West End Vancouver
West End is Vancouver’s cultural hub, featuring the city’s gay village, heritage buildings and an assortment of cafés and shops. With a population of over 40,000, the neighborhood is quite densely populated for North America. If the crowds become too much, escape to one of the many parks and beaches in the area.
Start out on Robson Street, West End’s main thoroughfare. Here, visit an assortment of international restaurants and fashion boutiques. On a summer evening you’ll find this area filled with West End residents enjoying dinner or drinks on restaurant terraces. Robson Street also features the hotel district of Robson Slopes. Stay in this area for easy access to the beach, Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver.
Explore Davie Village, the heart of Vancouver’s gay community, which is one of the largest in western Canada. Cafés, designer fashion outlets and nightclubs fill the area. Visit in August to see the spectacular gay pride parade, which has been attracting thousands of visitors since 1978.
See one of the most beloved pieces of Vancouver public art in Morton Park on the southern edge of West End. Yue Minjun’s A-maze-ing Laughter is a series of tall bronze sculptures showing the artist in fits of hysterical laughter. Have your photo taken alongside the oversized statues.
West End is where Vancouver’s wealthy merchants once built their mansions. As a result, a heritage district of well-preserved Victorian manors sits in the middle of the neighborhood today. Tour the Roedde House Museum to see a collection of late 19th-century artifacts in an impressive old house. Explore the Barclay Heritage Square surrounding the house to see more antique architecture.
Located in the northern section of downtown Vancouver, West End is served by several subway stops and many buses. If you are driving, be prepared to pay a steep fee to park on one of the neighborhood’s main streets.