Thunderbirds as the Warriors put a bow on the game with five goals in the final stanza while Halifax responded with two.

It ended with an incredible 15-13 win for the Warriors over the Thunderbirds. I am still in shock at just how underrated these games are to attend, and with tickets only being $15 I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to go! You get light shows, music, intensity, and fun!

A huge part of the overall team and culture the Warriors want to foster is appreciation for their fans. They’re part of the game, they’re part of the reason why Vancouver wins. No other professional sports team in B.C. has its locker room filled with kids getting signatures after each game, but the Warriors do, and this fills Malawsky and the players with pride. I can say with certainty, as it was my first-ever lacrosse game, the Vancouver Warriors made a fan out of me.

Free Contraceptives

If you haven’t heard yet, BC made birth control and other contraceptives free at the end of March 2023. We’re the first jurisdiction of Canada to make contraceptives free! Of course, you still need a prescription for birth control, but now it’s covered completely by the government. This was passed in an attempt to lower abortion rates and unwanted pregnancies. In return, this will essentially help with the foster care system and reduce the amount of kids who end up being abandoned by parents who aren’t in a position to raise their child.

As amazing as this is, it still makes me wonder why the government doesn’t help out with costs on things that people need– such as glasses or contacts, dentistry, women’s products for that time of the month and more. I’ve always found it slightly unfair that people who can’t control having bad eyesight, for example, have to suffer the extra expenses just to properly see. I mean, it’s even illegal to drive without eye aid if you have a certain prescription or higher. For myself, I have glasses and contacts. For contacts, the contact solution is an extra expense which no coverage covers, and the actual contacts and glasses are super expensive too if you don’t have coverage from employment. That’s a lot of expenses over the years that visually blessed people don’t have to deal with.

But then, if they make those things free… don’t people also need things like groceries and housing? Cough cough, the most expensive things ever right now? Particularly housing in BC- the inflation is out of control. I mean come on, an average house built a hundred years ago in a not-super-optimal location in Burnaby is over $3 million? Uhh… okay. I guess young adults will never be independent unless they inherit property. Nevermind food- it’s ridiculous and makes the average person not even want to eat. But maybe we consumed too much food before? As a first world country, we for sure eat more than we need to. I mean, take one look at America and all you’ll see is supersized everything. Eating less as a nation will help the general population’s health, the amount we rely on other countries for produce and other imported foods, and even our ecosystem. Growing food takes so much water and land, and as we grow as a country, that will also continue to grow. I’m not saying by any means that it’s okay for food prices to be as high as they are, but maybe it’ll help discourage people from buying things they don’t need.

It’s great that contraceptives are free, and maybe it would be a bad thing if the government made much more free to the public. After all… that’s economy, isn’t it?

The Little Things in Life

The little things in life… aren’t those the things that everyone misses in the end? I feel like, in general, people try to fill their lives with the most extravagant things, whether that’s with expensive purchases or big fancy vacations and unique experiences. 

I find that people sometimes can’t wait to get a day over and done with. They live for the weekends, letting every day, especially if it’s a busy day, just pass by. When someone suddenly isn’t in your daily life anymore, it’s the daily habits and occurrences that people tend to end up missing. Of course, amazing memories are great to look back on, but it’s extremely important to live your life appreciating and acknowledging the little things, too. 

When you suddenly don’t have someone’s presence, it feels like there’s an irreplaceable hole in your life. It takes a lot to get accustomed to- and the healing process can be one of the hardest things someone can go through. Every little thing seems to remind you of them- from the greeting you always got in the mornings to the places you’d visit together every day. As the seasons change, little routines and habits you’d do together like raking leaves or smelling the blooming roses seem unbearable to consider doing without them.

People tend to live their lives letting the day to day just pass by without a second thought- until it’s gone. Being grateful for the small things reminds you how fortunate you truly are, in all aspects of life. 

It can take years to heal and stop missing the little things, and the longer it takes to heal, the more likely it was that you didn’t appreciate things while they were around. Life is never easy, it always has its disadvantages. However, there’s always positives, no matter how small or how bad the day. 

The bigger things in life are important too- they create memories and experiences that make you who you are. Especially vacations abroad; they create a more cultured and experienced person. Those are valuable days and memories that you can look back on for the rest of your life.

