The West End and English Bay

The West End and English Bay


  • Next to Manhattan Island, New York, Vancouver's West End is the continents most densely populated residential area, yet one of its most relaxed, laid back inner-city communities.

Laughing Statues at Morton Park Across from English Bay



  • The name "West End" emerged in 1887 from the Vancouver School Board's decision to build a school in the area. The term 'West End' was coined from their newly named facility, the 'West End School'.



                          Inukshuk on English Bay 




  • In 1887, lots began to sell along the beach, with prices ranging from $350 to $1000. The area gained respectability and swiftly became an attractive real estate investment for wealthy and elite buyers with fine views across Burrard Inlet and a reasonable distance from the smelly warehouses of Gastown. Growth continued in the area unabated for almost 90 years. Today a large percentage of the waterfront can only be utilized as rental properties, ensuring a permanent balance to the neighbourhood.  












 The Vancouver Millionaires 1915

  • In 1911, the first artificial ice surface in Canada, and the largest ice rink in the world, was built in the West End at the corner of Denman and Georgia. In the 1914-15 hockey season, the Vancouver Millionaires became Western champions. The Ottawa Senators were Eastern Champs, and the two teams played at Denman arena for the Stanley Cup. The Millionaires won with ease and had their names engraved onto the cup - the only Vancouver team to ever do so. In 1936, the Denman Arena was destroyed by fire.


  • By 1973, Vancouver City Council decided to down-size the area in order to slow down population growth, cut down on noise and traffic, and to restore the West End to more of a 'neighbourhood'. Canada's most densely populated area slowed to 45,000 and has since maintained that population. Mini- parks were built and throughout the area, respect for the preservation of Heritage buildings became a priority.



  Vintage post card of the West End in 1917




  • The West End is a happy blend of turn-of-the-century homes and modern high-rises.







  • Its tree-lined streets lend a different neighbourhood texture than you would expect from such a density of population.






















  •  Off in the distance from Kits Pool, we can see the towers of the West End silhouetted against the North Shore mountains.






   As you can see there's lots of room for people...





 ...and their best friends! 







                The Sylvia Hotel today





  • The Sylvia Hotel has long been a famous landmark of the West End, nestled between the beauty of English Bay and Stanley Park. Tennis, jogging, windsurfing, kayaking, rollerblading, bicycling on the seawall, swimming in English Bay , all at your doorstep. Take the cute little ferry across False Creek to Granville Island, the Maritime Museum or perhaps the Planetarium. Minutes away from trendy Robson Street for shopping, the Vancouver Art Gallery and unlimited dining experiences. The Sylvia Hotel was the first pet friendly hotel in Vancouver providing our two and four legged guests with a unique Vancouver experience.



                                     The Sylvia Hotel 1917



  • Stanley Park, the jewel of Vancouver, borders the West End and is known as a year around playground. It's over 10% larger than New York City's Central Park and attracts an estimated eight million visitors every year. An 8.8 kilometres (5.5 mi) seawall circles the park, and is used by 2.5 million pedestrians, cyclists, and in line skaters every year; a great way to see Mother Nature at her best! Much of the park remains forested with an estimated half million trees that can be as tall as 76 metres (249 ft) and hundreds of years old. There are approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) of trails and roads in the park, patrolled by the Vancouver Police Department's equine mounted squad. Amazing to see those beautiful horses! The Project for Public Spaces has ranked Stanley Park as the sixteenth best park in the world and  number six in North America.

  • The name "English Bay" commemorates the meeting of the British Captain Vancouver and Spanish Captains Valdes and Galiano, in 1792.




  • English Bay Beach has always been popular, especially after sand was added in 1898. The beach was originally divided in two by a large rock, men on one side, women on the other! Today, it's home to our world famous Symphony of Fire, an international fireworks competitionwith a variety of countries vying for the #1 spot; a must see summer event.


 Hope you've enjoyed this posting. If you have any questions, any little known facts or interesting Vancouver Stories or pictures, please feel free to contact me at:

For all your Vancouver Real Estate needs, call me,

Gerry Gramek, direct at: 604-551-2747


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