Friends who live in Nelson, B.C. are always making me jealous of its awesomeness. I'm looking for a place with a vibe similar to Nelson: community-minded, progressive, not too big, funky shops and eateries, excellent food coop, and a large number of artsy, eco-conscious, alternative folks and happenings.
Bonus if you live there/have lived there yourself, rather than "my first-year roommate's cousin moved there and I think I heard she liked it," although any recommendations, whether personal or second-hand, would be super helpful. This has been asked before for the States
, but I'm continually amazed to hear about cool, offbeat arts towns I'd never considered, like Westport, Ontario, Wakefield, Quebec, and Tofino, B.C., so I know there must be others...
For what it's worth, climate is not a factor, nor are linguistic matters (fire away with Quebec recommendations). Thanks, MeFi!