The city of Vancouver consists of 23 small neighbourhoods, each with their own culture and way of life. From the outlying areas that surround the city to the downtown neighbourhoods and beach-side homes, new immigrants are spoilt for choice.
If you are interested in living in the western neighbourhoods of Vancouver, you can expect to live in high-rise buildings located in the trendiest part of the city. Renting or owning an apartment in the western neighbourhoods means that you will enjoy views over the harbour, as well as access to a chic and upmarket way of life.
Make your way to downtown Yaletown, one of the best spots in the city with over 40 000 people moving in over the past decade. Originally a terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Yaletown’s residential areas are now made up of high-rise condominiums and converted warehouses.
Living in Yaletown is an expensive option due to the many upmarket shops, nightclubs and restaurants, as well as direct access to the False Creek Marina. The rental prices can set you back by an impressive $1800-$2500/month for a 2-bedroom apartment.
Residents of Yaletown can enjoy lazy brunches at boutique cafés, cocktails at trendy bars and a day of shopping at the many boutiques that line the streets. Locals enjoy dining on gourmet food, yoga classes and quick weekend trips away to the nearby holiday town of Whistler.
Further along the coast lies the neighbourhood of West End. Directly leading on to Stanley Park, residents enjoy scenic views of the beach as well as the Seawall. In contrast to Yaletown next door, locals have homes with a bit more space. This includes townhomes, duplexes, large heritage homes and high-rise units. A 1-bedroom flat can be rented out from as little as $900 while it is possible to find a duplex in the $500-$900 range.
A sense of community is felt when walking through the streets of West End with many families, retirees and young people making this area their home. This part of the city has become incredibly diverse, as immigrants from all over the world, as well as a large part of the gay community, reside here.
There are so many things to see and do in West End. Grab a bicycle and head outdoors to the sea wall where you can explore the seaside path for an uninterrupted 9km. The path winds its way along the outskirts of Stanley Park and has become a popular spot for people who want to enjoy a casual stroll or cycle set against the backdrop of the impressive ocean and city.
East of Main Street, you will find East Vancouver. This area is home to many young couples, families and students who have chosen to move here because of the value for money. The area has become known for its artistic nature. Just walk through the neighbourhoods and you will find trendy clothing stores, art galleries and unique hand-made crafts.
Labelled as an upcoming neighbourhood in central Vancouver, Mount Pleasant is an affordable option for growing families, as well as young people starting out in life. Vancouver City Hall and some of the busiest streets of the city are located here, making this one of the most exciting spots to choose for your new home.
Residents can enjoy taking a stroll through the vibrant neighbourhood, while taking in an art show along Main Road, dining on delicious food at one of the cafes and enjoying the feeling of a close-knit community.
If you are just starting your family, or you already have children, there are many family-friendly neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Further towards the north side of the city you will find the older and more established neighbourhoods. The highly-rated British Columbia University is located here, as well as many schools.
West Point Grey
With a village-like atmosphere and quiet way of life, Point Grey offers a scenic and relaxing respite from the bustling city. Two of the city’s most popular beaches, Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks, are located here and offer the best views over English Bay and the distant mountains.
Point Grey is one of the most expensive areas of the city, with some homes costing as much as $2 million. There are many schools in the area, both private and public. Schools include Lord Byng Secondary School, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Queen Elizabeth Elementary School and the private West Point Grey Academy.
Tree-lined streets, beautiful parks and single-standing homes can be found in the neighbourhood of Dunbar. This community is centred on 16th Avenue and Southwest Marine Drive and is known as one of the safest and most child-friendly neighbourhoods.
Residents of Dunbar spend their downtime enjoying the many beautiful parks in the area including Camosun, Chaldecott, Deering Island, and Memorial West. Kids can join soccer and baseball leagues that meet in the park and families often pack a picnic for a day’s outing beneath the trees. Homes in Dunbar can however be on the costly side.
Young students and professionals who are looking for an exciting neighbourhood to live in that offer a vibrant lifestyle, fabulous restaurants and the best in nightlife, will want to stay in the downtown areas. Yaletown, as mentioned before, is situated in the centre of the activity though living here does come with a heavier price tag.
Located in downtown Vancouver, Gastown is the oldest neighbourhood in the city. Over the past 150 years, the area has expanded from a single tavern into a bustling town. Gastown is characterised by its cobbled streets and beautiful restaurants that line the streets. Over the past decade, the age of the residents in Gastown has dropped to young professionals that range from the age of 20 – 40.
As younger people have moved into the area, the clubs, restaurants and bars have taken over the main street. There are now upmarket spots mixed in with the unique places that include beer tasting and charcuterie pairings. Gastown has something for everyone.
Vancouver has some of the best beaches at the edge of the city including English Bay Beach and Kitsilano Beach. Visitors and locals can sunbathe and enjoy the warm weather on the beach before crossing the road to the line of stores that offer upmarket clothing, food and drinks. Families and other happy beach-goers will enjoy homes in the West End, a neighbourhood that is close to the beach but has a lower price tag attached to the cost of renting and buying apartments.
Known as one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Kitsilano or “Kits” is considered to be a rather central area. Residents are spoilt for choice with the exciting downtown lifestyle just down the road and the scenic beaches a short walk away. Kitsilano offers a laid back lifestyle with great shopping, decadent restaurants and coffee shops that line the streets.
The area runs along the South shore of the city, where Kits beach hikes up the rentals. Further away from the beach, you can expect to pay $550-$850/month to rent a room in a large house.
Vancouver is known to have one of the highest real estate costs in Canada, but prices really shoot up in the more trendy and upcoming neighbourhoods (Yaletown and Gastown), as well as the old areas.
This upmarket neighbourhood is known for its fabulous homes and expensive land. With house prices starting at 3.9 million, this area is not for every budget. Shaughnessy is part of old Vancouver, with some of the houses dating to pre-world war 2.
One of the most popular activities to indulge in here is to take a drive around the expensive neighbourhoods and “ooh” and “aah” over the impressive mansions that line the streets. Other visitors will enjoy a stroll around the VanDusen Botanical Garden, an impressive 55 acres of rolling lawns, woodlands and tranquil lakes. South Granville Street is where everybody hangs out for delicious food, high-end bakeries and gourmet grocers.