Video: Moving West to Squamish, British Columbia for the Love of Mountain Biking

Jan 2, 2021
by Pierre-Luc Arseneau  



A Sense of Home


A Sense of Home is a short film featuring Jordan Graves, a New-Brunswick resident, who made the journey from the east coast to the west coast (or the wet coast am I right?) of Canada to Squamish, BC, to pursue his passion for mountain biking.



Berm to berm gap
It can be very intimidating to arrive in such a place like Squamish, a place where some of the best riders in the world call their backyard. But this little charming town between Vancouver and Whistler is one of the best places in the world to ride bikes for a reason.



I tried to capture a glimpse of what it felt like for him to finally be able to ride some of the best trails in the world.

Getting the shot



As I joined him a few months after his move we reconnected with old friends that also made the voyage out west a few years earlier, we we're then able to quickly find a sense of home by doing what we do best, riding bikes with our buddies.



MENTIONS: @jordangraves @drpepperrider2



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111 Comments

  • 59 4
 Squamish sucks don’t go !!!!
  • 29 3
 Well the cost of living does.
  • 4 0
 @makripper: I very much agree with this statement.
  • 3 0
 @drpepperrider2: I got a wild job offer for the district in 2016 and even with the good offer it wasn't worth it. At the time it was close to 500k for a crappy 70's townhouse. They just got worse too.
  • 2 0
 @makripper: Where within a couple hours drive is cheaper?
  • 6 0
 @paulwatt: literally no where. Or maybe Lillooet? About a 3h drive...
  • 3 0
 @drpepperrider2: most places south or east of East Van (I just looked). By the time you factor in commuting time and expense to 'the city', it'll end up significantly more expensive here. Everyone should move south of Vancouver and ride Vedder Wink
  • 3 0
 @paulwatt: pemberton. It's gone up but still more reasonable
  • 4 3
 @makripper: That would be one of the highest paying trade / union jobs in town! Sadly the huge influx of Brits in the last few years buying places with pounds instead of loonies has made it unaffordable for most residents to buy a place . With very few forestry / resource and no more mill jobs left it boogles my mind on how the economy works in Squamish. Sure construction has been busy for a decade- but most tradesmen and materials come from the city . Im sure the city council has debated a foreign buyers tax by now.
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop: yeah it was definitely a sweet gig. I just couldn't make it work while maintaining my current lifestyle. Ie. Ski passes and bike/ski gear
  • 4 0
 @makripper: Depends if you want to ride a lot or own a nice house I guess!
  • 1 0
 @slowerthanmydentist: exactly. Move for the lifestyle but can't live it didn't make sense. I prefer to own as well which makes a difference
  • 1 0
 @makripper: it wont ever get cheaper there.And the 500k for the70 s townhouse would have been mainly for the land and permit to build something new.Out of a contractor and an investor s point of view.
  • 1 0
 @barbarosza: do you get how strata works? It's not that simple lol. Also house rich doesn't help for day to day living. Good to have a balance of investment and liquidity.
  • 8 0
 @makripper: i moved to Whistler in 2002 and then Squamish in 2007

