East Vancouver Communities
List of East Vancouver Communities
Welcome to the launch of Hippie Soups from DCTRL Soup Guild members at the DCTRL Hacker Space. We’re residents of several East Vancouver communities known for the arts, vegan foods and Happy Hours through The Art Party.
Hastings East / Chinatown
Hastings East includes Canada’s largest Chinatown and North America’s third largest Chinatown by population, after San Francisco and New York. Located on the downtown east side of Vancouver, Chinatown, has grown into a proud centre of Chinese culture, home to traditional restaurants, markets, temples and gardens. Hastings East extends from Chinatown along Hastings East to Nanaimo Street. The region also includes Strathcona and within it, the Downtown Eastside (DTES), Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods. In recent years, Hastings East has experienced a renaissance, with trendy bars, shops and restaurants, along with new art spaces reclaiming historic spaces. Hastings East has transformed dramatically, with the young and cultured relocating and co-creating a trendy art scene.
Chinatown has a much higher percentage of retail businesses than average for Vancouver, with food stores being the most common. So not surprisingly, food stands are popular at the Chinatown Night Market on Keefer Street, open every weekend from May to September. Enjoy live music, storytelling, and Mahjong, as well as authentic dim sum treasures.
Within Hastings East’s Chinatown, are the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park and the Classical Chinese Garden. Although they share the same pond, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is different from the adjacent Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park. The park is a public space, while visitors pay an entrance fee at the garden. In recent years, the Classical Chinese Garden has hosted the annual Vancouver Fashion Week, attracting world-class local designers and international media.
Hastings Sunrise is located in the northeastern corner of Vancouver. Hastings Sunrise is best known as the home of the Pacific National Exhibition, at Hastings Park for over 100 years. The area is mainly residential, while the shops and services along Hastings Street’s are part of Vancouver East Village from Commercial Drive to Renfrew, as well as parts of Powell Street. The affordable Hastings Sunrise is an ethnically diverse and working-class area that in more recent years have attracted young professionals, artists and musicians. Most Hastings Sunrise businesses are ‘micro’ sized – less than 5 employees. Major business types include eating and drinking establishments, food stores, retail, automotive dealers, service and repair, as well as health and personal services.
Since 1910, millions of guests have enjoyed shows, exhibits, sporting events, amusement rides, concerts, cultural activities and, of course, the annual summer Fair at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Hastings North. Since the first Fair, the event has become the largest annual ticketed event in the province, and continues to draw over 900,000 visitors during its 17 days. Year-round, residents also enjoy Britannia Community Centre to the west and Hastings Community Centre to the east. Recently opened, The Brighton is a pub-style restaurant at 2471 East Hastings referencing the community’s history of New Brighton, a popular resort in the area over 140 years ago in Hastings North.
Hastings Park was home to two institutions: the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) and the Hastings Racecourse, and the PNE’s amusement park, Playland. The City is transforming Hastings Park into a greener, more active, year-round destination, with renewal of the annual PNE Fair and Playland, and improvements to greenspaces, the waterfront, and the surrounding community. Creekway Park connecting the Sanctuary in Hastings Park to Burrard now connects a new bicycle and pedestrian pathway system to provide a safer, more convenient connection from Hastings Park to New Brighton Park. Over 140 years ago, Hastings Sunrise developed out of the popular resort of New Brighton. Today, New Brighton exists as a public park at 3201 New Brighton Road. The public park is an unusual combination of outdoor recreation space, industrial facilities, and memorable views of the North Shore, Burrard Inlet, mountains and the grain elevators of Cascadia Terminals from the walking trails, outdoor pool and beach areas.
The Grandview area in East Van includes Commercial Drive aka The Drive is known for over 300 shops, restaurants and cultural facilities along the long Commercial Drive roadway, mostly single-location and owner-operated. Most businesses are micro-sized – with less than five employees. Commercial Drive is also a mixed residential-commercial area with family-oriented parks, a large number of local ethnic stores and community groups, Edwardian-style heritage buildings, European-style cafes, bars, alternative shops and entertainment venues.
The Granville area is known for its East Van roots in arts and culture. Notable venues and events include: Havana Restaurant & Gallery at 1212 Commercial Drive, East Side Cultch at 1895 Venables, which is a gathering place at a former abandoned church re-developed into a diverse performance space with weekly showings, the Wise Hall at 1882 Adanac Street which supports local artists, performers and promoters, including flea markets with over 200 local vendors, The Drive Murals along Commercial Drive from Salsbury Park to Grandview Tire are painted by Vancouver artists and sponsored by Commercial Drive Business Society. And every November, the area is part of Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl with over 300 artists participating and over 15,000 art-goers attending. The neighbourhood also hosts the annual Car-Free Day where over 10,000 Vancouverites gather to enjoy a day of celebration, shopping and eating along Commercial Drive.
Grandview Park located at 1657 Charles Street was upgraded with a new playground, pathways, stage, sport court, field house with accessible washrooms, lawns, gardens and restored cenotaph area. During summer months, you can find buskers performing live and artisans selling their wares. Grandview Park also hosts the Public Dreams annual Parade of Lost Souls at Halloween.
Mount Pleasant aka SoMa for South of Main is a vibrant and eclectic area known for its unusual stores, heritage buildings, artistic residents, and arts-focused festivals. The area is popular with urban professionals and families. Mount Pleasant is a young adult, well-educated and mobile community with a high population density. Most businesses are ‘micro’ sized – less than 5 employees. Recently, South of Main (SoMa) has transformed from a former working class neighbourhood into a cultured area with new upscale restaurants and bars along Main Street. There is a new area with commercial art galleries called near the 2nd Avenue-Great Northern Way route called The Flats.
In more recent years, The Flats is now Vancouver’s hottest art district with galleries that have relocated to the affordable and large warehouse spaces along East 2nd Avenue and Great Northern Way. All within walking distance for convenience, galleries include: Catriona Jeffries, Chernoff Fine Art, Equinox Gallery, Gallery 295, Grunt Gallery, Macaulay Fine Art, Monte Clark and more.
Mount Pleasant residents enjoy several parks in the neighbourhood. Mount Pleasant Park is a newly redeveloped park at 3161 Ontario Street, featuring a central great lawn area, new playgrounds, sports court, parking lot, entry-level skate spot, a community garden, seating, universally accessible paths and picnic areas. Jonathan Rogers Park at 110 West 10th Avenue offers playing fields, playground, and spots for resting; a lovely community garden adds colour and vitality to the park while, Tea Swamp Park at 266 East 15th Avenue is a small and beautiful park that is a pleasure to visit. The name is a reminder of the Labrador tea plants that once flourished in the area. Then we have Robson Park at 599 Kingsway is a gateway from a busy road into a colourful neighbourhood. Stroll past the lovely community gardens, or bring a blanket and relax on the grass. And finally, there is Guelph Park at 2390 Brunswick Street is an ideal place for morning exercise or an evening stroll. An open walkway in the park connects a tree-lined field and a recreation area with playground and tennis courts.