Vancouver Neighbourhoods: South Granville

Welcome to South Granville! (courtesy South Granville BIA)

The area between Granville Bridge and West 16th Avenue is known as South Granville, a stylish multiblock district boasting excellent restaurants, vintage and high-end shopping, and plenty of spa and beauty services. South Granville also encompasses Vancouver’s ritzy Shaughnessy neighbourhood, home to some of the city’s oldest and most elegant mansions.

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Vancouver Neighbourhoods: South Granville

5 Reasons to Visit Vancouver This Year (And Why You May Never Want to Leave)

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The following is a guest post by Expedia Canada.

Vancouver is one of the best cities in North America, and proudly so. Here at Expedia Canada, we have a soft spot for the glittering city by the shore, which is why we’ve partnered with Inside Vancouver to present you the top five reasons to visit Vancouver this year (and why you’ll never want to leave).

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5 Reasons to Visit Vancouver This Year (And Why You May Never Want to Leave)

Hop through 16 galleries at South Granville’s annual ArtWalk

Michael Tickner's Drawn To The Light | Pousette Gallery |Photo from ArtWalk website

Michael Tickner’s Drawn To The Light | Pousette Gallery |Photo from ArtWalk website

It’s time for one of the most sophisticated block parties of the year.

This Saturday (June 20) is the annual South Granville ArtWalk. If you’re on the hunt for that perfect piece to hang above your mantle or are just curious about the latest in Canadian and British Columbian art, come on down: everyone is welcome.

Just south of downtown over the Granville Street bridge, the South Granville neighbourhood is an area of high-end boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. (The latter include the famed Vij’s restaurant, which is near the Stanley Theatre.)

Stretching over about 10 blocks, South Granville has the highest concentration of fine art galleries in Vancouver.

They feature a diverse range of art, including Canadian and international conceptual, European modernism and old masters, and photography. There are also two galleries devoted to First Nations and Inuit work.

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Hop through 16 galleries at South Granville’s annual ArtWalk

‘Elements’ at West Restaurant: A New Way to Dine at One of Vancouver’s Top Restaurants

Honey Mussels from West's new Elements menu. Photo: James Stockhorst / West Restaurant

Three months ago, West Restaurant—the multiple-award winner of Vancouver Restaurant Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year Award and one of the indisputable leaders in Vancouver cuisine—made major changes to its interior and its menu. West redesigned its dining room, replacing its old-school, white-tablecloth formality with sleek, stylish stone table tops and warm, urban fixtures to better reflect its innovative, contemporary cuisine, and added a new menu to its famous a la carte and Tasting Menu options: the tapas/izakaya-style Elements.

With Elements, West Restaurant provides a new way to enjoy its phenomenal food at a lower price point than its traditional a la carte fare. From the Elements menu, diners can choose from a range of exceptional-yet-reasonably-priced items, like the Crispy Stuffed Mussels for $2.50 each or the tender, melt-in-your-mouth Fraser Valley Pork Belly for $12, and then share the food, family-style, so that everyone in your party gets to try each of the dishes.

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‘Elements’ at West Restaurant: A New Way to Dine at One of Vancouver’s Top Restaurants

The Changing Face of South Granville – Big Brands Transform South Granville Shopping

Eileen Fisher's first Canadian store opened on South Granville in August 2011. Photo: Dana Lynch

The last ten years have seen huge changes in most Vancouver neighbourhoods. Gentrification and development have made once “seedy” neighbourhoods hip and trendy (see: SoMa, Lower Mount Pleasant), created brand-new residential areas (like the Olympic Village), and transformed certain districts so thoroughly that, if you hadn’t seen them in ten years, you wouldn’t recognize them.

One such district is South Granville, the shopping and entertainment district in Fairview that extends from the Granville Street Bridge to 16th Ave. Known best for its art galleries (hence the famous moniker “Gallery Row,”), restaurants (West Restaurant and Vij’s are both in South Granville), and the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, South Granville has been developing its reputation as a major Vancouver shopping destination for many years. In the last five years alone, South Granville has transformed from an eclectic collection of mostly independent shops into a kind of Robson Street for yuppies.

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The Changing Face of South Granville – Big Brands Transform South Granville Shopping

Dining at West Restaurant – Vancouver Dining Par Excellance

In Vancouver—a city with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to world-class cuisine—it’s difficult to name a single restaurant as the “best.” But if that title could be claimed, West Restaurant + Bar would certainly be among the very top contenders.

The recipient of an enormous array of awards (including AAA’s Four Diamond Award and four consecutive wins for Restaurant of the Year by Vancouver Restaurant Magazine) and famed for its outstanding contemporary cuisine by Chef David Gunawan, perfect service, and bartender extraordinaire David Wolowidnyk* (himself a frequent winner of Bartender of the Year), West has a grandiose reputation. But it takes just one visit to this South Granville institution to confirm that that reputation is well-earned.

Or, to put it more simply: After dining at West last night, my partner and I declared it one of the best meals we’d had in our life. (And as someone who often writes about food, we’ve tried a lot of restaurants!)

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Dining at West Restaurant – Vancouver Dining Par Excellance

South Granville, Part III: Vancouver’s Gallery Row

South Granville's Gallery Row. Photo © Dana Lynch

Love to spend the day looking at art and want to do it for free? You can on South Granville’s Gallery Row.

As you may know, I’ve been paying homage to my (now) old neighbourhood, South Granville (Granville St. from the Bridge to W 16th Ave.) in a series of posts on the things that make that district so unique. First, I wrote about the restaurants, then about the shopping. Today, I’ll write about the art.

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South Granville, Part III: Vancouver’s Gallery Row