About Kitsilano Neighbourhood
Kitsilano, or “Kits” as most locals refer to it, is southwest across English Bay from Vancouver’s downtown peninsula and, outside of the latter, is one of the most populous and densely built neighbourhoods in the city.
The housing in the area is largely a mix of pre-war single-family detached homes and low-rise apartments with a handful of post-war concrete residential towers and a growing number of modern infill laneway housing and mid-rise apartments.
The major commercial anchor streets in Kits are West 4th Avenue and West Broadway, both running east-west, along with a few smaller commercial pockets, such as the hub of bars and eateries near Kits Beach along Cornwall Avenue and Yew Street. A typical commercial retail stretch in the area is generally comprised of a dense row of small storefronts in buildings no taller than a couple storeys fronting walkable, tree-lined streets.
Overall, it is a very livable neighbourhood, with an eclectic mix of building types, highly walkable streets, great recreational opportunities, ample greenery, some of the city’s best restaurants, and an excellent bus network.
What do you see in this space? How do people in the community enjoy it?
- This neighbourhood is southwest across English Bay from Vancouver’s downtown peninsula
- Nicknamed “Kits”
- The housing in the area is built up of pre-war single-family detached homes, low-rise apartments, and post-war concrete residential towers. More recently there’s been a rise in the number of modern infill laneway housing and mid-rise apartments
- The major commercial anchor streets in Kits are West 4th Avenue and West Broadway
- Kitsilano was originally developed as a streetcar suburb at the end of the 1800s, and much later became the epicentre of Vancouver’s hippie movement in the 1960’s.
- Associated with beach volleyball, yoga, organic markets, and controversial bike lane projects.
- Popular rental area and hangout for University of British Columbia (UBC) students
- Kits’s more liberal and health-obsessed reputation is also highlighted by its distinction as the birthplace of Greenpeace, the 100-Mile Diet, and the yoga wear retailer Lululemon.
Events and Festivals:
- Greek Day
- Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
- Car Free Day
- Khatsahlano Music + Art Festival
- Celebration of Lights
- Dine Out Vancouver
- Winter Wander at Vanier Park
- Cherry Blossom Festival
- EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival
Economic and Retail Activities:
- Independent shops
- Eateries providing a variety of goods and services
- Office Spaces for businesses
- Recreational amenities
- Nightlife for tourists and residents
Historic and Heritage Features:
- Large stock of heritage buildings, largely in the form of single-family detached homes, apartment blocks, and schools
- Kitsilano was originally developed as a streetcar suburb at the end of the 1800s, and much later became the epicentre of Vancouver’s hippie movement in the 1960’s
Memorable and Unique Characteristic(s):
- Kitsilano is a neighbourhood known for its liberal, health-conscious, and youthful vibe
- New developments occur regularly, most commonly in the form of low to mid-rise infill apartments and street front retail
- The neighbourhood has a wide variety of housing types allowing for people of all ages to live in the area throughout their lives. Duplexes, row houses, and single-family detached homes provide a variety of options for families with young children, while an abundance of low- to high-rise apartments provide excellent living spaces for university students, young professionals, downsizing empty nesters, and seniors
- A high concentration of commercial activities in the area provide a wide range of job opportunities for everything from bar tending and retail services to apparel design and engineering
- Public transit network, bike lanes, and walkable streets making for an easy commute
- Variety of bars and restaurants
- Kits Beach
- Outdoor pool
- Numerous Parks and playgrounds
- Community gardens
- Annual festivals
- Public recreation centres
- Museum of Vancouver, Maritime Museum, and the H.R. Macmillan Planetarium
Submitted by: Andrew Macaulay