People of Vancouver | Jessica Thorburn

east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay

I met Jessica through this beautiful Peaks and Harbours community and instantly adored her and her adorable family. I had the pleasure of photographing them in their Mount Pleasant home. Here is what Jessica said about Vancouver, community, and why she loves living here.

east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay  east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay

How long have you lived in Vancouver? Which neighbourhood do you live in and why? Have you lived in any other neighbours? 

We moved to Vancouver 3 years ago after my husband accepted a job here. It was a big decision to leave our deep-rooted community and family in Calgary, but it was an opportunity we were excited to try out (I mean, it is Vancouver!) My husband came house hunting a month before we moved and found a sweet little spot in Mount Pleasant. We picked it initially because of it’s proximity to so much wonderfulness (parks, shops, restaurants- we walk everywhere, and everything we need is so close by) but we quickly realized our neighbourhood offers so much more. Our street is bustling with a huge mix of wonderful people- we have amazing neighbours doing amazing things and we have been so fortunate to get to know some of them over the years. We love Mount Pleasant, and would never want to be anywhere but here. 

east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jayeast vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay

What are your top reasons for choosing to live in Vancouver?

Initially, it was my husbands work that brought us to Vancouver, but almost instantly we realized why so many people choose to live here- It really is an INCREDIBLE city. I love that pretty much anything you could ever want or need is right at your finger tips. I love that there are so many local shops and businesses doing really cool and amazing things. I love that the mild weather means we can be outside pretty much all year long. i love how many amazing friends and truly sweet people we have met in our relatively short time here. And I love that you can get to so many really neat places pretty easily. We have been fortunate to get to visit some of the nearby islands and sections of the United States. ‘Exploring your own backyard’ is given a whole new meaning when you look at how big Vancouver’s backyard really is. 

east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jayeast vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay

What does community mean to you and how have you built yours? 

Community to me is a feeling of belonging. Finding places and people that you deeply connect with and taking the time to build a tribe that feels more like family than friends. When we moved from Calgary, I was really nervous about how we would ever replicate the community we had built there (they were some seriously big shoes to fill). But I was surprised by how quickly the people we love in Vancouver grew. It helped that we knew a couple awesome people here before we moved (…rad friends tend to introduce you to the other rad people they know!) and of course, as everyone always says, having a kid is a pretty awesome ice breaker, but i do think the quality of the people in Vancouver is another testament to how wonderful this city is. The people we have connected with here are some of the most loving, kind, creative, generous and some of the best we have ever known. 

east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay

What do you do for work and play?

For work, I am a stay at home mom to our 5 year old son, Finn and I run a small business doing virtual admin and business support.

For play, I love to visit with friends, cook (and eat) delicious food, take photographs, and go to the beach (having grown up in Calgary, I always thought i was a mountain girl, but moving here, I immediately realized it’s the ocean that fills my soul.)

east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay

What’s your favourite place to hang out in Vancouver on a rainy day? How about on a sunny day?!

Now that my son is in school full-time, i find my rainy day hangouts have changed a bit. Where before, my list would have included endless kid friendly spots like The Mount Pleasant Family Centre, The Vancouver Public LibraryCollage Collage, Science World or Circus Play Cafe (which our landlords/ upstairs neighbours/ dear friends, Toby and Anuk opened last spring) I now find myself spending much more time enjoying simple pleasures. I often meet up with my friend Katie for a coffee at Matchstick after school drop off, or have friends over for tea and grown up conversations while the kids are at school. I also love to go for a walk or window shopping at all the lovely little shops on Main Street. Not that the rain stops us from being outside, but if the sun is shining, we will often meet friends at the beach or a park near by (Robson, Dude Chilling, or Mount Pleasant are at the top of our list!) have a picnic, let the kids run wild, and soak it all in. We also love to venture over to the north shore for mellow hikes, skipping rocks and (more often than i like to admit) donuts at Honey’s.  

 east vancouver family portraits at home jessica thorburn images by bethany paper blue jay

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You can find Jessica on Instagram here. She posts beautiful photos! Thank you for reading this post! If you would like to be featured or know someone who should be on People of Vancouver, shoot me an email! Or if you’d just like a family portrait session I’d love to create some images with you. :)

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