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Vancouver/Kitsilano-Granville Island

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Vancouver : Kitsilano-Granville Island
Revision as of 05:01, 3 December 2008 by 64.59.144.88 (talk) (Mid-range)
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Vancouver/Kitsilano-Granville Island

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Kitsilano (often referred to simply as Kits) is the northern part of the Vancouver west side. In the 1960s it was a neighborhood where hippies "tuned in and dropped out" but today it has some of Vancouver's most expensive properties. It is situated right on the beach and very close to downtown.

Technically Kitsilano is the neighborhood between Burrard and Alma, from the beach to 12th Avenue. For the purposes of this guide we will also include the northern half of western Vancouver, from about King Edward Street Ave in the south to the water in the north, and from Alma Street in the west to Fir Street in the east, in the "Kitsilano area". This includes the neighborhoods of Kitsilano, West Point Grey and portions of Dunbar and Arbutus Ridge. To the west is UBC, to the east is South Granville, to the south is Vancouver South, and to the north, across the Burrard bridge, is Downtown.

Seaside views near Jericho Beach

Get in

Kitsilano is well served by Vancouver's bus system. A few good buses to get around the area:

  • #4 runs from UBC to Powell or "Downtown", and passes most of the Kits/4th Avenue area, as well as stopping by Granville Island.
  • #17 runs down Broadway between UBC and either Oak or "Downtown", and encompasses the Broadway area of Kits - from Alma to Granville. Its route overlaps with the 99 in a considerable portion of that area.
  • #99 B-Line is an express bus that runs down Broadway. In the Kits area, it stops at Alma, Macdonald, and Granville, and is considerably faster due to its infrequent stops.

Bus fare travelling in and around Kits would be $2.50, whether traveling one stop or from end to end.

It is also possible to take little aquabuses from a number of locations on the downtown side of False Creek to the dock at the Maritime Museum on Kits Point.

See

There are a trio of museums in Vanier Park on Kits Point, the peninsula forming the mouth of False Creek just west of the Burrard Street bridge. There is some free parking in front of the Space Centre, and it's an easy walk from Translink bus #2 and #22 at Cornwall and Cypress streets. You can also walk down from the 4th avenue buses (such as #4), or over from Granville Island about 1000m away.

  • H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Planetarium, 1100 Chestnut St, +1-604-738-7827 (, fax: +1-604-736-5665), [1]. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. The Space Centre is not unlike Science World, with most activities fascinating primarily to pre-teens. The planetarium, however, is a more interesting excursion, and will not be so fascinating to children. It is a small planetarium staffed by volunteers whose knowledge of all things space will stun and amaze you. $15+GST, senior or student $10.75+GST.
  • Vancouver Museum, 1100 Chestnut St (in the MacMillan Space Centre building), +1-604-736-4431 (fax: +1-604-736-5417), [2]. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM (Th until 9PM); Mon 10AM-5PM in summer only. The largest civic museum in Canada, with over 1 million items from Vancouver's history, only a fraction of which fit in the exhibit halls. Tucked away to the left off the Orientation Gallery is a series of rooms telling Vancouver's story from the 19th century to the 1970s. The museum makes an effort to tell many stories of Vancouver: English Canadian, First Nations, various immigrant groups, etc. Kid-friendly exhibits. Special exhibits: "Levelling the Playing Field: Legacy of Vancouver's Asahi Baseball Team", through November 4, 2007. "Rice is Life", through Jan 1, 2008. "Women's Fashions of La Belle Époque 1890 - 1914", through March 23, 2008. $10+GST, senior or student $8+GST.
  • Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1905 Ogden Ave, +1-604-257-8300 (fax: +1-604-737-2621), [3]. Summer (Victoria Day - Labour Day): M-Su 10AM-5PM; Winter: Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM. Canada's premiere western maritime museum. Covers the maritime history of Canada, includes artifacts, models and the St. Roch ship. The museum apparently has far more things than space to show them, so they frequently rotate their exhibitions in fascinating thematic arrangements. Previous exhibitions included such familiar topics as the history of the Vikings, to the less familiar "1500 years of Croatian sailors." Check for $2 discount coupons that you can print from web site. $10+GST, senior or student $7.50+GST.
  • Vanier Park, 1000 Chestnut St (at Whyte St, and shoreline of Kits Peninsula), [4]. Surrounds the Kits Peninsula, with paved trails for joggers and bikers paralleling it, and some green grass and trees. Stunning views of English Bay, Stanley Park, and downtown.

An ExplorePass offers admission to the Vancouver Museum, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre for $30 (adults), $24 (students), including tax.

