The formerly working-class neighbourhood of Hastings-Sunrise which stretches from Nanaimo Street east to Boundary Road, and Burrard Inlet south to East Broadway has been considered one to watch for at least five years. En Route magazine listed the area as one of "Canadas next great neighbourhoods" last year, although all of the highlighted businesses rest on the Grandview-Woodland side of Nanaimo.
Last year the Hastings North Business Improvement Association controversially rebranded the commercial area, between Renfrew and Commercial Drive, East Village.
Laughing Bean Coffee at East Hastings and Slocan has long been a local favourite while newer restaurants on the edge of Hastings-Sunrise that include The Red Wagon and Tacofino Commissary draw diners to the vicinity. The beloved but now defunct Nanaimo/Vancouver band Apollo Ghosts, even released an album called Hastings Sunrise in 2008.
Hastings-Sunrise was once home to a popular resort that attracted loggers, mill workers and vacationers. The settlement, named Hastings Townsite in 1869 in honour of visiting Admiral G.F. Hastings, remained a leisure destination through the turn of the century with visitors enjoying the hotel and racetrack in Hastings Park, according to the BIAs website. A new subdivision called Sunrise Ridge near First Avenue prompted the Hastings-Sunrise name in the 1940s, according to historian John Atkin. He believes the city adopted the name in the 1960s. The Pacific National Exhibition tradeshow for dairy farmers, logging and horticultural demonstrations started in 1910.
Hastings-Sunrise, an ethnically diverse and primarily a residential area, is home to larger numbers of Cantonese, Vietnamese and Italian speakers than other Vancouver neighbourhoods. A handful of businesses that are more than 40 years old operate in Hastings-Sunrise. Italian delis, grocery shops and a large T&T Asian supermarket, which reflects the shift in immigrant settlement in the vicinity, also operate in the area.
While traffic thunders down East Hastings, Nanaimo and Dundas streets, residential roads and lanes burst with colourful and plentiful gardens.