Long gone are the days when Vancouver was seen as a rustic West Coast outpost, all lumberjacks and hardy outdoor types. But a misperception persists that the city, for all of its natural beauty and glorious scenery, somehow lags behind in the glitz and glam department – as if having snow-capped mountains in your backyard precludes having fine restaurants and upscale retailers.
Alberni Street, also known as Vancouver’s mini Rodeo Drive, is fast putting those stereotypes to rest. There may still be a 7-11 on the corner and a BC Liquor Store smack dab in the middle, but Alberni Street has quietly conglomerated some of the ritziest boutiques and snazziest bistros in the city. The recent completion of the Shangri-La Hotel and the opening of a host of new restaurants over the past several years has cemented Alberni’s reputation as Vancouver’s capital of bling.