West End

West End & Coal Harbour

  • Seuss seat, Greenhorn Espresso Bar
    Seuss seat, Greenhorn Espresso Bar
  • Coal Harbour
    Coal Harbour
  • Frites at Tableau Bar Bistro
    Frites at Tableau Bar Bistro
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 | IMG_7021
  • Coal Harbour's soulless skyscraper swamp
    Coal Harbour's soulless skyscraper swamp
  • Reader G.T. | Looking west over Stanley Park from Coal Harbour | 5:00pm
    Reader G.T. | Looking west over Stanley Park from Coal Harbour | 5:00pm
  • From Z.H. | West End | Vancouver, BC | 4pm
    From Z.H. | West End | Vancouver, BC | 4pm
  • Yorkshires with roast beef and gravy | The Fat Badger
    Yorkshires with roast beef and gravy | The Fat Badger
  • Cardero Bottega in the West End
    Cardero Bottega in the West End
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |
    Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |

The West End and Coal Harbour are the two conjoined urban residential neighbourhoods on the west side of Thurlow Street. They are divided – Coal Harbour to the North facing Burrard Inlet and the West End to the south facing English Bay and Kitsilano – by Georgia Street, and capped in the northwest by the 1,001 acre Stanley Park with its half a million trees, Aquarium, and seawall.

Coal Harbour has gained the nickname “Cold Harbour” in recent years because it is often regarded by locals and outsiders to be bereft of anything to do, not to mention inhabitants. Indeed, it’s been reported that up to a quarter of its skyscraper condos are either empty or occupied for just a few months out of the year. That may be so, but to us that makes it only more of an interesting place to explore.

In stark contrast, The West End is positively teeming. Its main thoroughfares of Robson St., Denman St., and Davie St. make for great walking, and the area they enclose is a mix of old high rises and heritage homes with a lovely mix of low-rise deco apartment buildings thrown in for the sake of charm. Shopping dominates Robson – it has all the major big and generic brands from The Gap to Starbucks – but as it nears Denman it becomes all about food, especially Japanese and Korean. Denman’s nickname – Fatassenstrasse – was earned because for years its eateries were in the high sugar and fat business (Dairy Queen, Fatburger, Cupcakes, Pizza, Creampuffs, Chocolatiers). A new influx of restaurants in recent years – Italian, Spanish, Japanese – have slowed the sugar rush.

The West End is also home to Davie Village, which constitutes the strip of Davie between Burrard and Jervis. “The Gaybourhood”, as the strip is also called, is home to a vibrant, strong, and exceptionally proud LGBT community. The annual Gay Pride Parade takes place here every summer with 150 float and parade entries, 80,000 people partying on Sunset Beach, and over 700,000 attendees.

Dominating the West End’s cultural life are its beaches, of which there are several but none so central and attractive as the broad swathe of English Bay, which offers spectacular nightly sunsets and the annual Polar Bear swim on New Year’s Day.

the-colour-palette

westendpalette

Stanley Park winter forest tri-colour; Tableau Bar Bistro menu blue; a glass of local Pinot Noir on the patio at Raincity Grill (now closed, boo); English Bay beach sand; Pride rainbow sidewalk crossing; the seawall loop in the rain; ubiquitous Coal Harbour skyline uniform tri-colour.

here-you-will-find

westend

STILL HAMMERED REVELLERS JUMPING INTO THE FRIGID OCEAN ON NEW YEARS DAY
A STUNNING, CURVED (VERY RARE) MOSAIC ON THE WALL OF THE INDONESIAN CONSULATE
HOT BBQS AND COLD BEERS ON THIRD BEACH
RAINY WINTER DAY RESPITE IN THE TROPICAL EXHIBIT OF THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
THE ALWAYS INSPIRING GAY PRIDE FESTIVAL
27KM OF TRAILS WITHIN STANLEY PARK
THREE MORE STARBUCKS LOCATIONS THAN ARE NECESSARY
OUTDOOR MOVIES IN STANLEY PARK
MALKIN BOWL CONCERTS
THE RARE CRICKET GAME AT BROCKTON OVAL
FIREWORK FESTIVALS RUINED BY POLICE POUR-OUTS & SUBURBAN KIDS ARMED WITH KNIVES
A VAST HEATED OUTDOOR PUBLIC POOL AT SECOND BEACH
TWO OF VANCOUVER’S BEST PIECES OF WATERFRONT OCCUPIED BY CHAIN RESTAURANTS (FACEPALM)
THE OLD & STILL VERY LOVELY SYLVIA HOTEL
SEA PLANES BOTHERING NIMBY ASSHATS

