Spend the day in Yaletown

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Until a few years ago Yaletown, the warehouse district in Vancouver’s Downtown South area, was relatively unknown to most Vancouverites. Now with its mixture of art galleries, retail stores, restaurants, offices and new residential developments, Yaletown has become a vital part of the city. In Yaletown you can still see early rooming houses, late 19th century warehouses, and some surviving single-family homes.

This tour is an example of how to spend a day in Yaletown. It starts at Nelson and Mainland and includes everything from shopping, makeovers, restaurants and bars. While walking around, be sure not to miss our interesting History Boards that are placed on poles all around Yaletown. You will also find some interesting landmarks along the way that are pinpointed in the description below.


Places to Visit

1. Fine Finds

Fine Finds – 1014 Mainland Street

Fine Finds has become best known for the ultimate destination to find the perfect gift for the birthday party as well as find the precise outfit you have been dreaming of! With jewellery, handbags, clothing and accessories you will definitely find something that you love.

2. Revolucion

Revolucion – 1063 Mainland Street

“For the Man who has Everything” Boutique Store. Featuring the finest men’s gifts and cigars! Located in the heart of Yaletown, Revolucion is a one stop shop for men’s lifestyle gifts.

3. Bombay Brow Bar

Bombay Brow Bar – 1150 Hamilton Street

Bombay is the premiere beauty destination for stylish, smart, beauty-conscious mavens. In 2010, sisters and founders Ravy Mehroke and Amy Minhas opened their first brow bar focused on making sure every single woman always looked and felt beautiful. In just five years, Bombay has grown to a highly coveted beauty brand focused on spreading love through beauty-one bombshell at a time. Inspired by their Indian roots and affinity for beauty and making women look and feel beautiful, Bombay is focused on delivering beauty with love. Always.

4. Yaletown Brewing Company

Yaletown Brewing Company – 1111 Mainland Street

The Yaletown Brewing Company is Vancouver’s original and best Brewpub. Founded in 1994, just as the former warehouse district of Yaletown was beginning to emerge as a destination for businesses and residents, the YBC was built with the vision of being a true neighbourhood pub – a welcoming gathering place whether you arrived dressed in a suit or flip-flops.

5. Mavi

Mavi – 333 Helmcken Street

Founded in Istanbul in 1991, Mavi Jeans designs a full collection of jeans-wear, for women and men.

Mavi’s philosophy is to build a brand around perfect fitting jeans that convey a Mediterranean feeling in terms of fashion and detail. Maviterranean is exotic and inspirational, contemporary and accessible. Mavi, which means blue in Turkish, is known for high quality, great fitting and fashion-forward premium denim.

6. Raised Brick Sidewalk
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Landmark, Raised Brick Sidewalk – Hamilton Street

Yaletown is recognized by its raised brick sidewalks. These raised sidewalks were once loading docks used to receive goods by train and truck. The raised sidewalks equal the height of rail cars for easier loading and unloading.

The railway had an important role to play in shaping Canada. Many years ago the CPR established Yaletown as their Western headquarters. On May 23, 1887 the first transcontinental train was pulled into the city by CPR Engine 374 (which is currently housed at the Yaletown Roundhouse). Yaletown soon became the industrial and warehousing center for Vancouver. Yaletown remained an active railyard for one hundred years until the early 1980s, then the railyard withdrew to make way for the development that occurred with the arrival of the World Exposition of 1986 (Expo ‘86).

7. Blo Blow Dry Bar

Blo Blow Dry Bar – 1250 Hamilton Street

Blo is North America’s Original Blow Dry Bar. No cuts, no color: Just WASH BLOW GO. Guests choose from 7 styles featured in the Blo Hair Menu, from the razor-straight “Executive Sweet” to the runway-inspired “Pillow Talk”. It all started in 2007 with a vital question: “Why isn’t there a place for quick, affordable catwalk-quality blow outs?” We have been coifing ever since. Currently, Blo has 45+ locations to serve you across North America, and the Philippines, with more opening soon.. We can’t wait to blo you away!

