At times, Vancouver feels like a number of different cities rolled into one shiny, expensive, vacation destination. That’s because each area in the B.C. coastal metropolis has its own distinct flavor. For instance, what to expect in Vancouver’s beachside neighborhood of Kitsilano is a lot different than the vibe of Mount Pleasant, The West End, or the upper-class Downtown area of Yaletown.
When planning your trip to Vancouver you should know exactly which neighborhoods to visit and precisely what you’ll find when you get there. In Yaletown, you’ll find a lot of what makes Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world as well as why so many people have issues making it there.
Without further ado, here is what it’s like in the safe and snobby Yaletown neighborhood in Downtown Vancouver, Canada.
10. Nevermind Why It’s Called “Yaletown”, Just Look At All That Glamour
For some reason, people tend to wonder where Yaletown obtained its name. But does it really matter? For the record, it comes from when the railway moved its equipment shops from Yale in the Fraser Canyon to the railway’s western terminus of Vancouver in the late 1920s, according to roundhouse.ca. While the railway theme runs throughout the area, Yaletown is really about its glitz and glamour. After all, Yaletown’s restaurants are some of the magnets that attract Ryan Reynolds, George Clooney, and a host of other A-list celebrities to Vancouver. But Yaletown is also known for its proximity to the sports and concert arenas, BC Place and Rogers Arena, not to mention all the beautiful people.
9. Yaletown Is Safe, Luxury Living For The Very Few Who Can Actually Afford To Live There
In early 2020, a Yaletown resident actually sold one of their private parking spots for a whopping $50,000. That’s should tell you how desperate people are for space and just how expensive the area is. The housing crisis extends all over the city, but when it comes to condos, Yaletown is just about as ludicrously pricey as it gets. Still, those who can afford to live there are treated like royalty. And even though the area is caught between two of Downtown Vancouver’s seediest neighborhoods, Yaletown is heavily patroled, well secured, and therefore very, very safe.
8. Restaurant Row Is Home To Some Old-School And Brand New Trendy Spots
Vancouver’s Yaletown district, which is located east of Homer Street between Robson Street and False Creek, is home to some of the cities best restaurants. In particular, two streets are known for having some of the trendiest and most quintessentially “Vancouver” establishments in the city. “Restaurant Row” consists of two raised, brick-laid sidewalks along Mainland and Hamilton and is home to both high-end chains and independent restaurants that have been around forever. Phenomenal old-school restaurants and bars include the pricey Blue Water Cafe, Giardino, Yaletown Brew Pub, Simply Thai, Rodney’s, and Cioppionos. And as for new trendy spots, Parlour, Minami, MeeT, and Nobu are pretty cool. But big chains like Cactus Club, Earls, and the Keg get tons of attention from the Instagram-friendly crowd.
7. Access To The Iconic Seawall Helps Keep The Yaletown Crowd Fit
There’s also definitely a fitness trend in Yaletown. Not only are there numerous gyms and yoga studios, but access to Vancouver’s iconic Seawall helps the hot, young crowd meet their fitness goals, according to Tourism Vancouver. The most famous portion of the Seawall is the stone wall that circles Stanley park, but the path extends through the West End and around False Creek and into Kitsilano. That means it stops right through Yaletown. While each part of the Seawall is gorgeous for jogging, biking, and walking the dog, the Yaletown area is particularly interesting due to the docks where copious yachts are moored.
6. Yaletown Attracts A Certain Crowd That Help Dictate Its Vibe
“Snobby” is how endless reviewers on TripAdvisor describe the atmosphere of Yaletown. And most citizens of Vancouver would agree. According to Narcity, a good chunk of the people who live in Yaletown are on the younger side. These are rich kids who have a lot of their parent’s money to spend on glamorous brow bars, nail salons, yoga studios, and trendy restaurants. But it’s not just the people who live there, Cactus Club, Earls, and the clubs found in Yaletown (Bar None, Pierre’s, and Hello Goodbye Bar) attract a ton of hot, trendsetters with cash to burn… or debts to create.
5. David Lam Park Is An Epic Destination For Outdoor Concerts And Events, Sunbathing, And Sports
While Yaletown has a couple of beautiful parks, David Lam is easily the biggest and most famous. According to Culture Trip, it even embodies some of what Yaletown dwellers value most – art, fitness, and nature. During the summer, the park hosts the Vancouver International Jazz Festival as well as Outdoor Movie Nights. It’s also a favorite for dog walkers and sports enthusiasts who crowd the basketball courts, volleyball nets, and playground. Make no mistake, this is a boujee park. The public bathrooms have even been made into an art installation with a cascading waterfall. Oh, and did we mention the superb view the park has of False Creek?
4. Patios, Patios, Patios… And More Patios
Since Yaletown is home to a ton of trendy restaurants and bars and is located right on the water, it’s really no surprise that it’s home to one of the highest concentrations of patios in all of Vancouver. According to The Daily Hive, some of the best patios include the ones found at the Per Se Social Corner, Tacofino, Home Street Cafe, Giardino, WildTale, The Yaletown Brew Pub, and Provence Marinaside, which is… you guessed it… right on the marina. However, The Keg’s rooftop patio is perhaps the most popular.
3. Cool Boutiques, Designer Dog Clothing, And A Ton Of Other Pricey Shops
Somewhat surprisingly, Yaletown isn’t home to a ton of high-end clothing chains. Yaletown may be snobby, but you won’t find Prada stores, for instance. It’s mostly occupied by local shopping options, according to Tourism Vancouver. Of course, most of these independently-owned boutiques are on the pricier end of the spectrum. We’re talking about places to get high-end organic beauty products and treatments, designer dog clothing shops, and homeware establishments where you can buy luxury bathtubs.
2. Yaletown Is The Perfect Place To Pre For Partying On The Granville Strip Or Winding Down
While Yaletown is home to a couple of clubs, most of Vancouver’s partying is done on the somewhat seedy Granville Strip and over in Gastown. Since Yaletown is right smack in the middle of the two and is home to some of the cities best restaurants, it tends to be a place where club-goers pre-drink and fuel up on pricey treats. But, according to The Daily Hive, it’s also a wonderful place to unwind after dinner. For instance, wandering down the hidden staircase in Hello Goodbye puts you in a buzzing cocktail club. There’s also Pierre’s, Opus, and the Banter Room where you can relax in a living room-like space.
1. We’ve Gotta Talk About All That Stunning Architecture
The Yaletown Roundhouse is the most striking piece of architecture in Yaletown that harkens back to the neighborhood’s railroad roots. It houses Engine No. 374, which pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver back in 1887. The building has been turned into a community center as well as boasts an outdoor amphitheater. Surrounding it are towers of glass and metal that are all strikingly gorgeous. The red-brick streets of Hamilton and Mainland, as well as the infusion of both modern and heritage architecture, is what makes this Vancouver neighborhood truly unique.