The West Side has some of the priciest housing in what is already considered the most expensive city to live in Canada. It offers a wide range of housing from smaller bungalows and condominiums to multi-million-dollar waterfront estates. The most expensive neighbourhood is Shaughnessy, with older upscale detached homes. Several neighbourhoods, including Downtown, the West End, False Creek and Fairview Slopes, tend more toward condominium and townhouse developments. West Point Grey has some luxury homes, but it also has a student population and more modest family homes. Kitsilano, known to its residents as Kits, is located on the west side of Vancouver and borders the ocean.It offers a spectacular view of the mountains and English Bay. It has a fun and free-spirited atmosphere, and a large population of younger couples, new families and students. The accommodations in this area include apartments with magnificent views of the ocean and access to beaches. Kits is also known for its rustic heritage homes with quaint gardens and shaded tree-lined streets. Closer to the centre are areas like South Cambie-Oakridge, which have more middle-class family homes. .
Downtown Vancouver offers a more metropolitan atmosphere. Housing here ranges from very expensive modern condominiums and apartments to trendy lofts. The West End—not to be confused with Vancouver’s West Side—is a little more affordable, while still desirable and central. It borders English Bay and is close to the Stanley Park sea wall, one of Vancouver’smost scenic walks. The condominiums here boast views of the water and Vancouver’s famous sunsets. The West End is a popular neighbourhood for the city’s gay community. Yaletown and Gastown are trendy and more expensive, but offer historic charm and quick access to nightlife, restaurants and boutiques. Desirable Gastown is quite close to the more modest Chinatown and Downtown East Side neighbourhoods. Accommodations in Yaletown can be luxurious, with south-facing views of False Creek and access to Granville Island and Kits Point through the new sea wall or the water taxis that run frequently across the creek. Coal Harbour on the northeast side of downtown is an extremely affluent area with many older professionals and retirees.It has close access to the sea wall and marina to the north.
East Vancouver or “East Van,” should not be confused with the Downtown East Side. The area is considered one of the most diverse anywhere in Canada with a wide range of incomes, languages and ethnicities. More recently, it has been affected by rising housing costs.Today, almost 50 per cent of the population in East Vancouver identify their first language as Chinese; almost double the number that claim English as their mother tongue. Despite increasing housing costs, this area is still considered the most affordable in the city. Commercial Drive, known as “The Drive,” is one of Vancouver’s most lively and culturally diverse areas. Commercial Drive is also home to a large Italian population. Like Kitsilano, there are many heritage homes near Commercial Drive. The benefits of accommodation in this area are its proximity to an array of restaurants and venues with live music, as well as unique shops, consignment and other independently owned stores. A summer highlight is the Lantern Festival at Trout Lake Park. Another, in October, is the annual Halloween Parade of the Lost Souls.
South Vancouver is another very diverse area both culturally and with respect to income. Marpole, lying just north of the airport, is the first neighbourhood many people see when they drive into the city from the airport. It is considered a lower income area with less expensive housing. Its proximity to the airport may be a draw for some. West of Marpole is Kerrisdale at the south end of Vancouver’s West Side. Kerrisdale has a mix of professionals, wealthy families and students. The housing includes older renovated houses, bungalows and new houses. Dunbar-Southlands to the west of South Vancouver includes upscale single-family houses, mansions and horse-farms, with both public and exclusive golf courses, and eight public parks.