Yaletown is an area of Downtown
Vancouver approximately bordered by
False Creek and by Robson and Homer Streets. Formerly a heavy
industrial area dominated by warehouses and rail yards, since the Expo
86 it has been transformed into one of the most densely populated
neighbourhoods in the city. The marinas, parks, high rise apartment
blocks, and converted heritage buildings constitute one of the most
significant urban regeneration projects in North America.[citation
2 Planning and architecture
5 See also
7 External links
Yaletown, as seen from David Lam Park
As with much of Vancouver, the
Canadian Pacific Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway had a huge
influence on the shaping of Yaletown. By the 1880s, the line had
reached Yale, a then-large town and the former centre of the Fraser
Canyon Gold Rush 240 km (150 miles) to the east, which served as the
location of the company repair shops, and housed a sizeable rail
worker population. As the line was extended to Vancouver, these Yale
residents followed it to the city, and settled in modest housing close
to the yards in an area soon dubbed Yaletown.
As the years progressed, the proximity of
False Creek and the railway
Yaletown became heavily industrial. Many factories, rail
buildings and warehouses were built, many of which survive to this
After the real-estate boom and bust cycles of the 20th century, the
area became shoddy and contaminated, and was bought up by the city.
After the 1986 World's Fair (Expo 86), held on neighbouring
former-industrial land, the whole area became ripe for development.
The site was sold to Hong Kong-based developer Li Ka-shing, setting in
motion the redevelopment process which continues to this day.
Planning and architecture
Pacific Boulevard, one of the major roads in Yaletown.
From the start, the city planners imposed strict guidelines on the
development, in particular requiring a substantial amount of
development of the public realm, and sensitive preservation of
existing heritage stock. In part, the city's adaption of new zoning
plans in the Central Area Plan (1991) also aided in the process of
rejuveation by establishing objectives of improving livability and
provision for office space within Yaletown, as well as preserving its
heritage structures. Thus there are generous areas set aside for
parks, waterfront access, community centres, and schools. Along the
shore of False Creek, the
Stanley Park Seawall linear park has been
continued through the area, forming its southern boundary.
While little or no original housing from the 19th century survives,
several older buildings from the industrial days still exist. Hamilton
Street and Mainland Street are the most significant, comprising two
intact streetscapes from that era. They are lined with handsome brick
warehouses built on rail platforms, many with cantilevered canopies.
These have been converted into loft style apartments and offices, with
boutique stores, bars and restaurants at the ground level. During the
latter years of the dot com boom, these streets housed Vancouver's
"multimedia gulch" similar to the SOMA area of San Francisco.
The view from Yaletown, overlooking
False Creek towards
Nearby, at the junction of Davie Street and Pacific Boulevard, an old
brick Canadian Pacific roundhouse has been converted into the
Roundhouse Community Centre which uses the old engine turntable as a
small outdoor amphitheatre. In another tribute to the rail history of
the area, it also houses Engine 374, which pulled the first passenger
Vancouver in 1887.
Spilling around the central core of Hamilton and Mainland Streets,
most other architecture in
Yaletown is newly built on the old derelict
yards, the vast majority in a uniform glass and concrete high-rise
style. Most of these buildings are apartment blocks.
False Creek Ferries provide passenger service from
Yaletown to various stops around False Creek, including Granville
Island and Science World.
Yaletown is served by the
Yaletown–Roundhouse SkyTrain station on the
Canada Line, as well as
buses 6 and 23.
Yaletown waterfront is also home to Elsie Roy Elementary School,
the first new elementary school to be opened in an inner-city
Vancouver neighbourhood since 1975.
Yaletown is also home to a
number of English language schools.
^ Linda Baker (December 25, 2005). "Spurring Urban Growth in
Vancouver, One Family at a Time". New York Times. Retrieved September
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for
Yaletown & False Creek.
Yaletown Business Improvement Association
Neighbourhoods in Vancouver, British Columbia
Granville Mall and the Granville Entertainment District
West Side neighbourhoods
West Point Grey
East Side neighbourhoods
Riley Park–Little Mountain
Punjabi Market / Little India
University Endowment Lands
Italics indicate neighbour