Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive

  • Joe's Cafe, The Drive, Commercial Drive
  • Havana lunch service
  • Commercial Drive Italian Days #sogreat
  • Nicole from Commercial Drive and Ivan from San Francisco | Minimal, stylish and perfect side by side
  • Inside Famoso at 1380 Commercial Drive
  • Veggies - commercial drive
  • Little Nest Menu

The aptly named Commercial Drive is the most popular street in Grandview-Woodlands. It got its start in Vancouver’s own beginnings as a lengthy trackway for dragging felled logs down to the waterfront. An 1890’s streetcar line connecting New Westminster to Vancouver ensured its rise as a small business high street, and eventually earned it its name-change from Park Drive to Commercial Drive. It had it ups and downs between the wars as its peripheral blocks were filled in with houses, and it wasn’t until the 1950’s that its present day cultural character would begin to metastasize. Post-war Italian immigration and an increasingly heavy Italian business presence on Commercial Drive would result in the area garnering its “Little Italy” moniker. Later immigration from Portugal, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia added more diversity to the mix, as did a slow but vital trickle of artists, musicians, and politically activists. A distinctly permissive counter-culture had a lock on the neighbourhood by the 1980’s, and despite the creep of gentrification it has never really let go. Today, Commercial Drive is one of the most vibrant and culturally exciting streets in the city. A walk of its length, from Venables to Broadway, is always a enlivening breath of fresh air.

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the-colour-palette commercialpalette

On Commercial Drive at the moment (our HOOD palettes are ever-changing), we’re seeing several shades of incense amalgamated into one dun brown; high quality marijuana; Prado coffee tri-colour; aspirational Italian male Ferrari red and yellow golf shirts; yoga mat lavender; VW Type 2 van rust; Joe’s Cafe rainbow (six colours); summer day sidewalk.

here-you-will-find
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LOTS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN AWESOMENESS AT ATTIC TREASURES
CUSTOMERS SHAZAMMING WHATEVER RECORD IS SPINNING AT AUDIOPILE
PLENTY OF GROWN-UP SUPER PRIVATE FUN TIME TOYS AT WOMEN’S WARE
SHOP KEEPER & CAFE OWNER SENSITIVITY TO “OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINK”
BLACK VELVET PAINTING COLLECTION AT LITTLE MISS VINTAGE
SAUSAGE AND FISH SMOKE ON CAR FREE DAYS
WELCOMING QUEER LGBT COMMUNITY
THE CONSTANT THREAT OF HACKEYSACK
THE INTOXICATING INCENSE SMELL INSIDE (AND OUTSIDE) OF PARANADA TRADERS
HAPPY HARMLESS PEOPLE SMOKING MARIJUANA LIKE IT WAS LEGALISED IN THE REAGAN YEARS
BEDOUIN WORLD TRANCE WIZARD YOGA*
THE TIMELESSLY GARISH INTERIOR OF CAFE CALABRIA
HOMELESS DOGS IN NECKERCHIEFS GUARDING A LIQUOR STORE
MIDNIGHT MOVIES AT THE (LICENSED) RIO THEATRE
EVERYBODY WEARS PATCHOULI TUESDAY
BEER FETISHISTS SCHOOLING SERVERS AT BIERCRAFT
PEOPLE PEOPLE WATCHING THE PEOPLE WATCHERS ON THE PATIO AT HAVANA
SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ AT TANGENT CAFE
MIDDLE-AGED ITALIAN MEN GOSSIPING OUTSIDE ABRUZZO CAPPUCCINO BAR
SKATEBOARD WHEEL VENDING MACHINE AT BLVD SKATESHOP

what-to-eat-and-drink

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DEEP FRIED SOUR CURED RIBS AT KINKAO
SCHNITZEL SANDWICHES AND GERMAN CHEESECAKE AT ANDY’S BAKERY
PAPUSAS FROM RICONCITO SALVADORENO
SAINT HONORE CAKE FROM FRATELLI’S BAKERY
THE FALAFEL AT DONAIR TOWN
WING WING CHINESE SAUSAGES FROM SOUTH CHINA SEAS TRADING CO. (ON VICTORIA DR.)
AL PASTOR TACOS AND COLD, SPICY, TAJIN SPICE-RIMMED MICHELADAS AT LA MEZCALERIA
COLD WHITE WINE AND FRESH OYSTERS AT MERCHANT’S
“LEMMY” POBLANO BRUNCH AT BANDIDAS
DIY ITALIAN SANDWICHES AT LA GROTTA DEL FORMAGGIO
UK-STYLE FISH & CHIPS AT WINDJAMMER’S
PEANUT BUTTER CUP AT BUMP & GRIND
BOMBER BEER AT BIERCRAFT
PROPER SAMOSAS AT SWEET CHERUBIN
HEATHER’S BUTTERMILK LOAVES AT UPRISING BREADS BAKERY (ON VENABLES ST.)
AUTHENTIC NEAPOLITAN PIZZAS AT VIA TEVERE (ON VICTORIA DR.)
COFFEE AND SUNDAY BRUNCH AT PRADO CAFE
EASTER COOKIES AT ELIZABETH’S BAKERY
JERK CHICKEN AT RIDDIM & SPICE
SPAGHETTI & RIBS AT NICK’S SPAGHETTI HOUSE
MONKEY’S LUNCH SMOOTHIES AT ETERNAL ABUNDANCE

cool-things-of-note

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– The name “Grand View” is said to have originated from a hand-painted sign located on First Avenue in 1892.

