Welcome to Fairview. Aptly named, the views are one of the big attractions to this neighbourhood, especially from the slopes of 7th and 8th Avenues. Home to Vancouver General Hospital, BC Cancer Agency and several other medical institutions, the demand for housing here is always strong. West Broadway is a key thoroughfare, providing the main link through the area including the B-Line service to UBC) as well as numerous stores and restaurants. The major shopping attraction here though is Granville St (known to some as South Granville). From 7th to 16th Avenues, Granville St is enjoying a strong resurgence, combining high-end fashion, home furnishing stores and restaurants including big names like Chapters, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. The Vancouver School Board also relocated here in 2000. Take a short stroll down the hill from Fairview to False Creek and you’re on the Sea Wall or Granville Island. Downtown is easily accessed over the Cambie/Granville St Bridges. It may be less famous than neighbouring Kitsilano but for convenience, accessibility and some wonderful views, Fairview could be a strong contender in your search.
Two main ideas to look at here. First, a rarity on the Westside, Fairview offers a good selection of concrete mid/high-rise opportunities. Their advantage over the Downtown high-rises is that they are more dispersed, so you don’t have to pay waterfront prices to get a spectacular view of English Bay. In addition, the views of the city itself with the Northshore mountains in the background are quite breathtaking, especially at night. However, you don’t have to live on the 40th floor to enjoy a view here. Your second choice is townhome style low-rise living (Fairview Slopes and Fairview Heights). In the 80’s many California-style townhouse complexes were built here and specifically designed to take make advantage of the views. Open walkways, large private decks, big picture windows and multi-level living were commonplace. Many of these buildings were well constructed and remain extremely sought-after for the above reasons. Unfortunately some were not able to cope with the extremes of our rainforest climate and as in other parts of the lower mainland, a number of the buildings here have had to undergo substantial repair. It is important that you research your buildings here and an informed guide could save you a lot of time and potential heartache.
BUILDINGS WE LIKE A LOT
Pintura, 1530 West 8th Avenue – boutique mid-rise. Just 59 homes, terrific modern design, beautifully maintained. Cambridge Place, 555 West 14th Avenue – great value, fully rainscreened and pet/rental friendly.