Neighbourhood Search

Search All Listings

Buyer Resources

Neighbourhood Pages

Real Estate Matters

Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Commercial Drive is a roadway in the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada that goes through the neighbourhood of Grandview-Woodland. However, the neighbourhood is so dominated by the businesses, cultural facilities, and residents along Commercial Drive that the area is far better known as "The Drive" than by the civic boundaries. The district is one of Vancouver's Business Improvement Areas (BIA).

The district is served by many different bus routes, as well as both the SkyTrain's Expo Line and Millennium Line at Commercial–Broadway Station.

Commercial Drive is a mixed residential-commercial area with a high proportion of ethnic and vegetarian restaurants, businesses, and public housing. The area has low property prices compared to the westside of Vancouver, yet has good city services and is a local transit hub. It has been the destination for generations of immigrants to Vancouver and has significant Italian, Asian, Latin America, East Indian, and African communities. As of the Canada 2001 Census, English is a minority language in Grandview-Woodland, though still the most common.

Commercial Drive has a large number of local ethnic stores and community groups, Edwardian-style heritage buildings, European-style cafes, bars, and alternative shops and entertainment venues. As of late August 2007, there are 93 restaurants on Commercial Drive between Venables and Broadway, of which 19 are coffee bars.

It is home to an active street festival culture; notable annual events include the Vancouver Dyke March in August and the Parade of the Lost Souls in October. It also plays host to Vancouver's only queer spoken word and musician performance night, Unsweetened (and Outspoken). The Drive is a popular place for Vancouverites who want to experience a safe version of North American counter-culture.

History

The Drive was originally a skid road for dragging logs to the harbour. It was named "Park Drive" but renamed "Commercial Drive" in 1911, possibly to avoid confusion with other Park Drives in Vancouver. Commercial Drive ends in the south at 16th Avenue, the former end of Vancouver/start of City of South Vancouver, when it diverts to Victoria Drive. A limited light industrial Commercial Street carries on to 22nd Avenue, and around the Selkirk school there, until 54th Avenue as a residential street.

In 1891 the Drive became part of the Vancouver-New Westminster Interurban, a streetcar line. The streetcar line encouraged the growth of local businesses and residences, an influence that is still felt today. Two streetcar lines ran down Commercial—there was the Interurban line to Westminster along Kingsway, and the Interurban line via Burnaby Lake. There were also numerous city lines, which continue today as trolleybuses. The Interurban ceased operation in 1954.

During the pre-World War One period, a number of speculators—including McSpadden and Odlum (both of whom have nearby streets named for them) -- attempted to turn the Grandview neighbourhood, centered on the Drive, into a real estate area comparable to the West End and the newly opened Shaughnessy Heights. The global financial collapse around 1913 put an end to their hopes.

Commercial Drive was the centre of a prosperous suburb during the 1920s, but declined during the Great Depression and never significantly recovered until World War II. One result of this is a significant number of historical buildings and residences in the area. Commercial Drive was originally closer to the centre of town—town being located at Main and Hastings. Since then the focus of town has moved west. Commercial Drive included market gardens, sash and door factories, light industrial, rooming houses, dairies, orchards and open fields. In the urban sprawl of the 1950s the open areas were filled in.

After World War II many Italian immigrants settled in eastern Vancouver, and the northern part of Commercial Drive came to be known as "Little Italy". A sizable Portuguese community came to the area as well. During the 1960s, immigration from Asian countries began to dilute the European influence. A wave of Latino immigrants came in the 1980s as a result of the turmoil and civil wars in Central America. Many came from South America as well—the Mercosur Republics. Vietnamese nationals immigrated as well.