I watch the town go from a awesome little small town where you could buy a cheap home and you knew who your neighbours where . Then I watched it grow into what it is today a over priced subberb of Vancouver. Lots of Foreign investment and multi family development have IMO destroyed the town . It’s not a great place to live anymore if your trying to get ahead . And many of the people that have moved there are just pricks . As far as the town council goes they collect the massive influx of property tax that’s been generated and not much goes back in . The weekends are so busy with tourist that going for a ride or a swim in peace is difficult. I built about 30 homes there ( I’m a builder ) and it’s definitely not getting cheaper ever .
  • 1 0
 @makripper: hey at least your saving money on health care!!
  • 1 1
 @paulwatt: marry a native lady and live on reserve?
  • 4 1
 @slowerthanmydentist: You start to get older (quicker than u think)...Living in a piece of shit starts to suck ..
  • 6 0
 @mxmtb: You know what, I'd have to agree on a few points here. I'm not sure if it's my maritimer naïve mentality speaking but I find that most people I've met since being here have been quite cold, pretentious and not very friendly. This is obviously a generalization since I have met some very nice people as well, but it's not what I had in mind when moving here to be honest. I have to agree that it's a bit overhyped, and very overpriced.
  • 1 0
 I already live here. My point was they it’s not just Squamish getting expensive. It’s all of the lower mainland. And most of BC. There are cheap ways to live here though as well. @jamesbrant:
  • 5 1
 @mxmtb: I gotta agree as much as I don't like it. I haven't been around for as long, moving to Whistler in 2012 and then Squamish in 2016, I regretted that move ever since. It's not really meaningfully cheaper than Whistler yet has much less to offer as a town. Actually I think Squamish has very little to offer for anyone making below 6 figures in what I've seen.
Don't get me wrong I absolutely love the trail riding we have here, the forest and nearby nature is amazing, but that's literally all I can say about Squamish that's positive. I guess Brackendale and Highlands have a decent vibe still but anywhere else you are pretty much guaranteed to live near a construction site for some new development for city folks flocking in and the people living here I just don't get.
I lived in Whistler, North Van and in both places everyone seemed happier, friendlier but not in Squamish. I don't know what it is but I just find this town really depressing and even escaping to the forest you have to stay on the "unmapped" trails most of the summer to get away from the frowning crowds.
  • 2 0
 @MrDuck: you not alone dude . Many many of my friends have all left and moved to quieter places . Lucky most of them got real estate Rich. The social scene is depressing there . I’m now in north van and much happier .
  • 5 0
 I’ve been here 13 years after moving from Whistler. Guess I’m going against the grain but I think town has gone from being pretty crap to pretty decent. The town itself is no great attraction compared to Nelson or Rossland or other charming small towns. When I first moved here people were selling drugs in my back yard. If something wasn’t nailed down it would get stolen. There was only one other family (with kids similar ages to ours) within 3 blocks. Now there are families everywhere. The homeless and drug addicted have good supports and are doing a lot better. The riding has gone from good to insane. And even if the parking is full on a sunny Sunday, I rarely see people on the trails I ride. @mxmtb:
  • 2 0
 @drpepperrider2: The west coast can be pretty cold.. People here are pretty into their own thing and not very open, probably because of the massive amount of in and out movement. But there are lots of good folks out there.

Glad to see this on front page BTW deserved to be here for sure. Was fun chasing you guys around on Boogie that day. Looking forward to getting the rig together again so I can ride.
  • 2 0
 @Ksmcarthur: Serial Bowler!!!
  • 3 0
 @paulwatt: sounds like you’re doing well there and ain’t nothing wrong with that . It’s definitely a young family town now forsure and the downtown has been cleaned up of the riff raff that once plagued it . The gentrification took hold so fast that the town didn’t even try to hold onto what made it great . They just let greed town supreme

