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Yaletown and False CreekView Map
Back around 1985-86 the B.C. provincial government cleaned up a derelict industrial site on the north shore of False Creek, built a world's fair, and invited everyone; 20 million people showed up for Expo '86. Now, the site of the fair, Yaletown, has become one of the largest and most densely populated, urban-redevelopment projects in North America. It's now one of the city's most fashionable neighborhoods, and the Victorian-brick loading docks have become terraces for cappuccino bars.
First settled by railroad workers who followed the newly laid tracks from the town of Yale in the Fraser Canyon, Yaletown in the 1880s and '90s was probably the most lawless place in Canada: it was so far into the woods that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police complained they couldn't patrol it. The area—which also has restaurants, brewpubs, day spas, retail and wholesale fashion outlets, and shops selling upscale home decor—makes the most of its waterfront location, with a seaside walk and cycle path that completely encircles False Creek.
On the south shore, note the matchbox cubelike buildings. Purposely designed to house the Winter Olympics Athlete's Village, they remain controversial—for construction-cost overruns and displeasing aesthetics. The village has fallen short of promises to be a totally self-sustaining, eco-aware community, though it should be noted that many of the "boxes" are made from recycled ship containers.
Yaletown and False Creek at a Glance
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