Researching 9 Lives – Burnaby Mountain

Our time in Vancouver was short and mainly spent visiting with friends, but on our last day in town we made sure to visit the Burnaby Mountain area, where the 9 Lives Cozy Mystery series takes place.

The Path The SchoolOur first stop was the area where I lived and where Christy has her townhouse in the 9 Lives series. We had a nostalgic look at the local school and the playground beside it, then we wandered along the path where she and Quinn find quiet places to walk and talk. I am glad to say that it looked much as it had when I lived in the area. The morning was gorgeous – blue sky, hot but not sultry. The chickadees sang, and insects buzzed. I even noticed a Great Pacific Slug on the path. Shades of home! The path was quiet, with only one lady walking her dog. As we passed her, she (and we) did a double take. She was one of our neighbours, whom we hadn’t seen in years. We paused to catch each other up on news and what our kids were up to. It was a delightful bonus to our visit.

Simon Fraser UniversityWe also planned to pop into Lougheed Mall, the ‘local’ mall where Christy does her shopping. On our way there we took a detour to Simon Fraser University where I studied and worked. It’s also the prototype for the ‘new’ university Quinn attended, and which he thinks about in The Cat’s Paw when he is trying to figure out how to keep Christy from leaving Vancouver. SFU is located on the top of Burnaby Mountain and a lot has changed since I was there. Where once there was forest, now there is a whole community of highrise apartments, some shopping and a school.

Cobs Bread, Lougheed Mall, Burnaby, BCLougheed Mall looks much the same as it did when I lived in the area, with some changes in the shops, but not a huge difference. There’s a Cobs Bread there now. They make the most wonderful baked goods, including a chocolate chip hot crossed bun. I thought of Cobs as I wrote a scene in book 3 in the series, Cat Got Your Tongue.

Kins Farm Market, Lougheed Mall, Burnaby, BCI was delighted to see that Kins Farm Market was still there. I loved that store because of their wide selection of vegetables and I’d make a weekly trip to buy my produce there. Then I’d have to haul out bags and bags to my car. The central rotunda in front of The Hudson’s Bay store is where Santa’s Village is set up every Christmas and that is where Noelle rides the miniature train in The Cat’s Paw.

Lougheed Mall, Burnaby, BCOur last stop was the Burnaby Costco where we bought three large jars (735g size) of taco seasoning. Remember the taco seasoning. It’s going to come up in my Friday post.

We weren’t able to spend as much time as I’d have liked in the area, but we did hit the high points. Then it was on to more visiting, this time with writer friends down in Richmond.