Overall, do your best to try not to take a day for granted. Whether that’s with the people you’re around or the things that you do, every moment makes your life what it is. That’s what’s so great about the little things- they’re those familiar daily things that make life, well… life!

Hobbies are Spectacular

Ahh, your good old hobbies. Oh, you know, all the things you love doing that always tend to get pushed to the end of your day. You lead a busy life filled with work, school, and other obligations. It’s important to remember to take some pleasure time for yourself every day to do what you love. 

Even if it’s as little as 20 minutes, it has been proven that a little bit of time spent every day that’s enjoyable can tremendously improve your well being, mentally and emotionally, day to day. There’s so many benefits- from reducing your stress and anxiety to learning more about yourself. This article by Harvard gives some tips on how to make some time for yourself. 

Hobbies are practices that are unique to you. Some of my favorite hobbies are practicing piano, writing, reading and going for walks in nature. What are some things you really enjoy doing? Spending time on my hobbies makes a day feel more accomplished and fulfilling, as I feel I’ve either improved in some way or created something I’m proud of. Sometimes, it might not feel worth expelling your precious time and energy towards, compared with everything else on your to-do list. But trust me when I say… you’ll always come out of it with a little something you otherwise wouldn’t have. For instance, many people find that reading is pointless and difficult- but the more you do it, the better you get at it and the more you learn.

Some health benefits you can gain from making some time for yourself every day include better mental health, creativity, better self esteem, higher EQ (emotional intelligence), better work-life balance, and the chance to recharge your mind. 

If you think about it, the emotional and mental benefits will also help you physically feel better. It’ll give you a little break from life and all that stress, allowing you a chance to recharge. Maybe having that extra little physical boost will even help you feel up to doing more than you otherwise wouldn’t have had the energy for! 

So whether it’s sketching, watching movies, yoga, listening to music, watching sports, or even something as simple as driving, that small amount of time spent on yourself will immensely enhance your life and allow you to improve yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sounds like a pretty decent deal to me!

National Geographic

Let’s talk about one of my favorite organizations- National Geographic! I mean, it’s amazing. Since being founded in 1888, National Geographic has provided the world with immersive, in depth studies and information about history, nature, science, world culture and wildlife in the form of magazines, photography, and videography. 

My personal favorite content by NatGeo is definitely their documentaries. They never fail to be extremely well researched, produced, entertaining and credible. They have the most fascinating information on ancient cities and ancient cultures, and what they discover in each episode is always incredible. I’ve learned so much about the world from them, and it makes my heart so happy knowing that there’s an organization like this that allows the average person to learn and appreciate essentially everything about our earth.

Everything from the depths of the oceans to the stars, from way back in history to current issues and the future, and everything from teeny tiny insects to the biggest animals, National Geographic has probably published or produced something on whatever you’re looking to learn. One of my favorite tv shows is called Welcome to Earth with Will Smith. It was so surreal to watch, and I couldn’t believe places so amazing truly exist on earth. This show talks about some of the world’s greatest marvels. 

Whether you’re an earth and animal lover or not, everyone can get something out of their content. On Youtube, National Geographic has been livestreaming their television series “The Secrets of the Elephants”. Check it out while it’s on, because this one is so good that it made a lasting impact on me. There was one part where a baby elephant was born, and the mother elephant gave her baby an encouraging hug with her trunk when the baby was trying to take his first steps. This special moment being caught on camera made my heart melt. It’s so special to see moments like that, and NatGeo catches them all the time. It just gives the average person a closer connection with all kinds of animals. 

Subscribing to their magazine is pretty cheap and then you’ll have printed, evergreen entertainment that you’re guaranteed to love. I also love their Youtube and Instagram accounts, as they are free and less time consuming than perhaps a full documentary or magazine read might be. 

Take a break and learn something while being entertained, and maybe you’ll be inspired and feel more attached to nature and wildlife.

We are an Antisocial Generation

Have you ever noticed that the kindest and most social people nowadays tend to be elderly? I’ve often wondered why that is, so I have made countless observations of strangers coming in contact with each other over the last year. My conclusion? We are the unsocial generation. 

