VANCOUVER ENTERTAINMENT & TOURISM
Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the North Shore Mountains, there’s no denying that Vancouver offers a picturesque backdrop of shoreline and snow-capped mountains. Outdoor lovers will find plenty of options for recreation, particularly hiking. Vancouver is home to some of the best trails on the West Coast, including St. Mark’s Summit, Quarry Rock, Norvan Falls, and Garibaldi Lake Trail.
One of the best parts about hiking in Vancouver is that you can choose from a variety of different trails for a range of skill sets and difficulties. For a leisurely stroll through the forest, try Pacific Spirit Regional Park, and don’t forget to bring your four-legged best friend! Or, you can take a scenic stroll through Burnaby Lake and see ducks, geese, and even beavers along the way.
If you’re in the mood for a more challenging hike, opt for Grouse Grind – or, as locals like to call it, “Mother Nature’s StairMaster.” Not for the faint of heart, this trail spans 2.9 km and has an elevation of about 853 meters. Once you’re done, you can take a gondola back down the mountain (attempting to hike down Grouse Grind is illegal).
Love spending an evening watching hockey, baseball, or football? Vancouver is calling your name. With six professional sports teams, there’s never a shortage of sporting events to choose from year-round. From fall to winter, you can catch a junior ice hockey game at the Langley Ice Centre to see the Vancouver Giants, or head straight to Rogers Arena to watch the Vancouver Canucks during the NHL season.
While hockey certainly dominates ticket sales, there are plenty of other sporting events to see in Vancouver. The Vancouver Whitecaps are the resident soccer team, and the Canadian Football League even has a home in Vancouver with the BC Lions. And of course, no list of sporting events would be complete without baseball. Head over to Nat Bailey Stadium during the summer to see the Vancouver Canadians, and you may even catch a fireworks show after the last inning.
From street fairs to performing arts to cultural celebrations, there is always a new festival happening in Vancouver. During the spring, you can see more than 40,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom, giving way to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Take a guided tour of the best walking routes, listen to free music at the Cherry Jam Downtown Concert, explore Japanese culture at the Sakura Days Japan Fair, or submit your best haiku for the annual Haiku Invitational competition.
Theatre and arts are alive and well in Vancouver, with plenty of events and festivals to celebrate the performing and visual arts. The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is a signature event in Vancouver, showcasing the work of both local and national performing artists over a three-week time span. More than 18,000 people attend the festival every year to experience new, groundbreaking, and innovative performances from a wide range of genres. And festivals in Vancouver certainly don’t stop there! Check out the Vancouver Film Festival to experience 16 days of international screenings, the Vancouver Opera Festival for world-class performances, or the Vancouver Folk Music Festival to hear both local talent and big-name, international performers.
VANCOUVER CITY GUIDE
Vancouver boasts an impressive range of neighbourhoods, with more than 30 neighbourhoods. Each area has its own character and appeal, with a wide variety of homes, culture, dining, entertainment, and more. Here are a few of our favourite areas to explore for real estate in downtown Vancouver:
For homeowners who want to experience the heart of what a bustling metropolis has to offer, Downtown Vancouver has everything you need – and more! The Downtown area consists of Yaletown, West End, Coal Harbour, and Downtown West (among others). Much of the Downtown Vancouver area consists of high-rise apartments and condos, but there are plenty of townhomes and detached homes that provide a more residential feel.
West End borders Stanley Park and brings plenty of opportunities for entertainment and nightlife. From up-and-coming restaurants to bars and clubs, to diverse shopping districts, there’s never a dull moment in West End! Spend the afternoon walking through Stanley Park or exploring marine life at the Vancouver Aquarium, or discover the arts, entertainment, and boutiques along with Robson, Davie Village, and Denman St.
Yaletown is filled with artists and young professionals, combining historical industrial buildings of the past with emerging, vibrant spaces of the present. Warehouses have been converted to lofts, and railway loading docks are now nightclubs, boutiques, and high-class restaurants. As one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Vancouver, real estate in Yaletown is in high demand – and with easy access to BC Place and Rogers Arena, it’s easy to see why.
See the ocean and the North Shore mountains from Coal Harbour, a scenic neighbourhood nestled in Burrard Inlet. Not only are the views spectacular, but so are the walking paths, fine dining, and shopping, making Coal Harbour a hot destination for would-be homeowners and tourists alike. Coal Harbour is one of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods, with a high percentage of working professionals and retirees.
Downtown is home to Vancouver’s financial district, as well as historic Gastown. It’s a perfect combination of historic charm and bustling industry, offering the best of both worlds for residents. You’ll also find one of the oldest neighbourhoods in all of Vancouver: Chinatown, which has plenty of shops, butchers, and markets. Like other downtown neighbourhoods, Downtown West is extremely walkable, making transportation a breeze.
