There’s no doubt that Vancouver’s innovative and tech-savvy young professionals are hard-working. But they also understand the value and delight of a proper work-life balance. That’s why health, wellbeing and leisure are so important to Vancouverites – especially in the following neighborhoods. If you’re searching for your perfect place to live in the city, be sure to check out five of Vancouver’s best neighborhoods for young professionals, and find the perfect blend of nature, community, nightlife, shopping and arts culture.
Locals call is “Kits” and it’s one of Vancouver’s best neighbourhoods for for laid-back, health conscious living. Kitslano borders English Bay, has beautiful beaches, and it is located just southwest of Downtown Vancouver – because of this prime location, housing prices can be a bit steep. Once a home to Vancouver’s bohemian artist community and hippies, Kits now attracts urban young professionals who enjoy active lifestyles. You’ll find plenty of yoga studios, surf and snowboard shops, gyms, personal trainers, barre studios, and opportunities for outdoor wellness activities. But this neighborhood doesn’t have a one-track mind. It’s also a hub for exciting restaurants, bars, and shops and cafes. Most of the action centers around West Broadway and West Fourth Streets.
The West End
The West end is all about charm-meets-location, that’s why it’s one of Vancouver’s best neighbourhoods for young professionals. One of the most densely populated and diverse neighborhoods in the city (nearly 40,000 people live here), you’ll find it in the western end of the downtown Vancouver Peninsula, spanning from south of Georgia Street to Burrard Street and centered around Denman Street. While they have an easy commute to work downtown, west enders also enjoy a laid-back vibe, and a healthy blend of architectural variety. Housing here is in a mixture of charming early 1900s heritage houses, art deco apartment buildings and newer high-rise condos and apartments. Despite the density and close proximity to downtown, the West End doesn’t scrimp on trees and greenery, parks and beaches – in fact, it’s the gateway neighborhood into Stanley Park (more than 1000 races of temperate rainforest with gardens, playgrounds, trails, beaches, playing friends, and even an aquarium!). After a day of outdoor fun, Head to Denman, Robson and Davies Streets for the areas best restaurants, cafes, bars, shopping and more.
Known affectionately as “The Drive,” this neighborhood is brimming with cultural and ethnic diversity. Situation to the north of E 16th Avenue and south of Venables Street, Commercial Drive has a long history and the distinction of being one of Vancouver’s oldest residential areas of Vancouver. If you hear the neighborhood referred to as Little Italy it’s because The Drive used to be Vancouver’s Italian enclave – and while today it’s more bohemian than Italian, you’ll still find plenty of great Italian espresso and delis. Writers, students, activists, and other and members of the LGBT community gravitate towards Commercial Drive, and it has a true caring community feel. The cost of housing is also generally less expensive than Kits or The West End because it’s to the east. But it doesn’t skimp on the perks! There are plenty of amazing ethnic restaurants and shops, and diverse late-night bars, restaurants and even coffee shops that regularly host bands, readings and open mics.
Only a few minutes south of Downtown Vancouver, the South Granville neighborhood has a lot to offer. It’s a neighborhood for people with good tastes but a sensible budget; you’ll find larger apartment spaces for a smaller price tag, excellent public transportation options to all over the city, upscale and independent shops and boutiques, bookstores, and even art galleries. South Granville has quickly become foodies’ ideal neighborhood, with lots of innovative restaurants. While it traditionally tended to be a quieter, and perhaps less community-oriented neighborhood than some of the others on this list, it’s quickly transforming into a social hub, making it one of Vancouver’s best neighbourhoods for Young Professionals.
Also known as “South Main” and “Main Street,” whatever you call it, the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood is one of the most up-and-coming communities around the downtown peninsula. Since the early 1990s, this once immigrant-rich and working class neighborhood has seen an influx of young professionals, hipsters, and young families looking to buy their firs homes. In fact, nearly 60 per cent of its residents are younger than age 40 years. Mount Pleasant is a large area (stretching from Cambie Street to Clark Drive and from Great Northern Way and 2nd, to 16th and Kingsway) that includes clusters of “mini neighbourhoods,” each with a slightly different vibe, so it’s perfect for networking and finding new friends in your new city. Rent is relatively inexpensive there are plenty of vintage stores and trendy restaurants. Like Kitslano, Mount Pleasant is rich with gardens and lush greenery, so we’ll forgive it for not also having a beach!
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(Photos: Comrade Foot, Matthieu Guyonnet-Duluc, Hans Peter Meyers, Kenny Louie, Roland Tanglao, Ruth Hartnup)