Yaletown encore

We last visited Vancouver’s Yaletown district almost five years ago, in early 2013. We noted that the Yaletown brand was so hyper-trendy that developers were making use of it across a wide swath of what used to be called the South Downtown.

With its towers, cafes and rapid transit, Yaletown is now the prototype for much recent or proposed pop-up development in Vancouver’s suburbs, for example in Coquitlam Central, the still-pending Coquitlam waterfront project, and the rumoured Metrotown 2.0.

Co-tourist Robert Smarz and I used to work together at an office in Metrotown, and returned on a holiday-season Friday for a cozy lunch at Rodney’s. There has been further tower construction around the casino on False Creek; otherwise, I see little change, other than some slight mellowing as the trees grow up and the sidewalks buckle.

The City of Vancouver has posted a “Yaletown walking tour” page that will lead visitors to some of the remaining historic buildings in the area.

Where is Yaletown?

Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver

It’s a mark of success for an urban area when its boundaries expand in the popular definition.  White Rock, for example, has strict municipal borders, but you can’t see them on the street, and many residents of nearby South Surrey claim to live in White Rock.  “White Rock” sounds nicer.

Vancouver’s south downtown saw a residential construction boom after 2000, and many construction-site billboards invited buyers to invest in “Yaletown.” So where is Yaletown?  The City’s website is coy on the subject, affirming that the neighbourhood is popular without showing its location. Continue reading