Neighbourhood Guide: West End Vancouver

So much of what people love about Vancouver — sunsets on the beach, Stanley Park, incredible food, the seawall — are found here in the West End.

The neighbourhood has a distinctly charming character and covers a good chunk of the city’s downtown peninsula.

We are liv.rent and we create solutions for renters and landlords. This guide to the West End will walk you through everything you need to know about the area, including, of course, all the very best places to shop, eat, and drink. And, if the West End is going to be your new home, then you can find the perfect place on liv.rent today.

Here’s everything you need to know about living in the West End:


Table of Contents

Where is Vancouver’s West End?

This neighbourhood is bordered by the waters of English Bay on its south, Georgia Street to the north, Stanley Park to the west, and Burrard Street to the east.

The geography of the area also plays a key role in the West End’s cultural life. Hemmed to the south by a long stretch of beaches along English Bay and to the west by the magnificent Stanley Park, West Enders can boast about a pretty spectacular front yard!

All year long, the seawall, beaches, and parks are alive with people enjoying the outdoors — walking, biking, running, playing tennis, swimming, and more, within walking distance to Vancouver’s downtown. It is truly is a dream neighbourhood for both urban dwellers and nature lovers alike.


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What’s it like to live in the West End?

The people living in the West End are diverse. There is a broad mix of young professionals, international students, and seniors who all equally appreciate the walkability and vicinity to work, parks, transit and all other amenities.

The highly walkable area is a charming mix of old and new high rises, art deco low rises, and a sprinkling of heritage homes. Robson Street, Davie Street and Denman Street offer visitors and residents abundant choices for food, drink, and nightlife.

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Especially worth noting, the West End is home to Davie Village defined as the strip of Davie Street between Burrard and Jervis. This is the heart of Vancouver’s proud, strong LGBT community that is fundamental to the West End’s identity and cultural significance.

In fact, the Pride Parade that takes place here every summer is one of the largest in the world with tens of thousands of people flooding the area annually to enjoy the event and related festivities.

  • On the Northwestern edge of the downtown peninsula, the West End is well serviced by transit with buses running regularly along Robson, Davie, Denman and Georgia. The beauty of living here, though, is that you can walk everywhere.
  • Fill your pantry and fridge with products from Whole Foods, Safeway, Kim’s Market. Alternatively, hop on the False Creek Ferries at the Aquatic Centre and visit Granville Island Market for your food shopping.
  • Check out what the West End Community Centre has to offer or walk to other nearby community centres in Yaletown or Coal Harbour.
  • Visit the Roedde House Museum in the West End’s heritage square. This late Victorian home was built in 1893 for Vancouver’s first bookbinder, Gustav Roedde and his wife. Beautifully restored this heritage house museum reflects the middle-class life of an immigrant family at the end of the 18th century.
  • Visit the beaches at your doorstep regularly — from Sunset Beach to Third Beach, you have some of the world’s most beautiful shores available to you.
  • Stanley Park is Vancouver’s iconic green space. It is home to an extensive trail network, beaches, pools, water parks, aquarium, majestic totem poles etc. Wrapped by a 10-kilometre ribbon of seawall, this park is a gem meant for all to enjoy.
  • Grab that dust-collecting set of bongos from under your bed and head over to Third Beach in Stanley Park on any sunny summer Tuesday and join in with Vancouver’s largest drum circle for a sunset jam celebrating sunsets and summer in the city.

Learning

Lord Roberts Elementary and the Lord Roberts Annex are located in the heart of the community. Both typically feed into the nearby King George Secondary, located right by the West End Community Centre.

For higher education, UBC’s downtown campus is at Robson Square. SFU’s downtown campus is in Harbour Centre near Gastown and BCIT offers a full range of programs at its downtown campus at 555 Seymour Street.

West End places to shop

Robson street is lined with countless clothing, shoe and curiously, optical stores including Muji, Nike, and Vancouver’s own Aritzia occupying nearly half a block of prime commercial real estate where Robson meets Thurlow street.

On Alberni street, running parallel to Robson, you will find a proliferation of high-end luxury brands like Tiffany.

West End places to eat & drink

Kingyo Izakaya

Busy, unpretentious and excellent, Kingyo will impress with its izakaya fare. The chicken Karaage is a must – one of the best fried chicken options in the city.

Espana

Authentic with a twist, Espana elevates traditional Spanish tapas to an exquisite level. The menu changes regularly but the Espana G&T remains and offers a twist on the classic.

Hook Sea Bar

Near the water’s edge, Hook Sea Bar offers a great 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Happy Hour featuring Buck-a-shuck oysters.


Find your West End home now by checking out listings on liv.rent:


Check out our other Metro Vancouver neighbourhood guides:

  1. Yaletown
  2. Main Street
  3. Chinatown
  4. North Vancouver
  5. Marine & Cambie Hub
  6. New Westminster Brewery District
  7. Richmond, BC

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Kristina Ikavalko

Kristina Ikavalko

Creative Content Creator at liv.rent

Creative Content Creator for liv.rent, based in Vancouver. [Read Full Bio]

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