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Living in Vancouver

Gorgeously situated between the mountains and the coast, Vancouver is a diverse international city that has a lively downtown, terrific neighborhoods, easily accessible natural playgrounds all year round, and a thriving economy. Improvements recently made to the city to accommodate the Olympics made it even more appealing – it’s Canada’s most walkable city.

Vancouver is served by TransLink, the extensive bus network, SkyTrain, the light rail system, and on the water, by a network of ferries. Burnaby, Richmond, and Surrey, in the south east have SkyTrain service, making them commuter friendly if you work downtown, and bus service runs to North or West Vancouver. The Pacific Northwest weather means easy biking is seasonal, but Vancouver is adding more and more bike lanes for those who chose to bike.

Nearby Apartments

Walk Score of Vancouver, CA-BC

Vancouver is Very Walkable

Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Walk Score Map

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Photo of Devonian Harbour Park in Vancouver

Devonian Harbour Park

Photo of Digital Orca in Vancouver

Digital Orca

Vancouver is the most walkable large city in Canada with 603,502 residents.

Vancouver has excellent public transportation.

Find apartments in Vancouver's most walkable neighborhoods: Downtown, West End and Strathcona.

Vancouver Neighborhoods

Rank

#

Name

Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score

Population

1 Downtown 96 98 - 54,022
2 West End 94 90 - 44,233
3 Strathcona 93 90 - 12,245
4 Kitsilano 89 74 - 41,358
5 Fairview 89 80 - 31,307
6 Mount Pleasant 88 82 - 26,434
7 Grandview-Woodland 86 75 - 27,160
8 Riley Park 80 68 - 21,894
9 South Cambie 77 70 - 7,675
10 Kensington-Cedar Cottage 76 73 - 47,423
11 West Point Grey 74 70 - 12,763
12 Marpole 72 66 - 23,871
13 Renfrew-Collingwood 72 79 - 50,338
14 Arbutus-Ridge 70 59 - 15,904
15 Hastings-Sunrise 69 65 - 33,859
16 Dunbar-Southlands 68 54 - 20,050
17 Shaughnessy 66 64 - 8,786
18 Sunset 63 61 - 36,328
19 Kerrisdale 63 57 - 14,716
20 Killarney 62 59 - 28,277
21 Victoria-Fraserview 62 60 - 30,386
22 Oakridge 61 71 - 12,435

Eating & Drinking

There are about 3,855 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Vancouver.

People in Vancouver can walk to an average of 9 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.

Photo of Tap & Barrel in Vancouver

Tap & Barrel

Photo of Vera's Burger Shack in Vancouver

Vera's Burger Shack

Restaurant Choices Map

= More Choices

thumbnail for Devonian Harbour ParkBeautiful Devonian Harbour Park pond, caught with a rainbow, during the few non-raining minutes of the weekend.

Tony T.
on Devonian Harbour Park

Transit Score of Vancouver, CA-BC

Vancouver has Excellent Transit

Transit is convenient for most trips. Find Vancouver apartments for rent near public transit.

Public Transit Routes

Vancouver has excellent public transportation and about 56 bus, 5 rail and 1 ferry lines.

Transit Time

The map above shows how far you can travel in 30 minutes from Vancouver on public transit.

icon for car shares in Vancouver

Vancouver has about 49 car shares from Zipcar.

Neighborhood Guides

Thinking of renting an apartment or buying in Vancouver? Ask our neighborhood guides a question.

Leo Chrenko

Property manager at Bolld Enterprises Inc. a licensed real estate brokerage specializing in marketing of furnished and unfurnished rental units in Vancouver. Whether you are looking for a place to rent or would like to rent out your property, we will be happy to assist you.

Ask Leo about Vancouver

http://bolld.ca »

Photo of Canada Place in Vancouver

Canada Place

Photo of Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver

Vancouver Convention Centre

Photo of The Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver

The Gastown Steam Clock

Lisa MacIntosh Team

We Specialize in Vancouver Heritage Homes, First Time Buyers and Real Estate Investors looking for great investment opportunities in Vancouver. We live & work in the East Vancouver Area. Let us be your East Vancouver real estate experts. We will give you honest, efficient and professional service that helps you in reaching your goals.

