A small, hip, captivating grid of shops, cafés and restaurants, Yaletown is centred on Homer, Hamilton and Mainland streets between Drake Street to the south and Smithe Street to the north. It takes its name from the many Canadian Pacific Railway workers who settled here in the 1880s, having followed the line west from the town of Yale 180km away in the BC interior. At the time, it had a greater density of saloons than anywhere in the world and was considered one of North America’s most lawless enclaves.

For most of the twentieth century it was a warehouse and packing district, but over the last decade or so has been transformed, helped by the spread of a booming Downtown south and east, and the ranks of condominiums that have sprouted on the north shore of False Creek. At street level, the broad, raised walkways provide the perfect stage for café terraces, while the narrow, lofty or otherwise unusual old warehouse spaces have become often dramatically designed bars and restaurants.

You can get here on the SkyTrain using the Yaletown-Roundhouse station, but it’s an easy walk from central Downtown and you can take a pleasant walk along the Seawall to get there from Stanley Park.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

19 phenomenal pictures of Canada

Canada is famous for its stunning vistas, from the Arctic shores to the Rocky Mountains. But that's not all the country has to boast about. It also has engro…

30 Jun 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Video: the most beautiful places in Canada

Simply put, Canada is stunning. The second largest country in the world, Canada is a land of crashing waterfalls, turquoise lakes and magnificent soaring mounta…

29 Jun 2017 • Olivia Rawes videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook