An Insider’s Guide to Yaletown

Yaletown’s beauty is more than skin deep.

Vancouver’s neighbourhoods are like a tight group of friends – they each have distinctive personalities, yet a cohesive vibe ties them all together. Gastown is hip and trendy with an old soul; Kitsilano active, bubbly and health-conscious; East Vancouver artsy, rowdy and never afraid to shake things up. And Yaletown would be stylish, serene and focused on living her best life. Of course, people are filled with hidden layers, and neighbourhods are, too. Let’s have a latte with Yaletown and get to know her better – you might be surprised.

Yaletown is deeply historic. The neighbourhood was the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886 – the endpoint for the first lines of steel linking Canada from coast to coast. Now, more than a century after completion, Engine 374 stands proud in its pavilion at the Roundhouse, Yaletown’s community arts and recreation centre. Pay a visit, browse the exhibits and soak in the history of one of the country’s biggest milestones.

Furry friends frolic freely in Yaletown.

Yaletown is one of the most pet-friendly districts in the city. You won’t stroll more than a half a block before bumping into a puppy boutique, bowls of water inviting furry friends to quench their thirst, or sprawling dog-friendly parks (not to mention teensier puppies hiding in pedestrians’ purses).

Find your zen at a yoga class in Yaletown.

Yaletown is filled with health and wellness possibilities. This is the neighbourhood to visit when you’re in need of rejuvenation or holistic nourishment. Start with a stroll or bike ride along the marina-hugging seawall where the waters of False Creek lap gently against the docks. You can hop aboard a mini-ferry and cruise around the creek – and stop for a spell at Granville Island, Olympic Village, Vanier Park or other creekside points that catch your fancy – or head away from the water and into the lush greenery of Yaletown’s many parks. Try an antioxidant-packed green smoothie from one of several juice and healthy eating stores, enjoy a decadent yet wholesome (and vegan!) lunch at Zend Conscious Lounge, then try a yoga or spin class.

Yaletown is the place to splurge on a shopping spree. Whether it’s exquisite yet playful homeware at The Cross Décor and Design or fashionable hats for every age and taste at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, Yaletown is filled with covetable treasures. For women’s fashion and accoutrements, browse Fine Finds; men will gravitate to Revolucion to stock up on must-have accessories.

Delicious dining abounds here.

Yaletown is all about refined dining and game-night rowdiness alike. The area’s restaurants and bars run the range of upscale seafood to happy-hour pizza and beer, and everything in between. Try Blue Water Café for just-from-the-water sushi and other nautical delights, along with excellent cocktails; Minami for a zen-like tasting experience of perfectly plated Japanese fare; Yaletown Brewing Company for pizza, beer and a fun vibe; and Homer Street Café, which dishes up comfort food, wine and cocktails in a cheeky space adorned by reclaimed factory windows, antique tiling and lots of rooster pictures.

Yaletown is home to the city’s first lifestyle Leisure Center. Opened in October 2017, Leisure Center (950 Homer Street) offers a fashionable space that invites visitors to leave digital distraction behind and instead plunge into meaningful downtime with art, music, books, beauty, culinary pursuits and wellness. The aesthetic space, situated in a 1930s heritage building, offers a labyrinth of non-digital delights that promote “leisure time” (think organic beauty products, global clothing brands and contemporary art), as well as a photography studio, theatre room, seminar rooms and a strictly-for-kids “office”.

Cocktails are the perfect way to end your day in Yaletown.

Yaletown is perfect for post-dinner sips. Nightlife in this ‘hood is alive and thriving. Enter an unmarked door and wander down a hidden staircase to Hello Goodbye, a buzzing cocktail club with an underground vibe intended to promote late-night revelry. OPUS Bar, located in Yaletown’s only hotel (and the only boutique hotel in Vancouver carrying the coveted Forbes’ four-star rating) pairs its diverse wine and cocktail list with live entertainment, DJs and a colourful happy hour. Banter Room is the place to mix and mingle in a comfy, living room-like space whose year-round patio is covered and heated during the cooler months.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Yaletown. Now get out there and explore it for yourself!

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