Throughout the 1980s, The Drive attracted a large counter-culture demographic, including political activists, lesbians, hippies, punks, and artists. Around the turn of the millennium, local outlets of multi-national companies became the target of anti-globalization protesters and civil disobedience campaigns. SkyTrain opened into the neighbourhood with Broadway Station in December 1985. Market forces and the ongoing squalor, drugs and crime of the nearby neighbourhood Downtown Eastside spilled over to the Drive with an increase of panhandling, drunkenness, heroin use and trafficking, litter and filth. Meanwhile, gentrification also came to the district with new condominium housing projects and new storefronts replacing old woodframe stores.

In 2002, many restaurant owners were upset with the infamous "dancing police"; bylaw enforcement officers who ticketed establishments hosting any dancing to live music. In late 2004, Commercial Drive gained national notoriety when the media complained that several cafes there were openly selling marijuana. As of 2005, there are still very few large retail or restaurant chains on Commercial Drive. The Da Kine, an Amsterdam style cafe, was raided by police and owner Carol Gwilt charged with trafficking. She was eventually sentenced to prison. The issue has publicised the city's lack of enforcement of Canadian drug laws, and demonstrated a commitment to its stated "Four Pillars" drug strategy.

In early summer 2005, Commercial Drive hosted its first car-free festival, in which 16 blocks were cleared of all vehicles and tens of thousands of people celebrated with walks, dancing, and food. The festival has since become an annual event, expanding to other parts of the city in 2008, and as of 2009, the Drive and Main St are to host car-free days every Sunday afternoon throughout July and August.

The upper Drive at Broadway has turned into the city's busiest crossroad with the arrival of the second SkyTrain or Millennium Line. This transit system, combined with the B-Line Express bus on Broadway made for a spike in foot-traffic.

Today Commercial Drive is a multicultural and urban area.

Commercial Drive Listings

Vancouver Commercial Drive

1-10/111
  • 206 1928 E 11TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE Condo for sale in "Lakeview Court" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2282285

    Open House on Saturday, June 23, 2018 11:00AM - 1:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, June 24, 2018 11:00AM - 1:00PM
    Main Photo: 206 1928 E 11TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE Condo for sale in "Lakeview Court" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2282285
    $639,900
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2282285
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    848 sq. ft.
    BRIGHT UPPER CORNER UNIT IN GREAT LOCATION! Close to Commercial Drive & Broadway, skytrain, shopping, Trout Lake, Bicycle trails. This well maintained building has been fully rainscreened in 2011 with new windows, doors, balconies, roof. This bright & cheery corner unit features hardwood floors and lots of windows to let the natural light in. Nice size balcony to enjoy your summer BBQ. Gas fireplace in the living/dining room (gas incl in strata fees). Spacious master br and small 2nd br (no closet). Lots of closets and storage in the suite, in-suite laundry room, 1 parking, 1 locker, bike room. 2 pets allowed. Make this beautiful condo your home and enjoy being in a private setting close to everything. OPEN Sat/Sun June 23/24 from 11AM - 1PM. More details
    Listed by Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
  • 1748 PARKER Street in Vancouver: Grandview VE House 1/2 Duplex for sale in "Commercial Drive" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2281922

    Open House on Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:30PM - 7:00PM
    Open House on Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 1748 PARKER Street in Vancouver: Grandview VE House 1/2 Duplex for sale in "Commercial Drive" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2281922
    $1,479,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281922
    Bedrooms:
    3
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    1,449 sq. ft.
    Unmistakeable Earl Cunningham design in the heart of Commercial Drive, with trademark exposed wood and a mix of natural materials used throughout the home. Quite simply if you are looking for ordinary, look somewhere else because this home is full of amazing character second to none. Bathrooms and kitchen have been recently updated with simplicity not to take away from the original design. Quartz countertops, s/s appliances, gas range and beautiful wood cabinets make for a tasteful kitchen open to a horseshoe design floor plan. Adjoining living and dining areas have magnificent 3 tone hardwood flooring. Wonderful fenced front yard sits under a Japanese maple tree canopy & bonus finished garage could be a sound studio // Opening Night Thurs 5:30-7 // Open June 23 & 24th 2-4PM. Come on by! More details
    Listed by Engel & Volkers Vancouver
  • 203 1429 E 4TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE Condo for sale in "Sandcastle Villa" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2281751

