Welcome to the 'hood: Kitsilano

English Bay at low-tide from Kits Beach looking north to downtown. ~ Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/ Al Harvey

Welcome to Kitsilano! To explore this neighbourhood, you'll have to leave the downtown core. Just cross the Burrard Bridge and head west. In its heyday, Kitsilano was where the hippies were hanging out, the Canadian equivalent to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. Today, Kitsilano enjoys a relaxed vibe with plenty of options for enjoying the outdoors. Kitsilano boasts three of the city's beaches where you can bike, walk, blade, stroll, swim, kayak, sail, picnic or just relax. This is true year round but on a sunny day you can expect half of the city's population to join you!  Need a break from the beauty? You can find most of the action centered on West Fourth Avenue and West Broadway, with bookstores, ethnic restaurants, cafes and specialty retailers offering plenty of places to explore. And remember that in order to sound like a local, just call it Kits. 

Unique Fact: The name 'Kitsilano' is derived from 'Xats'alanexw', the name of a Squamish chief. The area has been home to the Squamish people (known as Sḵwx̱wú7mesh in the Squamish language) since the 1800s when they moved into the area to work in saw mills and other industries started by early settlers.  There is still a small amount of Indian reserveland at the foot of the Burrard Street Bridge.

Things to Do:

Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

  • Need some exercise? Get outside! Kits has plenty of opportunities for you to get active and enjoy the scenery all at the same time!
    • Swim laps in Kitsilano Pool, Vancouver's only salt water pool
    • Play Beach Volleyball at Kits beach.
    • Bike, walk, blade, stroll the seawall through Vanier Park, along Kits Beach and continue on through Jericho Beach and end in Spanish Banks.
    • Kayak out into English Bay. Rent from ecomarine at Jericho Sailing Centre.
    • Hike in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. The park protects a variety of landscapes including ocean beaches, upland forest and fragile bog, and offers over 73 km of hiking trails and 50 km of equestrian trails. 
  • Need some retail therapy? Check out the boutiques and shops found along 4th and on Broadway.
  • Need some culture? Learn more about Vancouver at the Museum of Vancouver.
  • Must see:  The Museum of Anthropology is a place of world arts and cultures with a special emphasis on the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia. The Museum is built on traditional, ancestral, unceded land of the Musqueam people and embodies the essence of Canada’s West Coast. And while you are there, check out the lands of UBC.
  • Must do:  Get tickets for the Shakespeare festival at Bard on the Beach in the covered tents at Vanier Park.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

Dining:

  • The Oakwood Canadian Bistro2741 West 4th Ave - Comfortable and Canadian. Offering a great menu and one of the best wine lists in Kitsilano. Enjoy the delivery of honest, sincere, unpretentious hospitality and receive a uniquely West Coast, Canadian experience.

  • The Boathouse , 1305 Arbutus St, Vancouver - In terms of the view, The Boathouse on a summer evening simply can’t be beat. Boasting a massive patio overlooking beautiful Kits Beach, a great wine selection and a specialization in seafood, it’s well worth lingering for a nightcap to watch the sun go down.

  • The Galley Patio & Grill, 1300 Discovery Street, Known as Vancouver’s Beachfront casual dining oasis. With a breathtaking vista, encompassing the magnificent downtown skyline, Stanley Park, the Northshore Mountains, Bowen Island, and the Straight of Georgia you can view all the activity on the water, take in a sunset, or let your kids play on the beach, all while enjoying our acclaimed casual menu. They make a pretty good burger!

Location: South of the downtown core. Go south on Burrard, cross the bridge and head west.