Sometimes a city’s neighborhood can garner a culture and infamy all on their own.
The metropolis in western Canada is praised for its national parks and glorious ocean vista, but don’t let your exploration of its nature cause you to miss out on some of its vivacious neighborhoods. From the city’s prosperous and historical gay district, to a strip of street known as “little Italy”; here are Vancouver’s four trendiest neighborhoods.
Since it is Pride Month we are going to start this list in Vancouver’s favorite gayborhood. Located in the heart of downtown, in the West End neighborhood is the famous Davie Village. Davie Village is the site of Canada’s first “pride parade” in 1978 and has become an annual celebration. Since then, the town has grown into a vibrant safe haven for Canada’s gay population. Spend the day checking out the village’s shops, walking the rainbow crossroad and catching the sunset at English Bay Beach.
Rainbow Crosswalk: The famous Rainbow Crosswalk is located at the intersection of Davie Street and Bute Street.
Cotton Mouth Cannabis: If you are searching for the finest cannabis products in Vancouver, look no further.
Celebrities Nightclub: One of the first gay bars to open in Canada in 1978 that continues to party to this day.
Also known as Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, this district started out as a solitary tavern founded by John “Gassy Jack” Deighton (I promise the nickname has nothing to do with flatulence) in 1867 and has grown into a bustling historic center. With cobblestone streets and vintage fashion, it will feel like going back in time. The town has a modern yet industrial vibe to it – Victorian Architecture with a trendy twist. From one-of-a-kind boutiques, chic galleries and rising fashion scene to the mouthwatering culinary fare you will be astounded at the treasures this district holds. At night, the town lights up with folks heading to pubs and clubs. When the sun goes down you will want to be in Gastown. Here are some must-see’s:
Gastown Steam Clock: One of the few steam engine clocks to still exist in the world.
Inuit Gallery: Collection of Inuit artwork.
Lost Souls of Gastown Tour: An interactive gothic theatre experience, discover Vancouver’s gruesome history.
If you have ever dreamed of being a Lululemon-wearing, expensive coffee-drinking, Pilates-loving, rich housewife; then Kitsilano is the place to indulge your fantasy. Known locally as “Kits,” this beachside town was Vancouver’s hippie hangout during the 1960s. The peace and love culture still remains, while the apartments are now home to young metropolitan businessmen and women rather than drum-playing hippies. This town is the birthplace of the groundbreaking yoga brand Lululemon athletica and is bordered by the waterfront, making it a beautiful location for a calm day at the beach. If you are strolling by Burrard Bridge, you will find Vanier Park: the venue for the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (active from June to September annually.) Along the waterfront, you will spot Kitsilano Beach – the hub for activities in the town, including: volleyball tournaments, Kitsilano Pool (the massive an outdoor saltwater public pool,) don’t forget the yummy beachside restaurants and ice cream.
The Naam: The city’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, famous for its miso gravy.
Kitsilano Seawall: If you want the best view of downtown Vancouver, you want to head west from Kitsilano to its border near the Spanish Banks for a jaw-dropping view.
Vanier Park: A picnic spot as well as home to three of Vancouver’s museums.
I hope you’re hungry. Once dominated by Italian cuisine, Commercial Drive has since expanded into a cultural foodie’s dream and is now home to Belgian, Caribbean, Mexican, Ethiopian, Tunisian and Salvadorian restaurants. Plentiful and diverse in both food and culture, the biggest downside is that you won’t be able to do it all. Besides delectable dishes, Commercial Drive also has as many fashion boutiques as it does traditional stores. You will find bongo drums and First Nation’s wood carvings as easily as you will discover a crochet sweater or bedazzled sunglasses. If you are visiting in the summer, you must check out the farmers’ market at John Hendry Park. The locally-grown vibrant produce and fresh bread will call your name as you wander through the park, don’t be surprised if you hear jazz blasting from the outdoor speakers, the park regularly has concerts hosted by local artists. Don’t miss:
Arts Off Main Gallery: Well-priced local art run by the artists.
Turquoise Kingdom: Taking inspiration from the First Nations people of Canada this boutique sells stone crafted jewelry.
Little Italy Drive: An eight-block stretch of only Italian shops and restaurants.