Visitor Information about
The City of Vancouver
in British Columbia, Canada
The East Side
The East Side
The East Side
On another peninsula jogging to the north off of the peninsula that Vancouver is located on is downtown Vancouver. This peninsula lies between English Bay and Burrard Inlet. On the map this peninsula can be identified by the green area which represents Stanley Park on the north end of the downtown peninsula.
Lions Gate Bridge
The peninsula that downtown Vancouver is located on juts nearly to the north shore of Burrard Inlet leaving only a narrow inlet from English Bay into Burrard Inlet. This is a perfect place to build a bridge to the North Shore so that you don’t have to make the 60 mile trip around Burrard Inlet to reach the North Shore. And, there you have the justification for the beautiful Lion’s Gate suspension bridge. This bridge spurred development of North and West Vancouver on the north shore of Burrard Inlet and English Bay.
No discussion of
Stanley Park is crammed with attractions such as; an indoor pool with waterslide at Second Beach, a children’s water park with water cannons at Lumberman’s Arch, a miniature railway and Children’s Farmyard, an 18-hole miniature golf course, horse drawn carriage rides, tidal pools at Third Beach to search for sea life, lily pad covered Beaver Lake, the Stanley Park Rose Garden, and last but certainly not least, the Vancouver Aquarium. For more information click on the link in the green bar to the left
& Granville Street
“The Core of the City”
central landmark for the last 100 years or so was the Hotel Vancouver with
its green copper roof and its stately architecture. Today other tall buildings have changed the
Vancouver’s downtown offers a wide variety of shopping experiences from a regional mall to the quaint shops that line Robson Street.
The Granville Street Bridge brings BC Highway-99 into the city. Granville Street is the main north/south (actually NE to SW) street in downtown Vancouver. Between Smithe and Pender Streets, in the heart of downtown Granville is closed to automobile traffic and becomes Granville Mall. Adjoining Granville Mall is Pacific Center Shopping Center located at the corner of Georgia and Howe Streets. This is BC’s most popular mall and its 140 stores attract more than 400,000 shoppers weekly. Parking is located directly under the mall.
Oak Ridge Mall
There is another regional mall in The City of Vancouver located outside the downtown area. It is Oak Ridge Mall located at 41st Avenue and Cambie Street. The mall has 150 stores. It is most easily found by taking Nelson Street southeast from downtown. Nelson Street ends in the southeast downtown area and goes right onto the Cambie Street Bridge. The mall is about 2.6 mi. (4.2 Km) south of the bridge.
Vancouver Art Gallery
One of the buildings you
won’t want to miss is the
The Vancouver Aquarium is
If there is a crowd it must be a fun place.
Every time we’ve visited Granville Island there has been a crowd to fight to find parking and walk through the public market. I guess if this were not such a fun place to visit there would not be the crowds. Public markets are always enjoyable to visit and the market on Granville Island is no exception. You will find fresh local fruit and vegetables year round. However, you will find much more both in the market and in the shops that surround the market. You always seem to get hungry when you’re having fun and you will find a great variety of good restaurants on the island to satisfy your cravings. For more information about Granville Island see “Recommended Attractions” below. Granville Island
Although Vancouver has only two official neighborhoods in the downtown peninsula; the downtown neighborhood that is roughly equivalent to our Granville area and the west end neighborhood that is everything from Burrard Street to Stanley Park southwest of Georgia Street, we have divided the west end into three areas. The areas are Robson Street, Davie Village, and the West End.
You will find one of the largest Chinatowns in North America in Vancouver. Its unique signage and the storefront atmosphere of its unique shops and restaurants make this a place where you want to get out of your car and walk among the crowds on the sidewalks. To find it go to the northeast end of downtown Vancouver and turn east on Hastings Street. Travel east for about 0.5 mi. (0.8 Km) to Main Street. You will find yourself in the heart of Chinatown.
