braving the vancouver rain

rain jacket-playing in rain
Prior to moving to Vancouver, Allessia was given fair warning on exactly what to expect... a forecast full of rain. What she didn’t anticipate was that conquering the rain is a true art form, one that Vancouverites have spent years developing.

the calm before the storm

When I told my friends and family in Toronto that I would be moving to Vancouver, the response I heard over and over again always seemed to look past the scenic ocean and mountain views, the friendly Vancouverites, and the desirable active lifestyle that the city has to offer. “Doesn’t it rain a lot in Vancouver?” “You better be ready for rain” “Don’t forget to pack your umbrella!” YES, YES, YES. It rains in Vancouver. There I said it. And yes it is true. But I would never in a million years take back -30 temperatures with 6 feet of snow for a little rain because what I have found is that it’s not so much about the weather as it is about how you handle it.

when it rains it pours

I remember so clearly my first confrontation with the Vancouver rain. I remember it because it was like no other rain experience I’d ever had. The weather shifted from bright and sunny to dark and gloomy in a matter of seconds, a common occurrence in Vancouver I since realized. As the 5’oclock crowd made their way through the streets I readied myself for the downpour. I was waiting for the cityscape to morph into a sea of umbrellas but nobody seemed to skip a beat, everybody just embraced the wet.

singing in the rain

In an effort to fit in, I fought my Torontonian instinct to run for cover or throw up my umbrella. I kept the cadence of my stride, a smile on my face and pretended to not be fazed by the rain (I really had to try to not worry about how my hair might react.) What I quickly realized was that ‘rain’ is only as bad as you make it to be. In Toronto, I would have let it ruin my day by replacing my conversational, “hey how are you?” with “can you believe this weather?”  The Vancouverites have it right. The number one reason the rain is far more tolerable in Vancouver is because nobody complains about it.

there is no such thing as bad weather

Someone once said to me, there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing choice. While I aim to take on the Vancouver attitude, I think it’ll take some time before I can truly embrace the rainfall and power on through. For those of you who aren’t quite ready to soldier on, here are some of my tried and tested ways to weather the storm.

right as rain jacket


  • Right As Rain Jacket: The perfect accomplice for rainy day errands when staying in just isn’t an option.
  • Birdcage Umbrella: There’s nothing more embarrassing then being that person on the street whose umbrella flips inside out. The uniquely shaped birdcage umbrella (available at The Bay, Sears, and Harry Rosen) is designed to keep the wind out, so you can go confidently in any direction. This umbrella even has the Queen’s approval!
  • Rubber Boots: Plain and simple, my feet are happy feet when they are warm and dry. My rain boots give me no excuse to not brave the storm.

With the right attitude, and perhaps the right accessories, no amount of rain should ever stand in your way. As for my dear friends and family in Toronto, I look forward to hearing from you in February, not to worry, I have a pull-out couch.

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This. Is. Amazing!

I’ve been trying to tell people this for years!!! So glad you’re embracing that rain!

Comment by Lindsay — August 11, 2011 @ 10:40 am

So true! This is exactly what my French friends told me before I left for this wonderful city. I try to take as many pictures of this sunny weather as I can, to prove them wrong!

Comment by Marie — August 11, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

I love this! What a great attitude to have! Such wonderful people these Vancouver folk!

Comment by Jordyn Thompson — August 11, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

What a great post! I will admit rainy days here in Toronto are a buzzkill- but it’s all about perspectives right? Goal for next rainy day, get out there and smile!

Comment by Anil N. Singh — August 12, 2011 @ 5:35 am

Great post! As a wise woman said to me once….”people just say things that will help make themselves feel better” (you) haha…I agree…rain and mountains and green green green…to grey, icy and flat?? No contest! But I do know people that embrace the ice and snow and they are some of the happiest folk I know…go figure! Lovin’ the love attitude!! keep it comin’!!

Comment by Liana Sofia — August 13, 2011 @ 5:39 am

Awesome post! People are always talking about how Vancouver is a rainy city. It’s all about perspective and how you see things. Going to embrace the rain next time it comes along!

Comment by Jessica — August 16, 2011 @ 11:20 am

After 8 years of living in Vancouver I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to rain and then I moved to Perth, Australia. And while it’s more often sunny here than in Vancouver when it rains, it literally pours! Puts Vancouver to shame – it’s like a monsoon rolls in let’s it all out and is over with just as quick – but for that brief time – you need to take shelter.

Comment by Jac. — August 25, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

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