– Commercial Drive started as a skid road for logs en route to the old Hastings Mill on Dunlevy.

– Ice hockey can be played year round at the Britannia Rink.

– Following World War II, many of Vancouver’s Italian-Canadian population migrated from Strathcona to Commercial Drive, leading to its nickname as “Little Italy”.

– In the Blvd Skateshop there is a gigantic photo reproduction of the 1986 Thrasher Magazine cover that put Vancouver’s skateparks on the world’s skateboarding radar. It features a young Chris Miller tucking a frontside air over one of the hips at Seylynn Bowl in North Van.

– Early Squamish settlers identified the southern section of Grandview-Woodland as Khupkhahpay’ay, which translates to “cedar tree”.

– Trout Lake (or Blackie’s Lake as it was originally called) is the only lake in the city of Vancouver.

things-we've-seen

  • Just another Commercial Drive afternoon
    Just another Commercial Drive afternoon
  • Santa Barbara Market | Commercial Drive Institution
    Santa Barbara Market | Commercial Drive Institution
  • Joe's Cafe | Commercial Drive
    Joe's Cafe | Commercial Drive
  • Old meets new, La Mezcaleria moves in to the 'hood
    Old meets new, La Mezcaleria moves in to the 'hood
  • La Mezcaleria guacamole
    La Mezcaleria guacamole
  • Nick's Spaghetti House
    Nick's Spaghetti House
  • Car Free Commercial
    Car Free Commercial
  • World Cup on Commercial Drive
    World Cup on Commercial Drive
  • Drum love, Commercial Drive
    Drum love, Commercial Drive
  • Britannia Centre Ice Skating Rink
    Britannia Centre Ice Skating Rink
  • Girl with Ferret | The Drive
    Girl with Ferret | The Drive
  • Italian Days street food | The Drive
    Italian Days street food | The Drive
  • Chillin' at a car free event on the drive
    Chillin' at a car free event on the drive
  • Britannia Community Centre
    Britannia Community Centre
  • Italian Days - the perfect excuse to put on your yellow tutu  | The Drive
    Italian Days - the perfect excuse to put on your yellow tutu | The Drive
  • Heritage
    Heritage
  • Pizza on Commercial Drive
    Pizza on Commercial Drive
  • Community members pitch in to plant
    Community members pitch in to plant
  • Restaurant seating spills on to the street during car free day
    Restaurant seating spills on to the street during car free day
  • Commercial Drive houses (and some fence graffiti)
    Commercial Drive houses (and some fence graffiti)
  • Hanging out at Prado
    Hanging out at Prado
  • Cannibal Cafe Burger | Commercial Drive
    Cannibal Cafe Burger | Commercial Drive
  • Street scene Commercial Drive
    Street scene Commercial Drive
  • IMG_9378
  • Lemonade - Commercial Drive
    Lemonade - Commercial Drive
  • There is always a guy in a long purple coat somewhere on The Drive
    There is always a guy in a long purple coat somewhere on The Drive
  • Drive mural
    Drive mural
  • Commercial Drive, dig it.
    Commercial Drive, dig it.
  • Shopping on Commercial Drive
    Shopping on Commercial Drive
  • Prado Cafe
    Prado Cafe
  • Community notices on The Drive
    Community notices on The Drive
  • Star Weekly Tobaccos | Neon Commercial
    Star Weekly Tobaccos | Neon Commercial
  • Blvd Skate Shop | Commercial Drive
    Blvd Skate Shop | Commercial Drive
  • Cafe Deux Soleil
    Cafe Deux Soleil
  • East Side house near Trout Lake
    East Side house near Trout Lake
  • Siddharihas
    Siddharihas
  • Old School Typography outside Grandview Lanes | Commercial Drive
    Old School Typography outside Grandview Lanes | Commercial Drive
  • La Mezcalaria
    La Mezcalaria
  • Merchant's Oyster House | The Drive
    Merchant's Oyster House | The Drive
  • Little Nest
    Little Nest
  • Italian Days on The Drive
    Italian Days on The Drive
  • The Drive
    The Drive
  • Commercial Drive megaphone
    Commercial Drive megaphone
  • La Grotta Del Formaggio
    La Grotta Del Formaggio
  • La Mezcalaria
    La Mezcalaria
  • Impromptu scrabble game | The Drive
    Impromptu scrabble game | The Drive
  • Saturday morning at Prado Cafe
    Saturday morning at Prado Cafe
  • Cafe Calabria
    Cafe Calabria
  • Havana | The Drive
    Havana | The Drive
  • Havana | The Drive
    Havana | The Drive
  • Grandview Park
    Grandview Park
  • Commercial Drive Window
    Commercial Drive Window
  • People's Co-Op Books
    People's Co-Op Books
  • Masked fan dancers on Commercial
    Masked fan dancers on Commercial
