Home to history & heritage housing, discover Vancouver’s oldest residential neighbourhood.
Named after Lord Strathcona and originally called ‘Kumkumalay’ by the Coast Salish First Nation, Strathcona next to Chinatown, is an eclectic neighbourhood of heritage homes, apartments, unique shops & restaurants.
There are two elementary schools located in Strathcona as part of the Vancouver School Board. Admiral Seymour Elementary with classes from kindergarten to grade 7.
And Lord Strathcona Elementary officially the oldest school in Vancouver with grades K to 7 was founded in 1891. With an eight year $30-million seismic upgrade just completed, it is attached to the local community centre and hosts a library open to the community. For high school students, they’re in the catchment area for Britannia Secondary School a short distance away on Cotton Drive. Another school of note in Strathcona is the Vancouver Japanese Language School established in 1906 – the oldest Japanese language school in Canada.
Vancouver’s historic Strathcona neighbourhood adjacent to downtown is located with the waterfront and Burrard Inlet to the north. This northern boundary includes the dynamic Port Metro Vancouver, where in 2018, 147 million tonnes of cargo moved through the port, valued at $200 billion. To the east is Clark Drive, to the south the transitional East 2nd Avenue/Great Northern Way/East 6th Avenue arterial and then Main Street the western border for the newly redefined Strathcona neighbourhood.
The long rich history of the Strathcona neighbourhood begins in 1886, where a community emerged around Stamp’s Mill changing its name to Hastings Mill. Back in the day, Strathcona was referred to as the East End, and proudly wore its working class roots. Its citizens have always been from numerous ethnic backgrounds. Today over 60 percent of residents report Chinese as their mother tongue, with English at 24 percent. Prior to European settlement, Strathcona was home to the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations people. This century Strathcona has seen major gentrification and investment. With plenty of older single family homes, many have been lovingly restored and hold heritage house status. This is part of Vancouver where you can see original Victorian or Edwardian architectural styles on full display in ‘true colour’ form. Families, small business entrepreneurs and new Canadians are all drawn to the new contemporary Strathcona.
…Located directly in the neighbourhood is Benny’s Market Italian Food that will soon be turning 100 years old
Convenient to all who live in this historic Vancouver neighbourhood, the Strathcona Community Centre has programs for all ages and abilities. Local programs include licensed childcare, preschool classes for youngsters, breakfast & food security programs for kids, and playground. The Strathcona Fitness Centre on Keefer Street is a fully equipped community facility with cardio & strength building machines, free weights and an area for stretching. Also serving the neighbourhood is the popular Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre with a gym, games room, computer lab, senior’s lounge and numerous family programs. A key green space in Strathcona is MacLean Park. Here you’ll find well attended community events, Sunday pick-up soccer games, outdoor weddings and harvest festivals. During warmer summer months, local families hit MacLean Park for barbecue season. Smaller Strathcona Park is dog-friendly area with a playground,
Shopping & Restaurants
With Strathcona bordered by Chinatown to the west, and just minutes away from Gastown and the downtown of Vancouver, excellent retail and restaurants of all descriptions are close by. Located directly in the neighbourhood is Benny’s Market Italian Food that will soon be turning 100 years old. A thriving corner store while others have closed, Benny’s is famous for their Capicollo Sandwiches. Another neighbourhood standout is Strathcona Beer at the corner of East Hastings & Campbell Street. This is a world-class brewing facility with a 67 seat tasting room, gourmet pizza and retail area. Other notable stores and restaurants in Strathcona within easy walking distance include La Casa Gelato, cappuccino at The Wilder Snail and fabulous ramen at Harvest on Union Street.
Quick access to all forms of transportation is one of the major attractions for the residents of Strathcona neighbourhood. Nearby the Seabus, Skytrain, TransLink bus service and the Canada Line to YVR and West Coast Express Rail provide locals with some of the best transit options in Canada. The City of Vancouver is planning to revitalize False Creek Flats in the city’s Strathcona neighbourhood, which is bordered by Chinatown, Clark Drive and two rail yard yards. Plans include viaduct removal, a new park and a new community approved arterial road through northern False Creek Flats to connect East Vancouver with downtown.