#LoveVancouver Neighbourhoods: Downtown Vancouver & Cambie Village

What makes a neighbourhood unmistakably “Vancouver”? Our city spans blocks, creeks, slopes, and an inlet, but around each corner and over the crest of every wave, there’s a constant feeling that it all fits. Maybe it’s that the city is wedged between forest, mountain, and ocean. Or because it’s a destination for people looking to make a new home for themselves. But whatever it is, we know Vancouver will never lose that unforgettable feeling that around every corner lies something unique. Whether it’s in nature or just a new spot for ramen.

With our #LoveVancouver Neighbourhoods series, we want to take you on a tour and show why this city continues to impress us with new discoveries and dependable favourites.

 

Downtown Vancouver

Photo credit: Kai Jacobson & Downtown BIA

The city’s biggest district, this is where shopping and people watching are some of the best in Vancouver. What other street in town other than Robson can you peruse countless designer shops while having your pick of some of the best international cuisine in the city? The area’s diversity speaks to just how many people come here to find something special or spend a special occasion. Whether you’re looking for a fun outing on Granville Street (craft beers and indoor bocce at Colony) or a fine dining experience (a bowl of Italian Kitchen’s exquisite Truffle Spaghetti), there’s something to find for every mood. 

Stretching from Coal Harbour to Denman, and right to the edge of Yaletown, this expansive neighbourhood is home to some other impressive feats. Did you know that our cruise ship terminal is the fourth biggest in the world? Or that the Marine Building was once the tallest building in the British Empire?

Photo Credit: @wallcentrevancouver

While Downtown has always been a staple destination for tourists and locals alike, there always seems to be something new happening. In recent years, pedestrian areas have increased by 30%, encouraging people to explore more on foot. Look no further than Alley Oop for an example of this- what was once just another laneway, has been transformed into a fluorescent reminder of Vancouver’s creative spirit (and a fantastic photo opp, of course).

Steeped in Vancouver history, but also ground zero for freshly launched pop-ups and art shows, it seems like every Downtown street has a different story to tell. And with over 7,000 unique businesses calling this area home, you’re sure to find something that’s right up your (multi-coloured) alley.

 

Hidden gems we love in Downtown Vancouver:

Tacofino Oasis – This blink and you’ll miss it financial district location has all the favourites we’ve come to expect from the Tacofino crew, but with a one-of-a-kind space.

VPL Central Library Rooftop Garden – On a sunny day, this quiet spot for reflection can’t be beaten. Enjoying a coffee while taking in the view is a pinnacle Vancouver experience.

Junior’s Barbershop & CRWND Hair Salon – Need a trim? If you’re looking a little mangey after a long winter, leave it to the professionals, and you’ll be back to full freshness in no time.

Learn more about Downtown Vancouver by visiting www.dtvan.ca

 

Cambie Village

Photo Credit: @cambievillage

While it may seem off the beaten track, Cambie Village is far more central than you think. Spread across three Canada Line stops (Broadway-City Hall, King Edward, & Olympic Village), you’re never far from one of the city’s friendliest and most unique communities. It seems like there’s a go-to spot for just about everything. A 100% gluten-free bakery? Visit Lemonade for one of their outstanding cupcakes. One of Vancouver’s oldest movie theatres? Yep. While The Park is currently on hiatus, we can’t wait to return to one of the only YVR theatres that offers Cinephiles movies in 70mm (this reference is for nerds only). If you’re in the mood for a sensational oatmilk spiced chai misto with a side of sweet bubble waffle, then you need to visit Paragon Tea Room at once.

Photo Credit: Bloedel Conservatory

All these businesses come together almost to make a microcosm of Vancouver itself- a hub of diversity. It’s no wonder Cambie Village refers to itself as the heart of the Vancouver. With that distinction to its name, there always seems to be a bit of romance in the air here, and with good reason. Cambie Village is home to many of Vancouver’s first dates and anniversaries. It’s not hard to see why, really. With opportunities to impress like mood lighting over housemade pasta at Sorella, world-class Indian fare at Vij’s, or splitting a Korean tiramisu sundae at Passion8 Dessert Cafe, the table is always set for a meaningful connection. 

You can follow this trail of delicious locales all the way up to Queen Elizabeth Park that sits at the crest of Cambie Street. A meticulously kept nature spot that boasts beautiful Japanese gardens and a domed conservatory, when the sun hits right, there is absolutely nothing like a stroll through this gem.

With so many places to discover along the way, Cambie Village is beyond an itinerary. Every block gives you something new and exciting. You might even find someone special while you’re wandering. (winking emoji)

 

Hidden Gems we love in Cambie Village:

Walrus – One of our favourite gift shops in the city, you can always find something memorable for when you’re in a pinch and need to buy for that person that has everything.

The Kino – Vancouver’s oldest comedy venue, the Kino is the epitome of a community establishment. Recently saved from the brink of closure by rallying comedians and artists, it’s a reminder of how important creative spaces like this are. *While performances are on hold until restrictions loosen, you’re still able to support the Kino by visiting for food and a pint!

Video Cat – Hey, remember video stores? Give streaming a break and consult with one of Video Cat’s resident experts about finding something you HAVEN’T seen five times already.  

Learn more about Cambie Village by visiting www.cambievillage.ca.

 

Visit www.tourismvancouver.com/love for staycation inspiration and special offers for locals.

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