90% of the people who have approached me for a short, friendly conversation have been older than 50. I’ve also observed some older people try to approach other young people and they either just get stared at or ignored. Here’s the catch: you have to be very cautious of strangers, especially in the city. I totally understand the saying “creepy old man” because a lot of people that have the guts to approach others are creepy. But you can tell right off the bat who’s going to have negative intentions versus friendly intentions.

I never see young people talking to each other in public unless they’re already friends. I also never see younger people smile at others when you walk by them, and most actually don’t look at other people at all. I find most people have headphones on and aren’t aware of their surroundings. We’re dealing with a whole new wave of technology, accessible to everyone and used by everyone. 

There has been extensive research regarding our brains and dealing with addiction to technology. It’s so unnatural that our literal biological makeup can’t keep up with the technology we have at our fingertips. We have so much power and knowledge in our pockets, and we can’t psychologically keep up. This article describes this phenomena a little better than I can. 

This made me think even further- we aren’t even the generation that grew up with a screen in our face. Sure, we had phones or iPads or whatever from a young age, like 10 or so, but what about the most recent newborns? Those essential years of development are being consumed by watching videos and playing with technology kids don’t understand. How will this affect them in the future? For example, TikTok affects teens and young adults’ attention spans, so taking that one step further… what if we had that quick engagement and entertainment constantly in front of us since birth? The implications may make the situation even worse, creating yet another, even more antisocial generation. 

With a new age of VR, we pretty much don’t have to leave our house anymore, especially to socialize. Is this concerning to you? Everything all together makes me feel slightly hopeless for change, as everything is becoming virtual. I mean, even just take a look at our currency. 

All in all, my opinion is that young adults should take a few social pointers from elders. Kindness goes farther than you could imagine, and I genuinely feel that by ignoring those around you, you could be missing out on some super important influences and connections. Truly, the smallest conversation with a stranger could be life changing.

The Ocean’s at Your Backdoor

We live in such a unique place, being so close to the ocean. Do you take advantage of our world-class West Coast beaches? If you live in the Lower Mainland, I’m willing to bet that you’ve has been to Kitsilano beach at least once. Although it’s a fun party spot, I personally think it’s a little overrated. My favorite beach is only 10 minutes from Kits; Jericho! 

I like Jericho because when the tide is down, you can walk so far out from the beach. There’s still a thin layer of water to walk through, but it’s so warm and the washboarded sand massages your feet. 

It’s also fun to just sit on the sandy beach there- you can be entertained by parasailers, paddleboarders, and lots of little creatures like crabs. The seagulls are so funny to watch. Sometimes they’re jerks to each other and it’s just very entertaining to watch. There’s also a surprising amount of sea glass to find along the shores here.

There’s also lots of bunnies. Yes, bunnies! There’s a colony of black bunnies that live on the outskirts of Jericho beach. Who would’ve thought they’d be black, standing out being in a sandy and bright area? They’ve expanded significantly in population in the last couple years. A lot of days, I went to the beach specifically to visit them. I brought them some lettuce and carrots, and one of them even climbed on my leg and put his paws on my hand to reach for the snack. They’re super friendly, and although it’s good to be cautious, I wouldn’t worry about them being feral. Last May, there were a couple new babies! One was dark grey (obviously my favorite) and he was so cute and friendly. Definitely check it out and get some free bunny therapy!

Another unique spot is Wreck Beach at UBC. You go down a ton of steep stairs in a massive jungled area. I guarantee you’ll experience some of the biggest trees you’ll ever see! It magically opens up to a big beach with an endless ocean ahead. The beach is a mix of sand and rocks, and there’s a couple abandoned towers you can check out, too. The experience you get from visiting this beach just feels like an all-around adventure! 

Many people dream of being so incredibly close to these ocean beaches. Take advantage since you’re here, and make some unforgettable memories, meet some curious and cuddly friends, and have a fun adventure!

21 Suggestions for Success

This September I moved into a new house. One day, I noticed a sign tucked away in the corner by the living room fireplace. It read, “21 Suggestions for Success: by H. Jackson Brown Jr.Instantly, I was intrigued! I had never heard of such a concise, useful list, so I sat down and read it carefully. A lot of these points are seemingly obvious, however I truly believe most of us forget them on a day to day basis. The other ones made me stop and seriously think for a minute, and it hit me just how important each and every point here is to remember. This list is a wonderful motivator and reminder to have, and that’s why I wanted to share it as well as my thoughts on it with you.

  • Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

Right off the bat, this was one of those that made me stop and think. It’s true- once you move away from your family and start your own career, whoever you decide to marry will be your new family. They will have the power to support you or not- financially, emotionally. A good partner is someone you should be able to share life with through the good and the bad, making life easier to get through because you’re together.

  • Work at something you enjoy, and that’s worthy of your time and talent.

The part that stuck out to me here was “that’s worthy of your time and talent.” At the end of every day, do you feel that you’ve accomplished things that pushed you and fulfilled you? Take a second and think of what truly is worthy of your time and talent.

  • Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

Nobody likes an unhappy person. Whatever you do will seem extra well done if you’re genuinely  happy to do it. 

  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

This one takes a lot of energy, and possibly self reconstruction, which is a major commitment. However, it’s all in the mind. Only you have the power to change you. Isn’t being positive and enthusiastic everyone’s goal in life?

  • Be forgiving of yourself and others.

This one is really hard, but that’s why nobody says “success” is easy. Personally, I struggle with forgiving myself, and that’s something I’m trying to work on. It’s easy to forget to be easy on yourself when you have so much pressure and self expectation, but this is all about growth and awareness!

  • Be generous.
  • Have a grateful heart.

It’s important to remember to be grateful for the little things in life- after all, it’s the daily stuff people end up missing, right? Again, trust me when I say you’ll get so much more out of life when you are generous and grateful.

  • Persistence, persistence, persistence.

Simply don’t give up. Just that easy… hey? Just kidding. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out there and out of your comfort zone, but it will pay off if you don’t stop trying. 

  • Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.

This one can feel like a massive lifestyle change, but it is possible and super important. There’s nothing worse than having a big unexpected repair bill and no way to pay it. It’s always better to be prepared, even if that means you have to go without a lot of things.

  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

Everyone, and I mean everyone. In my opinion, there’s nothing in life that’s more difficult than consistently being the better person, but if you are, you’ll have a lot less regrets in your life.

  • Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  • Commit yourself to quality.

These are essential- people change, and you can change for the better. Like starting with this list! There’s nothing better than being committed to improving yourself, whether that’s at work, school, in your hobbies, anything!

  • Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.

It’s truly all about who you spend your life with and surround yourself with. Are they positive influences or do you feed off drama, gossip and negativity with them?

  • Be loyal.
  • Be honest.
  • Be a self-starter.

These are super important in all aspects of life- professional, personal, in your relationships, and so on.

  • Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.

This is something I definitely struggle with. It’s hard to make big decisions when you don’t know how they’ll turn out. The lesson here is that sometimes you have to take risks and if it works then it works, and if it fails then you’ll learn for next time.

  • Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.

This one’s a biggie!!! And I mean, it’s huge. To me, this is arguably the most important point out of the whole list. If all you do is blame others, that means you’re not reflecting on yourself. If you’re not reflecting, then you’re not improving or changing. If you think everyone around you has a problem and you don’t, maybe you should reassess and you might find it’s actually you with the problem. It makes a person feel terrible and belittled to admit when they’re wrong, but at least you won’t be pushing your supporters away. Of course, it’s also important to remember that it isn’t always going to be you with the problem.

  • Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

This point couldn’t be more true. Take risks and experience new things, and it’s even better if it’s outside of your comfort zone! You’ll have much more to look back on.

  • Take good care of those you love.

It’s worth your time and energy. There’s nothing as special and precious as the people in your life.

  • Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.

Come on, this one’s a given!

I hope these points made you think a little and reassess some things in your day to day life. Whether that’s how you handle certain situations, treat yourself and those around you, or committing to put in extra energy for self improvement.

Local Natural Escapes

Are you suffocated from being cooped up indoors for so long but don’t know where to explore outdoors? I’m here today to help you find enjoyable escapes in nature right here in Burnaby so that you can make the most of our last couple warm and sunny days!

One of my all time favorite places is right in the middle of Burnaby- Deer Lake Park!

