Downtown is the north-west peninsula of Vancouver that is roughly a couple square miles in size. It has a grid layout of streets with Burrard Inlet to the North, English Bay to the West, False Creek to the South and the downtown East-side to the east. Starting from the North West, it is:

Stanley Park is the jewel of Vancouver. Comprising 400 hectares, it is one of the largest parks in a metropolitan area. It has a superb 6 mile seawall that is perfect for walking, running, rollerblading, cycling. Rentals are available just outside the gates at Georgia and Denman street. It has an excellent aquarium and many grassy parks to enjoy some frisbee or picnics.

Georgia Street is the main East West street. To the west it mostly residential towers, then it becomes mostly shopping stores or malls.

Coal Harbour is north of Georgia and East of Stanley Park. It has a boardwalk, a few restaurants with great water views (though usually not as good as could be food).

Robson Street is 2 blocks south of Georgia. It is the "hot" area of shopping Vancouver with all the expected outlets and great restaurants. Of note, Thurlow street has 2 starbucks kitty corner that one year where the top 2 profitable starbucks in Canada. Sadly for a local, Robson has completely lost the European/German feel it had a few decades ago when it was RobsonStrasse.

West End is the western part of downtown, running from Stanley Park to the North West, bounded by Georgia St. to the North and roughly Burrard St to the East. It has the wonderful English Bay, a wonderful beach. Denman street runs north south and Davie street runs east-west. These are the heart of the west end and have many great restaurants, shopping places, and is the centre of the thriving gay community.

Granville street is the main bus route, with Thurlow, Bute, Burrard, Hornby and Howe streets to the West (and in West to East order) and Seymour, Richards and Homer streets to the East. The main routes for cars going north are Seymour and Hornby, and going south are Richards and Howe streets. Granville st is the home of the downtown theater area, with movie theatres, the Commodore ballroom, the orpheum and vogue theaters. At Granville and Georgia is Pacific Centre mall, the main shopping mall of downtown.

Yaletown is a super trendy area of refurbished warehouses that is about 4 blocks east of Granville street and just north of False creek. There are many great restaurants, the trendy Opus Hotel, a number of tech companies. Cuban cigars are available. Parking is v. difficult.

False Creek is the body of water that separates downtown from vancouver. It has Science world at the east end, and has a boardwalk that continues from Stanley Park and ends at Kitsilano Pool. On the downtown side, it is the set of new, very new, and still being constructed condos that are part of Vancouvers huge building boom. An easy water taxi can transfer pedestrians to Granville Island and Science World

End of Georgia/Robsonis the much photographed Vancouver Library, GM Place (home of the Vancouver Canucks) and BC Place (home of the CFL BC Lions).

Gastown starts at Richards and Hastings (3 blocks to the north of Georgia) a funky touristy area with restaurants, shops, and the much photographed "steam clock".

Chinatown is east of GM place and Gastown, and has the old school chinese shops. It is sadly part of the downtown east-side, arguably Canada's worst ghetto with one of the highest crime rates in Canada. Vancouver has instituted a 4 pillars harm reduction strategy that will hopefully help reduce the tragedy of the many people in this area.

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