After parking my car and walking a few blocks down to East Hastings street, Strathcona area, I admired the historic houses and architecture. It is no surprise that the streets are full of such character as Strathcona is one of Vancouver’s earliest neighbourhoods. There is so much to discover; beautiful houses, flower gardens, large parks, and the unique M-1 zoning on East Hastings Street storefronts.
Let’s talk about that M-1 zoning for a minute so we are on the same page. This zoning makes the Strathcona area very unique to other walkable areas of Vancouver. While you go from shop to shop along East Hastings Street they all have something in common. They make what they sell, or a portion of it, within their shop. Pretty cool right.
East Hastings street is changing quickly as the section west of Heatley Ave. was recently rezoned. Residential buildings are now permitted up to 15 stories. This is going to create a huge change in the neighbourhood. With the increase in homes, the amount of foot traffic will also increase. Vancouver already has it in their plans to make East Hastings the most walkable street in Vancouver.
I’ve recently spent time visiting the Strathcona area. Once for a pop-up shop put on by Pivot & Pilot celebrating the rebrand of Soul Sugar, gourmet cotton candy, and just last week to tour more of East Hastings Street. We walked the streets and each storefront told a new story. Keep reading to find out some of my top places to visit and things to see in Strathcona | Vancouver, BC.
This post is in partnership with the Strathcona Business Administration. All views and opinions are my own. Photos by Julie Christine Photography
Things to See and Places to Visit in Strathcona | Vancouver, BC
London Fields Shoppe
Be prepared to spend some time here. There is just so much cute, trendy, stylish and modern little trinkets to look at. From the colourful wall of children’s dishes to the clean and modern branded wellness and beauty products I couldn’t stop thinking, “Oh, I like this!” London Fields Shoppe is a small storefront that is owned and operated by a husband and wife duo. They describe their shop as, ” an extension of our home; an eclectic mix of everyday objects that are carefully selected from around the globe, each with its own story.”
I haven’t had the chance to dine at The Heatley just yet, only just peered through the large glass windows longing to give it a try. On the list for my next visit. The Heatley location can’t be missed. You can find it located on the corner of Heatley Ave in the historic Heatley Block Building built in 1931. With a menu over flowing with a wide selection of comfort foods, an original cocktail list and live music almost daily I think that you should have The Healtley on your list of places to visit as well.
East of Heatley Ave of East Hastings, on the intersection of the M-1 zoning change at Hidden City Records, I had the opportunity to check out a recent pop-up shop. This pop-up was a rebrand launch hosted by Pivot and Pilot for Soul Sugar Cotton Candy Co. They celebrated National Lemon Meringue Pie Day with a bang! Over 300 people came through the doors to eat gourmet cotton candy, shop luxury resale clothing from West Coast Chic Resale and view the art installation by local artist Karlie Rosin.
I brought my kids out to taste the cotton candy and loved the community atmosphere within the pop-up. With the girls outside chatting with people as they walked by to the very warm welcome inside. With a graphic design background myself I loved that Pivot & Pilot celebrated the rebrand of Soul Sugar Cotton Candy with a Pop-up. We voted for our favorite design and share our opinions of the new look. My kids loved having their say too!
You never know who might be popping up next. Make sure to pop over and see, because who knows maybe you might find Pivot & Pilot there with another innovative pop-up shop idea!
Next three images photography by: Pivot & Pilot
Down most street corners you could find a mural or two. You will spot some very extravagant cartoon characters to large solid colour walls. Most of the cross streets to East Hastings in the Stathcona area will lead you to a eye catching mural. My personal favorite was the pale pink and blue birds nest and floral wall which was just down Heatley Ave.
I don’t remember the name of this store (It might actually just be Cheese) but you can’t miss it. As pictured, above the doorway you can see the sign, “Cheese”, and you know you are at the right spot. Everything cheese you could dream of is here. Image you are hosting a bunch of guests and you need a charcuterie board, this is the place you want to go to impress your guests with top of the line and multi flavoured cheeses. Need I say more?
Strathcona Beer Company
I would say this is a MUST visit. We had the pleasure of taking a tour through the Strathcona Beer Company brewery and learning about the full brewing process. Learning and seeing the process hands on was a very cool experience. You could tell by listening to them how much attention to detail, joy and pride they had in their craft.
We couldn’t leave without having a tasting flight, or two, either. We were able to taste one of their award winning beers, a collaboration beer, and their popular (can hardly keep in in stock) radler. These paired perfectly with their party sized pizza that the four of us consumed at a reasonable pace and we left feeling good. It was the perfect last stop in our tour down East Hastings Street Strathcona.