    Open House on Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 203 1429 E 4TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE Condo for sale in "Sandcastle Villa" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2281751
    $450,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281751
    Bedrooms:
    1
    Bathrooms:
    1
    Floor Area:
    633 sq. ft.
    Fantastic Location - Commercial Drive - walk to all your favourite spots - including restaurants, coffee shops, community centre - and transportation - This freshly painted, spacious 1 bedroom has been well maintained by the current owner for many years - and is ready for your ideas - a great place to call home - pets are welcome - 1 dog or 2 cats. The building is well managed with new roof last year - pipes and windows have also been updated. Easy to show. OPEN HOUSE WEDNESDAY JUNE 20 FROM 530-630 AND SUNDAY JUNE 24 FROM 2-4. More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Crest Realty
  • 1180 SEMLIN Drive in Vancouver: Grandview VE House 1/2 Duplex for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2281062

    Open House on Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 1180 SEMLIN Drive in Vancouver: Grandview VE House 1/2 Duplex for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2281062
    $998,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281062
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    852 sq. ft.
    Desirable neighborhood, and Rarely available, this Heritage designed 1/2 duplex is nestled on one of Commercial Drive's quietest streets, surrounded by beautiful character homes and great neighbors. Immaculately kept with a great open floor plan, polished stone counters, HW floors, Vaulted ceilings & Skylights on Upper level, lovely Front Porch overlooking the private yard and fruit trees, makes for a wonderful extension for outdoor entertaining. Bonus detached garage with w alley access plus 426 sqft of crawl space below main. Be part of this vibrant community full of great culture & festivals. Short walk to eateries, cafes, green grocers, transit, public & private schools and more. OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 2-4pm. More details
    Listed by Park Georgia Realty Ltd.
  • 2020 E 6TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE House for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2281926

    $1,798,000
    Residential Detached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281926
    Bedrooms:
    4
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    2,108 sq. ft.
    Welcome to this this 1930 classic located on the nicest tree lined street in Grandview. The location is fantastic just a few blocks to: Commercial Drive, Broadway skytrain station, Trout Lake community centre, John Hendry Park, 4 blocks away from the highly ranked Queen Victoria Annex elementary. Renovated in 2002 which includes new electrical, plumbing, a finished 2 bdrm suite (house rents for $4,000.00 per mnth). This house features: oak hardwood flooring, a gas fireplace, bright newer kitchen with eating area, large dining room, lots of wood molding throughout, and some original cabinetry with leaded glass. New zoning restore house and get three strata properties 0.85% SFR, or just build a 1000 sqft coach house that can be sold separately. Open house Sat June 30th 2-4 pm. More details
    Listed by Sutton Centre Realty
  • 1859 SEMLIN Drive in Vancouver: Grandview VE House for sale in "THE DRIVE" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2281373

    Open House on Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:00PM - 7:00PM
    Open House on Saturday, June 23, 2018 12:00PM - 2:00PM
    Open House on Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    $1,698,000
    Residential Detached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281373
    Bedrooms:
    3
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    1,933 sq. ft.
    Commercial Drive Character Home. Corner lot, private setting in duplex zoning -with legal suite. Main floor has open-plan living hardwood floors. new kitchen. stainless appliances. original cabinets & built-in office area. 2 beds on main with large closets & organizers, updated bath with in-floor heat. new vanity. sink & re-finished claw-foot tub. Lower level contains a legal suite which can be used as part of your living space or as a mortgage helper. ln the backyard is a detached studio with endless possibilities. art studio. office. workshop. photography, home business. etc. Best convenient location. walking distance to coffee shop. restaurants. park. schools and grocery store .. Can't find a better home for your family. Open: Thu 6-7 pm; Sat: 12-2 pm; Sun 2-4 pm. More details
    Listed by Macdonald Realty Westmar
  • 2245 E 7TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE House for sale in "COMMERCIAL DRIVE" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2281227

