We recently moved from Vancouver to the wilder side of things – North Vancouver! And man, it’s a new ball game here with the stunning forest as our backyard and bears casually strolling through our neck of the woods.

Living with these big, furry fellas as our neighbours requires a bit of know-how and a dash of common sense. It has been something new since we didn’t have bears to deal with in Vancouver, and we’re all about keeping the peace – for both humans and bears.

So, here’s our quick and easy guide on how to chill with the bears in North Vancouver without any unwanted drama.


Embracing Coexistence: A Guide to Living Peacefully with Bears in North Vancouver

  1. Educate Yourself: Understanding bear behaviour is crucial for coexistence. Bears are generally shy and prefer to avoid humans. Learning about their habits, feeding patterns, and hibernation cycles will empower you to make informed decisions when sharing space with them.
  2. Secure Your Property and Lock Down Your Leftovers: Bears have an exceptional sense of smell, and food sources like garbage, pet food, and compost can lure them into residential areas. Lock up your trash using the clips provided by the city, and compost like a pro; freeze your food scraps until pick up if possible. And remember, bird feeders should be hung high enough to be out of reach.
  3. Be Mindful of Outdoor Activities: Be aware of your surroundings if you enjoy outdoor activities. Make noise while hiking or biking to alert bears to your presence. Carry bear spray and know how to use it effectively. Carry a bear bell as well to make noise as you hike.  Keep a safe distance if you encounter a bear, and never approach or feed them.
  4. Responsible Camping Practices: For those who love camping, practice the Leave No Trace principles. Cook and store food away from your sleeping area, and use bear-resistant containers to store your supplies. Properly dispose of waste and avoid bringing strong-smelling items into your tent.
  5. Harvest Fruit Trees Responsibly: If you have fruit trees on your property, harvest fruit promptly to avoid attracting bears. Fallen fruit can be a significant attractant, so ensure your yard is clear of windfalls.
  6. Advocate for Bear Conservation: Support local efforts and initiatives on bear conservation and habitat protection. Participating in community programs and sharing knowledge with your neighbours creates a safer environment for humans and bears.  Check out the District of North Vancouver Living Safely with Beears and Other Wildlife page for more information. 

Living peacefully with bears in North Vancouver is possible; after all, we live in their home. By educating ourselves, securing our properties, and practicing responsible outdoor activities, we can foster a coexistence that respects the natural habitats of bears while ensuring the safety of our homes.

Embrace the beauty of living alongside bears and contribute to the conservation efforts to protect this delicate balance for future generations.