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Vancouver, Victoria and Nelson, Canada

“(A.K.A. hippytown in the boonies)? Vancouver is the founding city of Greenpeace, and our mainstream neighbours to the south (of course not including you marvelous and open-minded brothers + sisters) call us Columbia of the north! AND WE’VE LEGALIZED HEMP TOO!”

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21 Responses to Vancouver, Victoria and Nelson, Canada

  • Nelson is the most progressive area here when it comes to Hippy lifestyles. The town is original and earthy. A must see for Canadian wanderers. Check out the drumming sessions every Saturday at the market during the summer. Check out the local coffee pad and the people living and drumming by the river. Nelson is one of the best towns for living Hippydom in Canada, B.C.

  • Never been to Canada, but I had checked out webpages on Nelson, and it looks very much like a miniaturized San Francisco, lots of Victorian-style homes, many of them on hills. Looks like the type of place if you want some of that San Francisco charm without a lot of the drawbacks of living there (such as congested traffic, pollution, and crime). And from judging by local real estate web pages, the neighboring countryside (like in Slocan and neighboring vicinities) is just unbelievable, and the property being offered is likewise. Real country homes with that rustic charm, many of them with quite a few acres, many of them private and secluded (I seen pictures where you can’t see any neighboring homes, and many are off dirt roads). If these homes don’t look like hippie homes, I don’t know what is. In fact, one of the online real estate webpages is not one bit ashamed to mention that this area of Canada is a haven for the countercultural types. If I plan on moving to Canada, I’ll be sure to check out the Nelsan and Kootaney Lake area.

  • nelson is an awesome little town. it’s absolutely gorgeous – it’s a little valley in the middle of the kootenay mountains, and every direction has a spectacular view of the mountains. it’s very earthy there, a hippie town to the core. you go downtown and everyone’s barefoot, you can buy tofu and locally-made organic granola at the corner store, everyone’s got dreads, and the almost-daily drum circle by the waterfall is the town’s main social event. and they love their festivals, too. they’ve got some great music and busking festivals. it’s a small town, but it doesn’t have the mentality of your average small town. it’s really, really laid back. it’s a great place to go.
    and i’m moving there in september!!!!!!!

  • VanCouver Rawwwks!

    I never felt more repressed as a U.S. citizen than I did in Vancouver. Something about seeing so many Free, Happy, Kind people using common sense and common good as their guidlines made me realize how UNfree the U.S. has become.

    my favorite quote “it’s redily available…. don’t buy off the street”

  • Port Coquitlam is a suburb to the east of Vancouver. The hippy poulation of Port Coquitlam is small, but it still exists. The best place for us to mellow out is behind Mary hill, on the Fraser river, near the new townhouse complex. The best place to get seen is downtown on the north side of Mary hill. We can teach these people who have been brainwashed by the capitalist government to be tolerant of differences and about the goodness of peace, love and happiness.


  • I was in a (hippie)Cafe here in the US the other night, discussing the Iraq war after a very enlightening presentation on said war. I made the comment that if GWB was re-elected I was LEAVING the US (my family has been here since 1726)! The dude next to me said “where will you go, Canada?” I said “Maybe”. He said “They will reject you, and you can thank all those (idiots) who flooded them before you”. What’s his deal?

  • He’s talking about deserters from the Vietnam War. I think. Did he have a cigar in his mouth?

  • Far out.

    Unfortunately, I was in nam before I knew anything about going to Canada. Otherwise I would have taken that far better path. I just saw your bit on the National. It was sad to hear that the statue succumbed to monetary bullying.

    My damaged body keeps me close to my US Veterans Hospital. If not for that, I would sell everything and move to join you, my own kind.

    Keep the faith,


  • The upcoming day when the lottery would take place hung over us unlike any upcoming final. We had our cars packed and were ready to hit the road to Canada should our birthday come up early in the draft. Boyhood friends of our family had moved to Canada 10 years prior and settled in Montreal. That was my first destination if my luck ran out.

    On the day of the lottery, January of 1970 the five of us who rented that house in Dayton, Ohio while we attended the University of Dayton sat with an enormous amount of trepidation. Nobody talked. We were all way too nervous. As the birthdays were called we sighed an enormous sigh of relief as each date passed that wasn’t ours. Inevitably, however we did know some acquaintances whose birthdays came up in the first 100. Nothing was said then either. We all knew the common acquaintances and the personal ones we suffered quietly. Only one of us didn’t make it out of that first 100. Ed retreated out to the porch and silently cried. There was not much we could do to comfort him. He was not one of those who felt comfortable moving to Canada.

