Riley Park-Little Mountain

Queen Elizabeth Park by Guilhem Vellut
Queen Elizabeth Park by Guilhem Vellut

Riley Park and Little Mountain are interchangeable names for a neighbourhood at the heart of Vancouver. It is primarily a residential area with residents of mixed ethnic and social background coming together to create a strong community feeling. Due to its favourable location and charming feel, Riley Park–Little Mountain is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city.

Location

Riley Park-Little Mountain is situated on Vancouver’s highest point and bounded by Cambie Street to the west, Fraser Street to the east, 41st Avenue in the south, and 16th avenue to the North. The neighbourhood includes Main Street, one of the major commercial areas in the city. Inhabitants of Riley Park-Little Mountain benefit from the convenient location in the geographical centre of Vancouver, as its dense transportation grid enables fast movement to other areas of the city. The introduction of the Canada Line Skytrain on Cambie made downtown Vancouver less than 10 minutes away. There are also excellent bus links east to west along King Edward Avenue.

History

Vancouver 1898 by Wikimedia Commons
Vancouver 1898 by Wikimedia Commons

Riley Park-Little Mountain is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Vancouver. The very first community in the area was formed by the early 1900s, mostly by workers from a local quarry. As time passed, quarries turned into parks. Little Mountain became Queen Elizabeth Park in 1940, and one of the open-pit rock quarries was transformed into a unique sunken garden — one of the main attractions in the neighbourhood, usually bustling with newlyweds who choose the spot for their wedding pictures. Riley Park also boasts having played a major role in the baseball history of the city. Capilano Stadium, now Nat Bailey Stadium, was opened here in 1952.

Real Estate

Homes of all shapes and sizes are found in Riley Park-Little Mountain — from a single-family bungalow to little private estate. Single-detached houses form almost one third of all the homes in the neighbourhood, giving it its nostalgic, family-oriented feel. They are closely followed by detached duplexes and low-rise apartment buildings. Almost no condos or high-rise buildings can be found in the area. Riley Park-Little Mountain has a relatively high proportion of more-than-50-year-old dwellings — approximately 37 per cent of its residential buildings — contributing to the charm of the neighbourhood. Of the approximately 22,000 inhabitants of Riley Park, 41 per cent live in rented dwellings with an average gross rent of $885.

The neighbourhood is inhabited by all kinds of people, including young students and artists, active professionals, and families with kids. This variety of residents, supplemented by plenty of parks and the lively feel of Main Street, give Riley Park-Little Mountain its safe community spirit and make it an excellent place to choose for your future home.

Parks

Cartier Park

390 East 36th Avenue

Cartier Park is a welcoming, beautifully tree-lined area with a playground. It is brightened up by a piece of community art and plenty of flowers.

Grimmet Park

169 East 19th Avenue

Sit down on one of the benches and enjoy the variety of flower beds planted in this lovely little park.

Hillcrest Park

4501 Clancy Loranger Way

Hillcrest Park by Paul Cochrum
Hillcrest Park by Paul Cochrum

Sports enthusiasts are drawn to Hillcrest Park by its beautiful jogging trails, offering both views of the city centre and of Queen Elizabeth Park, as well as by its extensive grassy area, including three soccer fields, several baseball diamonds, and even a skating rink.

Prince Edward Park

3773 Prince Edward Street

Take a stroll through this 1.21-hectare park with a huge open lawn, perfect for sporting activities. There’s also a small wading pool for children to enjoy during hot summer days.

Queen Elizabeth Park

4600 Cambie Street

Queen Elizabeth Park by Wikimedia Commons
Queen Elizabeth Park by Wikimedia Commons

Queen Elizabeth Park is the most celebrated jewel of Riley Park-Little Mountain, visited by more than 6 million people every year. Sitting at the top of Little Mountain, it is the highest point of Vancouver, overlooking the city. Most visitors agree that it’s one of the most beautiful parks, with its magnificent public gardens built at the site of a former quarry, an arboretum, the indoor Bloedel Floral Conservatory, and spectacular views of the city. Active visitors can choose from long list of sporting opportunities, including golf, tennis, lawn bowling, disc golf, and several other playgrounds and sporting fields. The park is especially popular for Vancouverites’ weddings.

