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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month