Not only is there a large green space surrounding the lake, but there’s also beautiful manicured gardens to wander, historical buildings, the Burnaby Village Museum, the Art Gallery, the prestigious Hart House restaurant, and the Shadbolt Centre of the Arts! There’s so much to explore and do here- you can’t go wrong with spending a full day relaxing here.

At Shadbolt, they have shows and events happening all the time. Most are free, and some are live performances you have to pay to see. I went to a free Jazz Jam where local musicians were paired with other random musicians and they worked together to improvise different songs. It was so incredible to see so much talent and appreciation in the audience and performers alike. They host little events like this all the time, so I’d definitely check out their upcoming events here! 

If you go just to experience nature, you can walk for hours on the various trails here. There’s really nice boardwalks that surround the lake and benches are scattered along the path. You can also rent a canoe and spend the day peacefully watching the wildlife on the lake. See a trails map here

Another place I’ve discovered and come to love is Burnaby Lake. You can do the 11km loop around the entire lake, and it’s also right by a skytrain station so it’s very easy to access. Parts of the trail look like a beautiful big jungle, and there’s lots of places where you can see the water either from a boardwalk or crossing a bridge. You’ll see lots of birds, ducks, tons and tons of lily pads, and lots of little creatures like chipmunks and squirrels playing in the bushes. If you’re a bird watcher, you’d never get bored here. There’s a lot of rare birds commonly sighted from the viewing tower, like blue herons! This is the perfect escape without going far from home. Find a trail map here. All trails are wheelchair accessible and bikes are permitted!

Between these two close-to-home locations, you ought to get a couple days worth of fresh air, entertainment, and beautiful memories. Enjoy the sun while it lasts!

Guichon Creek

Welcome to Guichon creek, BCIT Burnaby’s own little sanctuary of nature and wildlife. On September 20th, BCIT will be hosting a Guichon Creek day in honor or World Rivers Day. On campus, you can walk quite far through a lovely forested area following the creek. After attending the creek day last year, I learned a lot about Guichon creek and grew a true appreciation for the work people have put into restoring it and how far it’s come.


Guichon creek is a tributary from Still Creek. It was a popular spot for fishing about 100 years ago, and it was common to see wild animals like bears, salmon, cougars, and more. However, this oasis almost completely disappeared, and wouldn’t exist today at all if people hadn’t started to do something about it. Guichon creek was damned, built around, and part of the land was used for growing crops. The salmon and fish that once thrived here struggled, and eventually were no longer able to return as it was now unnavigable. 

People at Guichon Creek day 2022 spoke on how it used to look when it was at its worst. The water level was so low that there was hardly any water at all. They remember seeing a lot of garbage in the creek bed, including a toilet seat and a bed box spring. It’s assumed that the garbage was thrown off a bridge on the highway and into Still Creek, eventually washing up at BCIT. 

These extreme and upsetting changes triggered people to not only notice, but to take action. Starting at the South end of the creek, BCIT, students, the City of Burnaby, and the Rivers Institute worked together to start restoring it in the 70s. 

As the years go on, work is still being done to improve and grow back what was once there. Trees are being planted, and wildlife is slowly rediscovering the area. Bears and cougars have been sighted again, and one of the most massive breakthroughs was the return of the salmon. Last May, I saw a family of geese walking along the banks of the creek. The sun was setting and the gosling’s fur looked so fluffy against the bright orange light, and lots of ducks have taken it up as home once more. 

However, this change didn’t magically happen. Restoration is a long and grueling process with major dedication and continuous hard work. The sad part is, so many creeks and rivers in our city have been destroyed from what they once were. The main reason people have been working to restore these creeks, particularly Still Creek, is to see the salmon return on their crucial migration path. Learn more about the restoration of Still Creek here

We’ve learned from our mistakes, and green spaces Canada-wide are now cherished, respected, and preserved. After all, the animals need a home too! And in fact, there are still plans for Guichon Creek! The new Trades and Technology Complex plans to add a “daylight” section of the creek, as well as removing invasive species. This will help the salmon and trout navigate and will essentially complete the restoration process, as it will once more have a functional aquatic ecosystem! What an accomplishment.