Meet Your Neighbours: A Complete Guide to Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Gastown, Vancouver, Canada

British Columbia’s best-known city has something for everyone, whether you’re a crystals-and-granola hippie or a polished young professional looking to build an urban life. Let’s face it, Vancouver is arguably the best city in Canada

The key, of course, is knowing what Vancouver neighbourhoods to look at. 

That’s where we can help. Keep reading for a complete guide to all of Vancouver’s best neighbourhoods, along with some key attractions in each. 

West End

Let’s start with West End (or, as the locals call it, the Best End). 

Why the Best End? Is it the prettiest streetscapes in Vancouver, or is it the fact that West End has the most affordable housing rates in downtown? 

Either way, it’s an adorable residential neighbourhood right in the middle of downtown, 73 hectares situated next to a beach so beautiful it’s known as Sunset. Plus, it’s the most diverse of all the Vancouver neighbourhoods, housing a rich mix of immigrants, locals and transient international residents. 

If you still need convincing, visit English BayStanley Park, or Davie Street (a.k.a. the gay village–just look for the pink trashcans and rainbow crosswalks). 

Yaletown

If you still need neighbourhood options but want to stay downtown, check out Yaletown, better known as Vancouver’s West Coast yuppie paradise. 

Once the Western terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Yaletown underwent a reinvention following the 1986 World Fair. Now, its warehouses hold apartments and hip eateries, while the former loading docks double as urban summertime patios. 

But the big draw in Yaletown is the waterfront parks, as the seawall connects to David Lam Park and George Waiborn Park. 

Fairview

If you want out of the downtown rush, head to Fairview, a sleepy neighbourhood that’s still a short walk from anything you could possibly want. 

Sometimes called South Granville, Fairview is an area covering Granville Island and the southern stretch of Granville near Granville Park. 

It’s got everything you could want from a city neighbourhood–a popular public market, art galleries, antique shops–but it’s much quieter than Yaletown or West End. 

Oh, and if you love seafood? Go to Granville Island. 

Kitsilano

Love the beach? Kitsilano (or Kits, as it’s known in Vancouver) has two of Vancouver’s most famous beaches: Kits Beach and Jericho Beach. 

Of course, that’s not all that attracts people to Kits. 

Once upon a time (in the 1960s), Kits was a popular hippy hangout. Today, it attracts many young families, students, and urban professionals. 

For one thing, you’ll find culture here (Kits is home to the Museum of Vancouver). On West 4th Avenue and West Broadway, the two primary thoroughfares, you’ll find many a summertime festival, the H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, and plenty of yoga studios and organic markets to please the hippie mum crowd. 

Gastown

You’ll find a great deal of European charm in Gastown–think cobblestone streets, Victorian-era streetlamps, charming sidewalk terraces, and heritage architecture. It’s Vancouver’s old town, and it’s proud of the title, thank you very much. 

Which is almost funny when you realize that there are quite a lot of techies here. Blame it on the rapid gentrification and rise in tech companies. 

Don’t be fooled by the facades, though. Gastown’s heritage buildings hold some of the best restaurantsin the city, from tailored tasting plates at The Salt Tasting Room to classic French bistro dining at Jules Bistro to Carribean-inspired everything at Calabash. 

Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive, known simply as “The Drive” is a five to ten-minute SkyTrain ride from downtown, situated in East Van.  

The main hub consists of 21 blocks from Venables to 13th Street, housing some 400 businesses. Best of all? Most of them are single-location and operated by the owners themselves. 

It’s often called Little Italy, but you can find all sorts of food in the Drive, from Japanese to the Carribean to Spanish. That’s because it’s been a destination for many immigrants looking to settle in Vancouver, including Italian, Asian, East Indian, African, and Latin American communities. 

Coal Harbour

Coal Harbour is an interesting mix–simultaneously posh and serene all at once. It has serene mountain views and a surprisingly close-knit community. It’s the reason why Vancouver earned the moniker “City of Glass”. 

The high rises in the area house some of Vancouver’s most affluent–and rightfully so, with real estate prices as high as they are. 

Because of the monied crowd, you’ll find a lot of designer shops in the area (think YSL and Versace). But if you’re just stopping by to enjoy the city vibe, grab a bike or a gelato and take a stroll along the seawall–watch for seals in the marina!

Main Street

Finally, there’s Main Street, a.k.a. Mount Pleasant, one of the more hipster areas of Vancouver. 

It’s the go-to spot for designers and artists in Vancouver, with an impressive roster of indie boutiques, local craft beer breweries, renowned coffee roasters, consignment shops, and, of course, world-class restaurants. 

Main Street also marks a boundary line between Vancouver and East Vancouver, the latter of which is considered to be the “cool side” of Vancouver. 

