Big name designer stores and trendy boutiques have made this upscale thoroughfare their home. In the three-block stretch of Robson Street between Burrard Street and Jervis Street you will find the latest couture styles of Armani and Louis Vuitton as well as find brand-name stores.
Named after John Robson, premier of British Columbia from 1889-1892, the boulevard’s retail heritage began when a small handful of shops opened up for the convenience of local residents. It wasn’t until after World War II that Robson Street started to hit the big shopping league with European merchants, particularly German immigrants flocking to the area. For a brief time it was the center of German culture and commerce in the city, and dubbed ‘Robsonstrasse' by locals. The name lives on in the well-known Robsonstrasse Hotel which is situated on the street.
Although shopping is the main calling card here, Robson Street has much more to offer than browsing for new clothes. There are restaurants serving fare from around the globe — from Asian sushi to European pastries. You’ll also find a variety of coffee shops and sidewalk cafes.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is one of the street’s most impressive buildings. This visually stunning neo-classical structure was constructed using marble imported from the US, and features porticos, ionic columns, and stone carvings. It was once a provincial courthouse, but has been a showcase of art since 1983. The lions ‘guarding’ the building were modeled on those standing in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Venture inside to discover some of the more than 80,000 works of art. The works of prominent contemporary artists are featured here. There is also a strong emphasis on promoting regional and national artists.
Robson Street is right next to the downtown area.