Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Mount Pleasant

Welcome to Mount Pleasant! (Tourism Vancouver/Hubert Kang)

Often referred to as “South Main”, Mount Pleasant encompasses the stretch of Main Street between East 2nd and East 33rd avenues, including the residential streets on either side. The neighbourhood is packed with stylish breweries, vintage boutiques and eclectic eateries, forming a hipster-preferred ‘hood that’s come a long way from its early industrial days.

History

Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood outside the downtown core, Mount Pleasant was originally inhabited by First Nations for thousands of years when the landscape consisted of raw wilderness.

The area’s industrial beginnings largely arose from the creek that followed the path of what’s now Main Street; the body of water was eventually called Brewery Creek for the number of craft beer houses that popped up along its shores between 1888 and 1912.

Street cars arrived in Mount Pleasant in 1890, leading to further expansion of commercialism; the area also attracted new residents, as people were now able to commute to downtown Vancouver. By the early part of the 20th century, Mount Pleasant had evolved into a hub of uptown activity.

However, in mid-century – after the war – the district was rezoned for industrial development, and residences were displaced by offices, warehouses and businesses. As a result, the area began to stagnate. However, thanks to a group of locals who spearheaded a neighbourhood renewal project in 1989, Mount Pleasant saw a resurgence in community spirit that led to a complete revitalization.

Dining and Nightlife

Exquisite cocktails and eats await in Mount Pleasant. (The Acorn)

Main Street is a grand place to find eclectic eats that will take your taste buds on a journey to the Middle East, Malaysia, South India or Peru. This is also an ideal ‘hood to nosh on health-conscious vegetarian and vegan fare: don’t miss The Acorn, whose aesthetic veggie-forward dishes and innovative cocktails will wow even the staunchest carnivores; Chickpea, whose plant-based cuisine is infused with Mediterranean flair; and MeeT on Main, a popular draw for hearty vegetarian comfort food. Burdock & Co. is another must-try – the owner and chef is one of Vancouver’s original farm-to-table pioneers, and the intimate space and share-style dishes make for the perfect date night.

Mount Pleasant is also a huge draw for caffeine hounds, who gravitate to some of the city’s most renowned coffee roasters and cafés. Modus, 49th Parallel Café & Lucky’s Donuts and Elysian Coffee are good places to start.

For many locals and visitors, the neighbourhood’s biggest draw is the incredible number of craft breweries paying homage to the history of Brewery Creek. Starting at East 2nd Avenue and strolling up to East 8th Avenue, you’ll pass at least a handful of tasting rooms, each showcasing the city’s thriving craft brew culture. Top picks include Main Street Brewing Company, R&B Brewing and 33 Acres Brewing.

Shopping

Main Street is Mount Pleasant’s shopping hub. (Tourism Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic)

Mount Pleasant’s independent nature translates to its local boutiques and vintage stores – this is a great neighbourhood to pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Beer fans can kill two birds with one can by picking up a growler at one of the breweries and filling it with craft brew as a local souvenir that can be enjoyed back home. Or, opt for a different kind of brew by purchasing a bag of beans from one of the district’s many acclaimed coffee roasters.

Fashion fiends can browse for retro clothing and stylish antiques at shops like 8th & Main and Mintage. There are also plenty of indie stores selling eclectic knickknacks perfect for stashing in your suitcase: pay a visit to Bird on a Wire Creations and Much and Little to stock up on gifts suited to all kinds of styles and interests.

Things to See and Do

Pretty photo opps await at Queen Elizabeth Park. (Tourism Vancouver/Jason Lee Wang)

Mount Pleasant is primarily a residential area, so the focus here is gathering with friends over coffee or browsing local goods. Two blocks east of East 8th Avenue is Dude Chilling Park, named by locals in homage of the modernist wooden sculpture of a figure reposing at ease; in summer, the park is swarmed by locals picnicking, practicing al fresco yoga, and shopping at the Sunday farmer’s market. Further up East 15th Avenue is Heritage Hall, which once served dual duties as a post office and RCMP meeting space. Along East 33rd Avenue is Nat Bailey Stadium, a 1950’s-era ballpark that’s home to the Vancouver Canadians minor league baseball team; one of locals’ favourite sunny day activities in taking in an afternoon game complete with hot dogs and beer. Across the street from the stadium is Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest point in Vancouver, boasting spectacular views and exquisite gardens – an idyllic spot to snap a selfie commemorating your visit to Mount Pleasant.

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