But whatever your opinion on Vancouver vs. East Van, you can still appreciate Vancouver’s answer to Brooklyn. After all, it’s not every day you can see upscale restaurants and tiny family-run restaurants peacefully coexisting side-by-side. 

Living in the Best Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Once you know about the best Vancouver neighbourhoods, it’s hard to envision yourself living anywhere else. 

So why would you bother? There’s a lot of beautiful real estate to be had in Vancouver if you know where to look. 

That’s where we come in. We offer comprehensive listings for all sorts of homes in Vancouver, whether you’re looking for a family house or your first apartment. 

Finding Your Way Home: Things to Look for When Buying a House in Vancouver

Vancouver Home Inspector

Buying a new house is an exciting prospect. However, it’s also a lifetime investment. For this reason, when searching, you need to do your due diligence. 

House value is driven by a number of different factors. If you don’t fully take these factors into account, you can end up getting burnt financially. 

The question is, what factors should you keep in mind when buying a house? What do you need to keep your eye on? We’re going to answer those very questions below. 

Here are the things to look for when buying a house in Vancouver.

These are the Things to Look for When Buying a House

When looking at a home, you must assess both its interior and exterior as well as the environment that surrounds it. During your assessment, make sure to focus in on the following. 

A Solid Foundation 

If there’s one thing you’re going to look at when assessing the quality of a home, it should be its foundation. If a home’s foundation is old and crumbling, the home should be avoided like the plague. 

Why? Because once a foundation goes, the rest of the home goes with it. What this means is that should the home’s foundation deteriorate early in your ownership of it, you’ll have to spend substantial amounts of money in order to fix it. 

While you might be capable of checking a foundation on your own, you’re advised to hire a professional inspector to do it for you. 

A Quality Location

Another important aspect of a home is the location in which it exists. Not only do you want the home to be in a safe area in terms of crime, but in terms of traffic and neighboring activity as well. 

For instance, if you have kids, you probably shouldn’t buy a house that’s located on a high-speed, four-lane road. At the same time, for your own sake, you don’t want to live in an area in which car break-ins are common. 

A Suitable Geography 

Arguably just as important as the location of a home is the physical geography of a home’s allotted property. The physical geography surrounding a home will directly affect its ability to thrive. 

For example, if a home is built on a hilly property, it will constantly be vulnerable to flooding. On the other hand, if a home is built on a flat property, it will be accompanied by exceptional drainage. In other words, flooding won’t be a concern at all. 

Potentially Troublesome Trees  

Another thing to look out for in the house’s allotted property is the plants which exist on the property. In particular, you have to keep a look out for potentially troublesome trees. 

As you well know, trees grow over time. If they’re in too close of contact with the house itself, their branches and roots could eventually make physical contact with the house’s foundation, siding, roof, and windows. 

A Well-Functioning HVAC System 

These days, heating and air conditioning are a given in most homes. When buying a home, you’re paying not only for it and the property that it sits on but the HVAC system which is connected to it as well. 

For this reason, you want to make sure that the home’s HVAC system is in good shape. Ask about its age, research its make and model, and ensure that it’s going to provide you with high-quality heat and air for the coming years. 

Proper Plumbing  

Along with the home’s HVAC system, you’ll also want to check its plumbing system. This includes everything from its sinks, to its toilets, to its water conditioners, to its pipes, and otherwise. 

A well-established plumbing system is important not only for financial purposes but for home protection purposes. For instance, if a toilet has a leak, it could cause the wall and ground in its proximity to experience oversaturation and decay. 

While you could check the plumbing on your own, it’s recommended for you to utilize professional inspection services.

Sufficient Electrical Work 

A home’s electrical work is hugely important to its overall operational capabilities. Shoddy electrical work is not only a functional problem, but it’s also a safety hazard as well.

For this reason, it’s vital that you assess your prospective home’s electrical system. In addition to checking outlets and lights, you’ll also want to make your way into the walls to assess the wiring. Odds are, you’ll need a professional electrician to help you with this inspection. 

High-quality Appliances 

When added up, home appliances are valued at thousands upon thousands of dollars. This is why, when buying a home, you want to make sure that it’s appliances are functionally sound. 

Not only should you ask about how old they are, but you should also test their functionality. Do this for the refrigerator, the dishwasher, the oven range, the washer and dryer, and any other appliance that you come across. 

Energy Efficient Windows 

Windows are expensive. A single window will usually set you back a few hundred dollars. The last thing you want to do after buying a new home is to install new windows. 

This is why, when inspecting a home, you want to pay close attention to its windows. Not only should you inquire about the year of their manufacture, but you should also stand next to them to ensure that they’re not drafty. 

Sufficient Insulation  

When you really stop and think about it, it costs a lot of money to insulate a home. Not only is insulation provided by interior insulation, but by siding and roofing materials as well. 