    Open House on Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 2245 E 7TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE House for sale in "COMMERCIAL DRIVE" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2281227
    $1,799,000
    Residential Detached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281227
    Bedrooms:
    4
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    2,166 sq. ft.
    Come live on ‘7th HEAVEN’ - one of The Drive’s most beautiful tree-lined streets in a nicely maintained & upgraded character home. The airy open floor plan features a grand foyer, fir floors, cozy fireplace, high ceilings & a dining room big enough for the whole family. The spacious kitchen has s/s appliances, gas range & access to the cool sundeck. Upstairs has 3 good sized bedrooms with nice fir floors & a large bath with charming clawfoot tub & sep shower. The lower level has laundry + a self contained 1 bedrm suite. The fantastic private yard oasis has deck, patio, trees, gorgeous landscaping & single garage. A short stroll to Skytrain, Donald’s market, Trout Lake Laura, Secord elem, Van Tech high & the city’s best coffee, beer & pizza. A great family home in a fantastic location! OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY JUNE 24TH 2-4PM! More details
    Listed by RE/MAX Select Realty
  • 1588 E 10 Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE House 1/2 Duplex for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2281014

    $1,788,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2281014
    Bedrooms:
    4
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    1,950 sq. ft.
    Good location, close to everything, good revenue and good potential holding (now RT%, future higher)...land size 3239 sq ft, building almost 2000 sq ft, 3 bedroom suite and 2 bedroom suite, no maintenance fee. More details
    Listed by Saba Realty Ltd.
  • 2 1296 SALSBURY Drive in Vancouver: Grandview VE Condo for sale in "THE JEFFS RESIDENCES" (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2280441

    Main Photo: 2 1296 SALSBURY Drive in Vancouver: Grandview VE Condo for sale in "THE JEFFS RESIDENCES" (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2280441
    $988,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2280441
    Bedrooms:
    2
    Bathrooms:
    2
    Floor Area:
    866 sq. ft.
    The Jeffs Residence! a limited collection of 20, historically inspired Rowhomes & Manor Residences in the heart of Commercial Drive. This top floor corner unit has lots of natural light throughout the day, with views of the North Shore Mountains and City. This home includes: Granite Countertops, Vaulted Ceilings, Frameless Glass Shower Enclosures, Gas Fireplace & Engineered Floors, Vancouver Wall Beds Storage, In-suite Washer & Dryer & more! Also included with this home is One Underground Secure Parking Stall, One Storage Locker, Individual Hot Water Tank (Gas) and a Security System. The building is on a quiet street and only minutes to Parks, Schools, Shopping and more! More details
    Listed by One Percent Realty Ltd.
  • 1388 E 7TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE House 1/2 Duplex for sale (Vancouver East) : MLS®# R2280688

    Open House on Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM
    Main Photo: 1388 E 7TH Avenue in Vancouver: Grandview VE House 1/2 Duplex for sale (Vancouver East)  : MLS®# R2280688
    $1,688,000
    Residential Attached
    Status:
    Active
    MLS® Num:
    R2280688
    Bedrooms:
    4
    Bathrooms:
    3
    Floor Area:
    2,060 sq. ft.
    Location! Location! Central to both Broadway & VVC Clark Sky-train station. This Side by Side 1/2 duplex offer Open layout, Quartz countertops and granite flooring plus stainless steel appliances. Good installation spray foam, Radiant heating and Security camera system. Private fence front and back yard. One bedroom suite can be used as mortgage helper. Call for your private showing. More details
    Listed by Royal Pacific Tri-Cities Rlty
1-10/111
Listing information last updated on June 21, 2018 at 03:21 AM (UTC)

Inside Vancouver Neighbourhoods: Commercial Drive