During the 1970s, Kitsilano, affectionately known to locals as “Kits,” was renowned as a thriving hippie destination. The community has retained much of that down-to-earth mentality, and Kitsilano remains defined by beautiful beaches, organic markets, yoga studios, casual boutiques, and unique eateries.
Who Lives There
On average, Kitsilano residents are between the ages of 20 and 34, and either single or common-law couples (37% are families). The level of education here is higher than Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, with 87% of all residents possessing some form of post-secondary education. Even though the majority of residents hold sales and service positions, more residents hold jobs requiring post-secondary education than in Metro Vancouver as a whole. The average household income in Kitsilano is also slightly higher than that of Vancouver. In general, Kitsilano caters to students, young couples and families who do not yet need to move further away from the city in order to purchase a larger home, but still enjoy the community feel of living in a friendly neighbourhood with countless conveniences at their fingertips.
Things to Do
Vancouver was recently counted among National Geographic’s top 10 beach cities in the world, and Kits Beach contributed to this honour. In a central location with views of the city, North Shore Mountains, and fabulous sunsets over the Pacific, Kits Beach has something for everyone. From volleyball courts to the Boathouse Restaurant to Kits pool, the longest outdoor pool in Canada, there is no shortage of things to do.
4th Avenue boasts cafés such as Sophie’s Cosmic Café, Great restaurants such as Yuji’s (some of Vancouver’s best sushi), boutiques and board stores. Organic markets and fresh bakeries also call 4th avenue home, and check out Gravity Pope and Livestock for great selections on shoes.
Local Public Eatery is located right across from Kits Beach, and up the street Karv offers similar fare with a casual vibe that invites you to stay all day. The Taco Shack on Cornwall Ave. features some of the best, and most authentic, Tacos in the city. DB Bistro Moderne on Broadway offers amazing brunch on the weekends, and Lumiere next door is one of Vancouver’s most popular fine dining restaurants. Nightlife is limited to lounges such as Fiction, which features live DJs, and places such as Lola Cabaret, a club that is usually packed with students. If you are not a student, it is best to take advantage of Kitsilano’s many restaurants and lounges, a lot of which are open late.
Most properties in kits are low-rise condo complexes and some detached houses. Homes tend to be less modern and more spacious than in some of the more recently developed areas of Vancouver. Real estate prices are slightly lower than the Vancouver average, but higher than that of Metro Vancouver. Many residents rent, but buyers can expect terrific views, nearby amenities, and large suites. Real Estate in Kitsilano can be a solid investment and a good jumping off point for first-time home buyers looking to purchase within the city.
Schools and Safety
There are several elementary schools in the area, including Bayview Elementary, Henry Hudson Elementary, Tennyson Elementary, and Gordon Elementary, and one public secondary school, Kitsilano Secondary. Nearby private schools include, St. John’s (K-12), St. John’s International (8-12), and Fraser Academy (1-12, designed for children with learning disabilities). The University of British Columbia is about 15 minutes by bus.
Kitsilano is a fairly safe area, although residents should exercise the usual caution at night on beaches, in parks, and along poorly lit streets. Residents are friendly and community-oriented, thus Kits remains one of the safer places to live in downtown Vancouver.
Meter parking is available throughout Kitsilano, along with permit parking for residents and some free 2 hour parking. The Burrard Bridge facilitates downtown commutes, and Broadway, 4th Avenue, and Cornwall run from east to west as major throughways. Multiple buses are available in any direction, Broadway being the most accessible for major routes. B-Line express buses run west to UBC or east connecting easily to the Canada Line, going out to Richmond and the Airport, or the SkyTrain. Within the neighbourhood itself, most places and schools are walking distance.
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421 Pacific St.
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2P5