Do

Kits Beach in mid-summer (2004)
Kits Beach during a rare snow fall.
  • Kits Beach is the beach for the young to hangout and be seen at. Kits beach also features beach volleyball courts and a large public swimming pool. Popular in the summer, the salt water pool is 137.5m in length and runs along the ocean's edge.
  • Jericho Beach is a more family oriented beach with a large picnicking area. The beach forms a crescent shape which creates a sheltered swimming area that is relatively shallow. In the summer, the beach is patrolled by life guards who monitor beach near the floating dock. Jericho Beach is also a great location to go windsurfing or dingy sailing.
  • Spanish Banks [13] is a set of three sandy beaches further west towards UBC. When the tide is out you can walk way out on the mudflats. This is a popular spot for skimboarders and kite boarders. The area has a large stretch of beach which makes for a popular beach volleyball area as well as a scenic multi-pathway system, connecting Jericho Beach to UBC, making a fine running or cycling course. A large field behind the beach has been designated as an off leash area for dogs and part of the beach as well.
  • Vancouver Folk Festival A truly amazing folk festival featuring spectacular views of the harbour and mountains. The Vancouver Folk Festival typically features multiple stages, and a wonderous mix of traditional and contemporary artists. The 2006 folk festival featured Feist, Jane Siberry, Beats without Borders, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt & Salil Bhatt, Dyad and a myriad of other wonderful performers. The current location is Jericho Beach. [14]
  • Granville Island, (From Granville and 4th, head North under the bridge.), [5]. Home to a large fresh food market, a collection of ecletic and interesting stores, and a number of cafes and eateries. There's also the Kid's Market, a colourful, kid friendly spot with attractions for the little ones. Lots of neat things to see and do here, as well as some interesting views of downtown, the Harbour, and various art installations, as it is also home to the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The Vancouver Fringe Fest, which takes place every September, is also based here.


Shop

  • 4th Avenue formerly had many different eclectic shops, but now features more mainstream retailers. Despite the fact you may have these retailers at home, it's a nice walk, and the buildings are very unique (compared to the normal mall/suburban powercentre format) and definitely worth a walk. Street parking can be challenging along 4th Avenue. There is an underground parking lot in the 2200 block under Capers Market (east of Safeway).
  • Broadway makes for nice walking and shopping and has mature trees that line the street. It's here that you will find the heart of the Greek community, featuring several Greek bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants.

Eat

The Kitsilano area has one of the highest densities of restaurants you will find anywhere. There are a huge number of restaurants of virtually every ethnic food you could imagine. Most of them are along 4th Avenue, Yew Street, Broadway or Cornwall Ave.

Budget

  • Sushi Aoki, 1888 W. Broadway, +1 604-731-5577. Great little family run sushi place with excellent value dishes. Authentic Japanese atmosphere.
  • Capers Community Market, 3 Locations: 1675 Robson Street, +1 604-687-5288; 2285 West 4th Avenue, +1 604-739-6676; 2496 Marine Drive, +1 604-925-3316. Open Mon-Sat 8AM-10PM Sun 8AM-9PM. High end organic grocery store featuring a veggie buffet take away or eat in.
  • Thai Terrace, 2872 West Broadway, +1 604-738-2824. Excellent Thai food in a small casual setting that gets a lot of take-out business. Lunch specials run around $8-9 with dinner entrees in the $10-12 range.
  • Planet Veg, 1941 Cornwall Avenue, +1 604-734-1001. Passable Indian inspired vegetarian food. Small number of tables, including a few outside. Just a few blocks from Kits Beach, so great for take-out picnics. Most meals in the $4 - $8 range.
  • East is East, 3243 W. Broadway, +1 604-734-5881. A interesting concept that sometimes works with low shared tables and wailing Asian music in a carpeted room. Decent chai to go with Indian/Tibetan/Paki/Iranian food. Some say service is lacking and portions are small.
  • The NAAM, 2724 West Fourth Avenue, +1 604-738-7151 [15]. 24 hour vegetarian restaurant with organic options. Food taken from numerous cooking styles. Some love the Naam, some are disappointed by food and service. $6 - $13. A strong selection of vegan food. Wine and beer available.
  • The Taco Shack (Kits Beach), 1937 Cornwall Street (1/2 block West of Cypress), +1 604-736-8226 (fax: +1-604.739.8226), [6]. Sun - Thu 11AM - 9:30PM; Fri, Sat 11AM-10PM. Serving so called So-cal style burritos, tacos and quesadillas, recipes taken directly from a taco truck in South LA.This hole in the wall is as bad as it get-you have been warned. $7-10.

Mid-range

  • Annapurna, 1812 West 4th Ave, +1 604-736-5959. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Ancient grubby decor is quite depressing, however their exclusively vegetarian Indian food is great when the kitchen is firing on all cylinders. Expect to spend between $10 and $15 per person.
  • The Eatery, 3431 West Broadway. A fusion Japanese restaurant. The food is anything Japanese with a North American twist to it. The crowd can best be described as your usual 20 something crowd.
  • Hapa Izakaya, 1516 Yew Street +1-604-738-4272. Literally underground not a sushi restaurant. Limited choices, but everything is good, and considering the atmosphere of the place - very trendy-looking, lots of black - the prices are unexpectedly low.
  • Banana Leaf, 3005 W Broadway (on West Broadway near Carnavon Street, between MacDonald and Balaclava), +1 604-734-3005 (), [7]. Mon-Thu 11:30AM - 2:45PM, 5-10:30PM; Fri 11:30AM - 2:45PM, 5-11PM; Sat 11:30AM - 11PM; Sun 11:30AM - 10PM. Malaysian food is a vibrant mingling of Chinese, Indian, Thai, Indonesian, and Malay, and it springs to life at Banana Leaf with rich flavours beautifully presented, yet in an efficient, low-key atmosphere. Many dishes can be prepared vegetarian. This is the Banana Leaf in Kitsilano, not to be confused with their West Broadway or Denman branches. $20/dinner.
  • Tomato fresh food cafe, 2486 Bayswater St (at Broadway, near MacDonald), +1 604-874-6020 (, fax: +1-604-874-6881), [8]. daily 9AM-10PM. Recently moved to the western Kits area after 17 years on Cambie, the newly-remodelled dining area provides a bright setting for beautiful dishes made with organic, local, and ocean-friendly ingredients. Unfortunately, choices for vegetarians are scanty. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner served. Dinner entrees $15-30.
  • Aphrodite's Cafe and Pie Shop, 3598 W 4th Ave (On 4th Ave, at Dunbar), +1 604-738-5879 (), [9]. A friendly cafe that uses locally-grown and organic ingredients with a first-class menu that's long on vegetarian and vegan dishes. The brunch on Saturday and Sunday is delicious or try the pie and chai combination. Service is sometimes slow, so expect a wait, particularly when crowded. Lunch and dinner on weekdays; no reservations. Pies to go can be purchased at the pie shop next door.
  • Thai House Kitsilano, 1766 W 7th Ave, +1 604-737-0088, [10]. 11:00am to 10:30pm. Open 7 days a week from 11AM to 10:30PM nightly. Established since 1986, enjoy authentic Thai cuisine with a wide array of mild to spicy dishes. Other locations include: Downtown Robson, Richmond, Yaletown and English Bay.
  • Moxies Bar and Grill, 1759 West Broadway, 1 604-678-9973. Gives great tasting food from a variety of cuisines with a focus on grilled food such as steak. Great tasting food for a good price when compared to other restaurants in Vancouver. Try the broccoli and cheese soup.

Splurge

  • Bishop's, 2183 West 4th Avenue, +1 604-738-2025, [11]. Daily 5:30PM-11PM (closes at 10PM Su). Known for its emphasis on fresh and local produce in a quieter ambiance. $50 and up for appetizer + main.

Drink

There are a few nightclubs in Kits, but most of the nightclubs in Vancouver are Downtown.

  • Nevermind, 3293 West Fourth Ave, tel: 604-222-0023. Rather ordinary setting with a standard selection of tap beer and martinis.
  • Wired Monk Kitsilano, 2610 West Fourth Ave [16]. Nestled on the corner of 4th and Trafalgar St. It's a cozy free wireless internet cafe by day and live music lounge by night hosting an open stage for local up and coming musicians! Great atmosphere and very very warm staff. All organic fairtrade coffee and an array of loose leaf tea; fresh and fast baked goods and gourmet paninis and homemade soups and salads. Also it's wheelchair accessible.
  • Darby's Pub, 2001 Macdonald Street @ west 4th Avenue [17]. A local favourite, Darby’s is one of Kitsilano’s oldest neighborhood pubs and has the best rooftop patio in the neighbourhood. Featuring live entertainment, comedy & karaoke nights, UFC, all broadcast & PPV Canucks games. With a classic pub menu focusing on quality.
  • Lola's, 2291 W Broadway (On the North side of Broadway at Vine). A decently small club, but with good drink specials and excellent music. Mondays are "Mandatory", and usually the club is packed.


Sleep

There are few lodgings in the Kitsilano area. People tend to stay Downtown.

  • HI Vancouver (Jericho Beach), 1515 Discovery St, tel: 604-224-3208, [18]. Open 24hrs May 1 - Sep 30. Located 100m from the beach and between UBC campus and downtown. Beautiful and quiet park setting but the 20-25min bus ride downtown leaves some feeling isolated. $18 - $22+ for a bed in the dorm.
  • Casa Mora, 4538 West 12th Avenue, +1-800-294-9984 (), [12]. Located on a quiet residential street on the west end of Kitsilano near UBC, and near the 99-B express bus line. There are two B&B rooms, one B&B suite, and a Penthouse Suite that has a full kitchen where you cook your own meals, instead of breakfasts served. $130-250/night, less in off season, week-stay discounts, surcharge for multiple guests per room.

Contact

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!