Photo by Eva Fydrych
Vancouver is a coastal harbour city in British Columbia. It is the third largest city in Canada and it routinely tops the lists of the world's greatest places to live. With beautiful landscape and natural environment, interesting architecture, great restaurants, museums and galleries – it is definitely a destination worth visiting. Major film studios in Vancouver have turned the city into the third-largest film production centre in North America after Los Angeles and New York City, earning its film industry the nickname Hollywood North. Fashion scene in Vancouver has grown rapidly in the last couples of years, showing some fresh talent and innovative ideas. Local designers like Jason Malto, Malene Grotrian, Catherine Regehr or Obakki by Treana Peake are becoming more and more popular and recognized in the international markets.
Jason Malto Spring/Summer 2011 campaign
Robson Street – the main shopping street in the city – carries both designer brands and high street clothing chains. It is in fact one of the hippest shopping spots in Canada, where you can find everything from top-end vintage to fresh-off-the-runway. Robson street starts at BC Place and runs over 1.5 miles to Stanley Park. This unique street was named after John Robson, British Columbia provincial premier from 1889 to 1892, and it is considered one of the most expensive and trendy retail areas of Canada (next to Bloor Street in Toronto and Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal). With the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, it is probably one of the biggest Vancouver attractions and a must-visit place for anyone interested in fashion.
Popular shopping malls in the surrounding area include: Pacific Centre Mall, Sinclair Centre, The Bay and Sears department stores, and exclusive Holt Renfrew.
Window displays at Sinclair Centre & Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, August 2011; Photos by Eva Fydrych
Yaletown – a trendy downtown neighbourhood. Many of Yaletown's former industrial brick warehouses have been converted into super-hip clothing stores, designer furniture outlets and showrooms. This is one of the best downtown spots for locating the latest fashion: clothes, shoes and accessories.
Don't miss Atomic Model Boutique (1036 Mainland Street) – that offers young contemporary designers such as Alice & Olivia, Blur, Harkham, La Rok, Sass & Bide, and collections from all main fashion capitals. It is a one-stop shopping destination for trendy haute couture. Eden (#104-1042 Hamilton Street) – a high-end boutique with a vintage Victorian feel – has a great selection of fashion from the US, UK and Europe.
John Fluevog store in Gastown; Photo by Eva Fyrdych
Gastown – the City's oldest neighbourhood – has changed enormously over the last ten years and is experiencing a true renaissance of style and design. This historic district is now home to independent art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs, souvenir shops, and stylish fashion stores with very unique interior design. Popular annual events that take place on the cobblestone streets of Gastown include the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Tour de Gastown international bicycle race.
John Fluevog store in Gastown; Photos by Eva Fyrdych
Chinatown – in the heritage area around Main Street and Keefer, you will find everything from fine embroidered linens to silk robes, exotic fresh products and delicious Asian cuisine. The summer weekend night markets are always popular and attract both locals and tourists looking for the freshly prepared Asian delicacies.
Chinatown in Vancouver is Canada's largest Chinatown. The “China Gate” on Pender Street was donated to Vancouver by the Government of the People's Republic of China following the Expo 86 world's fair, where it was on display. In addition to Han Chinese from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and
Mainland China, Chinese Latin Americans have also settled in this area.
Chinatown gate on Pender Street; Photo by Eva Fydrych
Chinatown; Photos by Eva Fydrych
Vancouver is not only a stylish cosmopolitan city, but also a perfect place for all art lovers. The city offers a great selection of museums and art galleries with permanent and visiting exhibitions. There are many interesting sculptures located in the streets, and some great examples of modern architecture and interior design.
You can find many galleries specializing in Native Art, and offering some of the largest collections in Canada. Masks, clothing, prints, and carvings – the rich tapestry of cultures belonging to the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
“The surrealist revolution in art” exhibition; Photo by Eva Fydrych
Street sculpture: Photo by Eva Fydrych
When it comes to local transport, there are many great ways to explore Vancouver. One of them is taking a funky tourist bus, painted in pink or red, that can take you to all main city attractions. Have fun!
Pink sightseeing bus; Photo by Eva Fydrych
Find out more about Vancouver.