A seamless blend of new and old, Yaletown embraces Vancouver’s industrial past while at the same time adapting to its hip and stylish big city vibe. The neighborhood of Yaletown was once filled with factories, warehouses, and rail yards. During the 1986 World Exposition, Expo ‘86, Yaletown transformed into a residential neighborhood and is now one of the most densely populated areas of Vancouver. As one of the most bustling and busy spots in the city, you’d think it would be a shining oasis of new architecture, but you can actually still see all the remnants of the past in the old buildings, now converted into restaurants, bars, art galleries, and clothing stores.
Yaletown sits between Robson Street and Homer Street, bordered by False Creek to the south. You can easily get to the area via the Canada Line Skytrain by boarding and departing at the Yaletown-Roundhouse station. Many busses service the area with various stops scattered throughout the neighborhood. You can also take an Aquabus or False Creek Ferry to the David Lam Park or Yaletown ferry terminals. If you choose to drive here, it’s typically easiest to park in one of the large parkades to avoid hunting for a spot and potentially winding up with a parking ticket.
Directly adjacent to the Yaletown area are two of the largest venues in Vancouver, BC Place Stadium and Rogers Arena. Because these venues are home to so many sporting events and musical performances, the bars and pubs around Yaletown come alive with sports fans and concert goers on a regular basis.
The Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre is another busy spot in the Yaletown neighborhood. This space acts as a centre for community cultural development as well as a place for kids and adults of all ages to come and enjoy a variety of recreational activities. Tourists and history buffs can also check out Engine 374 while visiting the centre, which pulled the first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in 1887.
You can get a taste of nature in Yaletown by visiting the David Lam Park or the George Wainborn Park. David Lam Park features sport courts, playgrounds, and a large grassy area where you can sit back and enjoy the magnificent views of the water. George Wainborn Park also sits on the waterfront and provides equally gorgeous views and spaces to relax. Running through both parks is the Seawall, the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path stretching 28 kms around Stanley Park and all the way out to Spanish Banks.
Yaletown is filled with boutique shops, home decor stores, and a variety of other interesting establishments you’ll be tempted to peak into. For women’s fashion check out Global Atomic Designs and Fine Finds Boutique. For menswear, head to CNTRBND, Emil Clothing Co, and Surmesur Custom Menswear. The Cross Decor and Design is an excellent place to shop for furniture and other accessories for the home.
Yaletown is home to some of the finest restaurants in the entire city. The Keg Steakhouse + Bar’s Yaletown location features two stylish levels of indoor dining as well as a central rooftop bar. Another reliable franchise that’s well known for its quality menu and classy atmosphere is the Cactus Club Cafe, with a Yaletown location on Davie Street.
For the freshest and tastiest seafood, Yaletown has excellent options. Wildtale celebrates all the coastal regions around the world and serves up the best of what the sea has to offer in a comfortable yet attractive atmosphere. Blue Water Cafe is known for offering the best seafood in Vancouver and their raw bar features delectable Japanese flavors and delightful presentations. For a romantic night out, the exposed brick walls, hanging chandeliers, and climbing ivy of Brix & Mortar creates a truly warm and intimate atmosphere.
Yaletown is known for being a hip and trendy neighborhood so you know there are going to be some excellent bars and pubs in the vicinity. For country music, blues, and BBQ, head to the Yale Saloon. On weekends, the evening starts off with line dancing and the party continues all night. The Yaletown Brewing Company is another excellent spot for casual drinks and kicking back. Their pub and restaurant features TVs, a pool table, a fireplace, and a large patio to sit outside with a cold one and soak up some sun.
For something a little more posh, Pierre’s Champagne Lounge is Vancouver’s most exclusive champagne bar. The entrance is a hidden door tucked away behind brick walls and the space inside is elegant and sensual. The New Oxford is a perfect blend of relaxed pub vibes and up-scale sophistication. As with many Yaletown buildings, this establishment features a good deal of exposed brick wall, giving the atmosphere a touch of industrial trendiness.
Yaletown is a great neighborhood to grab a hotel for the night and just spend the day exploring the city. Catch a game, do some shopping, treat yourself to a delicious meal, and pop in and out of the various pubs until you’re just too beat to go on. Whether you’re visiting Vancouver or you’re a local just exploring your city, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy Yaletown when planning out your itinerary.