Photo: Ariana Gillrie
Downtown proper (bordered by the West End, Gastown and Yaletown) contains the entertainment district, which delivers a steady supply of energetic nightlife within the city’s densest collection of bars, pubs, clubs and concert venues. But historic locales like the baroque-style Orpheum Theatre and the art-deco Commodore Ballroom keep the strip on the right side of rowdy, and the shopping on Robson Street and at Pacific Centre mall provides plenty of entertainment for the daylight hours. Not everyone you’ll pass on the sidewalk is there purely for fun, of course: alongside all this lies Vancouver’s central business district and some of the largest high-rise apartment towers in the city, housing much of the young and stylish professional populace.
Real Estate: When You’re Priced Out of Yaletown
Singles, couples without kids, investors seeking rental properties, travellers looking for a pied-à-terre, and working pros who don’t have Coal Harbour or Yaletown budgets make up much of the real estate mix downtown, where slightly older buildings and less distinct neighbourhood character mean lower prices. Unlike many major cities whose downtowns turn into ghost towns at night, Vancouver’s core continues to buzz—and the close stroll to English Bay, Coal Harbour and Stanley Park bolsters the real estate interest. The financial gains haven’t been as great as other spots, however, with benchmark prices rising 75 percent over 10 years, but with a parade of new luxury retailers moving in and high-end towers going up, the good deals are fewer and farther between.
Did you know?
From the 1950s to 1970s, Vancouver held the second-place spot for the most neon signs in the world, thanks to the well-lit Granville Street entertainment district, until “anti-blight” crusaders changed the bylaws. Those 19,000 neon signs meant one sign for every 18 people in the city at the time.
Median Age of Residents: 36
Average Monthly Rent: $1,400
Avg. Total Household Income: $85,490
With a little bit of artistic vision, elbow grease and $35,000, even the dreariest of alleyways can get the makeover of a lifetime.
The controversy over a proposed Keefer Street development begs a big question: can we preserve our heritage and keep our neighbourhoods alive?