We are in round two of Curbed Cup, Vancouver's search for the neighborhood of the year. Today we've got Gastown and Kitsilano going head to head to determine which neighbourhood had the better year. Voting ends exactly 24 hours after it begins. Let the eliminations commence.
First up: The seaside, westside, yoga-loving, boutique shopping neighbourhood that is Kitsilano. It is a popular neighbourhood among the twenty-something/early-thirty-something group, but also a great spot for families as the tree lined streets and minimal traffic make it the perfect setting. For the most part, rent is cheaper than downtown and yet all the hustle and bustle of the city is only a few minutes away.
One of the most notable news stories this year in Kits was the "approved" bike lane (or 'war path' as it was so eloquently renamed) that sort of came out of no where and had a bunch of people seriously distraught over the fact that their beloved Kitsilano Beach Park could have a horrifying bike path paved through the greenery. Alas, the bike path was put on hold (for now.)
To those slightly dramatic anti-bike path folks: this award is for you. For fighting about something so trivial like a lovely path through a park that would keep bikers and pedestrians separate, ensuring safety for all, we know you're going fight to the death over our photoshop engraved JPEG trophy with your name on it. We wouldn't expect anything less.
Gastown has cemented itself as the destination to be for hot retail, exciting new restaurants, trendy real estate, and cocktail lounges galore. We're not complaining. The crowd is a mix of young and old, attached and detached, creative types and business professionals alike. There's a cool-factor in the air among the faux-cobblestone streets. People flock to the area to escape the monotonous glass high rise towers with the same boring floor plan to live in buildings older than their grandparents loaded with charm and character.
There's this little thing called gentrification that is transforming the once weathered streets of Gastown, for better or worse. Though the DTES is still a hub for the homeless and drug addicts, it's hard to deny the revitalization that has taken place over the last five years alone. We're curious to see how this neighbourhood adapts and if it will soon become overdeveloped and void of its charm much like that of Stale-town. We mean, Yaletown.