Vancouver is the 3rd largest Canadian city. All right. That being said, it also in many ways feels like little more then a large village. With an extremely dense downtown core such as ours, everything one could possibly need happens to be so close it’s almost too easy. So on a rather quiet night, I sat down in front of my very sick computer and with invaluable help from the Gmaps Pedometer, I decided to plot a set of straight-line distances from home. Here are the results. It’s quite impressive when you look at it from a global perspective. Ours is such a small world, and this city makes it feel even smaller. In a good way.

Coffee shop: 0.2 km
Grocery store: 0.2 km
Fresh bread: 0.2 km
Bank machine: 0.2 km
Drugstore: 0.2 km
Bus stop: 0.2 km
Liquor store: 0.2 km
Corner store: 0.2 km
Pub: 0.3 km
Ethnic food: 0.4 km
Decent bakery (for morning croissants, a must): 0.6 km
Totem pole (not so often used by me but dogs like them): 2.1 km
Stadium (Go Canucks!): 2.2 km
Train station: 3.3 km
Marina: 1.1 km

Nearest (geography):
Summit above 1100 m: 11 km
Summit above 1600 m: 19 km
Island: 13 km
Snow (winter time): 11 km
Coastal mountain fjord: 15 km
Volcano (active): 110 km
Country: 76 km

Distance to various places:
Waterfront/beach: 130 m
Stanley Park: 0.9 km
Aquatic Center: 0.9 km
Granville Island Market: 1.4 km
False Creek Ferries landing: 0.9 km
Paramount Cinemas: 1.2 km
Cruise ship terminal/Imax: 2 km
Public library (main branch): 1.9 km
Chapters bookstore: 1.5 km
Art Gallery: 1.5 km
Museum of Anthropology: 8.5 km
Maritime Museum: 0.8 km
Science Center/planetarium: 0.9 km
Costco: 2.4 km
Future Shop: 1.6 km
Best Buy: 2.8 km
Work: 2.1 km
Chinatown: 3 km
Seabus terminal: 2.3 km
Lions Gate Bridge: 3.2 km

A Little further out:
Cypress Mountain: 13 km
Grouse Mountain: 10 km
Seymour Mountain: 16 km
Lynn Canyon Park/suspension bridge: 10 km

Closest sighting (in the wild):
Bald eagle: 1.4 km
White swan: 1.3 km
Sea lion: 5.6 km
Harbour seal (mother and cub): 1.5 km
Harbour seal colony: 25 km
Bear: 11 km
Deer: 11 km
Killer whale pod: 59 km
Raccoon: 200 m
Skunk: way too close ;-)

Estimated number of coffee shops within 10 km radius: 100+
Number of bridges within 20 km radius: 15+
Distance to fireworks competition barge (summer): 1.5 km
Distance to uninterrupted 30 km biking/running/roller blading/walking waterfront path: 130 m

Chamonix: 8389 km
Sea of Tranquility: 384400 km

And finally, since distances are relative and subject to interpretation, here’s a cool anecdote, food for thoughts. I was once flying over the Caribbean on a commercial plane, probably from St. Lucia to Miami. At some point during the flight, the Captain came on the PA system to do his usual announcement about the flight. He began as per the usual routine by mentioning that we were established at our cruising altitude, something close to 30,000 feet. Then he stunned everybody by adding:

"We are presently overflying the Porto Rico Trench, deepest zone in the Caribbean Sea. Try to imagine, if you can, that there is as much distance between the aircraft you’re sitting in and the ocean’s surface, as there is between that surface and the bottom…" I just wanted to cheer for him. What a mesmerizing concept. My coffee shop is indeed so close to home…