So, when looking over a house, it’s of utmost importance that you properly assess these entities. In addition to giving them the eye test, you should also ask about their age. 

Find Houses in Vancouver Now 

There they are, the things to look for when buying a house. If you keep these things in mind while searching, you should be able to find a great home at a reasonable price. 

Searching for homes in Vancouver? If so, Zooky can help you. Our website is filled with new and high quality real estate listings in Vancouver and across Canada.

Take a look at our Vancouver listings now! 

Living That Vancouver Life: Why Vancouver is One of the Best Places to Live in Canada

Living In Vancouver

There are so many great cities around the world, it can be hard to know the best place to settle down. Especially early on your life, it can be hard to determine what you want from a city. 

But no matter what your personal list might consist of, it’s hard to beat what you could find in Vancouver. Vancouver is one of the best cities in the world, and the benefits it has a place to live are impossible to count. 

If you’re looking for a place to settle in Canada, read on. We’ll walk you through all the reasons that living in Vancouver might be right for you. 

Embrace The Great Outdoors 

Vancouver has been officially named one of the greatest places in the world to live. One reason why? The amazing access to nature of all kinds. 

Vancouver has the unique advantage of being nestled directly between the majestic mountains of the Rockies and the idyllic beaches of the Pacific. There are nine beaches total in Vancouver (yes, nine!) so it can be perfect sea-side living during the summer months.

Even during the colder months, these beaches offer wonderful views and perfect places to walk and watch the sunset. 

And just outside of the city are woods and mountains like you couldn’t imagine. Huge trees with massive width line the forests just outside of the city, and these woods are filled with enviable hiking trails. 

Even within the city limits, there’s nature to enjoy. Stanley Park, located in the center of the downtown region, has a 1,000-acre area of woods and old growth that residents can spend time exploring. 

Weather To Die For 

Much of Canada is prone to freezing winters and sub-zero temperatures. The city of Ottawa, for example, can get quite cold. This isn’t the case in Vancouver, where the average winter temperature hovers somewhere between 4 and 7 degrees Celsius

That means snow is pretty rare in Vancouver. You might be good for a snow day or two every winter, but for the most part, the white stuff stays away. That means less salt on the roads and less maintenance for your vehicle down the line. 

Of course, if you want to see snow, all you need to do is take a quick drive.

The local Vancouver mountains get decked out in the snow each winter, and it’s a perfect place to go if you’re looking to spend some time in the winter wonderland. If you’re a big fan of skiing, there are so many spots just outside of Vancouver that are perfect. 

The summer can also hit pitch-perfect temperatures, usually landing somewhere between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. The weather in Vancouver really can put a smile on your face year-round. 

Excellent Urban Planning

The city planning in the city of Vancouver is so revolutionary that they gave it a name: Vancouverism. The city has a huge number of mixed-use developments that prioritize public space, public transit, and green space. 

Vancouver has been so successful in creating an ideal city environment that architects and city planners from around the world come visit to study and learn. 

City planners work hard to maintain views of mountains and the ocean for all residents to enjoy.

They know these views are important to people and so they are retained as much as humanly possible. High-rise buildings are interspersed between low-rise buildings that preserve these sight lines. So many buildings are designed to be mixed-use, with a number of apartments placed over stores and offices. 

The city also has an excellent public transit system. There’s a variety of options when it comes to getting around: public buses, aqua buses, the sky train. It’s easy to get around the city without having to have a car of your own. 

There’s also a huge amount of easy accessible bike lanes and paths that can make getting the city around on two wheels simple and breezy. 

And one more word about the sky train: it’s amazing. Vancouver’s commuter rail, unlike many cities, is above ground instead of underground. That means your commute is filled with amazing views (and no interruption of cellular service).

There’s almost 50km of rail currently in use on the sky train, with more expansion to come very soon. It’s a great way to get to work and around the city at an incredibly affordable price. 

Live The Culture 

Vancouver is one of the most culturally diverse cities in all of Canada. There are many different areas of town that highlight the many different kinds of people that call Vancouver home. 

Enjoy the thriving Chinatown area in downtown Vancouver and grab a bite to eat. Or take part in the city’s Gay Pride Parade, one of the biggest gay pride events anywhere in the world each year. 

Vancouver has a thriving arts community with so many different places to see music, comedy, arts, and film. There’s a large youthful population in the city which keeps it’s nightlife spots thriving and alive. No matter where you turn in Vancouver, there’s almost always something exciting and interesting to participate in. 

That’s just the benefit of living in such a diverse, youthful, and interesting place. 

Living In Vancouver

There are a million and one reasons why living in Vancouver is great. But the above reasons should be a good primer on one of the very best cities in Canada. With great weather, city planning, and people, Vancouver can be the perfect place to settle down for just about anyone. 

Want to learn more about finding a home in Vancouver? Take a look at our listings and see what might be right for you.