The Downtown Vancouver area is the entertainment, cultural, financial, business and government center of the city. After its establishment in 1886, a train system was in full operation nearly seven years later, and the future growth of the city was assured. By 1912 there was a significant development in the area, with office buildings and stunning residential neighborhoods. During the period following the stock market crash of 1929, the growth of Downtown Vancouver came to a halt but was picked back up in the 1960’s. The city began to bloom during this time and provided a home to white-collar careers and jobs that continued to grow.
Aside from the fast-paced lifestyle surrounding the business and financial districts and skyscrapers, Downtown Vancouver is also home to tons of residents who prefer the business lifestyle. The location of the city center is home to thousands of residents who prefer to walk to their jobs and perhaps bike to any other area in the city. From shopping areas, restaurants, and recreational areas, the city is packed with all you would need as a young professional.
There is a place for every sort of person in Downtown Vancouver. For those interested in sporting activities, you can find the two major sporting facilities in the downtown center. The SkyTrain Chinatown station can get you to this district easily. You can visit where the Vancouver’s NHL Canucks team play at the infamous Rogers Arena and the CFL’s BC Lions and MLS’s Vancouver Whitecaps FC play in the nearby BC Palace Stadium. The Rogers Arena (used to be known as the GM: General Motors Place), is home to the Vancouver’s Canucks of the National Hockey League. It is a place very popularly visited by sports fans during the hockey season; it was even used during the 2010 Winter Olympics as home to the ice hockey sporting events.
In addition to sporting areas, Downtown Vancouver is home to countless parks and recreational areas, made perfect for people of all ages. With parks, large enough for cyclists to enjoy miles of greenery, to people walking their dogs, locals enjoying a run, or just simply having a picnic lunch in the great outdoors. The parks are close to the hustle and bustle of the city, making them a perfect place to get away and be one with nature (at least for your lunch break).
You can find many large and small parks that are tucked in the heart of the city, like Discovery Square. This park offers tons of benches for seating that are hidden away among the lush plants, perfect for spending some time in a private area, away from the city. The turquoise fountain is a stunning focal point of the square and gives a feeling of serenity. The small Cathedral Square Park is located just across from the gorgeous Holy Rosary Cathedral and offers a graceful area for a place to enjoy lunch under the shade of the magnolias and their flowers. These are just some of the many parks hidden away from the noise of the city, for those looking to escape to a calmer area.
The residential neighborhoods in Downtown Vancouver are typically defined by high-rise apartment buildings and condominiums. However, for those looking for single-family homes can be pleased to find the classic Victorian style, craftsman style, and even early cottage style homes. Downtown Vancouver continues to offer modern homes, classified as new-builds, but also provide older, classic homes that have been recently renovated to fit the modern lifestyle but still rich in character.
Downtown Vancouver offers a saturated combination of modern architectural styles and the early Edwardians styles of the 20th century. It’s a city in which has embraced a mixture of American styles and European styles to satisfy the needs of their very diverse population.
Restaurants and Shopping
Downtown Vancouver is a major tourist attraction in it of itself. It is wildly visited from out of towner’s who love the multi-cultural diversity the city offers from its food to its shopping. There is no shortage of choice to choose from when it comes to eating right in Downtown Vancouver. Whether you’re looking to have a delicious steak dinner found at Gotham Steakhouse, or you have a taste for the Mediterranean at Café Medina, or even a Japanese dinner at Miku, there is a taste available for all.
Downtown Vancouver shopping plazas and malls make any shopping trip fun and easy. The best part? Some of the shopping malls offer locals of over 450+ shops and cafes, all in one location, without needing an umbrella! The gorgeous underground Pacific Centre Mall is one of the cities most visited areas in Downtown Vancouver. It allows shoppers to shop around in over 100+ shops all underground, so there’s no need to worry about the weather. Plus, it’s only a block away from the infamous Robson Street, an outdoor shopping street where city goers pack the street and spend time at the stores and restaurants available, it is known as the epicenter of Downtown Vancouver’s shopping district.
Downtown Vancouver is home to many K – grade 7 schools for younger children. The education system is well budgeted and offers a good amount of choices and districts for young families to choose from. The Vancouver School Board (VSB) is a multi-cultural school district that offers education and community programs for over 55,500 young students, under the university level. With over 100 elementary schools and secondary schools combined, there are many choices to pick from when it comes to education. From schools built since the establishment of the city to a few developed in recent years to accommodate the increasing population of the area.
The city is also home to many community groups that welcome newcomers to join. Community groups from business improvement associations, youth resources centers, AIDS society, tai chi society and many more. These community groups offer a place for anyone and their interests, with the ever-growing population of Downtown Vancouver, the community is growing as well and offering many ways to be part of the fast-paced growth of the city. These groups provide a base for those looking to make a difference in the community,
Downtown Vancouver is surrounded by water on three sides and limits full access to the city. There are four major bridges that allow locals easy access to and from the city. The Waterfront TransLink station, originally built in 1914, is the major intermodal public transportation station that gives people the main transit ways into Downtown Vancouver. It is located just walking distance from Vancouver’s historic Gastown district. The intermodal terminus offers a number of services such as the SkyTrain Expo Line, Trainbus, SeaBus and more. This station not only provides means of transportation but also offers tourists a wonderful scene of architectural goodness. It was designed in a neoclassical style, complete with white columns and a red brick façade. Designed with paintings of stunning Canadian landscapes and detailed tile designs truly give this station a museum look.