Fairview: The neighbourhood at a glance

Vancouver’s Fairview neighborhood earned its name in the late 1800s, when “fair” still meant beautiful and views were unobstructed.

The community is bordered by Burrard Street to the west, Cambie Street to the east, and stretches north to south from False Creek to 16th Avenue.

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The neighbourhoods of False Creek, Burrard Slopes, Fairview Slopes and Fairview Heights all fall within
Fairview.

The community’s cross streets take their names — such as Fir and Alder Streets — from the thick forest of trees the Canadian Pacific Railway felled 125 years ago to make way for its terminals. The area was soon dominated by sawmills, shipbuilding yards and woodworking plants.

Its industrial history is still evident in Fairview, as anyone who has dodged a cement truck on Granville Island can attest.

With the opening of the Granville Street Bridge in 1889 and the Cambie Street Bridge in 1891, Fairview developed into Vancouver’s first suburb where the city’s powerful, such as British physician Sir Dr. John Reid and his wife Lady Georgina Hill-Reid (who founded the Vancouver Council of Women) built their homes. The Reid home still sits at 1151 West Eighth Ave.

In the 1970s and ’80s rezoning allowed for different housing options in Fairview, including the low-rise apartments that have since become a fixture in the area’s real-estate market.

The community is home to approximately 32,000, residents, 56 per cent of whom are women.

Many residents are employed by Fairview’s medical centres, which are clustered around Vancouver General Hospital, including the B.C. Cancer Agency, the B.C. Cancer Research Centre and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Fairview also has the unique distinction of being home base for the Vancouver Courier, WE and the Georgia Straight newspapers, as well as the non-profit magazine Adbusters.
 

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