Shortly after moving to Kits Point, I noticed a faint whiff in the air I hadn’t smelled before. It was a malty aroma of fermenting beer. This smell is from the Molson’s brewery at the Kits end of the Burrard Street Bridge.

Soon that flavourful scent will be a thing of the past. The historic brewery, one of the last remnants of the area’s industrial past, will close soon and move to a new facility in Chilliwack.

And I love the smell of the salty air, especially on my early morning power walk after a rainfall.

For those of you not familiar with coastal smells, you may find low tide at our local beach has a bit of an offensive odor.

Flight Network rated Kitsilano Beach as #16 in the World’s Best Beaches 2018, top 50 city beaches: “With mountain and downtown views, as well as Canada’s longest salt-water swimming pool, this beach is tough to beat.” They scored it as 10/10 for accessibility, 9/10 for atmosphere, 8/10 for sand and water quality, and 289 annual days of sunshine.

But why do beaches, even our beautiful Kits Beach, sometimes stink?

Don’t worry it’s quite normal. It’s just seaweed which has washed up on shore, usually after a storm. The wet seaweed collects in piles. As it dries in the sun, it slowly decomposes into hydrogen sulfide gas. When beach lovers step on the seaweed or the waves break-up the seaweed, the gas is released into the air – that familiar smell of rotten eggs. Another reminder we are near the water.

Of course, to counter-balance the opposite of this strange natural aroma, is the lovely smell emanating from the many chocolate shops in Kitsilano.

Here are a few: Purdy’s (2196 West 4th), Thomas Hass (2539 West Broadway), and Koko Monk (1849 West 1st & 2883 West Broadway).

The many bakeries with their wonderful aromas in the neighbourhood are just too numerous to mention. Here are a few to enjoy:

  • Baguette and Co. – 3273 West Broadway
  • Beyond Bread – 3686 West 4th
  • Notte’s Bon Ton Pastry – 3150 West Broadway
  • Breka Bakery & Cafe – 3750 West 4th – open 24 hours
  • Cartems Donuts – 3040 West Broadway
  • Cobbs – 2320 West 4th 2837 West Broadway
  • Edible Flowers – 2280 West Broadway
  • Serano Greek Pastry – 3185 West Broadway
  • Siegel’s Bagels – 1883 Cornwall – open 24 hours
  • Solly’s Bagelry – 2873 West Broadway
  • Sweet Obsession – 2611 West 16th
  • Terra Breads – 2380 West 4th
  • Vogue Cakes – 2961 West Broadway

Last modified: March 7, 2019

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