Ask Lisa about Vancouver

http://www.lisamacintosh.com »

Photo of Science World at Telus World of Science in Vancouver

Science World at Telus World of Science

Photo of Skytrain Bike Bridge in Vancouver

Skytrain Bike Bridge

Photo of Trout Lake in Vancouver

Trout Lake

Learn how to become a Neighborhood Guide.

Bike Score Map of Vancouver

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What's It Like to Live in Vancouver?

Photo of Science World at Telus World of Science in Vancouver

Science World at Telus World of Science

Photo of Skytrain Bike Bridge in Vancouver

Skytrain Bike Bridge

Photo of Robson Square in Vancouver

Robson Square

Photo of Yaletown in Vancouver

Yaletown

Overview

Vancouver is a straight up gorgeous city. It’s surrounded by water – there’s the harbor, False Creek, English Bay, and the Georgia Straits to the West. North and West there are mountains, snowcapped for much of the year, and there’s in-city big nature at Stanley Park, a beautiful forested peninsula with biking and hiking trails, a remarkable grouping of massive totem poles, and the Vancouver Aquarium. The 2010 Olympics brought a lot of urban redevelopment to the city and exceptional public spaces were a big part of the plan. This is Canada’s largest city in the West, and it’s a great place to live.

Vancouver has a temperate Pacific Northwest climate – snow is rare but not unheard of, rain is plentiful from November to March. There might be a week or two in August that could be classified as hot, but mostly the summers are very pleasant and because the city is far north, days are very long in June, July, and August. Some in the Pacific Northwest find the lack of sunshine during the rest of the year wearing – Seasonal Affective Disorder – can be an issue. If you choose Vancouver as your home, it’s best not to be afraid of a little rain.

Vancouver is a university town – there are five here, the biggest being Simon Frasier and the University of British Columbia, both have stellar reputations as being among the best universities in the world. Vancouver is a city of creatives, too – it’s sometimes referred to as Hollywood North. Dozens of movies and TV shows are made here – parts of the Twilight empire, Battlestar Gallactica, and lots of independent films too. The prestigious Emily Carr University of Art and Design is located on Granville Island and the city is full of places to experience First Nations art, the Bill Reid Foundation and the Museum of Anthropology on the UBC campus are two of the best.

During the 1980s the city had an influx of Hong Kong Chinese – about 30% of the metropolitan population is of Chinese descent and there’s a substantial South Asian population here too – Vietnamese, Indian, Indonesian, and Cambodian. Vancouver has a substantial gay community (primarily in the West End) and has a huge gay pride parade every year.

Photo of BC Place in Vancouver

BC Place

Photo of Tap & Barrel in Vancouver

Tap & Barrel

Getting Around

Vancouver is Canada’s most walkable city. The Canada Line connects Vancouver’s international airport (YVR) with Richmond, the biggest city to the south and closes to the airport, and downtown. Two other SkyTrain lines run East to Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, and Surrey. Bus service is frequent and extensive – there’s a NightBus service that runs until 3:00 am. The waters of False Creek are served by little AquaBus shuttles – they’re not just for tourists, though they are a little pricier than taking the bus. The SeaBus runs between downtown and North Vancouver. The West Coast Express is a commuter rail line that points even further east.

Vancouver is bike friendly – there are some bike-only corridors and a well mapped out system of bikeways.

Bikes are allowed on most public transit – there’s no room on the AquaBus – and for everything but the West Coast Express, there’s no charge. Cyclists will want lights and rain gear, but if you’re properly geared up, biking is a very easy and convenient way to get around. Vancouver has been shopping for a bike share service and hopes to find a partner to run their city program. Some TransLink stations have bike lockers available for rent, and in a nice touch, the city has installed a tire pump at Union and Hawks, on the city’s busiest bike route.

Car sharing in Vancouver is also an option – a great idea if you’re living in neighborhoods where parking is expensive. Car2Go and ZipCar operate in Vancouver and Modo was founded in Vancouver over a decade ago.

thumbnail for Digital OrcaDigital Orca by Douglas Coupland is a public art sculpture made of voxels - 3D pixels - and is a popular Vancouver destination even for those not into computer graphics.

Tony T.
on Digital Orca

Neighborhoods

The West End, Downtown, and across the Granville Bridge to the south, Fairview, are some of the city’s most walkable neighborhoods – Kitsilano is nice too. Thanks again to all that development in 2010 around the Winter Olympics, Downtown and the West End are home to a lot of shiny new high-rise buildings. Yaletown was once brick warehouses – now, lots of those buildings have been renovated into stylish loft style apartments –mostly studios and one bedrooms -- some of them with views of False Creek. On the other side of Downtown, towards the Burrard Inlet, there’s more brand new construction – one and two bedroom apartments with gourmet kitchens and upcycled construction materials. The West End has more of the same kind of offerings, and you can walk to the beaches on English Bay.

Rents are a little bit lower in Fairview but there’s still great access to downtown via public transit. You’ll find more two bedroom units available here – a bit more space. There are some recently renovated buildings here along with some older buildings that have garden spaces and balconies. Kitsilano is a popular neighborhood with students because of its easy access to the University of British Columbia. It’s another neighborhood where you’ll find more outdoor space with your rental apartment.

You’ll find more single family homes – three bedrooms and up with off street parking, a back yard, in the outer neighborhoods. North Vancouver has some gorgeous classic homes, you can find a place with a fireplace, a big family style kitchen, and lots of room in the yard and still commute into the city by ferry.

To the south, in Marpole, there are also more single family homes. In both of these neighborhoods, you’ll probably want a car, but you can find a walkable neighborhood with a good connections to transit.

If you’re looking for something more urban style, there are place on the SkyTrain line to the south. In Burnaby or Renfrew-Collingswood, you can find a three bedroom apartment in a highrise tower with an onsite gym and swimming pool. Richmond has similar offerings – also walking distance to the SkyTrain – and in neighborhoods that offer remarkable diversity.

To the east in the Vancouver suburbs – New Westminster, Surrey, Langley – there are a mix of newer buildings with smaller complexes that have fewer units. These neighborhoods have good access the SkyTrain and there are some attractive two bedroom apartments with floor to ceiling windows and nice views over the Fraser River.

Downtown is where you’ll find newer luxury condos and loft style apartments, some with great views of English Bay or False Creek. The West End is great for walkers; there’s a mix of studios, apartments, condos.

West Van and Kitsilano have more one and two bedroom apartments; these have easy access to the University of British Columbia. Here, and in North Vancouver, there are single family homes, some with hardwood floors and renovated kitchens. In the suburbs, but still on a SkyTrain line, you’ll find larger homes with fenced yards and garages.

Photo of Choklit Park in Vancouver

Choklit Park

Photo of Douglas Park in Vancouver

Douglas Park

Photo of Trout Lake in Vancouver

Trout Lake

Photo of A-maze-ing Laughter - sculpture by Yue Minjun, Morton Park in Vancouver

A-maze-ing Laughter - sculpture by Yue Minjun, Morton Park

thumbnail for Skytrain Bike BridgeBike to the foot of South Cambie Street, cross West Kent and start your way onto the lower deck of the Skytrain bridge, over the Fraser river, which will take you to Richmond in no time. Fabulous views of the sunset, some tuck boats dragging loggs, no cars, just you, the smooth surface of the road and the timed (and tamed) sound of the Skytrain above you. To be done. Especially at night.

Lisa MacIntosh Team
on Skytrain Bike Bridge

Vancouver is Talking About...

play vancity coffee fireworks eating yvr music food rogers arena english bay beer walk lunch dinner van bc place team party drinking english bay beach

Vancouver is all about:

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Photo of Cambridge St in Vancouver

Cambridge St

Photo of English Bay Anchorages #1-17 in Vancouver

English Bay Anchorages #1-17

Photo of Kits Beach Pool in Vancouver

Kits Beach Pool

thumbnail for Robson SquareRobson Square is a great center of activity in Vancouver with access to the Vancouver Art Gallery, ice rink, music and vendors. Currently Robson Street is closed in front of the square to allow for maximum public use.

Maren Walker
on Robson Square

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