By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April 27, 2015
JULIA Palmer looks outside her kitchen window and the scene is positively Elysian. There are birds chirping in the dense canopy of trees and there is usually a family of ducks quacking as they glide on the backyard creek.
“It’s so much fun to see it all, we really love it here,” says Palmer, a new and may be a lifetime Squamisher.
The Palmers—Brook, Julia, Drew, and Effie—moved to town in March from Vancouver. They are what Squamish is becoming: a town brimming with young families who move here to live the outdoors lifestyle and yet to be close to the city and Whistler.
After a three-year long distance relationship, Julia moved from Seattle to be with Brook, who runs his own construction company called Blue Bird Masonry.
They lived in a Mount Pleasant apartment but moving to a smaller community to raise a family was always what they had wanted. Brook knew Squamish: Originally from Prince Rupert, he had moved to Whistler to enjoy the skiing lifestyle. He had also lived in Squamish and loved what it had to offer.
As the Palmer family grew (daughter Effie is only seven weeks old), they started looking for affordable places outside Vancouver. Squamish seemed like a natural choice. Brook’s work takes him to West Vancouver and Whistler and they had visited the town several times to see friends and hiked the Chief and Blacktusk mountains. With the help of local realtor Neal Sikkes, they were able to find a home in Brackendale.
Squamish is a welcome change for Julia, who grew up in St Paul, Minnesota, lived in Seattle and then moved to Vancouver to live with Brook and attain a teaching degree at UBC.
“I love waking up to see the mist and the mountains in Squamish,” she said.
Drew, their two-and-a-half year old son, loves to sit on the kitchen counter and spot the birds outside. With a little help from a bird book, he’s been able to identify the Robins, Great Blue Heron and Thrushes.
There are nice people in Vancouver no doubt, says Brook, but it’s a difference of ‘day and night’ when it comes to the small-town friendliness he has noticed in Squamish.
“Everyone is really friendly and most of the people we have met have been very nice,” says Brook.
Julia is on a maternity leave which has given her time to explore the town. She loves going to the Judd beach, the local park and sipping coffee at Bean around the World in Brackendale. Brook, meanwhile, has just bought a mountain bike and is excited to explore the local trails.
Brook would like to do more projects in Squamish so the family can and live in so he can be closer more with his company.
“We’d like to stay in Squamish,” he said.