West End, Vancouver

Christina Newberry
January 15, 2016

Nestled between Stanley Park, English Bay and Downtown, Vancouver's West End (not to be confused with the West Side or West Vancouver) is one of the city's most densely populated areas. The large number of residents, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues occupying this neighbourhood keeps the area buzzing with activity day and night.

Not only does the West End include sprawling parks (including Stanley Park), beautiful beaches and some of the best shopping in Vancouver, but the neighbourhood is both family-oriented and gay-friendly, and hosts some of the city’s biggest and best annual events, including the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival, the Celebration of Light summer fireworks display and the city’s annual polar bear swim. It’s no wonder, then, that the Canadian Institute of Planner recently named the West End the winner of the Great Places in Canada Best Neighbourhood for 2015.

West End real estate consists mainly of older apartment buildings and newer condominiums: more than 99 per cent of the households in the West End are in apartment or condo buildings. The few hundred single-family detached houses scattered throughout this tree-lined community have mostly been divided into suites.

The West End caters to a young demographic, with almost 50 per cent of the population aged between 20 and 39.

Rental units are hard to come by, with a vacancy rate of just 0.5 per cent. If you manage to find one, the average gross rent in the West End is approximately $1,200 per month. Prices for homes in the West End start at about $250,000 for a small condo and go way up from there, into the multiple millions for a swishy penthouse or one of those ultra-rare single-family homes. View West End homes for sale and upcoming open houses

West End Amenities

Shopping

The main shopping areas in Vancouver’s West End include touristy Robson Street, where high-end designer boutiques mix with popular chain retailers and souvenir shops; funky Denman Street, which includes Denman Place Mall and an abundance of bike shops; and Davie Village, the epicenter of Vancouver’s gay community, with shops ranging from fine wine stores to adult boutiques.

Cafés and Restaurants

Denman Street is known for its cultural cuisine, including restaurants offering food from all over the world: Think Indian, Malaysian, and French, among others. Robson Street boasts many made-in-Vancouver casual eateries, like Milestone’s, Cactus Club Café and Earls, and is home to Vancouver’s blossoming “Ramen District.” Davie offers plenty of fast food pizza, shawarma and gourmet poutine, and is home to one of Vancouver's best Greek restaurants – there’s always a lineup at Stepho’s Greek Taverna. Other West End classics include CinCin Ristorante and Bar on Robson and Joe Fortes on Thurlow.

Arts and Culture

Stanley Park offers an array of arts and cultural events, from Carillon bell concerts to the Evo Summer Cinema Series to Broadway-style musical productions at the annual Theatre Under the Stars. The West End also offers a thriving gay nightlife scene, with a high concentration of nightclubs in Davie Village.

Sports and Recreation

With easy access to Stanley Park, considered by many to be the crown jewel of the City of Vancouver,there's no end to outdoor recreation opportunities in the West End. The neighbourhood is bordered by the world-famous bike-, walk- and rollerblade-friendly seawall and boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the city, English Bay. When the weather makes playing outside difficult, residents head to the indoor pool and gym facilities at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre or the West End Community Centre, which features a fitness centre, steam room, pottery studio, indoor cycling studio and ice-skating rink.

Schools and Education in the West End

Elementary schools

  • Lord Roberts Elementary School
  • Lord Roberts School Annex

Secondary schools

  • King George Secondary

West End Transportation

Situated on the Downtown Peninsula, the West End has no shortage of public transportation options, including TransLink buses running in most directions day and night.

West End Property Statistics

Average home price1

$1,294,546

 

 

Rental information2

 

Average rent for a private apartment

$1,261

Private apartment vacancy rate

0.5%

 

 

Makeup of dwellings3

 

Total private dwellings

29,320

Single detached houses

0.09%

Semi-detached and row houses

0.5%

Duplexes

0.1%

Apartments, less than five stories

21.9%

Apartments, five or more stories

77.3%

West End Demographics3

Population 44,540

Age

80+

3.4%

65 to 79

9.2%

40 to 64

34.2%

20 to 39

47.6%

19 and under

5.6%

Surrounding Neighbourhoods 

 

1REW.ca interactive map, incorporating data from the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, December 2015.

2CMHC Rental Market Report, Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission CMAs, Fall 2014. The information is based on the entire Tri-Cities area.

3Statistics Canada, Census 2011, custom order for City of Vancouver Local Areas.

Christina Newberry
Christina Newberry is a Vancouver-based writer and editor who writes lifestyle and travel stories for publications both online and in print. When she's not travelling, Christina can be found exploring Vancouver's unique neighbourhoods or puttering in her community garden plot.