Ya the riding is sick absolutely no questions . Pink bike generally fails to mention how hard of a place Squamish is to actually have a nice life outside of riding a bike . Housing prices , lack of good jobs that are not trade based and a lagging infrastructure. They care more about tourism then the people who actually live there ( gondola cough cough )
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop: show sources?? canada/vancouver HUGELY more affluent than us brits. van aso one of the most expensive places to buy property. im told by reliable sources that chinese use property in van a a form of banking. I know of 2 van locals who own properties in whistler/pemberton just to let out on the air bnb. canada is expensive for brits. the exchange rate means diddly squat when it costs $9 for a glass of beer. $5 for a bag of chips (more expensive than UK). I found everything extremely expensive in vancouver/squamish/whistler even with my magical brit pounds.
  • 1 0
 @mxmtb: canadians also are drawn to the sea to sky. got 2 friends just moved from van to whistler...
  • 2 1
 @MrDuck: talk about high expectations in life & massively under-appreciating what you have. this just exemplifies the squamish attitude. looks like you have fallen-in nicely to the cold-heartedness which is really striking in squamish (i think brits are equally so but i would have expected with such wonderful surroundings would be different) the one thing that I took away from my visit as a cycle tourist. btw I spent £2000 during my visit to squamish/whistler/chilcontins.
  • 2 0
 @a-d-e: many people are definitely drawn to the sea to sky it’s gorgeous and there’s plenty of outdoor stuff to keep you entertained. No one is disputing this . The point is no one ever talks about what it actually costs to live there . The dark side of paradise you could say
  • 1 0
 @a-d-e: 1 british pound equals 1.73 cdn dollars- thats a huge discount anyway you slice it. No one’s arguing Canada is not expensive- more the point how much more expensive Squamish has become. Only parts of BC are affluent ( West Vancouver at the top of the list) . The Downtown Eastside Vancouver average income is a paltry 22,000 / year after tax . The average wage in Squamish is 22$/ hr - a retail manager ( what they build more and more of) is 37k-43k / year. A logging truck driver makes about 80k a year - what there was alot of 10 plus years ago and a lot less of now in Squamish. So quick math - wages cut in half and cost of living/ housing doubled.
  • 1 0
 @mxmtb: So, here's another thing to throw into the mix. There are very good jobs with a lot of time off in film. Plus there's a lot of good people working in the industry, including a ton of people who live in Squamish. A lot of the people I ride with work in film.
  • 1 0
 @paulwatt: Unfortunately the worst characters I've met here came from that background so I guess as with everything it's about who you run into, but I learned to be cautious.
But I've said enough negatives, in the end it's my decision to live here (well the girlfriend's really, you know how they work) because if I add the positives and negatives I come out just short of being motivated enough to move elsewhere, but as @mxmtb said, it's just that other side of the coin here that noone talks about and then a lot of mountain bikers come here and their expectations just fall apart. I can't say that about any other town nearby.
  • 1 0
 @paulwatt: This is exactly why I'm here and trying my best to make it...
  • 1 0
 @paulwatt: tbh abbotsford is pretty awesome only con is its a 5h drive to whistler. they still aren't as good as colitquam or victoria though
  • 1 0
 @paulwatt: I don’t know who you know in film , but I know about 20 odd people who work in it and they are all balls to the wall . Depending on how your show runs yes you can get a nice break in between shoots . I’m way beyond working 12 plus hour days and 80 hour weeks .
  • 1 1
 @mxmtb: Holy smokes..I work 9s and that pisses me off....Just out here smashing it into dividend paying stocks for that passive income so that I can eventually work even less..Gonna be awhile tho..
  • 11 1
 It’s funny that Squamish locals use the #squamishsucksdontgo but I revisited there after leaving in 2016 and it literally sucks now. Unless you like long lines, crowded restaurants, and arcteryx clad punters everywhere you want to be. #squamishsactuallykindasucksthinktwiceaboutgoing...
  • 7 0
 ***I actually use arcteryx and love it, I shouldn’t be so critical***
  • 3 6
 By crowded restaurants do you mean restaurants with actual good food? And line ups? Where? Maybe at backcountry on a long weekend. And what’s wrong with gortex? And who are you calling a punter??
  • 8 1
 To put it in crude terms Squamish is one big circle jerk at this point. Everyone is patting themselves on the back for moving there. Its a great place to ride for sure, it's just that there are many better places in BC.
  • 2 0
 This
  • 1 0
 @NielsensBicycles: mountain hardware for this cheap bastard..Does me good.
  • 1 0
 @james529529: Nope I mean the one of 4 good restaurants you can’t get into because 4578 day trippers from van all flocked in. Line ups? Gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, tops of trails, repair dept at bike shops, Home Depot... Nothing wrong with goretex if you A) You go outside in the rain. And B) Move fast enough to need gear that breathes. Punters? Anyone on a black trail that’s dragging brakes where you don’t need brakes...
  • 2 0
 @kwl1: hit the nail on the head. People are so desperate to live there. We just sold our place in Brackendale, bought acreage on the island. Lived there just under 20 years but it was time to move on. It's more like Kitsilano now then the old logging town that it was.
  • 1 0
 @kwl1: amen brother
  • 3 0
 @higgler: I cycled up to Lucille the other year and when I got there the only people there were skinny white women with babies. It looked like some elite Aryan breeding ground LOL. So Kits.
  • 11 0
 little charming town?? hope you brought bags of gold or are the beneficiary of a major family trust account!
  • 1 0
 Hahahaha I have to agree on this one.
  • 9 0
 I consider myself very lucky to have spend a year in Squamish. I could easily spend more time there, but the living expenses are just getting ridiculous.
  • 4 1
 I lived in Squamish from 93-2001 and MTB riding is as good as it gets. After leaving Squamish, housing prices soared and I moved back to Vancouver Island (Cowichan Valley). Some good riding here also...
  • 18 1
 @RowdyAirTime: ahem... please keep Vancouver Island out of this 'I moved there' discussion. We moved back too. I'm sure we can agree that there is absolutely no riding on the Island anywhere! Squamish has it all. Enjoy.
  • 2 1
 @schwangster: Ha, ha, Oh yeah, don't come over to the island, riding sucks...lol
  • 2 1
 @RowdyAirTime: shhhhh it's bad enough we have to deal with all the new Victoria riders in Duncan now, don't need tourists on top of it
  • 3 1
 @bendrew: duncan is the biggest tourist attraction on the island because of the bridge.
  • 9 0
 Someone needs to do an 'alternative' Squamish vid.......skids and wheelies around the Shady Tree (RIP) car park, dorps to flat off beige 80's camper vans, a trail cat......
  • 11 2
 Not even one slab was rode. Was that even Squamish?
  • 3 0
 LOL right? It's crazy how much good riding there is in Squamish even without the slabs. Those slabs though...
  • 5 0
 @tvan5: half the filming was done in North Van though
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: North Van is equally awesome IMO
  • 5 1
 Beautiful vid!!! Absolutely dialed the music, cinematography, and editing. Please do another one when the weather improves a bit.
  • 1 0
 Thank you so much!
  • 2 1
 Normally I am not a big fan of "fancy" editing but I thoroughly enjoyed that vid. Nice vibe!
  • 1 0
 @maxatrillion: We took a chance for sure, but ultimately we feel it had a nice vibe to it!
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop I know a few Vancouverites that cashed out and bought in Squamish and work remotely so I'm sure it's a mix of people that have contributed to the dramatic rise in housing costs.There's a town in BC where quite a few Squamish locals have moved to to escape the hordes. I wonder where the cycle will continue to?
  • 1 1
 I am just curious..how much yor have to pay for a house around 100 square meters big plus a garage?
  • 1 0
 Old house - 1.1 million cdn dollars Newer house - will be larger- 250 sq m or larger 1.3 million plus cdn dollars Check out website - rew.ca
  • 6 0
 new brunswick for life
  • 4 1
 Squamish has amazing trails and nature is breathaking but ridiculous living costs and boring city are just for locals. No thanks! No more.
  • 1 0
 Love Squamish or hate it, the trails are fantastic and it’s the perfect location to enjoy all the sea to sky has to offer. Still cheaper than Whistler and West Van, so I assume the housing market will probably continue to rise.
  • 2 0
 >> But this little charming town between Vancouver and Whistler

