The rough-around-the-edges Kootenay town of Golden (population 3,700) may not have the polish of B.C.’s other mountain utopias (think Vancouver’s North Shore or Kelowna). But thanks to its rugged setting, tucked between the peaks of the Columbia and Rocky Mountains, and adjacent to Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho national parks, it lays claim to some of the province’s best mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, paragliding, ATVing, skiing — and all-round good living. It’s affordable, too. Homes cost one-third to one-quarter of those in other mountain-proximate towns. Kelly Sudsbury and her husband moved to Golden from Toronto post-retirement, in 2016, trading a single-family house on a city lot for a 40-acre farm. They’d visited Golden for many years to ski at local Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, falling in love with the community and the hill. “It’s basically big-moun-tain, back-country skiing, but at a resort,” says Sudsbury. And how do they spend summers now that they’re residents? So far, hiking, kayaking and soaking up the laid-back lifestyle. “There’s a ton of patios to get a good cocktail and enjoy the view of the mountains,” she says.