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West End

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All about West End

The West End is considered the gay community of Greater Vancouver. Many of the gay commercial activity in the area are centered on Davies Street between Burrard Street and Bute Street. The area along Davies Street is also known as "Davie Village". Several parks can be found in the area along with the English Bay Beach. Several commercial and dense residential resides in the area and its appearance can be compared to Downtown Vancouver, for its high-rise apartments. The residents of the West End are very active with keeping the area livable with a rare garden located on Davie Street and Burrard Street.

History of West End

Like a majority of Vancouver, the West End was originally covered in forestry. The land of West End was purchased in 1862 by Samuel Brighouse, John Morton and William Hailstone, known as the “Three Greenhorn Englishman”, meaning to these men as a belief that naïve men paid too much for remote land. The three men had plans to establish a brickworks shop on the shore of coal harbour with the intent of making clay porcelains. However the clay wasn’t fine enough to make these porcelains and good portion of the land was sold to Victoria Investors. With the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the West End, the area became Vancouver’s first upscale neighborhood with richer railway families living along “Blue Blood Alley”, now known as Georgia Street. Posh mansions were built in the area and eventually in more remote areas of the West End. Eventually the value of the West End had dropped as the value of the Shaughnessy neighborhood had grew in value. More middle-class housing began to move into the area and became a main area for new residents from the United Kingdom and other areas of Canada. After World War II, the area in West End along Robson Street was known as “Robsonstrasse”, for the German presence.

Geography of West End  

The West End is located near Downtown Vancouver, wedged between Downtown to the south and Stanley Park to the north. The area is considered to be the area west of Burrard Street, south of West Georgia Street and east of Denman Street. However, most people do not know the exact boundaries of the West End due to its close proximity to Downtown Vancouver.