East Van sheds its bad rep and emerges as Vancouver’s cultural heart
VANCOUVER — East Van has had a bad rep for decades. It’s the poor side of town, a scary no-man’s land you steer clear of when the sun goes down.
Frankly, you get the feeling many people on the west side would rather live in Nanaimo than east of Main Street. But wait!
Rising rents and real-estate prices have pushed many people out of Kits and Point Grey and over to Main, Commercial and Strathcona.
Main Street has in fact become Vancouver’s main street, a vibrant strip humming with many of the city’s hippest new stores and restaurants. (Not the high-end, chi-chi places, but the most interesting ones.)
East Van’s coolest bar, the Waldorf, has been refurbished and reinvented as a hipster hangout. In tandem with the cheese mecca Les Amis du Fromage, it’s bringing life back to a long-dead part of Hastings.
Commercial Drive has been happening for years, an exotic blend of groovy restaurants and offbeat stores. Donald’s Market anchors a thriving shopping district around Hastings and Nanaimo.
In November more than 10,000 people trekked down to the Eastside Culture Crawl, a decade-old event where East Van’s many artists open up their studios to the public.
East Van even has its own icon, the giant East Van cross (Monument for East Vancouver) artist Ken Lum erected on the bluff at Clark Drive and Great Northern Way.
A shift in the public perception seems to be afoot. In many eyes, East Van has become the cool part of town, the cultural heart of Vancouver.
Read more: Vancouver Sun
Some comments from that article:
10:33 PM on January 6, 2011
I find alot of west side snobs trying to hang out in east van?
you stand out….stay away please.
1:20 PM on January 6, 2011
So sick of stories that try to keep Vancouver divided into east and west. There’s good and bad in all parts of this city. I don’t find any particular postal code has a lock on generous, interesting people in this city.
9:10 AM on January 6, 2011
I’ve lived in both Kits and the Commercial Drive area, and I’d take the Drive any day — real people, relaxed, interesting, lots of flavor and vitality…. you know, the way Kits used to be way back when, in the days before it lost its funky pizazz.
11:58 PM on January 5, 2011
This story is so condescending. The east side is a wonderful place to live with strong community connections and has been for years. Rennie is right the W is the most expensive letter in the alphabet. The ironic thing is that the west side is now full of wealthy immigrants and the east side is becoming full of the native born canadians who are priced out of the west side.