West End: The neighbourhood at a glance

If only English-born John Morton, Samuel Brighouse and William Hailstone had known what would one day become of the forested property they purchased on the Burrard Peninsula in 1862, which today makes up the citys West End.

Today the neighbourhood is typically considered everything west of Burrard Street, east of Stanley Park, south of Georgia Street and north of English Bay.

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Despite the fact much of the West End was built largely in the 1930s, the area wasnt officially established until 1969. The West End is spread over 204 hectares, making up 35 per cent of the downtown peninsula, not including Stanley Park.

In 1927, a policy was introduced to keep buildings to a maximum of six storeys, which is responsible for the many vintage walk-ups still visible on every block. When that cap was lifted in 1957, it made way for the construction of highrises and eventually the West End became the most densely populated neighbourhood in the city.

But with residential towers being built across the city, today the West End ranks fourth as far as density goes with an average of 217 residents per hectare. (The most dense is Downtown, which includes Yaletown.) According to the 2011 census, the population two years ago was 44,543, a small decline from the 44,556 recorded in 2006.

Compared to the rest of the city, fewer residents are employed in trades and instead find employment in jobs such as sales and service, business and administration, finance, social science and religion, among others.

English is the mother tongue of 61.3 per cent of the population compared to an average 49.1 across the city. The median household income is $38,581 and the number of one-person households is 59.1 compared to the city average of 38.6.

There are fewer children and more singles living in the West End compared to the rest of the city. And while the area is home to many seniors, its residents aged 20 to 39 that make up almost 50 per cent of the population. Seniors account for only 13 per cent. Davie Village is home to the citys largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual population and related shops and services.

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