Yaletown, Vancouver

April 10, 2015

Yaletown, in the southeastern area of Downtown Vancouver, is now a trendy area full of glass condo towers, restored brick heritage buildings, designer boutiques and lively nightlife – but it wasn’t always this way.

In the late nineteenth century, the City of Vancouver lured the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to the area north of False Creek with a 20-year tax break. The rail line soon moved its equipment and employees from its former headquarters in the tiny town of Yale, in southwestern British Columbia, to the new neighbourhood that would soon become known as Yaletown.

Easy access to the rail line and the False Creek waterway quickly made Yaletown a hub of warehousing and industrial activity, but the area lost much of its appeal to industry as highways became the prime conduits for moving goods. The area has undergone intensive development since Expo 86 brought the world’s attention to the entire False Creek area. The warehouse are now gone (or converted to funky loft-style condos), replaced by trendy restaurants and bars, designer and retro clothing stores, and salons for dogs and humans alike. Still, 27 heritage sites remain in the area, and it retains a distinctly heritage feel.

Today, practically all of Yaletown’s homes are apartments and condos, and the population skews quite young. The neighbourhood’s high-density nature means there are no single-family homes, although quite a few of the newer condo buildings have townhomes on the first floor.

The price of real estate in Yaletown is higher than many other areas of Vancouver. The MLS® system defines Yaletown’s boundaries as False Creek to the south, and Richards and Smithe streets to the northeast and northwest, with a little jag out to Burrard along Pacific Street. Prices in this area start at about $350,000 for a small studio apartment (less than 500 square feet) and top out at around $5 million for the huge penthouses that have more square footage than many single-family homes in the city. View Yaletown MLS® listings and condos for sale.

Yaletown Amenities                       

Yaletown shopping

With plenty of boutique shops, Yaletown is a prime shopping neighbourhood. There are also plenty of stores for must-haves for local residents, including groceries at Choices Market and Urban Fare, plus the VQA-centric Swirl Wine Store.

Schools and education in Yaletown

Yaletown cafés and restaurants

Yaletown’s cobblestone streets, particularly Hamilton Street and Mainland Street, are among the busiest in the city when it comes to people looking for food and drink. From casual pub fare to high-end West Coast cuisine, Yaletown has it all. The neighbourhood’s Taste of Yaletown festival every October offers a chance to try great-value set menus at a number of local favourites.

Yaletown sports and recreation

Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre offers a variety of classes and workshops, as well as a health and fitness program that includes aerobics, Pilates, yoga and martial arts. Private fitness centres and yoga studios also pepper the area. Yaletown has three large waterfront parks – George Wainborn Park, David Lam Park and Coopers’ Park – and the neighbourhood’s waterfront makes up a portion of Vancouver’s famous seawall.

Yaletown arts and culture

The Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre hosts regular arts and culture events, and the area’s old warehouse spaces have been known to host pop-up exhibitions and events. In the summer, David Lam Park is home to a weekend of free live music as part of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Yaletown transportation

Yaletown is within walking distance of the main bus routes on Granville Street, Downtown Vancouver’s primary public-transit route. The neighbourhood is also on the Canada Line SkyTrain route that runs from Richmond (and the airport) to downtown, accessed via the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station. In addition, the False Creek Ferries and Aquabus provide water transportation from Yaletown to Science World, Granville Island and English Bay.

Yaletown Property Statistics

Average home price1


There is a huge range of condo prices in Yaletown, with the larger, higher-end properties skewing the average upward.

Rental information2

Average rent for a private apartment


Private apartment vacancy rate


Makeup of dwellings3

Single-detached homes


Row homes


Apartments, under five stories


Apartments, five or more storeys



Yaletown Demographics3                                            

Population 11,6084




40 to 64


20 to 39


19 and under


Neighbourhoods Surrounding Yaletown

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, March 2015.

2CMHC Rental Market Report, Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission CMAs, Fall 2013. The information is based on the entire Downtown area as defined by CMHC, which includes Yaletown.

3Statistics Canada, Census 2011, custom order for City of Vancouver Local Areas. The information is based on the entire Downtown area as defined by Statistics Canada, which includes Yaletown.

4Vancouver Economic Commission, Yaletown Neighbourhood Profile, BizMap Market Area Profiles, 2006.