Downtown skyline


Downtown is Vancouver's primary business district, houses many arts, entertainment, and sports venues, and is close to several vibrant residential communities. A peninsula, Downtown is bounded by Burrard Inlet on the north, False Creek and the popular district of Yaletown to the south. The West End neighbourhood and world-famous Stanley Park are to the west, and the popular historic districts of Gastown, Chinatown, and Strathcona are to the east.

Neighbourhood history and heritage

Just over a century ago, Vancouver was a two-block collection of buildings called Granville (now known as Gastown). This location on Burrard Inlet was competing to be the west coast terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. By 1887, a year after the City of Vancouver was incorporated, the first passenger train arrived at the foot of Howe Street, and future growth was assured. In the next seven years, a building boom began to move the city centre from Water and Cordova Streets up to Georgia and Granville Streets. Streetcar service was initiated in 1890, joining the waterfront to Granville, Pender and Cordova Streets.

Initiatives in Downtown

Northeast False Creek

Northeast False Creek is the last big piece of undeveloped waterfront land in downtown Vancouver.

Downtown office development

Get info on office, retail, commercial, and industrial development in downtown Vancouver.

Help shape your neighbourhood

Tell us what matters to you and the future of your neighbourhood. Engage us. Ask tough questions. The City is listening. By showing you care, we are all better off for it.

Share your thoughts on these following plans and projects. Get involved early and often.

Be a community hero

Let's live, work, and prosper together. Volunteer your time to help others. Make a donation. Apply for grants to support the arts and environment, and address social issues. You can even suggest a name for a local street or City property that celebrate other community heroes.

Have a great idea or plan to strengthen the people, environment and opportunities in your community? Tell us about it online. We're glad to hear from you.



Volunteering is a rewarding way to gain experience, meet new people, and learn new skills.

Donating to parks and recreation

Support your community by making a tax-deductible gift or donation to your favourite park or recreational activity.

Grants and awards

View information on grants and funding for arts and culture, strong communities, and sustainability.

Explore all that Downtown has to offer


Community centres    Rinks and pools

Roundhouse Community Centre

Coal Harbour Community Centre 

Gathering Place Community Centre 



Vancouver Aquatic Centre 

Parks, gardens, and off-leash dog areas   Businesses

Parks in Downtown

Community gardens in Downtown 

CRAB Park at Portside off-leash dog area

Coopers' Park off-leash dog area

Emery Barnes Park off-leash dog area



Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association 

Gastown Business Improvement Association 

Robson Street Business Improvement Association 

Yaletown Business Improvement Association 

Hastings Crossing BIA 

Arts, culture, and libraries   Firehalls and police

Public art in Downtown

Public art in Downtown parks, schools, and community centres

The Orpheum Theatre 

Queen Elizabeth Theatre 

Vancouver Playhouse Theatre 

The Dance Centre 

Vancouver Art Gallery 

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art 

Central Branch — Vancouver Public Library 

Outreach Branch — Vancouver Public Library 


Firehalls No. 7 and No. 8

Granville Downtown South Community Policing Centre


Road closures and construction

Find information about road closures and traffic delays due to road construction projects and special events in Vancouver.

Explore public art

Discover our featured public art. Go on self-guided walking tours. Find public art by neighbourhood, artwork, or artist.

Grants and awards

View information on grants and funding for arts and culture, strong communities, and sustainability.

Growing food

Learn about how we support residents to grow food through community gardens and orchards, urban farming, backyard hens, and honey beekeeping.

Downtown Bus Service Review

The City of Vancouver is working with Translink to develop a short term vision for the bus network in the downtown core.