Most Influential Website Banner

Time Out published their annual list of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world this week, and the West End neighbourhood of Vancouver came in at number 25.

The publication generates the list by polling 20,000 people around the world, as well as local experts, on the great places for food, fun, and culture. This year's list included 51 neighbourhoods.

The West End neighbourhood came in at 25, and Time Out started off the introduction of the neighbourhood by pointing out that the West End is not the same as the West Side or West Vancouver, which is one of those things that comes across as confusing to those who aren't from Vancouver, but humourous to those who are.

The West End is described as "trendy" and "boisterous", after "once [being] a quiet enclave for the elite." Davie Village gets a shout out as the home base for Vancouver's LGBTQ+ community, and the well-known Robson Street for its restaurants and retail, as does Denman Street.

Then, of course, there's the 405-acre Stanley Park, one of the most popular places in British Columbia, as well as Sunset Beach, which for a while became Barge Chilling Beach, after a barge got stranded on the beach for several months.

Some specific places that got shouted out were The Burrard, a converted motel that's been around since 1956; Tartine Bread and Pies, near Sunset Beach; Kingyo, a Japanese restaurant on Denman Street; and Celebrities, the biggest gay nightclub in Vancouver.

Time Out also points out that late-July is one of the best times of the year to visit the West End because that's when Vancouver has it's annual Pride Festival, which also often overlaps with the annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival, a must-go for out-of-towners as well as locals.

READ: Foot Traffic Data Shows Vitality in Alberta, Normalcy Returning in Vancouver

Unfortunately, the West End has also seen the largest increase in crime (assaults and sexual offenses) over the last few years, according to Vancouver Police Department data. From 2019 to 2021, the amount of crimes increased by 95, which was the highest among all of the neighbourhoods in Vancouver, although the total amount (494) was significantly lower than that of the Central Business District (1930) and Strathcona (763). The amount for the neighbourhood is also not disproportionately high, considering its size, and Stanley Park.

Interesting enough, Time Out named Mount Pleasant as the 40th-coolest neighbourhood in the world in their list last year, and Mount Pleasant is the neighbourhood with the second-highest increase in crime, and fourth-highest by total amount, between 2019 to 2021.

It's unclear whether there is any relationship between being cool and having high amounts of crime, but perhaps criminals are flocking to the neighbourhood because of the appeal of the neighbourhood. Nonetheless, cool is cool.