what-to-eat-and-drink

IMG_7817

FATTY MISO TONKATSU RAMEN AT KINTARO
SHORT RIB BEEF DIP AT GREENHORN ESPRESSO BAR
PATATAS BRAVAS AT ESPANA
PORK GYOZAS AT GYOZA KING
CHICKEN KARAAGE & OYSTERS AT HAPA IZAKAYA
BLACK TRUFFLE & PECORINO PIZZA AT MARKET
FRESHLY SHUCKED OYSTERS AT CHEWIES
STEAK FRITES AT TABLEAU BAR BISTRO
CARNAROLI RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE AT CINCIN
MACARONS AND PALMIERS FROM THIERRY
GALBI BBQ BEEF AT SURA KOREAN ROYAL CUISINE
NETTLE & FIDDLEHEAD GNOCCHI AT FORAGE
SQUASH BLOSSOM TACOS AT LUCHA VERDE
AHI TUNA & AVOCADO CARPACCIO AT KINGYO
OFF SALES AT THE DOVER ARMS PUB
CHARCOAL BROTH RAMEN AT MOTOMACHI SHOKUDO

cool-things-of-note

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– In 1859 coal was discovered along the Burrard Inlet west of Gastown. The site was subsequently referred to as (you guessed it) Coal Harbour.

– The Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park (c. 1952) is actually a smaller, reimagined version of the original “Bowie Arch”, which was demolished in 1947 due to deterioration.

– In 1923 the city took legal action to expel eight families of First Nations and European descent from Stanley Park. A “rent” fee of $1 month was collected until they were evicted in 1931.

– The Lost Lagoon fountain (erected 1936) was originally a leftover from the World’s Fair in Chicago.

– The famous Nine O’Clock Gun in Stanley Park was first fired in 1898 – at noon.

– In 1956, the Stanley Park Zoo welcomed the first penguin to be born in Canada. His name was “Little Whatzit”.

– Famed swim instructor and English Bay fixture Joe Fortes originally lived in a squatter’s shack near the Sylvia Hotel. He was awarded the title of Vancouver’s first official lifeguard in 1901.

– In 1974, following legislation that allowed the establishment of pubs, the Dover Arms on Denman opened as the first of its kind in the city.

– Although known for its sandy shores, sand is not native to English Bay; 1898 was the first year it was added to the beach.

– The West End was once known as “Blueblood Alley”, given its population of wealthy CPR executives in the early 20th century.

– Following World War II, a large German community settled near the northwest end of Robson, earning it the nickname Robsonstrasse.

