How to Make Friends in Vancouver

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Making Friends in Vancouver – Part 1

Vancouver is known historically as having a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to making friends and can, for many, be quite socially isolating. It can be hard to make acquaintances in a city like Vancouver where the scene can be cliquey and difficult to penetrate for newcomers. With this in mind, it’s always worth taking the plunge, getting out of your comfort zone and attempting to expand your social network.

Here are some ways to help you take the leap and make some new friends in Vancouver.

Become a Volunteer

Connecting with your community is key when it comes to volunteering. Community service can be great if you are a bit on the shy side because it often puts you in a group where you can practice socializing and it has the added benefit of, well, helping others.

Here are some places to help you get started with your next volunteering challenge in Metro Vancouver:

Serve low-cost food at the Carnegie Community Centre

Stand up for abandoned animals at the BC SPCA

Take care of injured animals at Wildlife Rescue in Burnaby

Help organize donations at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Join a Volleyball League

Volleyball relies on teamwork and communication and can lead to building strong bonds and friendships. As soon as warmer weather creeps onto Vancouver’s local beaches, nets go up and volleyball season gets going, but remember to sign up early as spots get filled quite quickly.

Here are a few local clubs and leagues, for you to find some fellow volleyball lovers:

Volleyball BC

Urban Rec Indoor Volleyball League

Bump Volleyball Club

Join a Dodgeball Team

PHOTO by Steven L. Shepard

Dodgeball can be a great way to meet friends with similar interests – and who doesn’t like throwing a ball at someone else to let off a bit of steam. Full of laugh-out-loud moments, Dodgeball can easily break the ice and get you interacting with others in a minimally stress-free environment.

A few of the most popular leagues in Vancouver with active social media followings:

Double Rainbow Dodgeball League

Vancouver Dodgeball League

Urban Rec Dodgeball League

Meetups and Dinner Clubs

Photo by Kevin Curtis

Meetups and dinner clubs are often created specifically to facilitate socializing. So, if you consider yourself a foodie, why not share that passion with other like-minded individuals?

Here are some of the most active and popular Meetups in Vancouver with at least 10+ people showing up to each gathering:

Top Things To Do in Vancouver Meetup Group

Extremely Shy – Looking for Friends? Vancouver Meetup Group

I Love My Friends But… Vancouver Meetup Group

Women’s Dinner Club for Newcomers to Vancouver

Join a Running Group

Photo by Felipe Silva

Many people are accustomed to the solo jog, but if you’re looking to meet new people, why not turn your normally solo activity into a social opportunity? From a quick search, you can see running groups are very common in Vancouver.

Here are some popular and active running groups in Vancouver, but make sure to check for one in your neighbourhood:

East Van Run Crew

Forerunners Running Clinics

Ladies of the Trails

Pacific Road Runners BC

Get in on a Hiking Group

Photo by Tanner Vines

Many people come to Vancouver to experience the natural beauty of our provincial parks, well-maintained trails, and off-the-beaten-track outdoor adventures. As such, it’s natural that groups are formed for people to bond with fellow hiking enthusiasts. Hiking is also an opportunity for effortless bonding because it’s easy to strike up a conversation, connect, and experience what nature has to offer with others.

Like running groups, hiking groups are common in Vancouver, so you can look around to find your best fit. Here are some to get you started:

Chasing Sunrise Hiking Group (one of the coolest but not for beginners)

The Vancouver Walking Meetup Group (great for beginners to hiking)

The VanHikers Meetup Group

The Hiking Club (designed for beginners)

The North Shore Hikers

There are many ways to make friends and Vancouver isn’t as unfriendly as people may think. Just be creative and if you do end up struggling to find your tribe, hopefully, this starter list will help. 

Ana Iammatteo

Ana Iammatteo

Contributing writer bringing you local Vancouverite stories of new businesses, entrepreneurship, everyday heroes, philanthropic opportunities, intrepid exploration, hidden gems, & piggy new eats.