Vancouver offers city living along with historic districts, lush gardens, and wilderness parks. The heart of Vancouver is its downtown area, a finger of land bounded by the waters of English Bay. The exciting city center radiates from Robson Square with business, shops, restaurants and galleries. The 1,000 acre Stanley Park is very popular with the locals which occupies the tip of the peninsula, next to the West End. The historic Chinatown and Gastown districts are close to Main Street, the city's south north areas. Gastown one of Vancouver's oldest streets faces the waters of Burrand Inlet and lies between Columbia street in the east and Burrard Street in the west. Gastown is named after "Gassy" Jack Deighton, an English sailor noted both for is endless chatter and for the salon he opened. Gastown today is a charming mix of 19th century public buildings, and storefronts.
Chic boutiques and galleries line Powell, Carrall and Cordova streets. On the corner of Water and Cambie streets, visitors can hear the musical chimes of the steam clock every 15 minutes, as well as being entertained by local street performers. Just off of Carrall Street you'll find the unusual looking Triangular Building reminiscent of New York's flat iron buildings. The striking structure was built in 1908 as a hotel; it now forms the corner of Alexander and Powell Streets which is now apartments. Shopping on Powell Street is a delightful experience with its range of small galleries and trendy boutiques. Water Street boasts gas lamps and cobblestones, as well as shops, cafes and restaurants.
Chinatown Vancouver Vancouver's Chinatown is older than the city itself. The Chinese immigrants were drawn to Canada by the promise of gold and building of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Chinatown stretches from Carrall to Gore Streets and still provides a warm welcome for new arriving Asians and visitors. Declared an historic area in 1970, Chinatown has restored many of its notable houses with their elaborately decorated roof tops and covered balconies. The main drag, Pender Street, is the best place to view the architectural details that decorate the upper stories of the buildings, such as highly painted wooden balconies. Street signs with colourful Chinese characters add to the authentic atmosphere.
Whether buying mouth-watering duck, or watching the spicy dumplings known as won tons being made , or settling down to taste the array of dishes available in a variety of fine restaurants, the main attraction for the visitor is food. There is also a fascinating range of stores, from bakeries, jewelers, tea rooms and many other unique small shops.
Photos of Downtown Vancouver Harbour and Chinatown
Area: City Living Vancouver
West Coast Style
Hiking Trails & Provincial Parks
Harbours & Marina's
Ocean & River Fishing
Shopping & Entertainment
Vista Views & Ocean Views
Boat Crusing & Sailing