    When the first 100 passed we again felt an enormous burden lifted off our shoulders, but we were still not out of the woods. However, as each date passed and we moved closer to 200 we were able to breathe easier date by date. When they hit 200 and we still weren’t called, we went out and got the drunkest I’ve ever been in my life. I couldn’t believe the weight that was lifted off my shoulders.

    Thank God for towns like yours. I had no plans whatsoever of fighting Tricky Dicks war and I support anybody who doesn’t feel compelled to fight Dubya-an-idiot’s war either. Wouldn’t worry about what others think of you. You just can’t please all the people all the time.

    Kudos and props to all of you in Nelson who have supported this effort. I’m just sorry the plans for the statue had to be shelved. Nonetheless, your legacy will continue in it’s stead.

  • In the past year, Vancouver has been invaded by wealthy yuppies who’ve figured out the beauty of the area and bought it up. Seems that whenever we find a beautiful place, materialists have to come develop and corporatise it. Unless you’re a hippie with loads of money and materialistic values, I would avoid the area altogether. Worse, the alternative community is being pushed out of the once reasonably priced areas of Vancouver into the dangerous parts of town.

    If you’re seeking peace and hippie havens, go to Victoria, BC or better yet the nearby but lesser known of the Gulf Islands like Mayne, Saturna, or Malcolm Island in the north where the rich and famous haven’t taken over and gentrified the community. Some of the southern Gulf Islands like Saltspring have witnessed in the past year a huge yuppie invasion with mega-development and humVs galore.

  • fair enough we are being overrun here in vancouver but the hippies and alternative cultures do what we can, weve taken formerly dangerous parts of town and filled them with hippies which seems to make places like comercial drive quite safe

    recently there have been leaps and bounds for things like free love and the hippy way in general, or maybe folkfest is just having a long lasting effect on me

  • tim you doughhead the yuppies infiltrated vancouver a long time ago ,every town needs a place where victims of headband constriction can congregate ,and they will always be found feeding on the scraps of the bourgoise of manufactured hipdom.blaze your own trail,quit buying into the cocacola hippie crap.jerry hated playing with the dead after everything was said and done,and hippies always morph into yuppies given enough time.

  • I am not reviewing this site. I just wish I had taken the trip to Canada and not gone to Vit Nam. My life has been a living hell. I have had 4 failed marriages and the 5th is going in the same direction.

    I think I should move to Nelson Canada NOW and start my life over.

    Any ideas for a job? decker5steve@yahoo.co.

  • Greetings from Australia,

    I saw an item on the News about Nelson, here in Australia and I found the idea of your monument very good. A pity, it doesn’t go up.

    I left Germany when the Reagan administraion wanted to station their intermediate range missiles there in the early 1980s. I didn’t join the army either.

    All the best

  • Nelson is beautiful, I spent a good day there with my parents but even still it was a beautiful experience to be in a sub cultured place..I visited the hemp shop along the main road and it was amazing

  • I’m in search of a Hippy Colony who will welcome me with open arms. Right now I’m a hitch hicker traveling through the states with no real direction but to find a colony. If you know one please contact me…


    Thanks so much.

  • Like Emily Carrero below, I too seek a commune where I will be welcome. At the moment I am in a camper in the bush alone, just me and my dog but it would be so much nicer being around likeminded people. Please, if you know of a free spirited, laid back commune allowing new people let me know.

    My email is reticent_kitten@hotmail.com

  • Hi all my name is Muta i love all that i’m hearing about Nelson,i’m a single dad with three little boys and we are looking for a place where we can live and Nelson sounds great. my question is are the people there okay with blacks and dreadlocks?

  • into drumming and would love to meet people who share the common interest. If anyone knows of any drum circle happening in Victoria area please let me know. Thanks!

  • For a large Canadian city, Vancouver is the most hippy-friendly. It’s a great spot to find cool people with progressive ideas and lifestyle, although you’ll find plenty of everything else as well. I’ve lived here since 1997 and moved from Ontario.

    The best hippy spots to check out if you come for a visit:

    – Wreck beach (follow the nature trails down to the ocean from UBC’s west point)
    – Commercial Drive (best section is between 1st Ave. and Parker)
    – Kitsilano – Banyen books spiritual bookstore at 4th near Alma, and the Naam restaurant at 4th Ave and Macdonald

  • What is a hippy?

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