Mount Pleasant is split into two distinct neighbourhoods: East and West. The smaller of the two is Mount Pleasant West, nestled between Fairview, Falls Creek, and Mount Pleasant East. Mount Pleasant West is best-known for its eclectic atmosphere and close-knit community of artists, musicians, young professionals, and families of all ages and sizes. A few blocks away lies Mount Pleasant East, a vibrant and expansive neighbourhood filled with trendy bars, restaurants, and breweries. Both areas of Mount Pleasant are in high demand, with plenty of new development slated to bring more options for townhomes and condos.
Main Street is quickly becoming one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Vancouver, which is (of course) anchored by south Main Street. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, bars, bakeries, coffee shops, markets, and unique stores surrounding the Main Street neighbourhood. Best of all, Main Street is an extremely walkable area, leading many residents to opt for walking or bikes as their primary form of transportation.
Cedar Cottage is an up-and-coming community that boasts a wide range of diversity in ages, ethnicities, languages, and more. With plenty of independently owned shops and cafes, the streets (and the people) of Cedar Cottage are welcoming, warm, and down to earth. Cedar Cottage is also home to Trout Lake, which is the only lake in all of Vancouver. You’ll find plenty of family-friendly amenities around the lake, like an off-leash dog park, a farmer’s market, Little League fields, playgrounds, basketball courts, and even a corndog stand!
Looking for a Vancouver neighbourhood outside of the Downtown Vancouver area? Use our interactive map of Vancouver neighbourhoods to explore the wide range of possibilities throughout Vancouver. Whether you want to live in the heart of the city, as close to the action as possible, or need a little more of a residential feel, there’s a neighbourhood for you.
It can take some time to decide which area is right for you, so be prepared to take some time and ask for guidance from a real estate agent who can guide you to the area that best fits your lifestyle, your needs, and your budget.
WHY LIVE IN VANCOUVER?
Vancouver gets a lot of great press for its livability, diversity, healthcare, and housing, just to name a few. There’s a lot to love about Vancouver – so much so that the city was named the best place to live in all of North America! Here are a few of our favourite reasons that folks choose to call Vancouver home:
- Sustainability: If you’re looking for a city that prioritizes zero carbon, zero waste, and healthy ecosystems, Vancouver is it. The city is currently in the midst of a range of climate-change initiatives under their Greenest City program. For example, by 2030, all new construction will consist of zero-emission buildings, which means these buildings will only use renewable energy!
- Secondary Education: Vancouver is home to universities, community colleges, a technical school, and even an art and film school. Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia are both consistently recognized as among the best in the country, giving residents and visitors access to a premier education hub.
- Diversity: Vancouver is an incredibly diverse city, with thousands immigrating to the city each year. In fact, Vancouver is home to more than 200 ethnic groups with 42 percent of the population consisting of visible minorities. This creates a unique and energizing convergence of global cuisines, cultures, celebrations, languages, and more.
- Accessibility: There’s no doubt that diversity and inclusion are becoming increasingly popular buzzwords – but Vancouver takes that commitment to heart. The Accessible City program recognizes citizens who actively work to create spaces, activities, and buildings that are all-inclusive. Past recipients include the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH) and the All Bodies Dance Project, which strives to make dance accessible to all, regardless of disability.
- Ocean access: Living on the water not only provides beautiful scenery, but it also gives plenty of opportunities for waterfront recreation. With English Bay to the west and Vancouver Harbor to the east, Vancouver residents can easily spend a day at the beach relaxing, kayaking, swimming, or even walking along waterfront trails.
From a thriving arts scene to scenic outdoor activities, there is no shortage of entertainment, arts, and recreation for Vancouver residents and tourists alike. Features such as healthcare, education, transportation, social and economic conditions, housing, and the surrounding environment all keep Vancouver at the top of the best places to live.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE
Vancouver is an incredibly diverse place – living in Vancouver means having consistent access to all the amenities of a world-class metropolis, including fine dining, nightlife, festivals, events, and more. Vancouver is a top-rated hub for education, business, diversity, arts, and culture, and it’s hardly a surprise that the city consistently ranks in the most desirable places to call home.
Of course, the long list of reasons to live in Vancouver creates a highly competitive real estate environment. This often means that Vancouver housing tends to be more expensive when compared to suburbs, such as Burnaby or New Westminster.
Keep in mind that each and every neighbourhood has its own average cost, amenities, and community atmosphere that will influence the cost of realty in Vancouver. With a wide variety of listings and eclectic neighbourhoods to choose from, there are plenty of listings to fit a variety of lifestyles and budgets.
The best way to find the right home for you – whether you want a detached home, a condo, or a townhome – is to talk with your real estate agent. Together, we’ll help you find the perfect Vancouver home for your lifestyle, your needs, and your budget!