  • Britannia High School Mural | Commercial Drive
    Britannia High School Mural | Commercial Drive
  • Little Nest
    Little Nest
  • Italian
    Italian
  • Little Nest Menu
    Little Nest Menu
  • Community notice board
    Community notice board
  • Veggies - commercial drive
    Veggies - commercial drive
  • Prado Cafe
    Prado Cafe
  • The Ravioli Store
    The Ravioli Store
  • Coffee, Commercial Drive, The Drive, Eastvan
    Coffee, Commercial Drive, The Drive, Eastvan
  • Commercial Drive mosaic
    Commercial Drive mosaic
  • Joe's Cafe, The Drive, Commercial Drive
    Joe's Cafe, The Drive, Commercial Drive
  • Street performer, Commercial Drive
    Street performer, Commercial Drive
  • La Mezcalaria
    La Mezcalaria
  • Blvd Skate Shop | The Drive
    Blvd Skate Shop | The Drive
  • Fish n Chips at car free something on The Drive
    Fish n Chips at car free something on The Drive
  • Spring murals
    Spring murals
  • La Mezcalaria bar
    La Mezcalaria bar
  • Inside Famoso at 1380 Commercial Drive
    Inside Famoso at 1380 Commercial Drive
  • Bier Craft
    Bier Craft
  • Commercial Drive crowds
    Commercial Drive crowds
  • Blossoms on Clark, Eastvan
    Blossoms on Clark, Eastvan
  • Commercial Drive back yard
    Commercial Drive back yard
  • Tacos!
    Tacos!
  • The Patio at Havana
    The Patio at Havana
  • Free Bradley Manning
    Free Bradley Manning
  • IMG_9359
  • Take over the streets | Commercial Drive
    Take over the streets | Commercial Drive
  • IMG_0240
  • Havana lunch service
    Havana lunch service
  • wandering musicians, of course | Commercial Drive
    wandering musicians, of course | Commercial Drive
  • Chess in Grandview Park
    Chess in Grandview Park
  • IMG_9374
  • Popsicle Girl | Commercial Drive
    Popsicle Girl | Commercial Drive
  • Medical Marijuana | The Drive
    Medical Marijuana | The Drive
  • Hockey game at Britannia Centre Ice Rink
    Hockey game at Britannia Centre Ice Rink
  • Havana
    Havana
  • Summer stroll on The Drive
    Summer stroll on The Drive
  • Car free festivities on The Drive
    Car free festivities on The Drive
  • Portuguese Club
    Portuguese Club
  • Commercial Drive Car Free Crowd
    Commercial Drive Car Free Crowd
  • Foosball on Commercial Drive
    Foosball on Commercial Drive
  • Reader C.W. | East 4th Ave. at Commercial Drive | 3:29pm
    Reader C.W. | East 4th Ave. at Commercial Drive | 3:29pm
  • Dancing on the street, Commercial Drive
    Dancing on the street, Commercial Drive
  • Vintage shopping on the drive always delivers
    Vintage shopping on the drive always delivers
  • no shirt, no shoes, Commercial Drive
    no shirt, no shoes, Commercial Drive
  • Attic Treasures
    Attic Treasures
  • I Love Disco
    I Love Disco
  • Italian Days outside of Dilly Dally kids store
    Italian Days outside of Dilly Dally kids store
  • Commercial Drive Italian Days #sogreat
    Commercial Drive Italian Days #sogreat
  • Liberty Wine Merchants
    Liberty Wine Merchants
  • Pedestrian Alley, The Drive
    Pedestrian Alley, The Drive
  • Lining up for Portuguese sausage on The Drive
    Lining up for Portuguese sausage on The Drive
  • Building detail, The Drive
    Building detail, The Drive
  • IMG_6893
  • Italian Days outside of Dilly Dally kids store
    Italian Days outside of Dilly Dally kids store
  • Goddess on Commercial Drive
    Goddess on Commercial Drive
  • Commercial Drive Mural © Scout Magazine 2011
    Commercial Drive Mural © Scout Magazine 2011
  • Street Food | Italian Sausage | The Drive
    Street Food | Italian Sausage | The Drive
  • Hitching a ride through the crowds at Italian Days on Commercial Drive
    Hitching a ride through the crowds at Italian Days on Commercial Drive
  • Street Grilling | Commercial Drive
    Street Grilling | Commercial Drive
  • Hungry crowds, Commercial Drive
    Hungry crowds, Commercial Drive
  • IMG_3855
  • Records on The Drive
    Records on The Drive
  • Skate vending machine, The Drive
    Skate vending machine, The Drive
  • Commercial Drive Style
    Commercial Drive Style
  • Caroline of Tin Can Studio
    Caroline of Tin Can Studio
  • Tin Can Eat Together Dinner
    Tin Can Eat Together Dinner
  • Laundry drying in East Van
    Laundry drying in East Van
  • Respect.
    Respect.
  • Cannibal Cafe
    Cannibal Cafe
  • Paste-up corner | The Drive
    Paste-up corner | The Drive

* NOT A REAL THING

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