Vancouver Neighbourhood Spotlight: Kitsilano

There are few neighbourhoods in Vancouver that represent the city quite like Kitsilano, or “Kits” as it is referred to by locals. Like the city of Vancouver, it is rich in history: during the 60’s and 70’s, Kits was a hotbed of hippies and beach bums, due to its proximity to the city’s sandy beaches. Only a few minutes away from downtown, it was a world all to itself, maintaining its laid-back vibe, and in some ways, remains that way today. But in many ways, Kits has evolved into food, drink, and shopping destination.

While there are still scattered remnants of its hippie heyday, and the beaches are packed in the Summer, Kitsilano today is known more for its array of distinct neighbourhoods, green spaces, yoga wear, and shopping. The West 4th shopping district is five block shopper’s paradise, and a day-long destination for locals and visitor’s alike, featuring stores of every kind and an abundance of places to get your eat and drink on. It’s definitely a walking neighbourhood, a place where it is still cool to lead a healthy lifestyle, which is reflected in the types of stores and businesses you will find there.

To give you a sense of what’s in store when you visit Kits, here are five unique and popular shops. While only one offers on-demand delivery, we can always hope that will change over time, like the neighbourhood itself.

If Rebecca Bree had a theme song, it would be Sheila E’s 80’s classic, “The Glamorous Life.” But in this popular Kitsilano boutique, you will find nothing from the 80’s. Instead, it is all about now, and beyond: a variety of unique and cutting edge clothing, shoes, and accessories for the modern woman. All pieces are handpicked from across the globe, and housed in a store with a decor that celebrates style and glamour. Rebecca Bree is a place to treat yourself, and then get it delivered on-demand.

There are more yoga and athletic stores in Kits than there are Starbucks, which is saying a lot. Kitsilano is the original home of Lululemon, after all. One of the newest kids on the block also happens to be one of the best. An acronym for Respect Your Universe, RYU is a Vancouver-based athletic apparel company with stores around the globe. Their new flagship store in Kitsilano is a sight to behold, offering apparel designed for athletes of all kinds. RYU originally started designing clothes solely for MMA fighters, and has since expanded into athletics as a whole. From the fabrics to the designs, it’s all tailor-made for what they call the “urban athlete.” But even if you are not an athlete, per se, the clothes are still killer, their hoodies are awesome, and the name is undeniably cool.

Kitsilano has two official sports: yoga and running. And as their name suggests, this is certainly one of the best spots in the city to go for running shoes, but you certainly do no have to be a runner to shop here. Look at the feet around you: it’s all about comfort these days. And just like you don’t need to practice yoga to wear yoga pants or skateboard to wear Vans, you don’t need to be a runner to wear runners. So whether you want to go fluorescent or black and white, New Balance or Nike, this is the place to go in Kits, and you will fit right in.

One of the hottest trends in 21st century fashion is sustainability: designing clothing that uses unique and sustainable fabrics. This is especially true in Kitsilano, where anything eco-friendly is worn like a badge of honour. Movement Global fits right in – sustainable bamboo women’s clothing made in Vancouver, where comfort is king (or queen). Pants, tops, scarves, and headwear, all made sustainably and with ease of movement in mind. Once you have felt bamboo on your skin, it’s hard to go back.

In Vancouver, there is only one way to drink your juice: cold-pressed. Cold-pressed juice has become the unofficial beverage of choice for Vancouverites, and in health-conscious Kitsilano, it reigns supreme. Krokodile Pear was part of the first wave of cold-pressed juice shops to sprout up in the city, opening its first location in the heart of Kits. So when your walking and shopping tour of Kitsilano is complete, make like a local and pop in for a juice, or if you are feeling brave and want to go all in on a health kick, you can try one of their many cleanses. However, we will not be held responsible for the results of that.)

So whether you want to make like a beach bum and chill on the sand, or make like boss and splurge on some fashion, Kitsilano is always a day well spent. But check your downtown vibe at the door; it’s got no place in Kits.