the-things-weve-seen

  • Polar Bear
    Polar Bear
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |
    Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |
  • Coal Harbour green space
    Coal Harbour green space
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Lunch at Exile, West End (Bute and Davie)
    Lunch at Exile, West End (Bute and Davie)
  • Pate plate at Exile (Davie and Bute) | West End
    Pate plate at Exile (Davie and Bute) | West End
  • IMG_7787
  • IMG_7338
  • Twilight Sea Wall Ride
    Twilight Sea Wall Ride
  • IMG_1828
  • Reader G.T. | Looking west over Stanley Park from Coal Harbour | 5:00pm
    Reader G.T. | Looking west over Stanley Park from Coal Harbour | 5:00pm
  • IMG_6042
  • English Bay
    English Bay
  • Al Fresco dinner | Robson Street
    Al Fresco dinner | Robson Street
  • English Bay Sunset
    English Bay Sunset
  • Gay Pride 2011
    Gay Pride 2011
  • Pride
    Pride
  • Writing the menu in chalk | The Fat Badger
    Writing the menu in chalk | The Fat Badger
  • Drinks at Lolitas
    Drinks at Lolitas
  • Foggy Morning In The West End
    Foggy Morning In The West End
  • IMG_6621
  • IMG_1830
  • West End Crowd
    West End Crowd
  • English Bay Seawall
    English Bay Seawall
  • Dinesty
    Dinesty
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • English Bay
    English Bay
  • IMG_7322
  • IMG_7823
  • Are you?
    Are you?
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Sylvia Hotel
    Sylvia Hotel
  • Dale Mackay during the construction of Ensemble
    Dale Mackay during the construction of Ensemble
  • IMG_7315
  • 2012-07-19 12.45.14 (1)
    2012-07-19 12.45.14 (1)
  • Eat To Live To Cook
    Eat To Live To Cook
  • Reader M.N. | Returning from Protection Island | 2:00pm
    Reader M.N. | Returning from Protection Island | 2:00pm
  • English Bay Staues
    English Bay Staues
  • Main floor | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
    Main floor | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • IMG_5810
  • Greenhorn Cafe Under Construction
    Greenhorn Cafe Under Construction
  • Wading in at Dundarave Beach
    Wading in at Dundarave Beach
  • Oru | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
    Oru | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
  • Stanley Park Winter Trail Walking
    Stanley Park Winter Trail Walking
  • Sylvia Hotel
    Sylvia Hotel
  • IMG_7802
  • Not so much with the smoking right outside your own restaurant, ok?
    Not so much with the smoking right outside your own restaurant, ok?
  • Meat & Bread
    Meat & Bread
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |
    Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |
  • IMG_3253
  • View of Downtown From Stanley Park
    View of Downtown From Stanley Park
  • Stanley Park Seawall
    Stanley Park Seawall
  • Dumpling Time
    Dumpling Time
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim
    Vancouver Polar Bear Swim
  • Corner Records, Greenhorn Espresso Bar
    Corner Records, Greenhorn Espresso Bar
  • Exploring The Trails Of Stanley Park
    Exploring The Trails Of Stanley Park
  • Dinner at Lolitas
    Dinner at Lolitas
  • Empire Poutine | The Fat Badger
    Empire Poutine | The Fat Badger
  • West End Vancouver 1030am
    West End Vancouver 1030am
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • L'Altro Buca
    L'Altro Buca
  • Stairs up to Oru from the main floor bar | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
    Stairs up to Oru from the main floor bar | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
  • Market At The Shangri-La
    Market At The Shangri-La
  • Co-owner barman Steve Da Cruz | The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
    Co-owner barman Steve Da Cruz | The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • Reader KC Lost Lagoon Stanley Park Vancouver BC 1049am
    Reader KC Lost Lagoon Stanley Park Vancouver BC 1049am
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • IMG_1851
  • Davie Village
    Davie Village
  • Dew Clinging to Stanley Park Moss
    Dew Clinging to Stanley Park Moss
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • La Buca
    La Buca
  • Stanley Park
    Stanley Park
  • LP Halfer | The Fat Badger
    LP Halfer | The Fat Badger
  • Interior work in progress
    Interior work in progress
  • Inside the kitchen
    Inside the kitchen
  • Exile Cafe on Bute at Davie
    Exile Cafe on Bute at Davie
  • Stanley Park
    Stanley Park
  • Stanley Park Mushrooms
    Stanley Park Mushrooms
  • Sylvia Hotel Interior
    Sylvia Hotel Interior
  • Stanley Park in Winter
    Stanley Park in Winter
  • Raincity Grill
    Raincity Grill
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Looking northwest from the Burrard St. Bridge
    Looking northwest from the Burrard St. Bridge
  • Vancouver International Wine Festival
    Vancouver International Wine Festival
  • Lifeguard Detail At The Polar Bear Swim
    Lifeguard Detail At The Polar Bear Swim
  • Sylvia Hotel Interior Detail
    Sylvia Hotel Interior Detail
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Stanley Park
    Stanley Park
  • Meat & Bread
    Meat & Bread
  • Cardero Bottega in the West End
    Cardero Bottega in the West End
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |
    Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 |
  • Sunset beach
    Sunset beach
  • IMG_7663
  • IMG_8493
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Al Fresco | Robson
    Al Fresco | Robson
  • Colin Turner's bar
    Colin Turner's bar
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Mis Trucos
    Mis Trucos
  • A wet June day on English bay
    A wet June day on English bay
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • IMG_5602
  • English Bay in the Summer
    English Bay in the Summer
  • Seuss seat, Greenhorn Espresso Bar
    Seuss seat, Greenhorn Espresso Bar
  • Italian wines throughout
    Italian wines throughout
  • Sylvia Hotel
    Sylvia Hotel
  • Al Fresco | Robson
    Al Fresco | Robson
  • Danny Takes A Swig, Polar Bear Swim
    Danny Takes A Swig, Polar Bear Swim
  • IMG_5615
  • inside Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
    inside Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2012 | IMG_7021
  • Sandwich and drink at Cardero Bottega
    Sandwich and drink at Cardero Bottega
  • Walter Le Daca & Ganga Jolicoeur, owners of Greenhorn Espresso Bar
    Walter Le Daca & Ganga Jolicoeur, owners of Greenhorn Espresso Bar
  • Inside Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
    Inside Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
  • Al Fresco | Robson
    Al Fresco | Robson
  • Under the Burrard St. bridge
    Under the Burrard St. bridge
  • Araxi's James Walt introduces his dish...
    Araxi's James Walt introduces his dish...
  • Looking down on the lobby bar area | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
    Looking down on the lobby bar area | Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
  • Mike, Linda and Kurtis at Wine Fest
    Mike, Linda and Kurtis at Wine Fest
  • From Z.H. | West End | Vancouver, BC | 4pm
    From Z.H. | West End | Vancouver, BC | 4pm
  • Coal Harbour's soulless skyscraper swamp
    Coal Harbour's soulless skyscraper swamp
  • September 2007 080
    September 2007 080
  • sylvia hotel
    sylvia hotel
  • Polar Bear Swim
    Polar Bear Swim
  • I've always loved the look of the line at CinCin. So well lit and low.
    I've always loved the look of the line at CinCin. So well lit and low.
  • Al Fresco | Robson
    Al Fresco | Robson
  • Under The Bridge, Stanley Park Seawall
    Under The Bridge, Stanley Park Seawall
  • Al Fresco | Robson
    Al Fresco | Robson
  • Stanley Park Seawall
    Stanley Park Seawall
  • Gay Pride Buskers
    Gay Pride Buskers
  • Vancouver Aquarium
    Vancouver Aquarium
  • Seawall Detail
    Seawall Detail
  • English Bay Winter View
    English Bay Winter View
  • Relaxing on Sunset Beach
    Relaxing on Sunset Beach
  • Vancouver Polar Bear Swim | Go For It
    Vancouver Polar Bear Swim | Go For It
  • Justin at Hapa Umi
    Justin at Hapa Umi
  • Lovely CinCin
    Lovely CinCin

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