There’s something special about the West Side of Vancouver. People live an active, healthy and eco-aware lifestyle, but kick back with a relaxed vibe. A hippie haven in the 60’s, its colourful past blends easily with contemporary urban living today. And at the centre of it all is West 4th Avenue, with its eclectic mix of coffee shops, yoga studios, fusion restaurants, board shops and fashions. Only 10 minutes out of the downtown core, this fabulous Vancouver neighbourhood is worth an entire day of exploration.
I would describe the West Side as a fast growing urban neighbourhood, offering some of Vancouver’s most spectacular real estate. Stunning beaches and lush green forests provide impressive surroundings for the homes and condos located in this community. Vancouver’s Westside is a community surrounded by English Bay to the North and Pacific Spirit Park to the South and West. The geography offers natural slopes providing spectacular views of the city, mountains and water.
Kits Beach could be described by some as one of the top beaches in North America, especially by those taking part in frisbee or bocce, swimming, and tanning. All of these add to an atmosphere of activity and endless summer vacation. Large grassy areas, benches, sand, and weighty Pacific-forest logs provide plenty of seating while the views of the North Shore Mountains, downtown Vancouver, and Stanley Park form a panoramic vista.
Dining out from breakfast through dinner, Vancouver’s West Side restaurants serve tasty options. For breakfast try :Sophie’s Cosmic Café and the simple greasy-spoon breakfast at Joe’s Grill or lighter options at Gypsy Rose Café. A west coast favourite, lunch on affordable sushi specials at Kitstaya Sushi or Hi Nippon. For special occasions, try the new Boathouse Restaurant, which overlooks Kitsilano Beach, or the small but charming Italian restaurant La Quercia. For organic fare, sample from the large selection of ready-made items at Capers Community Market, or the belly-filling pies at Aphrodite’s. With so many choices – and the above selections are a mere start – diners may be limited to sampling some restaurants with their eyes only.
Travelling to and from the West Side has been made substantially easier through the construction of the Canada Line, connecting Downtown Vancouver, the West Side and all the way to Richmond in under 12 minutes. Buses also run all day every day from the Downtown core over the Burrard Street, Granville Street and Cambie Street bridges.
The West Side also offers a multitude amenities including a number community centres (Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, West Point Grey, False Creek and Dunbar), Parks including, Arbutus Village Park, Cardero Park, Carnarvon Park, Connaught Park and Jericho Beach Park to name a few. Vancouver General Hospital takes care of the people in the West Side with over 150,000 residents.
East of Kitsilano Beach, shop at the market stalls in the Granville Island Public Market. From the dock it’s easy to take the ferry to Science World or Yaletown. Head west to reach the University of British Columbia with its Museum of Anthropology, UBC Botanical Gardens, and Chan Centre concert venue. From downtown beach-goers can walk, cycle, drive, or take a bus to the West Side. Once there, walk along the waterfront, West Fourth Avenue, and West Broadway to explore this favourite Vancouver neighbourhood.