#LoveVancouver Neighbourhoods: Point Grey Village & Robson Street

As our trek through #LoveVancouver Neighbourhoods continues, we take a charming and historical amble through Point Grey Village to the very west, and an electric stroll down one of Vancouver’s, if not Canada’s, most famous districts, Robson Street in the beating heart of the city.

Point Grey Village

One of the smaller entries in our series, Point Grey Village spans a mere three blocks, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up in personality. In fact, it’s this tight-knit and familiar feel that gives it such a quaint small-town vibe. Businesses have set up shop here since streetcars click-clacked through the streets 75 years ago, and they’ve lasted thanks to loyal residents that are more like good friends than customers. Just ask Rob van Yperen at van Yperen Jewellers who has been making beautiful custom jewellery from the same spot on West 10th for 53 years! Or Morri Cringle, whose love of Italian pottery led her to open Moricotta, an extraordinary curated collection of mostly European artisanal wares for the home. 

Point Grey Village plays an important role in the growth of our city since it began its existence as a separate municipality entirely. Then, on the very first day of the year 1929, it amalgamated with the city of Vancouver helping it to become the third-largest city in Canada — a distinction it still carries today. Such historical charm, tucked in snugly between Pacific Spirit Park and Spanish Banks and Jericho beaches, Point Grey Village perfectly represents that unique blend of natural and cosmopolitan living that attracts so many to Vancouver every year. 

And it stands to grow even more as the area looks forward to the new Skytrain line to UBC that will include a stop in Point Grey Village. Even more new businesses and new visitors will soon discover the magic of this little pocket of our city. New friendships too.

Photo Credit: Point Grey Village BIA

Hidden gems we love in Point Grey Village:

Takumi Japanese Restaurant – Some of the finest sushi in the city is served here from the mind of master chef Tadashi Akaike and his 40-plus years of marrying the traditional with modern fusions, all from the bounty of local seafood delicacies.

Sasamat Barber Shop – Step back in time to when the barbershop was literally the “talk” of the town. From the chrome and leather swivel chairs to the spinning barber pole, not much has changed at the Sasamat since its scissors first started snipping.

West Point Grey Time Co. – Believe it or not, things can still be repaired before they’re thrown away. This family-run business can have your watch or clock back to ticking away in no time. Or, all the time? Anyway, try to stop in at the top of the hour to experience the walls of pendulum and cuckoo clocks all chiming in at once.

Learn more about Point Grey Village by visiting www.pointgreyvillage.ca

Robson Street

Down the water line and over the bridge we go to Robson Street, Vancouver’s undisputed mecca for the fashionably tasteful and the just plain tasty. One of the oldest shopping districts in the city, al fresco browsing is enjoyed through many international brands, as well as homegrown favourites like Aritzia, Plenty, Arc’teryx and Reigning Champ. Naturally, appetites are easily built up here, and for that Robson boasts some of Vancouver’s finest eateries including CinCin and Joe Fortes, both of which have shared their block for over a quarter-century. And when all that shopping has you ready to drop, the Blue Horizon Hotel sits high atop it all, glittering in its Italian mosaic tiling. Built on a rise, it was once the tallest building in Vancouver; its pink neon rooftop would guide planes full of lucky travellers at night. 

Photo Credit: Robson Street BIA

But shopping and eating aren’t the only delights to partake in here. Besides the ample people watching on the many street level and second-floor patios, Robson is bedecked with beautiful public art, including five murals and the Canvas Corridor which features a series of 45 doorways along Eihu Lane between Burrard and Bute that have been transformed with unique, colourful artwork.

Photo Credit: Robson Street BIA

Robson Street has long been a hub for commerce and socializing, dating back to the nineteenth century when the first train tracks were laid down. The Robson we know today began in the 1950s when it was known as Robsonstrasse thanks to the many German and other European shopkeepers who arrived here after World War II and whose delicatessens, markets, bakeries and high fashion boutiques lined the bustling thoroughfare. Fitting now that Robson attracts visitors from around the globe as one of Vancouver’s premier destinations.

Hidden gems we love on Robson Street:

D’oro Gelato e Caffe – A little scoop of Italy right in Vancouver, enjoy uno spuntino or some decadent gelato prepared in the old world way, in a refreshing new world setting.

Horin Ramen – For 45 years in Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan, Horin Ramen has been serving up its signature spicy ramen from a recipe that was the first to add chilli peppers to tonkotsu. And the only place outside of Japan to taste this history-making broth is right here on Robson Street. 

Saje – Another made-in-Vancouver success story, this family-run business has been a trailblazer in “plant power,” with their 100% natural essential oil blends, body care, home, and wellness products, for over 25 years.

Learn more about Robson Street by visiting www.robsonstreet.ca.

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

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