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“Yuppie Hipsters, Drugged out Beggars, Some Greengrocers.”
Review of Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive
Ranked #49 of 354 things to do in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Trendy neighborhood lined with ethnic cafes and fashionably bohemian boutiques.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“Yuppie Hipsters, Drugged out Beggars, Some Greengrocers.”
Reviewed 16 April 2014

I lived here for a time, but now I only come back if I need some cheap fruit and veg. The whole strip just gives me the creeps now. Lots of beggars crying poverty, yet somehow they have the funds to smoke drugs and drink in the parks all day, when they aren't taking up half the sidewalk. At least one guy has a knife in his hands at all times- for the arts and crafts he sometimes carves, I'm sure. Dope is openly sold outside the post office; convenient for some I suppose.
On the other side of the coin are the Yuppie Hiptser types who thrive on the gluten free organic vegan paleo hand-picked by Tibetan virgins coffee shops and fishmongers who will tell you the name of the captain of the boat where this overpriced fish was caught, but I ramble. If you're familiar with Vancouver, the Drive is kind of like Robson Street, with slightly less known brands (but the same high prices). But hey, if people want to spend $32 (plus tax and tip) for a thin crust pizza who am I to be critical.
Be careful if you're driving, as the denizens of this area tend to walk into traffic as is they're daring you to hit them.
On the plus side, there are a few good takeaways and fruit and veg shops left, though I'd advise browsing them all to see which has the better prices or quality on any given day.
Tacky, certainly. Funky, maybe- but not cheap.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
10 Thank sandy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kelowna, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good spot for a coffee”
Reviewed 3 March 2014

This is a great place to meet up with some friends, hang out, walk the streets, sit down at one of the many coffee shops and people watch for awhile. The Commercial Skytrain Station is usually crowded with people, they have a bunch of stores/shops to eat at, banks nearby. People do their own thing on Commercial, and its best to let them be.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank ColleenA8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Love it here, but it grows on you..”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

So, I visited commercial drive for the first time in 2011, and I was indifferent to it.
"WHY would I come here? Kensington Market (my current home) is SO MUCH COOLER."

In 2012, I found myself moving away from the Market in Toronto, and to Vancouver. It was really a coin toss between Kits and Commercial drive. We picked commercial drive because we wanted to be around the queer culture.
Now, The Drive isn't somewhere I'd put on a "must-see" list if you're on a tight budget. You don't "see" the Drive like you would Kensington Market in Toronto, or some of the other neighbourhoods in Vancouver (like Kits). You "experience" The Drive.
There's not much to "see," but there's lots to experience.
Grab a coffee in a cafe, and strike up a conversation with someone.
Sit in the park, and join in on someone's jam session.
Find someone you think looks cool in the park ("cool" is subjective - this is one of the most diverse places I've ever been, and you will find someone who meets your unique brand of cool in gradview park). Tell anybody in the park that it's your first time on The Drive, and they'll probably let you hang out with them.
Grab food from all over the world (which is notably absent in Vancover, compared to Toronto, in many other parts of the city).
Walk around the streets, and check out the amazing backyard farms. Ask someone to show you around. They will.

If you have time, spend at least 2-3 days here. If you are "passing through," try chatting with some of the people who live here. Commercial drive isn't about the shops.
Commercial drive is about the people, and not the places. here, you'll find young people, artists trying to make it, old people who have lived here for 60 years, people of all linguistic/cultural backgrounds, hippies, computer programers, lawyers, students, bank tellers...everybody. The one thing they all have in common is a love for this neighbourhood, and the desire to live a bit more communally.

So, yeah, if you just walk around, you'll think it's awful here. I was bummed out when I first moved here, and walked around. I was unimpressed when I visited. But, now, I call this place home. Any tourist who has come to stay with us on the drive for more than a few days has been enchanted by it.
Come visit us. We'll like you, and we'll be happy to see you. :)

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank smfische
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Arty, mellow hippy town”
Reviewed 19 July 2013

We visited various areas of Vancouver before settling on a place to live, but I think it's safe to say Commercial Drive stole our hearts from the get-go.

I have SO much love for this place! Something we noticed travelling around was how each area of the city has a particular feel. If the bohemian hippy lifestyle resonates with you, Commercial Drive is definitely the place to be.

A particularly good place to come if you want to relax, unwind, and just take time out to appreciate life (...man), and home to a fantastic range of restaurants, not to mention some beautiful parks.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rhiarti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Why bother”
Reviewed 14 July 2013

If I were on a tight schedule, I would have been regretful for the time I spent visiting places such as commercial drive, Gastown, Granville Island and Chinatown. I enjoy nature the best and I don't care to see small independent shops. I was tempted to visit those places as they were high rated attractions and I had enough time. I thought I might find something interesting and special about them. That didn't happen.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank L0ve2TravelCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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