Fairview

Fairview by Kyle Pearce2
Fairview by Kyle Pearce

Fairview is a neighbourhood in the central part of the city, well known for its great location near downtown Vancouver and its spectacular views. While the official name of the neighbourhood is Fairview, some people prefer to refer to it as South Granville, which is the name of the shopping district that can be found along Granville Street. Other local names for the smaller areas contained within Fairview are, for example, Fairview Slopes (Broadway to 2nd Avenue), False Creek (near the water), Burrard Slopes, and Fairview Heights.

Location

Fairview is located on the west side of Vancouver, in close proximity to the city core. It stretches from 16th Avenue in the south to False Creek in the north and from Burrard Street in the west to Cambie Street in the east. As some say, all roads pass through Fairview, as all the major roads to the city centre from the south pass through here, making the transportation both ways super-fast and convenient. Residents can easily reach the downtown by bikes too. Two Canada Line stations are also parts of the neighbourhood – Olympic Village Station and Broadway-City Hall Station.

History

Ancient House by Taz
Ancient House by Taz

Not so long ago, the Fairview area was bursting with rich wildlife and huge fir trees. However, at the end of the 19th century, the first plans to log the forests were introduced, followed by the construction of shipbuilding yards and various wood-processing plants. The construction of the city’s new electric system was another breaking point for Fairview. Thanks to its favourable location as the crossroad between Granville and downtown, the community developed into a commercial and residential area of great importance in Vancouver throughout the 20th century.

Real Estate

Fairview offers various types of housing, attracting a great diversity of dwellers from working-class and students to high-end condos for well-off families. It is interesting to note that young urban professionals and students are the largest group residing here, with 42 per cent of all inhabitants aged between 20 and 39. Larger nuclear families are least likely to be interested in living in Fairview.

Although the area boasts a couple of multi-unit Victorians and some duplexes, apartments and condominiums are most certainly the most common housing type in Fairview. Three-story buildings reminiscent of the pre-’70s regulations that only approved projects with maximum three stories form the majority of realties, supplemented by newer ten-story condos and a few apartment complexes rising even higher.

As usual in Vancouver, this cheap industrial waterfront area has been transformed into a prosperous community and a wonderful place to live; however, such change has projected into prices in the area as well. The prices have been rising over the past few decades, but Fairview is still a rather affordable option compared to areas farther west.

Parks and Beaches

Charleson Park

999 Charleson Road

Charleson Park by G  M  Gordon
Charleson Park by G M Gordon

Charleson Park offers a gorgeous view of downtown Vancouver and False Creek. It’s full of little ponds and waterfalls lining your way to numerous playgrounds and pitches. An off-leash dog area is included.

Granville Park

3001 Fir Street

Located in close proximity to South Granville shopping, you may find your rest here after a day full of chasing the sales in the stores. The park is largely made up of lush lawn.

Sutcliffe Park

1318 Cartwrigt Street

Sutcliffe Park is filled with beautifully kept flowerbeds and is perfect for strolling. In addition to that, scenic views for the visitors are Fairview’s must!

Choklit Park

W 7th Avenue and Spruce Street

A tiny park that used to be a part of a chocolate factory is made of steps and terraces, offering beautiful views and lots of lovely hidden spots.

Granville Loop Park

1435 W 5th Avenue

Willow Park

802 W 7th Avenue

Locarno Beach

NW Marine Dr & Tomie St.

Locarno Beach by Hideyuki Kamon
Locarno Beach by Hideyuki Kamon

Located between Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks, Locarno Beach is an amazing place for barbecue or a game of volleyball with friends. Chill out or enjoy the spectacular view of the sunset in the evening. The negative is that the beach can get really crowded in the summertime.

Shopping

Granville Island Market by Fairview Condo
Granville Island Market by Fairview Condo

Fairview is home to two distinct popular shopping areas, both located just a short walk away from the residential areas: Granville Island and South Granville. Granville Island was originally formed by the sediments from False Creek to accommodate developing warehouses and factories. Over the years, it has turned into a jewel of Vancouver. The island is packed with shops, studios, theatres, restaurants, and the well-known Granville Island Public Market (presumably one of the best food markets in Canada, full of fresh, delicious goods and specialties for wannabe chefs) and attracts 10 million visitors a year.

On the other hand, Granville Street offers an enchanting mix of high-end brand shops and easily affordable chain stores for visitors with lower budgets, supplemented by small, locally owned businesses, which makes it certainly one of the top places to shop in Vancouver. The South Granville area is also famous for its gallery row, which includes art galleries, antique stores, furniture stores as well as home décor shops, and designer studios. If you get tired out by the shopping, there’s nothing easier than to take a rest in one of the numerous cafes or restaurants in the area.

Eating Out

Granville Island Restaurant by Fairview Condo
Granville Island Restaurant by Fairview Condo

You can find all kinds of dining spots in Fairview. Whether you are interested in high-brow cuisine or just simple fast food bistros, Mexican dishes, or French fare, you will certainly find your ideal place. Check out some of our tips to make your decision-making easier:

Café Salade des Fruits

1555 W 7th Ave

Located in a French community centre, this café/restaurant with friendly bilingual staff is a great choice for any time of the day. Good French food doesn’t need to cost a fortune!

Branas Mediterranean Grill

617 Stamps Landing

Experience the magic of the Mediterranean in this stylish restaurant, and don’t forget to try the delicious mushroom risotto with a glass of wine.

La Taqueria

2549 Cambie Street

La Taqueria by Jennifer
La Taqueria by Jennifer

A popular choice for tacos with authentic Mexican atmosphere.

Red Ginger

967 West Broadway

Excellent food and large portions for a reasonable wait time can be had in this Asian food restaurant. But be careful: vegetarians might have trouble with their order since almost every meal contains meat.

Memphis Blues Barbeque House

1465 W Broadway

An excellent BBQ place. Enjoy your dinner together with friends over beers, listening to blues music.

Community, arts and cultural centres

False Creek Community Centre

1318 Cartwright Street

Creekside Community Centre

1 Athletes Way

Other Notable Destinations

Arts Club Granville Island Stage

1585 Johnston Street

The Arts Clubs Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage by Wikimedia Commons
The Arts Clubs Stanley Industrial
Alliance Stage by Wikimedia Commons

Located on Granville Island, the stage is one of the main venues for the successful and critically appraised Arts Club Theatre Company. The building itself used to be a wood-framed machine shop and is a part of the city’s heritage. It was bought by The Arts Club in 1979 and turned into a 450-seat theatre, hosting hit musicals, dramas, and comedy shows.

Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage — Stanley Theatre

2750 Granville St.

Another acclaimed venue for the Arts Club Company and once again a heritage site, this 650-seat theatre usually features about six productions a year.

Statistics

You can take a look at the more detailed statistics on age groups, families or households in the report by City of Vancouver.

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