8. Noir Lash Lounge

Noir Lash Lounge – 1250 Hamilton Street

Noir Lash Lounge is North America’s premier lash destination solely specializing in semi-permanent eyelash extensions. Want beautiful eyes? Don’t compromise – lashes aren’t an added service, it’s the only service. Carrying over 100 different lash varieties, we are sure to satisfy any girl’s lash envy. Individual lashes are professionally applied with a special adhesive to create longer, thicker, more beautiful lashes. No messy clumps or tangled flares, our lashes are individually applied and laid atop of your own natural lash.

9. Goorin Brothers Hat Shop

Goorin Brothers Hat Shop – 1188 Hamilton Street

Tucked into a busy corner of eclectic, urban Yaletown, our first Canadian hat shop rounds out a neighborhood of bars, eateries and the coolest Vancouver boutiques. Located in the heart of one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods, Goorin Bros.’ independent, modern style is the perfect fit for the dynamic mix of international flavor and frontier spirit that makes Vancouver great. With hats for men, women and children, Goorin Bros. Yaletown has something to offer every fashionable head in BC.

10. Kennedy Cocktails
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Landmark, Kennedy Cocktails – 1216 Homer Street
In the early 1900s, Vancouver expanded its warehouse operations to meet demand for larger warehouses that had rail access. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) laid tracks through Yaletown and created raised loading docks on the western edge of each block for efficient freight handling. The new warehouse district became known as Yaletown after the nearby settlement established by the CPR workers brought down from the town of Yale in the Fraser Canyon.

In 1928, this building at 1216 Homer Street hosted Joseph P. Kennedy’s (US President, John F. Kennedy’s father) exporting company. Joseph Kennedy’s export company was described as brewers and bottlers. They operated this Canadian facility during US prohibition, and were later suspected of smuggling alcohol into the US.

The building became one of the first “loft” conversions that transformed the upper floors to strata apartments in 1997. The old buildings of Yaletown maintained their original looks because in 1996, Vancouver named Yaletown a historic district, preserving the original architecture and docks.

Today Yaletown is a host to dense residential towers, many loft conversions, over 25 municipal heritage sites and a BC provincially designated heritage site (the Roundhouse).

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11. Roundhouse Community Centre

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Landmark, Roundhouse Community Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews

Yaletown was a predominantly industrial district of Vancouver for many years. Two milestone events spurred on the changes which have shaped Yaletown into the vibrant neighbourhood it is today – Expo ‘86 and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The Roundhouse was once the centerpiece of Yaletown, as the works garage for the railway.

In 1984, the Roundhouse was restored as a theme pavilion during the World Exposition of 1986.

Yaletown was also shaped by the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The Olympic torch reached Yaletown on February 12, 2010 on the final leg of its 45,000 km cross-Canada torch relay. The streets were filled with fans cheering its journey.

During the 2010 Olympic Games, outdoor celebrations were hosted at on the streets and parks of Yaletown. For every day of the Olympic Games, LiveCity Yaletown featured free entertainment, local celebrations and evening fireworks. The Made In Vancouver festival, ran for the duration of the 2010 Olympics and turned Hamilton and Mainland Streets into pedestrian zones, where visitors from all nations gathered to celebrate.

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12. Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca – 1133 Hamilton Street

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca are pleased to give you a fresh perspective on Mediterranean cooking with chef/owner Giuseppe “Pino” Posteraro, the 2008 Vancouver Magazine’s Chef of the Year, 2009 Restaurant of the Year and gold medal winner at the BC Gold Medal Plates (2007).

The critically-acclaimed restaurants, favourites of celebrities, oenophiles, and food lovers, are consistent award-winners that are always looking ahead and staying fresh. Widely acknowledged as the best expression of Mediterranean cooking in British Columbia, Cioppino’s and its sister restaurant next door, Enoteca, offer two large patios, two open show kitchens, two full-service dining rooms, as well as several private rooms for corporate and special functions. Both meet the high expectations of thousands of diners every week.

13. Hello Goodbye

Hello Goodbye – 1120 Hamilton Street

Underground cocktail club and drinking den. Hello Goodbye features seasonal cocktail menus, light snacks, live entertainment, and DJs for late night revelry.