Man, I'm old; the days of Squampton are long gone...
  • 2 0
 I used to climb a lot and the main guidebook gave all the directions based on setting your trip odometer to zero "at the traffic light in Squamish". Crazy growth but I still love it the town, the riding and the community.
  • 3 0
 Nice job. Good filming and riding
  • 1 0
 Thanks Colin!
  • 2 0
 Wow, well done guys, beautiful images, pro quality and nice vibe. Looking forward to see more of your content! Cheers!
  • 1 0
 Thanks Joel!
  • 1 1
 @mxmtb hahaha! I’ve got that sticker on my pickup! Hahaha! And I live in Ontario! But spend April till November in Squamish working!
  • 5 0
 Well aren’t you quite the Gypsy @bags1 You probably drive a taco and live in a trailer while you’re out there. I got a sticker idea for you, “North of 4 sucks don’t go”
  • 1 1
 Are the trails packed there? Just wondering if it's annoyingly busy like it is at one of our metro trails.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: pretty big riding area but kinda yes. getting that way more and more.
  • 3 1
 Yeah boys, east coast represent! Great work and keep on shreddin’!
  • 1 0
 Thanks my dude !
  • 2 0
 Nice riding Jordan! Song was so sick too
  • 1 0
 Thanks Steve !
  • 1 0
 moved to the Shore for the Shore in 1989... straight fork,cantilever brakes and all. Never looked back. Ride or die
  • 1 0
 At 0:12-SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2s are such great lenses. Bet some of this video was shot with that lens.
  • 2 0
 Close ! Shot on a Lumix 18-35 f2.8 + BMPCC 4k
  • 1 0
 Should be illegal to post a video of Sqaumish under 2 minutes long. #Sqaumpton
  • 2 0
 That’s my boy!!! Yes sirrrr!! ????????????????
  • 1 0
 f*ck yee my dude ????????????????
  • 2 0
 Nice place to visit. Great riding but rains so so much and is busy.
  • 1 0
 Sick vid ! Nice to see something authentic , thank you
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the comment ????????
  • 1 0
 Opps no ?, suposed to
Be an emoji lol
  • 1 0
 @drpepperrider2: compliment to see a good vid with some great riding on the local trails, just like I do myself , not today though
  • 1 0
 I came in 2003 for a year............
  • 1 0
 The ?????? Were emojis that apparently don’t work. Oops. Oh well.
  • 1 0
 Very cool video. Stupid question; what's the bike he's riding??
  • 1 0
 Norco Range Carbon Smile
  • 1 1
 This is what I want to do very soon, thank you the insight ????
  • 1 0
 ????
  • 2 0
 @MindPatterns: sorry, I forgot pink bike doesn't support emojis!
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