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.

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

20 picturesque Christmas destinations

Dreaming of a trip this Christmas? We're here to help. From glittering cities to a few snowy escapes, here are 20 classic destinations for a festive break. …

12 Dec 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
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
20 seriously weird places around the world

20 seriously weird places around the world

The world is a weird (and wonderful) place. And from a rose-coloured lake to a Japanese island ruled by cats, we've got twenty pictures to prove it. 1. Spotted…

26 Jul 2017 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right