BY: ERIKA THORKELSON
ILLUSTRATION BY: COURTNEY WOTHERSPOON
The historic neighbourhood of Yaletown, with its rows of warehouses converted into swanky boutiques and high-end restaurants, might be synonymous with luxury in the minds of Vancouverites, but there’s a surprising amount of variety within a short walk of Homer Street (home to multiple Allied buildings) if you know where to look. From arts institutions to local brews to chances to commune with nature, there’s fun to be had, for every taste and vibe.
1. Mister Artisan Ice Cream
1141 Mainland St.
Vancouver has some great ice cream, but this one’s a standout: Each scoop is made to order and flash frozen using liquid nitrogen right before your eyes. Order it by the scoop, the pint or as a sandwich dipped in chocolate and rolled in your favourite crunchy coating.
2. False Creek Seawall
Take your ice cream for a stroll along Vancouver’s famous seawall. Stop in David Lam Park (1300 Pacific Blvd.) for a picnic or impromptu game of tennis or basketball. Better yet, rent a bicycle and set off on an even bigger adventure.
3. Granville Island
Probably Vancouver’s best-known destination, Granville Island is just a short ferry ride from the Yaletown dock. There you’ll find bustling public markets filled with fresh food and arts and crafts for sale. It’s also home to some of the city’s best theatre and hosts the Vancouver Fringe Festival every fall.
4. Contemporary Art Gallery
555 Nelson St.
The CAG is tucked away, but it hosts an impressive variety of cutting-edge shows by local and international artists. You’ll know the space by its vibrant window displays. Check the website for curator talks, tours and site-specific exhibitions around the neighbourhood.
5. Patio Nights
Evenings are lively in Yaletown at the various spacious patios lining the historic brick walkways outside the converted warehouses of Mainland and Hamilton streets. Sate your hunger with upscale sushi at Minami (1118 Mainland St.) or casual vegan fare at the Yaletown location of MeeT (1165 Mainland St.). Then grab a beer at the Yaletown Brewing Company (1111 Mainland St.) or a cocktail at the Yaletown Distillery Bar + Kitchen (1131 Mainland St.).
6. VIFF Centre
1181 Seymour St.
Home of the Vancouver International Film Festival, the recently renovated VIFF Centre is the perfect place to catch indie gems and trawl the history of cinema. Enjoy a bottle of local beer with your popcorn in the lobby bar or sink into the theatre’s comfy couch-like seating.