Vancouver's richly diverse West End neighborhood epitomizes the city's entire downtown core: It is family-oriented and gay-friendly, ultra-urban and tree-lined traditional, and a beach town and a downtown combined.
The West End is Downtown Vancouver's access point to Stanley Park, encompasses some of the city's busiest and best beaches, and is home to Robson Street, the most famous shopping street in Vancouver. Its streets host the Vancouver Pride Parade and the Vancouver Sun Run; its beaches are the most popular spots for watching the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition.
The West End is bordered by Stanley Park in the west, W Georgia Street to the north, Burrard Street to the east, and Pacific Avenue to the south.
However, according to the City of Vancouver, the official western boundary of the West End is Denman Street, not Stanley Park. But common usage includes the residential area between Denman St. and the park as part of the West End.
There's far more diversity in the West End than in Downtown Vancouver's other neighborhoods. Unlike Yaletown, which is still new enough to be home mostly to young professionals, the West End is old enough to have residents of all ages, including those who have made their home there for decades.
Diversity in the West End extends to different areas within the neighborhood itself. Davie Street--also known as Davie Village--is predominately young, trendy and gay, whereas the area close to Stanley Park and Denman Street is more family-oriented and older-generation. The neighborhood has an entirely different feel on either side of Bute Street, a demarcation between the quiet and residential on the west side and the bustle and noise of Downtown's business and shopping districts on the east.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Denman Street, Robson Street, and Davie Street are the major dining and nightlife streets in the West End.
Denman Street is literally packed with restaurants of every type imaginable, from Ukranian and Indian to French, East African, and Russian.
Robson Street, famous for its shopping, has loads of eateries and bars, too, including Cactus Club, CinCin Ristorante--a sometimes celebrity haunt--and the rotating Cloud 9 lounge and restaurant atop the Empire Landmark Hotel.
For gay nightlife, Davie Street is the Vancouver destination. The city's biggest and most famous gay nightclubs are on Davie, including Celebrities and Numbers, as well as most of Vancouver's best queer bars.
Parks and Beaches
Residents of the West End can walk to many of Vancouver's most beautiful outdoor spots since they're right in the neighborhood: the world-famous Stanley Park, English Bay Beach, and Sunset Beach.
The history of the West End can be seen in the heritage sites at Barclay Heritage Square, an area surrounded by restored heritage homes that include the historic Roedde House Museum.