About Yaletown – Now

Sitting at the southeastern tip of downtown Vancouver, and known to many as Vancouver’s little Soho, Yaletown is bustling with activity and over the years has emerged as the neighborhood to see and be seen. Packed with trendy concept restaurants & bars, chic shopping, trendy salons and a generous sprinkle of cafes and coffee shops Yaletown runs the gamut in offering only the best to the discerning hipster crowd.

With frequent celeb sightings (Paris Hilton enjoying an up-do at Blo and Jennifer Aniston celebrating a birthday at Cioppino’s) this secret little neighborhood is no secret anymore. The newly opened Canada Line now makes a stop into the heart of Yaletown making it even more convenient and well communicated than ever before.

By day Yaletown bustles with the young business casual crowd loading up on double shots of caffeine before heading into their renovated post and beam warehouse turned office. By night patios are over-flowing and the cocktail crowd is wetting their appetites at any number of the lounges, bars and restaurants.

Although the heart of Yaletown resides along Hamilton and Homer Streets it has become an ever-expanding area of the city’s hippest destinations.  Yaletown has become the neighbourhood of choice for the young professional – both as a nighttime destination as well as the place to live that blends in a Soho-esque style of residences tightly mixed into the fold of renovated brick-warehouse lofts.

Yaletown has undergone a face lift but it has managed to retain a lot of it’s charm it attained from its gritty past as a 19th century rail yard. Railway loading docks with their characteristic overhanging canopies now serve as the ideal space for sipping lattes by day and martinis by night.

The Yaletown area is increasingly being recognized as an ideal launching point for scenic seawall strolls and easy cycling jaunts to many of Vancouver’s hottest attractions, among them Science World, Granville Island Public Market, Kitsilano, English Bay and Stanley Park.

Without a doubt, Yaletown has become Vancouver’s epicenter for the 25+ seen and be seen crowd and more recently to the down-sizer that is looking for a spacious Yaletown townhome or condo. The allure of condo living that allows proximity to dining and entertainment options of the city as well as parks and a gorgeous seawall it is no wonder that Yaletown now attracts a wide range of age groups.

Yaletown-seawall

Yaletown Seawall on a beautiful fall day.

About Yaletown – Then

Yaletown acquired its name when the railway moved its construction equipment and repair shops from Yale in the Fraser Canyon to the railway’s western location of Vancouver.

In 1900, the City laid out streets and planned a new eight-block warehouse district near the original Yaletown. This new Yaletown (the one most commonly recognized today) was bounded by Nelson, Homer, Drake and Pacific streets, and was a convenient and cheap point for the processing, repackaging and warehousing of goods.

In the late 1920s, Vancouver created its first city plan and Yaletown was zoned for commercial and light industrial use. Although the city expected more warehouses to be built, the advent of truck trailer transport prompted many industries to move closer to major highways.

The area was home to little more than parking space until the late 1970s and 1980s when young urban professionals discovered that Yaletown’s old warehouses were convenient, inexpensive and attractive and as a result a thriving network of studios, cafes and clubs were established. These old industrial buildings, warehouses and working-class houses have now been transformed into multi-million dollar high tech offices, restaurants and trendy nightspots.