What’s the best neighbourhood in all of Vancouver? Whether you’re here for a visit or looking for somewhere to live, I’ll make the case for the West End.
It’s a place people don’t often leave once they live there, and I can see why. Its blend of downtown living, walkability, proximity to the ocean and gorgeous mountain views make it pretty hard to beat.
Without further ado, here’s why I think the West End is simply the best:
Minutes to the beach
You can be at English Bay or Sunset Beach in 10 minutes or less from most places in the West End, and being so close to the calm sound of waves is something that’s hard to give up once you’ve experienced it. Sure, English Bay gets crowded on summer weekends. But locals know it’s just as charming on a serene winter day as it is at the height of summer.
Close to the mountains
The West End is right at the base of the Lions Gate Bridge, meaning it’s the closest you can get to the North Shore mountains while still living in Vancouver. Whistler in under two hours during ski season? Check. Post-work Grouse Grind with just 15 minutes of driving? Also yes.
Not only do you get beach and mountains in the West End, you also cuddle up close with the crown jewel of Vancouver: Stanley Park. Bike the seawall before or after work, hit Third Beach for the weekly drum circle, or gather your friends for a round of pitch and putt. Once you live here long enough, you’ll discover the hidden gems of Stanley Park too.
If you don’t like to cook, the West End is practically heaven. There are dine-in and takeout options galore, from Korean fried chicken at Mumu Kitchen to delicious pasta at Robba da Matti. The neighbourhood is chock full of hidden gems, and just about every cuisine you could want (although I’m personally manifesting a smoothie and salad spot to open for those work-from-home lunches).
The West End is the best of both worlds. You get impeccable green space, but you’re also walking distance to everything downtown has to offer. Walk to work, walk to Pacific Centre for some shopping, or to an event at the Convention Centre. Uber, who?
Spacious apartments — with a view
The 1950s saw a wave of low-rise apartments being built in the West End, and high-rise towers were constructed through the ’60s until heights were restricted in 1973. Many of the units are 60 years old or more, meaning they’re more spacious than modern builds. And you’re extra lucky if you score a high floor with an ocean view.