What makes Yaletown Vancouver’s best waterfront community?
Yaletown has been a prevalent area in Vancouver since it was founded during the Fraser Canon Gold Rush in the 1880’s when it originally functioned as an entry point for the Railway, connecting the area to the town of Yale. The area was initially industrial, however, as the Yale railway workers began to settle at this end of the line. They soon established housing close to the water, and soon gave the area reason to acquire its name. The reasons for choosing this waterfront community shifted from industrial to urban when the city hosted Expo 86 and has continued to establish its role as one of the city’s most desirable communities that it continues to exemplify today.
Yaletown has nearly everything a Vancouverite could ask for, and if it’s not in Yaletown itself, it’s certainly easy to access in one of the many neighboring areas. Being the first stop in the downtown area on the Canada line is definitely the area’s biggest asset in terms of accessibility to the rest of the city. Along with being walking distance to Gastown, The Westend, City Center and a short Aquabus ride across the river to Granville Island and Olympic village. The beauty of accessing all of these areas, is not only are they walking distance, but you can walk along the seawall on the waterfront and take in the city while reaching your destination.
It’s not be hard to accomplish everything on your to do list with ease within the Yaletown area. It truly has everything within a few urban blocks. From locally owned grocery stores such as Choices, Nesters and Urban Market; to Dentists, Doctors, Drugstores and fantastic boutique shopping. What makes Yaletown different when checking things off your errands list, is that there truly is a great balance between one of a kind locally owned businesses and the familiar spots you can also find throughout the city. You can go from grocery shopping for local produce, to happy hour with microbrew beers at The Yaletown Brewpub, to browsing for housewares in a local boutique such as The Cross, to eating your favorite familiar entree and cocktail at Earls. The amount of choice and variation the area offers is a huge perk for people living in the community, you’re never stuck going to the same old spots…unless of course you want to!
The community is definitely a destination for spectacular dining and lounge-like night life. The elevated brick promenades are lined with restaurant after restaurant, all welcoming you in with heated patios and nearly every style of cuisine a Vancouverite could ask for. It has a reputation for having an elevated atmosphere as a community. Things just seem a little swankier on a Yaletown patio with a group of friends out to treat themselves. There is certainly beauty in the balance of the community. During the day there are families who live in the community taking advantage of all it has to offer, including neighbourhood schools.
Not only does the area have a couple of great urban green spaces tucked in between the stunning glass high rises, it’s home to the spectacular David Lam Park. The home of the Vancouver Jazz Festival, Cinema Under the Stars, outdoor concerts and outdoor spaces to play any sport or outdoor activity you can dream up. The park lines the waterfront offering vast green spaces to picnic, along with a variation of courts and a large portion of the seawall where cyclists, runners, roller bladers and people simply out for a relaxing stroll pass each other and take in the beautiful waterfront Yaletown is known for. The seawall is no more than a couple of blocks from residential areas of the neighborhood, so it doesn’t take much to effort to get outside and take in the water you can most likely see from your apartment living room. This accessibility to the water makes the element of being waterfront that much more relevant for people who choose this balanced urban community home.
The waterfront definitely has you covered for the warmer and dryer Vancouver months and the abundance of fitness studios have you covered year round. When it comes to fitness, you name it, Yaletown’s got it! Pure Barre, Crossfit, Yoga, Hot Yoga, Spin, and a Dance center; combined with everything the Roundhouse Community center has to offer, Yaletown makes it hard to justify those excuses for skipping the workout. Health and fitness tend to come hand in hand in general, and Yaletown definitely has them both. After your workout, it’s super easy to grab a smoothly or juice or even hit the salad bar to round off a healthy day. It’s hard not to feel inspired to get moving when you have everything to facilitate a healthy lifestyle at your fingertips.
Another element of balance that the area embodies is in the Heritage buildings and architectural aesthetic. Roundhouse Community Center being front and center on Pacific Boulevard with the old engine turntable as a small outdoor amphitheater. In another tribute to the rail history of the area, it also houses Engine 374, which pulled the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887. Accompanying the elevated brick promenade are streets of buildings from the area’s industrial days, Hamilton and Mainland being the most prevalent. Along with many of them being converted to modern living spaces on the inside, there are also a great deal of office spaces which were established during the dot com boom and continue to function as office spaces above the rows of restaurants. Many are designated Heritage by City of Vancouver. These buildings are surrounded by glass high-rise apartment buildings that embody the modern feel of the downtown community. Depending on the look and feel of the condo you’re looking for, it’s not hard to find either option on the streets of Yaletown, from cool heritage lofts to studios to amazing Penthouses with astounding water, city and mountain views. Waterfront living at its best!