You will find a warm and diverse commercial district on Commercial Drive with a wide mix of restaurants and shops. Often just called “The Drive” it used to be known and “Little Italy,” but today is a confluence of countercultures. The hip and young set of Vancouver go to “The Drive” to mix with the students, writers, artists, and other creative types that frequent the area.
The birthplace of Vancouver is an area called Gastown. In 1867 a former sailor and gold prospector named John “Gassy Jack” Deighton built a tavern in the area. Soon other buildings sprang up around the tavern and a city was born. Today you will find a rare steam clock on the sidewalk, many Victorian buildings, wonderful restaurants, and many great shops and galleries in the area. This is a place to park your car and walk around. You will find many historic plaques placed in the area telling the history of the area. To find it go to the northeast end of downtown Vancouver and turn east on Hastings Street. Travel east for about 0.3 mi. (0.5 Km) to Carrall Street and turn left. Go 3 blocks to Water Street and you will find yourself in the heart of Gastown.
If you are into shopping then Robson Street offers one of Vancouver’s most interesting experiences. Robson is lined with hundreds of small shops selling everything you can think of and more. The intersection of Robson and Granville streets is just about dead center in downtown Vancouver. If you are coming in on BC-99 and come over the Granville Bridge take the Seymour Street exit at the north end of the bridge and you will find yourself on a one way street paralleling Granville Street. In about 7 blocks you come to Robson, stay in the left lane and turn left onto Robson. Travel about 5 blocks and park, you are in the heart of Robson Street.
Davie Village is known for its large community of gay and lesbian residents. You will find this thriving community full of coffee shops and cafes as well as bookstores and night clubs. Davie Village is located in the West End of Vancouver’s downtown. It is most easily found by taking Robson (above) to Denman Street and turning left (southwest). Go 6 blocks on Denman then turn left onto Davie Street. You have arrived!
The West End
The one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Canada is located in the City of Vancouver. It is the West End neighborhood. The West End has over 40,000 people living in high-rise apartments and condominiums. You will find parks on English Bay, fine dining restaurants, coffee shops, beaches, and shops in this area. The southeast border of the West End is Denman Street from Robson to Davie. To the southwest is English Bay, to the northwest is Stanley Park, and its south east border is Robson Street.
Located on the north bank of False Creek this community used to be the warehouse district. Expo’86 caused a rebirth of the area as the old buildings were removed for the exposition and then the exposition buildings were removed. Today it is one of the most upscale areas in Vancouver filled with sidewalk cafes, boutique hotels, and trendy restaurants.
Areas outside the downtown area
If you leave the downtown area via the Granville Bridge and then exit at the south end of the bridge onto 4th Avenue you will find yourself in Kitsilano. In the 1960’s this was the Haight-Ashbury of Vancouver. Today the hippies are gone and the apartments and houses in the area are filled with Vancouver’s young urban professionals. You will find two commercial areas in Kitsilano, 4th Avenue and West Broadway. Both areas are filled with book stores, specialty retailers, ethnic restaurants, and great cafes.
Kerrisdale is a quaint community in southwest Vancouver. The locals call it “The Village.” Most of the commercial area is on 41st. Avenue between Maple and Larch streets. Maple is 7 blocks west of Granville (BC-99). The railroad runs north and south through Kerrisdale and East and West Boulevards run on each side of the track. The commercial area also runs north and south up these streets. This area has a mix for architecture with both single family homes and low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings.
When you cross over the Granville Bridge heading south on BC-99 from downtown Vancouver you enter the upscale South Granville neighborhood. The neighborhood also extends east and west on Broadway. You will find art galleries, interior design studios, antique shops, boutique clothing stores, coffee shops, and more in the area.
On Main Street between 49th street and 51st Street, 1.7 miles (2.7 Km) east of Granville (BC-99) you will find the Punjabi Market neighborhood. As you walk down these three blocks you get the feeling that somehow you have been transported to India. You will find this area a cultural bonanza of jewelry, clothing, fabric, foods, and other traditional Indian items found nowhere else in North America.
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