this is our vancouver: west end wonderful
posted: August 11, 2014
Bordered by Stanley Park, Yaletown, downtown, Coal Harbour and the ocean on three sides, Vancouver’s West End is a lively, lovely and diverse neighbourhood. Come for the pristine scenery – stay for the eclectic dining scene, beaches and bars.
What is the West End?
Rent was cheap in the West End back in 1862. In fact, the entire community was purchased for $550.75 by three Englishmen. Fast-forward 150 years, and you’d be lucky to rent a studio apartment for double that monthly price in this densely populated neighbourhood. Dotted with buildings from many different eras, the West End is home to Vancouver’s stunning Seawall and some of the best dining and entertainment in the city, as well as residential heritage buildings including The Manhattan, Strathmore Lodge, The Beverly and The Beaconsfield. The West End’s neighbouring Stanley Park was recently named the “top park in the entire world” by TripAdvisor. In addition to being a 1,001 acre landmass bordered by the sea and covered by dense forest, you’ll also find an aquarium, the Seawall, an outdoor swimming pool, lakes and trails.
Life’s A Beach
At the southern edge of the West End are two gorgeous beaches, English Bay and Sunset Beach. Like urban unicorns, they are rare and majestic sites, as both meet up with West End street life via the sprawling Seawall. Wherever you are in the West End, you’re usually just a quick walk to the beach.
A vibrant community in the West End is Davie Street Village, which many LGBTQ residents call home. Rainbow flags fly proud from lampposts in the welcoming Village, and the rainbow crosswalk at Davie and Bute Streets make it hard to cross without a giddy smile on your face. Every year, the city comes together for the most fun you can have with (barely any) clothes on, to host the world’s fifth largest Gay Pride Parade on Davie Street.
Best brunch: La Brasserie, 1091 Davie St. “Breakfast poutine, anyone?”
Delicious Tibetan food: Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen, 1141 Davie St. “You can’t go wrong with a daily special.”
Top tapas: Espana, 1118 Denman St. “Try the tapas (obviously)—vamos!”
Natural cocktail kings: Exile Bistro, 1220 Bute St. “Try a delicious beet margarita.”
Perfect pizza place: Nook, 781 Denman St. “If the margherita pizza is good, you can safely assume everything else will be. (The margherita pizza is good.)”
Best place for new age and self-care: The Garden Health, 1204 Davie St. “Readings, vitamins, ear candling and chair massage all here. Check the schedule!”
Most interesting walk: The labyrinth at St Paul’s Anglican Church, 1130 Jervis St.
Natural wonders: Water lilies bloom at Beaver Lake in Stanley Park in August. “Ride your bike to the lake.”
Read about kicking it in Kitsilano here!