3 Kitsilano neighbourhoods south of the border


Ballard Locks, Ballard, Seattle. Image credit: Nws.usace.army.mil

Ballard Locks, Ballard, Seattle. Image credit: Nws.usace.army.mil

We love our neighbourhood. The neighbourhoods listed below offer something similar to our spectacular and unique Kitsilano, including a beautiful and convenient location, excellent restaurants and shops, and a hip, and health-focused vibe. Have a read. These places are worth a visit for your next quick getaway.

3 Kitsilano Neighbourhoods South of the Border


1. Ballard, Seattle, Washington
Established in 1853, historic Ballard was once home to a thriving maritime industry. With its Scandinavian roots still evident in the local architecture (and at the Nordic Heritage Museum), this neighbourhood northwest of downtown Seattle is one of the city’s most popular.

During the day you’ll find stroller-pushing parents, 30-something singletons, and college alternative-types walking along shop-lined Ballard Avenue and Market Street. At night many head to one of nearly a dozen microbreweries south of NW 50th Street between 17th and 15th ave.

Ballard is also home to the Ballard Locks and Golden Gardens Park. The latter a large waterfront green space with amazing views of the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound. Add the year-round Ballard Farmers Market, a line-up of tasty food trucks, plus some of Seattle’s best restaurants, and this neighbourhood is sounding a lot like our own. What’s the average price of a single-family home in Ballard? US$575,000 (CAD$827,000) and rising.

2. Hawthorne, Portland, Oregon
While Portland has quite a few notable neighbourhoods with similar traits to Kitsilano (Nob Hill, Mount Tabor, Pearl District, etc.), we will try to focus on one particularly popular spot – the counter-culture Hawthorne District.

Tree-lined streets with original Arts and Crafts-style homes, laid-back and friendly folk, and a Boulevard packed with independently owned shops and cafes. That’s what this Southeast Portland neighbourhood is all about. It’s also been seeing its fair share of gentrification over the last few years, just like Kitsilano has.

Powell’s Books has a branch here, ¿Por Qué No? taqueria is worth the wait in line, and the 1920s Bagdad Theater is the place to watch the new Star Wars movie (while enjoying a beer and a slice of vegan pizza from the ornate balcony). And did we mention that Portland has zero sales tax? What’s the average price of a single-family home in Hawthorne? US$350,000 (CAD$503,000) and rapidly rising.

3. Haight Ashbury and Cole Valley, San Francisco, California

Together, the adjacent Frisco neighbourhoods Haight Ashbury and Cole Valley evoke Kitsilano. Haight Ashbury has the hippie legacy, painted wooden houses, and the stand-out independent record store/concert venue Amoeba Music, surrounded by an influx of upscale boutiques. Nearby Cole Valley is a tightly knit community of largely families and young professionals.

Many of the businesses in Cole Valley are mom-and-pops. Food and coffee are the specialties in Cole Valley. As in Kitsilano, many of these are destination restaurants. Dry Zazie for a superb French brunch. In the three-block commercial strip along Cole Street and part of Carl Street, there are more than a dozen restaurants and cafés, which draw visitors from around the Bay Area. Cole Valley, like Kits, is also know for its views of downtown.

Last modified: January 20, 2016

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