Yaletown—bordered by False Creek to the south, Homer Street to the west and Pacific Boulevard to the east— was largely abandoned for years before the ‘80s. Once a gritty industrial district home to warehouses and rail yards, the area is now a hub of activity with restaurants, cafes, bars and desirable loft-style apartments.
Yaletown was first settled by the Canadian Pacific Railroad workers in the late 19th century, when the area was the hub of the bustling rail yards. Many of these workers had come to Vancouver from a town called Yale, about 110 miles (180km) away and brought their hometown name to their new neighborhood. When the railroads died out in the ‘40s, Yaletown became a rough, poor part of town. It was revitalized for the 1986 World’s Fair (Expo ‘86).
This area is now one of the most popular spots in the city. There are plenty of patio cafes and rooftop bars to people watch and be seen. Not only is it a much desired waterfront residential area with plenty of green open spaces, but it’s also a haven of sidewalk cafes, local designer boutiques, galleries, bars and high-end restaurants. Though little original housing from the 19th century remains, many businesses and retail outlets have taken up residency and renovated the old brick buildings.
The Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Center is a great little diversion for train buffs, loaded with railroad history. It was once a Canadian Pacific Railroad repair shed, and now houses the preserved steam engine (Engine No. 374) which brought the first passenger train into Vancouver in 1887.
As the sun sets, sip a beer at the award winning Yaletown Brewing Company or enjoy a cocktail at one of the many bars.
This trendy upscale neighborhood is an easy walk from downtown Vancouver, or a quick ferry ride from Granville Island.