Bounded by Cambie Street to the west and Clark Drive to the east, Second Avenue and Great Northern Way to the north and 16th Avenue and Kingsway to the south, Mount Pleasant is one of Vancouver's oldest neighbourhoods and considered by some to be the city's first suburb. Home to several breweries, creeks and fish-bearing streams in the late 1800s, hence its original nickname Brewery Creek, the area was annexed by the city in 1911 and grew into a bustling working class neighbourhood, luring first-time homeowners with more affordable real estate than on the city's West Side.
By the 1970s and '80s, Mount Pleasant had lost much of its bloom, garnering an unwanted reputation for its dilapidated houses, seedy back alleys and street prostitution. But as is often the case, cheap rent and real estate once again gave way to an influx of young families, first-time home buyers, independent business owners and creative types.
By the 1990s, gentrification was in full swing, and by the early 2000s new breeds of Mount Pleasant residents began shaping the neighbourhood and its image - developers, amateur real estate speculators, condo-flippers and that broad stereotype of the Pabst Blue Ribbon-swilling, fixed gear bike-riding Main Street hipster. Efforts to rebrand the area as SOMA (South of Main) have been met with mixed reactions, and the area is ground zero for the city's so-called east-west divide, which occurs along Ontario Street.
With its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, heritage homes, condo developments, pedestrian friendly streets and accessibility to transit including the 10th Avenue Bike Route, the 99 B-Line bus and the Canada Line, Mountain Pleasant has become one the city's hottest real estate markets.
Depending on whom you ask, the community is undergoing a "rapid and exciting transformation" or at risk of losing the very characteristics that made it attractive in the first place, as witnessed by the heated debate over the proposed RIZE condo tower and the expansion of the Kingsgate Mall proposal.
Whatever the case, Mount Pleasant continues to charm. In November it was announced that social media company Hootsuite had outgrown its Railtown nest and struck a deal with the city to move its head office to a 33,000-square-foot, two-storey office building in near Main and Broadway, ushering in yet another phase of this ever-changing neighbourhood.
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