ABOUT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Downtown Vancouver is well-known for its proximity to every amenity you could imagine—world-class shopping, delicious cuisine from all over the world, events galore, and close access to impressive greenspace.
What is the neighbourhood known and appreciated for?
The many shopping areas include the huge indoor Pacific Centre, housing Nordstroms, Holt Renfrew, and the historic Hudson’s Bay among hundreds of others. If outdoor shopping is more up your alley, there are stores and restaurants lining the streets of Robson and Granville. You are also in walking distance from the trendy Gastown for all your boutique needs.
There is the busy, bustling Granville entertainment district with nightclubs, bars, and music venues, including the beautiful Orpheum. For those that like sports, there are two major stadiums: BC Place and Rogers Arena that are home to our local hockey, soccer, and football teams—they also host large-scale concerts. Lastly, for some casino fun or upscale dining, there is the newly opened Parq.
Something unique to Downtown Vancouver is the juxtaposition of the city center towers surrounded by nature, with the ocean on almost every side of the city and breathtaking North Shore mountains offering a picturesque backdrop. There is access to many amazing parks scattered throughout the area and you can even easily walk to the Seawall, the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront path. The 28 km path extends from the Vancouver Convention Centre all the way to Spanish Banks Park going through the world-famous Stanley Park offering 405-hectares of public space. Perfect for a walk, cycle, or jog, it is the most popular recreational spot in the city.
In addition to being a very walkable area, there is also excellent public transportation. There is Skytrain access to both the Expo train system (links to Burnaby, New Westminster, and Surrey) and the Canada Line (connecting to South Vancouver, Richmond, and the airport). There is also bus access to North and West Vancouver including express busses to Horseshoe Bay where the ferry terminal is to Vancouver Island.
What is the main type(s) of real estate?
Given the Downtown core is only 3.75 sq. km, it is a very densely populated area and therefore mostly made up of high-rise towers. The majority of the condos have been built between the mid to late 2000’s. However, there are also more and more new luxury condos, such as the stunning Vancouver House, being built. There are also some townhouses throughout, often located on the street level of the apartment buildings.
What is the neighbourhood vibe?
Downtown Vancouver is an extremely livable area that offers a great lifestyle for those looking for close proximity to all the action. Given this characteristic, you can expect to see lots of professionals and people in their 20s and early 30s. You will also notice a post-secondary school population here with our two major universities, UBC and SFU, in the Lower Mainland having downtown campuses.
It is worth noting that Downtown Vancouver is becoming more popular for young working families as well given the cost of living in Vancouver driving many parents to re-consider the reality of detached housing. The area is adapting to this change with more schools popping up, both public and private, as well as playgrounds being built and the rejuvenation of numerous parks.
What is the main downside?
As with any major downtown core, the downside is often around a lack of community feeling and the general busyness of the area. If you are looking for a calm, relaxing neighborhood, then Downtown Vancouver may not be the best place for you. It also tends to be a transient area, with many people working, but not living here.
What is the short and longer-term future of the area?
There are many new commercial spaces under development – you have likely seen the unique new Deloitte Summit office tower at 400 West Georgia Street or the "The Post" across the street, the massive redevelopment of the city's former central post office that will house more than one million square feet of office space. There is enough new office space for approximately 17,500 people which tells us that there is a confident expectation for a robust demand to work, and therefore live, in Downtown Vancouver in the years to come. There are also many new upgrades in retail experiences such as the new Apple store. There is also a big effort to create more areas that are pedestrian-friendly and community-focused, such as the walking-only Robson square area—these upgrades are always positive to see.
What are prices like?
This area’s pricing is similar to Yaletown and often the two areas are considered the same given their close proximity and similar features, with many people looking at both for options if wanting to live downtown.
Median prices at time of publication are as follows: