Photo of the West End, English Bay, Coal Harbour, Downtown and Stanley Park
The West End
of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia
is on the small downtown peninsula neighbouring Stanley Park
and the areas of Yaletown
, Coal Harbour
and the downtown business district. Vancouverites define the West End as the residential area west of Burrard St., a major thoroughfare.
Originally a forested wilderness called the City of Liverpool, The West End is now one of the most unique urban centers in North America. Bordered by one of the largest urban national parks on one side and by water on two, the West End is home to a mixed population, old and young, of Canadians, immigrants and international transient residents. Despite being densely populated, it remains a liveable neighbourhood adjacent to the downtown business district. On weekday mornings, hundreds of business professionals stream through Nelson Park, wearing running shoes and carrying footwear for the office.
The West End is particularly famous among visitors for Robson Street, a fashionable shopping and dining area. Many fine restaurants can also be found along Denman Street, which is the commercial shopping street for residents living near Stanley Park.
The West End is also thought of by some as a gay ghetto, and it is home to the gay village called Davie Village, centered primarily on Davie Street between Burrard and Bute, but extending as far as Beach Avenue and along Denman Street to Robson. However, the West End is home to a wide variety of people.
Home to 42,120 people in 2001, the West End is often described as a community made up of low-income earners, broken families, youth, gay men, and seniors. However, census data paints a different picture. 31.5 percent of residents are between 40 and 65, with 51 percent being between 20 and 40. The share of single-parent families in the West End is about 12 percent, compared to 17 percent for the City of Vancouver. Statistics also show that the West End is home to many children -- and the downtown peninsula now has more children than traditional family neighbourhoods like West Point Grey or Kerrisdale. The West End's two elementary schools are at or above capacity.