Growing up in Surrey I know that when someone tells me they are from Cloverdale or Fleetwood, they’re still really from Surrey. Today I was interviewed by Erin and we discussed the fact that it’s sometimes fun to just state the fancy neighbourhood name when people ask you where you’re from. Panorama Ridge? How lovely!
I came home to find a similar neighbourhood-type discussion on Twitter, between @nickb and @ddonat. Nick, who works with the online creative writing community that is Protagonize, made a comment about the financial district in Vancouver. This lead to a discussion about what is exactly is Vancouver’s financial district and where are the boundaries? What do people consider downtown, midtown, crosstown and all the other ‘towns’ (like Gastown, Chinatown and Yaletown).
A friend told me the other day she was to meet someone in what they described as Yaletown, however she ended up near the Vancouver Sun building on Pender and Beatty. We both agreed, that location was definitely not what we would consider Yaletown.
The Davie Village meets Yaletown at which street – Granville perhaps? Does Coal Harbour turn into the financial district at Burrard? Wiki offers up a nice list of neighbourhoods in Vancouver yet there are also unofficial areas such as Railtown – (Railway street between Gore and Princess but North of Hastings – or perhaps Pender?)
A few years ago it was announced that the official “downtown” of Vancouver was where Burrard meets Dunsmuir, although I’m sure many could argue that title.
When I venture out of the West End to meet Duane at Smiley’s I would tell John to meet us “downtown” and in what I would consider the “financial district” since there are so many banks around and the area is pretty deserted on weekends (well it was before Cactus Club opened up anyway).
But then again, did I just come from the West End or the West End at Robson, the West End at Stanley Park, the West End at English Bay or the West End – Davie Village?
We all have our own criteria and although some of the boundaries are clearly laid out, all of these neighbourhoods are on the downtown peninsula of Vancouver and they each have their own style and traits.