Vancouver dad on raising 5 free-range kids in city apartment




Adrian Crook lives with his five kids in a condo in downtown Vancouver. When he separated from his wife, he left the suburbs – bucking the pressure in North America that kids need a house and a backyard – and rented a 29th-floor penthouse in the very dense Yaletown district.

To maximize the two bedroom space, Crook uses transforming furniture. A murphy bed slash desk turns his bedroom into a home office (he’s a videogame designer). The bottom half of his girls’ bunk bed transforms into a table and desk. A carpenter friend turned two IKEA bunk beds into a triple bunk for his three boys.

Crook grew up in the suburbs, but became hooked on the vibrancy of city living as an adult. He gave up his car and he and the kids rely on bikes, public transit and their feet. Crook estimates they walk about 10 kilometers per day just going to and from school and activities.

He taught his kids to ride the bus alone, but – despite praise from fellow riders (one wrote Crook “praising the kids’ skills and behaviour”)- after an anonymous complaint from a concerned citizen, the British Columbia government weighed in and determined that kids under 10 can’t be alone (neither on the bus nor at home). Some Canadian media are calling it a debate between “helicopter” and “free-range” parenting or a battle against the “nanny state”. Crook has launched a legal battle. Crook is also running for city council and has founded two non-profits to advocate for both better transit and more housing choices (denser zoning options in Metro Vancouver).

5 kids, 1 condo blog:
Abundant Housing Vancouver
Abundant Transit BC
Crook’s run for city council

Previous Vintage Shopping in Brooklyn, Pamper Treatments & Travel Plans! NYC VLOG
Next Creative space

25 Comments

  1. G. F.
    April 13, 2018
    Reply

    In Germany and most European countries it is so normal, that elemantary school kids go to school by their own.
    Most of them walk, but some also take buses or metro. It's their parents' job to train them and make sure they can cope.
    At parents' evening at school the teacher will advise you to allow your kid to go alone. They don't want you to drive your kid. It's considered important for child development.
    At the end of kindergarten my kids- they are 12 and 15years old now- had lessons by a local police officer. They practiced how to behave in traffic as a pedestrian. In the end they took an examination (hat to cross some streets and so) and received a fun "pedestrian license".
    We parents were told to go on an practice more with our children so they can walk safely to school.

  2. Sarah Burggraf
    April 14, 2018
    Reply

    Cars are dangerous, but public transportation is safe???? Uh ok

  3. Leifer Stieler
    April 14, 2018
    Reply

    There’s no way he’s only paying $2300 for that place

  4. James Harold
    April 14, 2018
    Reply

    you are my hero

  5. Elementary Explorers
    April 14, 2018
    Reply

    Somehow this video came up when I was researching travel in Vancouver. So interesting to see how different families live!

  6. zander todd
    April 14, 2018
    Reply

    Ey I am from Vancouver!

  7. Elliot Petrosellini Lancaster
    April 14, 2018
    Reply

    Free range eggs?

  8. BakaDemi
    April 14, 2018
    Reply

    i like how every video of vancouver is filmed when its finally sunny. not realistic at all lol show this shit city when it rains which is 80% of the time

  9. Karen Segal
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    He made whiteboard into a verb. Myst live in Yaletown

  10. MsBlonde0000
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    I really dont understand North America's obsession with size. All over the world people raise their families in tiny apartments, I grew up in one.

  11. cherryclan1
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    My husband and I decided to move out of our 5k+ sf house with our 2 kids and into a hotel suite. Ditto what this man said – didn’t like having so much wasted space and wanted to streamline our lives. The only domestic chore we did at hotel was laundry – and that, only bc the laundry service was so bad. eventually kids demanded more traditional setup, so back to a house we went, although a smaller house this time.

  12. Inquisitve m
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    that pull out bed is not safe for the other kids when pulling off. just gotta make sure the little ones arent around when pulling it.

  13. Ivan Knaus
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    What a great role model. Adrian Crook you are the kind of dad I want to be one day.

  14. Christian Lamantia
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    These look like the most miserable kids

  15. squintychicken
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    I Vancouver I took the bus when I was 10 (I'm 30 now). Its totally a new age thing for people to care about kids on their own.

  16. Xanthia Gonzales
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing

  17. Roobah
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    I was a free-range kid in Tokyo (pre-teen). Training your kids to be free-range kids is a good thing to do. Gives them lots of self confidence and a good sense of geography and navigation.

  18. Bi Dinh
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    I think this is beautiful. The closeness, the efficiency of using it's spaces, accomadating needs, wants and utility. I think they will have a great future filled with great development. I wish them the best.

  19. Víctor Blau
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    Grow with love and respect, 5 lucky childs!!!

  20. dr seuss
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    these kids are better than fine they have each other…looks like a few of them will all be going through puberty at the same time..Then maybe a larger space could be appreciated more..until then great tribe man!

  21. Cinnamon 619
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    Everything is fine till my heart stopped when he left them go alone on the B…. kids get kidnapped everyday …. he knows this we all know it … when u least expected it they don’t arrive at their destination ….

  22. raventhorX
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    That apartment is much better than anything I have ever lived in. I have had to have 8 family members total, including myself, get cramped into a crappy two bedroom apartment. your apartment/condo would be like a dream to me, especially with that scenery. I can imagine myself doing nothing but starting out the window for hours on end lol.

  23. Rebekah W
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    This is basically how lots of people live in Singapore – ! Honestly. This dad is doing a great job raising his kids! On his own as well . Lovely to see. Bless them . .He's very humble.

  24. Tobiraco
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    BE really carefull with the placefire. It's destroying concrete really fast it's the heat is too strng.

  25. Rebekah W
    April 15, 2018
    Reply

    This is everything a perfect / loving father should be ! Thank you God for this great family and this great father who fathers his sons and daughters . It's normal for kids to want to go out and be on their own – and ask these questions but at least this father doesn't neglect his kids or spoil them – He seems to really provide for them, and that's great. That's everything a father should be – and everything God the Father is – and it's great when children want to have new things or try new things there are boundaries – it would be sad, when they grow older and if they want to reject or rebel against their loving dad – that would be the day – the saddest thing. But if they chose to love and serve the man who brought them up – that would be God's gift to the world – to see a sign so wondrous such as this. – of filial piety to the man who brought them up almost on his own – and as his own – would be amazing ` I think we don't hear stories like this to be an example to the nations – of God's great love for us – and of a man's great love for his children – not neglecting them but caring for their everyday needs on his own – it reminds me of my own dad – and everything he does for us – because he knows God the father – it is quite amazing. I thank God for providing my own dad – who used to make lunch for me all the time and get up early in the morning to do this for me – and who almost never got angry except when I was not respecting him 'exactly' so – like not obeying – or something. I think that was warranted though – and most of the time he was and is a loving dad – despite being challenged fairly frequently.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *