We are introducing a brand new series of Photo Essays! Have a look at amazing Photo Sets all shot by talented photographers. Explore the vibe of the city, its hidden treasures, explore Vancouver! After we already covered Vancouver's Strathcona and Shaughnessy neighbourhoods, let's have a look at the next one, Kitsilano, through the lens of Davis Chan!
Kitsilano: One of the City's Most Popular Neighbourhoods with the Best Beaches
Kitsilano is located in Vancouver's West Side along the shores of English Bay, and it's one of the city's most popular neighbourhoods to live in. Even if you're not lucky enough to call Kitsilano your home, you've probably visited the famous Kits Beach, named one of the "top 10 best city beaches in the world" for its scenic views of the city and great outdoor fitness facilities, or the beautiful Varnier Park. Known colloquially as "Kits," the neighbourhood's name honours the Squamish chief Khatsahlanough, who was a great leader of the Squamish people native to the area.
Kits was known as one of the two hot spots of hippie culture in Vancouver in the past (with the other being Gastown), and property prices here have risen since the 1960s, reflecting the fabulous location just minutes from downtown and UBC, the proximity to Granville Island, Kitsilano Beach, and the abundance of green areas and parks that you'll find in this lively community. The eco-friendly hippie spirit of the community's past is still very visible in Kitsilano today; the neighbourhood is famous for its many organic markets, multicultural restaurants, and specialty shops along the commercial centre, West 4th Avenue and West Broadway. It's where Lululemon, Vancouver’s famous yoga-wear chain, has resided since 1998. The neighbourhood also played a significant role in the history of the environmentalist movement, as Greenpeace had their first office in Kitsilano (at 4th Avenue) and the first offices of the Green Party of British Columbia were originally located on Trafalgar Street in early the 1980s.
This area attracts people who love active life and spending their time outdoors on the close-by beaches and parks, or jogging down the picturesque tree-lined streets. Alongside students, Kits is also home to many famous residents. Environmentalist David Suzuki, writers William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, actors Ryan Reynolds, Jason Priestley, and Joshua Jackson, and hockey players Trevor Linden and Ryan Kesler are just a few who wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
The most prominent landmark in the area is definitely Kits Beach, which features Canada's largest outdoor pool, Kits Pool, and is the spot to be in the summer! When you've had enough of swimming and sunbathing on the beach, take a refreshing walk in one of the two largest parks in the area, Varnier and Hadden Park, and make sure you find enough time to explore the Museum of Vancouver, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (an astronomy museum complete with a planetarium and observatory), and the Vancouver Maritime Museum — three of Vancouver's top attractions.
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Meet the Photographer
I am a Vancouver based photographer. Although I shoot commercially, my real passion lies in landscapes, street and social documentary. Among all the genres in landscape photography, capturing aging urban areas and industrial sites interest me the most.