Riley Park

50 East 30th Avenue

Follow the gently curving paths in the park to the city’s first universally accessible playground or climb boulders tucked among the beautiful trees of Riley Park. For the less active, Riley Park is an amazing place to organize a picnic or gathering of friends.

Schools

Brock Elementary

4860 Main Street

Livingstone Elementary

315 East 23rd Avenue

Sir William Van Horne Elementary

5855 Ontario Street

Edith Cavell Elementary

500 West 20th Avenue

General Wolfe Elementary

4251 Ontario Street

Sir Charles Tupper Secondary

419 East 24th Avenue

Eric Hamber

5025 Willow Street

Shopping

There are numerous health and organic food shops and markets along Cambie Street, but the true shopping centre of the community is Main Street. The section of Main Street that runs through Riley Park-Little Mountain is known to everyone as Antiques Row. This area between 16th and 25th Avenue is filled with unique antique shops, character second-hand stores, vintage stores, and curio shops, and many Vancouverites make it their browsing destination — especially on weekends.

Eating Out

Zipang Sushi

3710 Main Street

Sushi by Rebecca Chai
Sushi by Rebecca Chai

Zipang Sushi has earned its name as one of the best sushi places in Vancouver, small in size but big in everything else you’re looking for in a sushi restaurant. Try their squid and kimchi takoyaki and you will certainly return.

Trilussa Pizza & Pane

4363 Main Street

The pizza at Trillusa Pizza & Pane is known for being deliciously crispy and chewy, and all true pizza lovers in Vancouver tend get addicted from the first slice they enjoy here. The passionate staff and friendly Italian owner are another great asset.

Crave on Main

3941 Main Street

Crave on Main is a cozy place that serves some of American classics using local ingredients. The place is excellent for breakfast or brunches, but going for dinner is not a bad choice either. Try their pan-roasted halibut or miso sablefish.

Latitude

3250 Main Street

Only one word can describe this Latin American/Pacific Northwest restaurant: delightful. Its great atmosphere supplemented by its always-great food and wide drink selection make it a wonderful place to enjoy your evening.

Café Montmartre

4362 Main Street

Caf Montmartre
Café Montmartre

Café Montmartre is a popular Parisienne-themed café with an antique bike display. Its owners are huge supporters of live music and try to preserve the independent (some would say radical) spirit of the venue.

Grub

4328 Main Street

Grub is one of the most popular restaurants serving vegan, vegetarian, and ocean-wise food in the area. The dishes of their ever-changing menu are always served fresh and delicious. Any foodie will be satisfied here.

Community, Arts and Cultural Centres

Riley Park Community Centre

50 East 30th Avenue

Riley Park Community Centre offers its visitors a public pool and an ice rink. The site underwent a massive transformation because for the 2010 Winter Olympics and a new facility was built.

Other Notable Places

Mountain View Cemetery

Mountain View Cemetery by Mertxe Iturrioz
Mountain View Cemetery by Mertxe Iturrioz

Taking a walk through the older parts of this cemetery established in 1886 can be a rather haunting experience, since it contains a stunning variety of horrific sculptured stone monuments. Mountain View Cemetery, built on the hill overlooking the downtown area, is one of the main heritage sites in Vancouver, capturing most of the city’s history in one place. It’s where many of the city’s pioneers and important citizens were put to rest.

Brock School

4860 Main Street

Brock School is the best preserved building out of three identical school buildings constructed according to a project by architect W. T. Whiteway in 1908. The heritage site is distinguished with its hipped bell-cast roof and wooden framing.

Nat Bailey Stadium

4601 Ontario Street

Nat Bailey Stadium by Matt Boulton
Nat Bailey Stadium by Matt Boulton

The historic Nat Bailey Stadium is home to the Vancouver Canadians baseball team. Originally built in 1951 as Capilano Stadium, the venue was renamed after Nat Bailey, founder of the first drive-in restaurant in Canada and philanthropist who supported the local community.

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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