Vancouver is a stunning, world-class city where sea does in fact meet sky. The diverse culture of the city combined with the plethora of outdoor activities available create a unique lifestyle where sneakers are just as important as heels.. Moving to Vancouver is an exciting step toward a full life. As someone born and raised here with the privilege to call Vancouver home, I’m honoured to be the first to take you for a little virtual tour through some of its best areas and neighbourhoods you won’t want to miss.
Downtown VancouverDowntown is the business, commercial, cultural, financial, government and entertainment centre for the greater Metropolitan Vancouver area. It is generally considered to be framed by the Burrard Inlet on the North, East Vancouver on the East, False Creek on the South and Stanley Park and the West End on the West – thought many will commonly include the West End as part of downtown Vancouver, it is technically a separate neighbourhood.
Downtown is special for many reasons – surrounded on three sides by ocean, miles of seawall, waterfront restaurants with stunning views and one of the world’s best and most beautiful parks, Stanley Park is the pride and joy of the city. Visitors can drive or walk through the park and it is always full of residents and tourists alike, running, biking or taking in one of its many outstanding restaurants, the Aquarium, pools or playgrounds.
As much as the city is kept alive during the day by business, finance, government, shopping and tourism, it is just as vibrant during the evening. A wide selection of restaurants, cafes and bars are always hopping as much by those coming into town from the suburbs as the downtown residents. Downtown Vancouver boasts some of the best real estate in the world. Luxurious penthouses are found throughout the Coal Harbour and Yaletown areas. Many are found in world-renowned hotel residences, such as the Fairmont Pacific Rim and others are found in dedicated luxury towers, such as The Grace.
Because it is surrounded by water on three sides, access to downtown is somewhat limited by several bridges connecting the city to its many wonderful suburbs. Recent upgrades to the Sky Train / CanadaLine have made access a lot quicker for those working downtown and living in the burbs. As well, the Seabus runs from the North side of downtown across the Burrard Inlet to the North Shore, reducing the commute from one side to the other down to a quick 20 minutes even during peak times. For more details, visit The City of Vancouver website.
YaletownYaletown is Vancouver’s trendy and upscale renovated warehouse district. Filled with a plethora of renowned restaurants, clubs, shops and boutique hotels, such as The Opus, Yaletown presents the perfect setting for some very unique, New York-style real estate. This vibrant, urban neighbourhood is located along False Creek and a short water taxi will take you across to Granville Island.
The demographic of Yaletown has changed a lot over the past few years. Though still quite young overall, a lot of the younger couples who originally bought in the area have started to have children and the local Roundhouse Community Centre, as well as, Elsie Roy Elementary School have evolved to meet those needs. David Lam Park is usually busy with families, sports teams and dog-walkers – dogs are just as popular in this area as fashion and fast cars – and, as such, Yaletown boasts a strong community feel as the residents do get to know each other via the many coffee shops, dog parks and common areas.
In the heart of Yaletown is a Sky Train station making a commute downtown, to the West Side or even the airport, very easy.
Because of the proximity to downtown and the West Side, Yaletown is also a popular area for Investors. There are many buildings that allow unrestricted rentals to owners.
Most Common Real Estate Found in Yaletown:
• 1-2 bedroom condos & townhomes
• a wide selection of water & city view condos, sub-penthouses and luxurious penthouses
Coal HarbourCoal Harbour is home to Vancouver’s newest waterfront condo community. Situated within walking distance of the financial district along the northern side of downtown, Coal Harbour offers extensive waterfront living and as such is the home of many of Vancouver’s “Million-Dollar-Views”.
A slightly quieter area of town, Coal Harbour attracts a lot of business travel and foreign investment in seasonal properties; however, the last ten years have seen the harbour evolve extensively into one of Vancouver’s most sought after neighbourhoods. Spotted with a few, notable restaurants as well as many excellent hotels, the area is much more lively than it used to be.
The real estate tends to be luxurious in nature and attracts a 35+ demographic, retirees, down-sizers and seasonal residents. The location is ideal for residents who want to be downtown but still want to feel a sense of escape upon arriving home. Living right next door to Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge gives residents easy access to the outdoor activities available in the park and on the North Shore.
Most Common Real Estate Found in Coal Harbour:
• 2-3 bedroom condos
• luxury condos, sub-penthouses & multi-million dollar penthouses
• hotel-like amenities in residence – such as, pools, spas, theatre rooms, concierge services and more
GastownGastown has a rich history as one of Vancouver’s oldest towns that was incorporated into the city in the late 1800′s and following many decades of being known for rowdy bars, poverty and crime, underwent a revival which started in the 1960′s and continues well into today. Now it is a rich and hip cultural centre for the city filled with contemporary fashion boutiques, interior design & furniture shops, restuarants, nightclubs, cafes, office space and some very upscale real estate.
Although Gastown still struggles with poverty as in neighbours some of Vancouver’s poorest areas, locals who live and work there don’t seem to mind the diversity. Gastown has become a hub for new media and technology, graphic designers, lawyers, art galleries, music and art studios, as well as a culinary institute and a film school.
The fabulous heritage buildings have been steadily converted into fabulous New-York Style open lofts – many of them featuring finishings such as sand-blasted exposed brick, wooden posts & beams, rooftop patios, expansive views of the city and/or the North Shore and much more. Many developments converting these large warehouses have relied heavily on Designers looking to echo the look, feel and lifestyle of Soho’s meatpacking district in New York. It is popular, trendy and offers a sense of space in a city where square footage does come at a premium.
Most Common Real Estate Found in Gastown:
• converted warehouse lofts
• luxury lofts
• converted warehouses for office space
The West EndThe West End of Vancouver is on the Peninsula neighbouring Stanley Park. Locally the West End is referred to as anything West of Burrard and South of Georgia Street. Bordered by Downtown one side, Stanley Park and water, the West End is one of Vancouver’s oldest residential areas. Densely populated and popular with tourists, the area is a mix of old and young residents, and is home to Vancouver’s Gay Village, known as Davie Village.
The West End is home to many families and supports this demographic with two Elementary schools and one high school, community centres and several churches. While the heart of the West End is not known for new buildings or tall towers, it is popular because amongst its many heritage homes (many converted into townhomes) and older condo buildings, the real estate available here offers square footage not easily found elsewhere in the city.
Most Common Real Estate Found in the West End:
• 1-2 bedroom condos
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