Yaletown – Vancouver
Once an industrial district dominated by warehouses and rail yards, today Yaletown is one of Vancouver’s trendiest and most sort after neighbourhoods, home to many of the city’s top bars, restaurants, and boutiques.
Walking around Yaletown with its urban landscape and rows of upscale stores, it’s hard to imagine that some 20 years ago this was nothing more than a derelict and weed infested site.
The area’s dramatic transformation began after the selling of the old expo grounds in the late 1980s, when a group of developers won the bid to design and develop the neighbourhood. And develop they did.
Today Yaletown stands as one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in the city. Clusters of apartment blocks soar high into the sky. Yet, despite the area’s modern planning and residential development, Yaletown has held on to its 1900s turn of the century character and charm.
Running along Yaletown’s main two thoroughfares, Hamilton and Mainland Streets (where most of the action unfolds), handsome heritage brick buildings have been converted into loft-style apartments, while the old loading docks act as lengthy sidewalks lining boutiques, salons, bars, cafes, restaurants, and yoga studios.
There is certainly an abundance of places to eat, drink, and shop, which is convenient as ‘Yaletowners’ do these three things so well. In fact, Yaletown has a bit of a reputation for being a neighbourhood of eating out, seeing people and being seen, especially on the outdoor patios (a big deal here in Vancouver particularly in the summer months).
It’s also a neighbourhood that Nick and I are lucky to call home. Our little one bedroom apartment lays on the north border and looks back over the long line of low rise warehouses, with glimpses of the surrounding greater Vancouver area. We can even see Mount Baker (USA) from our bedroom window.
Exploring Yaletown over the past few months I’ve been delighted to discover a range of great places to eat, drink and shop at; The Distillery (swanky bar with delicious pasta dishes), The Parlour (exceptional pizza), The Keg (great rooftop patio), Rodney’s Oyster House (a fun nautical themed restaurant – try the clam chowder), Urban Fare (upscale supermarket), and the incredibly cute Woo To Meet You boutique (independent retailer).
Apart from taking advantage of the many food and beverage options Yaletown has to offer, I’ve also been keen to get out and about. Thankfully Yaletown’s proximity to the city’s beloved Seawall (a 22 kilometre path that lines Vancouver’s waterfront) is incredibly close, meaning that I’m out in the open air walking along the water every other day. Bliss!
Yaletown is not an overly huge place and is easily accessible by foot. It’s a short walk from the centre of downtown Vancouver or a quick ferry ride from Granville Island. If you do stop by on your travels, I highly recommend dedicating an hour or two to walking around this historic neighbourhood. Be sure to enjoy a beverage on an outdoor patio too.
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