The Eastside’s Up-and-Coming Neighbourhood.
Up-and-coming, trendy, hip … these are all words that describe this unique Eastside neighbourhood. Dotted with trendy shops, outstanding restaurants, and affordable housing options, Main offers all of these amenities within its own boundaries.
As a traditional neighbourhood of single-family dwellings, Main is well served by educational facilities. There are four Elementary schools in the immediate area including Wolf Elementary, Livingstone Elementary, Brock Elementary and Van Horne Elementary. For older student, Sir Charles Tupper Secondary is situated on the eastern edge of Main, while both Sir John Oliver and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary schools lie just outside the borders of Main – well within the definition of easy access. If private or independent schooling is more to your preference, the Khalsa School, St. Andrews School and Vancouver College are all within a short driving distance from anywhere in the Main neighbourhood.
Main is a rectangular area of the Vancouver’s Eastside bounded by East 16th Avenue to the north, East 49th to the south, Ontario Street to the west and Prince Edward as its eastern boundary. Within these borders lies a unique “old-style” neighbourhood that is rapidly being discovered by residents of all ages. The traditionally older single-family or retired faction of the neighbourhood still exists, but changing the mix is the influx of young, multi-cultural singles and young, upper middle-class couples and families, all of whom are looking for accessibility and affordability.
…offering visitors a dazzling array of foods, spices, clothing and wares from India and other parts of South East Asia
Housing and History
Most of the housing options in this area have traditionally been single-family, detached homes built pre-1946. An increasing demand for high-quality, affordable housing options near Vancouver’s Downtown, has led to a surge of new development in the neighbourhood. Multi-unit low and mid-rise buildings have sprung up, in addition to upscale townhouse developments.
A significant redevelopment proposal at the site known as Little Mountain (bounded by Main and Ontario, between 33rd and 37th) will further redefine the character of Main. This development proposal includes retail shops, canals and at least seven residential towers of six-to-eight stories in height. The tallest proposed building would be 14 stories and border on the edge of Queen Elizabeth Park. The developer proposes significant retail space (grocery stores, banking facilities, etc) as well as a Little Mountain Neighbourhood house, a child care facility and playground with park space. The impact of this future development on the Main neighbourhood will be immense.
Main is liberally dotted with small parks and green space for the outdoor enjoyment of its residents. The main green space is Riley Park, a 2.7 hectare site in the heart of the Main district. Riley Park caters to many outdoor activities, with facilities that include a baseball diamond, two playgrounds (including one of the first universally accessible playgrounds) sheltered by trees that offer a unique climbing boulder, soccer field and wading pool. The Riley Community Centre provides residents of all ages with numerous programs and recreational choices.
Shopping and Restaurants
The shopping and restaurant availability in Main can only is best described as eclectic. The shopping opportunities offer all the day-to-day needs such as groceries, banking, insurance, and liquor stores. But it is the plenitude of independently owned and operated boutique stores that offer the Main resident an extensive variety and range of goods that is unheard of in most other parts of Greater Vancouver.
The Main Street corridor has become a destination point for the savvy boutique shopper looking for that perfect “something” that is so hard to find. A section of the neighbourhood area anchored by Main Street and King Edward is also gaining its own reputation as “restaurant row” and offers the discerning diner a myriad of choices, atmospheres and price points that should be able to satisfy all tastes and preferences.
Located on the southern border of Main is the area now officially designated as the “Punjabi Market”. This market has its core at Main Street and East 49th Avenue and stretches south for several blocks, offering visitors a dazzling array of foods, spices, clothing and wares from India and other parts of South East Asia. Needless to say, the South Asian restaurant fare is not only authentic but also of superior quality and quantity.
One of main lures of the Main neighbourhood is its accessibility. It has the distinction of not only being close to the downtown core, but it also provides easy and direct access to all major routes both south and north. Public transportation to the area is plentiful and frequent. The proximity to the Canada Line just several blocks over on Cambie Street positions the Main neighbourhood as one of the best served by public transportation.