view of bay at false creek in vancouver
Photo by Alex Agrico on

In the search to find the best place to create a Canadian Blue Zone — a spot to live to 100 in good health — Vancouver is a pretty good place to start.

It has that magic ingredient common to the five Blue Zones worldwide: Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica. Its environment makes it easy to choose healthy habits over bad ones.

“We think making healthy choices into easy choices is really impactful,” said Dr. Michael Schwandt, medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health, a regional health authority. 

“The environment that people live in is very important for that. The approach of simply telling people what they ought to do is definitely not enough.”

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Julie Carl has more than 30 years of experience in journalism, most recently as a senior editor at the Toronto Star. Julie started her journalism career at small-town Ontario newspapers. She then served...