Looking for some adventure? You’ve come to the right city. No matter what time of year, when you start your day in Vancouver, it can take you anywhere.
This summer, Steve and I joined the Vancouver Pride Society during Vancouver Pride Week to help connect LGBT visitors to our city’s two queerest neighbourhoods: Davie Street Village and Commercial Drive.
Okay okay. I know the socio-political landscape in many cities, including Vancouver, has changed and that gays and lesbians now live everywhere, not in just one or two locations. But still, if you’re a new visitor to Vancouver and looking to find other queers and our city’s queer culture, Davie Village and the Drive are great places to start your search.
Commercial Drive is very popular with queer women of all ages and is also the historical home of Vancouver’s Italian community. Let’s face it: dykes and hot coffee are pretty much a match made in lesbian heaven and the Drive has plenty of both. This neighbourhood is very gay-friendly, featuring a variety of clothing boutiques, tattoo parlours, bars, restaurants, theatres, markets and stores.
Located in the heart of Vancouver’s West End, the Davie Street Village is the literal heart of Vancouver’s LGBT scene. Here you’ll find stores like Little Sisters Bookstore, which has fought for gay rights and freedom of speech for all Canadians since the 1970s. This is also home to many of the cities gay bars and nightclubs, as well as gay-friendly hotels, restaurants and boutiques.
Another reason to check out Davie Street: English Bay and Sunset Beach are a quick five minutes down the hill. There’s a reason why Vancouver is known as the Canadian Riviera.
Vancouver Pride traditionally takes place during the last week of July. The Vancouver Pride Parade draws thousands upon thousands of spectators annually, which makes it one of the largest parades in North America.
Pride is a great time of year to visit, but Vancouver is truly a year-round LGBT destination. If you haven’t heard, we have some of the best skiing in the world as well as the WinterPRIDE festival in Whistler. You also might want to check out the Vancouver International Playhouse Wine Festival in the spring.
One last thing: queers can legally marry here, so don’t forget to bring your sweetheart.
Here is a list of queer-owned/queer-friendly businesses we visited or profiled in this video:
- Cafe Havana Bar and Grill www.cafehavanali.com
- St. Augustine’s www.staugustinesvancouver.com
- Timbre www.timbrerestaurant.com
- Cafe Deux Soleil www.cafedeuxsoleils.com
- Womyn’s Wear www.womynsware.com
- Donald’s Market www.donaldsmarket.com