Photo: Ariana Gillrie
This east van neighbourhood has always been cool, but Main Street’s taken its hipness in a more grown-up direction as of late, evolving from ironic vintage-tee shops and lawn-flamingo-covered dives to minimalist-curated general stores and chic cafés emphasizing local ingredients. In a stroll through the area’s two connected neighbourhoods, Mount Pleasant and Riley Park, you can sip a third-wave latte in a converted bodega; shop locally sourced art, ceramics and leather goods; and unwind with some of the best craft beer in the city.
Real Estate: The Centre of the City Has Shifted
Less than two decades ago you could pick up a Mount Pleasant home for $200,000—but now, as the heart of the city continues its march east, there’s an extra zero on that price tag. In the last 10 years alone, the hip ’hood—which once was one of the city’s roughest—has seen a 150-percent increase in the price of a detached home. Why? With Queen E Park, the Hillcrest Centre, farmers’ markets, colourful local shops and restaurants, and a distinct community spirit, the area is drawing people from all across Vancouver. The proposed redevelopment of the Little Mountain site, which will feature more than 1,600 new units, will mark a seismic shift, too. “Main Street used to be the dividing line between east and west. “Now it’s the middle of the city,” says realtor Keith Roy. “People don’t want to be on the west side. They want to be on Main Street.”
Did you know?
Main Street is the epicentre of Vancouver’s recent beer brewing revival, and that echoes a long history. The city’s first brewery (Vancouver Brewery) was built in the area—at East 7th Avenue and Scotia Street—in 1888.
Median Age of Residents: 36
Average Monthly Rent: $1,051
Avg. Total Household Income: $75,856
Perfectly positioned between Mount Pleasant and the burgeoning Fraserhood, this little condo is the perfect Vancouver pied-á-terre or permanent residence.