About the Homestay
We are Laura and Lamin, an easy-going (drama-free!) married couple living with our two cats in the popular and fun Commercial Drive area of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Our neighbourhood is well known for it's ethnic diversity and easy access to anywhere else in the city.
We have a multicultural, English-speaking home that we would like to share with you during your stay in Vancouver. If you are looking for a homestay experience or living situation that embodies diversity and cross-cultural sharing, our home and neighbourhood may be perfect for you!
Laura was born and raised here in Vancouver, and her family heritage is English and Italian. Laura is a practising Buddhist, who is well traveled and outgoing. Lamin originally came to Canada as an International Student from The Gambia in Africa. He is a practising Muslim who comes from a social culture. Lamin has a first-hand understanding of the unique challenges facing international travellers who come to Canada to study or visit.
We enjoy cooking our heritage foods for one another, and we also enjoy cooking in many other traditions as well. In addition to enjoying foods from around the world, we are very open to new ideas and experiences in general.
We live on the top two floors of a four-story house. On our main floor (third floor of the house) is a big, bright kitchen, a comfortable living room, a good sized bathroom with lots of cupboards and a guest room, an 11 x 12 sq.ft. bright, well-furnished bedroom with a private television, double-sized bed, closet, shelves and drawers and a desk with an executive-style chair.
There are two covered patios on the main floor, one has a table and barbeque and the front veranda has a beautiful mountain view, lounge chairs and a smaller patio set - perfect for morning coffee or playing cards!
Upstairs on the top floor, Lamin and I have our own bedroom. There is also a second bathroom and another guest room on this level.
This guest room is cozy, with angled walls. It is fully furnished and has a double-sized bed. The room has a skylight, so it gets a lot of light when the blind is up. Although it's a smaller room, it doesn't feel cramped at all.
We spend most of our awake time at home on the main floor in the kitchen and living room. You'll find us hanging out in the kitchen cooking, eating or perhaps even playing cards or a board game. In the living room, you may find us watching tv - Lamin is addicted to basketball, but we also love movie nights!
We don't eat pork.
Also, please be aware that we live beside the SkyTrain line, so you will hear the trains running. It may take a few nights to get used to the noise.
- Internet Access
Bedrooms available for booking
About the Area
- We live at Commercial Drive - A thriving shopping and restaurant district known for its coffee shops, ethnic restaurants, festivals and cultural diversity.
- Two blocks away from the largest and most important transit access point in Vancouver - it's easy and fast to get anywhere from here, including all schools!
- Directly on the SkyTrain (subway) line, only three blocks from Commercial Drive Station and two blocks from Broadway Station (access to the Millennium Line and Expo Line).
- Only 7 to 15 minutes by SkyTrain to get to downtown Vancouver, Chinatown, Robson Street, Vancouver Public Library or Gastown areas.
- Directly on the #20 Bus Route (our house is near the corner of 12th and Commercial).
- Only three blocks away from the #99 and #9 Bus Lines, which travel to the Canada Line SkyTrain (Broadway / City Hall Station) and the University of British Columbia.
- Easy travel routes to the Vancouver International Airport, both BC Ferries Terminals, Greyhound Bus Depot, Rocky Mountaineer Station, Via Rail Train Station and SeaBus to North Vancouver.
- Walking distance to Vancouver Community College Broadway Campus, approximately eight blocks away (or a very quick bus ride).
- Only three blocks from Trout Lake Park and Community Centre where you can have picnics, read under a tree, play various sports, walk or jog around the beautiful lake and attend various events throughout the year. You can even swim in the lake during the early part of the summer!
More about the neighbourhood:
We have many excellent and diverse restaurants and shops within easy walking distance, from Italian coffee bars to Canadian pubs, Chinese, Mexican, Ethiopian, Iranian, Nepalese and Salvadorean restaurants and much, much more! Commercial Drive, or "The Drive" as we call it locally, is consistently ranked as the best neighbourhood in the city by a local People's Choice contest, and it was also ranked as one of the 10 hippest neighborhoods in North America by Utne Reader.
In addition to all the great shopping and restaurants, The Drive is well-known for its many festivals and public events throughout the year, as well as for its local farmers' market. The Drive has been the landing destination for generations of immigrants to the city. In addition to having a vibrant Aboriginal community, the Commercial Drive area has significant Italian, Asian, Latin American, East Indian and African communities living here. According to the Canadian Federal Government, we live in the most ethnically diverse neighbourhood in Canada! No matter where you come from, you will fit right in and you could even hear your language from time to time as you walk down the streets!
Local Area Facilities
- Shopping Centre
- Amusement Park
- Sports arena
- Health club
- Bus Stop
- Train station
Please note that only a light breakfast is included in the room rate. All other meals will incur an additional cost. Meals and any additional payment should be arranged directly with your host.
Included in the stay
- Light Breakfast
- Use of Kitchen
Available on request at an extra cost
- Half Board
Diet Type available on request
- Lactose Intolerant
Although we do quite a bit of cooking, we won't have the time or ability to prepare three meals a day. We greatly enjoy independent but communal living, whereby we are all welcome to cook and clean for ourselves, and for each other as time and inclination allows. Communal meals are frequent and enjoyable, just not guaranteed!
We do include groceries with your stay, so please join us for meals if we are cooking, and feel free to prepare and eat any food you like, as we only cook family-style meals as our schedules allow.
We don't have too many rules, as we are very easy-going people. We do expect a reasonable level of cleanliness, no crazy parties or frequent heavy drinking. Drug use will not be tolerated.
We are social people and wish to keep a fairly relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable home for all of us.
Smoking is allowed outdoors only.
Laura and Lamin are so kind, make you feel very welcome. Area is so full of different types of people from everywhere in the world, and you can try all they different foods as well! All peoples get along, and there are very interesting shops, parks everywhere. Skytrain to downtown, to waterfront - I like walking English Bay. Too many things only problem. Laura is family to me now, I will always be in touch. Yes, very kind, I would send family there!
I really enjoyed staying in Laura's home!
She was very friendly and helpful to know the city and Canadian cultures.
Also location was really conveience to get to downtown.
Laura and Lamin are a incredibly welcoming and easygoing couple who are just the kind of people to make lasting friends with. Their home is comfy and conveniently located, and the rooms are private and fully equipped for everyday needs. During my stay I was able to try and enjoy wonderful home-cooked meals from a variety of different cuisines, and was also encouraged to prepare individual meals. I also had the delight of learning about different cultures and card games! As a bonus they own two super cute and friendly cats. It was an unforgettable experience and the best decision to stay with this wonderful family.
Laura and her husband are very friendly, funny and helpful. She picked me up from the Airport, showed me around and gave me great information about Vancouver and what to do. I felt very welcomed and I had the opportunity to join the family life. Thank you Laura and Lamin for a great time in Vancouver :-)
A great experience! Laura and Lemin are fantastic, really nice and friendly. The room is bright and comfortable.
The best landlord ever
Laura's home is conveniently located right next to the Commercial Drive, so it's easy to go anywhere within Vancouver using the SkyTrain or nearby busses. She knows a lot about the city and makes good recommendations, even showed me around on her free time. Overall, she and her husband are very nice people whom I could talk with for hours everyday, I very much enjoyed my Vancouver stay thanks to them.