The name Kensington-Cedar Cottage refers to two areas: Kensington, named after a historic British palace, and Cedar Cottage named after a wooden cottage. Diversity is still a feature that is embraced by this wonderful neighbourhood! There is not just the ethnic mix of the population with its strong Asian presence, there is also an art colony, a Latin festival, and events put on by its inhabitants of European descent. Great restaurants abound, there are plenty of schools, and of course there is skating! Add to this the neighbourhood’s proximity to Downtown and we feel sure that you will easily take a shine to Kensington-Cedar Cottage.
Lying in the heart of East Vancouver, British Columbia, Kensington-Cedar Cottage is one of the more peace-loving and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in the city, with a population of around 50,000 people. Only about a third of these residents claim English as their mother tongue. Chinese is the mother tongue of roughly another third, and Vietnamese is predominant in Kensington-Cedar Cottage’s “Little Saigon” section of Kingsway.
Hosting a thriving art colony and cultural venues such as the German community’s Alpen Club and the Croatian Cultural Centre, this famously tolerant and welcoming area also hosts the annual Latin Summer Fest, Philippine Pinoy Fiesta parade, and colourful celebrations on National Aboriginal Day.
Covering over seven square kilometres, Kensington-Cedar Cottage is bordered by E. Broadway on the north, E. 41st Ave on the south, Nanaimo St on the east, and Fraser St on the west northwards until E. 15th Ave which is then followed to the east until Clark Drive which then completes the western boundary northwards up to Broadway. Kingsway is a main thoroughfare diagonally traversing this welcoming and unpretentious neighbourhood. Knight Street and Victoria Drive divide the neighbourhood into thirds.
This multi-cultural, tight-knit community is filled with local, independently-owned businesses that know their customers personally and welcome newcomers generously. Activities and events are promoted widely, with word-of-mouth spreading easily between cafes brimming with neighbours hanging out together, individuals working on their laptops and tablets, and parents chilling with the kiddies.
The many trendy restaurants in Kensington-Cedar Cottage include Amay’s House at 5076 Victoria Drive, offering Burmese and Asian Cuisine; Masayoshi at 4376 Fraser St, serving authentic sushi with a modern, multicultural twist; House of Dosas at 1391 Kingsway, which is very popular for its Indian cuisine, especially for its two-foot-long dosas made from fermented batter of rice and black lentils; Los Cuervos Taqueria and Cantina at 603 Kingsway, which is a popular place for hanging out with friends and enjoying the home-made salsas; and Les Faux Bourgeois at 663 15th Ave which was voted 2016’s Best French Restaurant by more than one magazine and which offers an exceptional dining experience.
As with all of Vancouver, house prices are high, but many homes in this neighbourhood offer a rental suite that helps homeowners generate revenue and offset costs. Homeowners represent 60 percent of residents, compared to the 40 percent which are renters. Homes are predominantly pre-1980 and classified as duplex. The majority of residents are families (49%), with many having children at home (63%). Couples make up 29 percent of the community, with a split of 51% females and 49% males. Singles represent 23% of the neighborhood, and the most populous age group (39%) is the 30-54 age range. The average income level of people in Kensington-Cedar Cottage is $50K-$150K, and 31% of residents are university graduates. The family-friendly community of Kensington-Cedar Cottage offers panoramic views from atop the east-west ridge of the city, descending to Hendry Park/Trout Lake’s beautiful urban park and shoreline. The area has a trendy, up-and-coming feel, with several partnerships between government and non-profit housing operators ensuring that more beautiful, affordable housing projects are in the works.
While Vancouver is a famously clean city, noise in Kensington-Cedar Cottage can be problematic due to traffic on the many main arteries bordering and crisscrossing the neighbourhood. Not only bordered by busy roads on every side, traffic-laden Kingsway runs diagonally through the heart of the community. And, equally congested, Knight Street and Victoria Drive guide commuters and commercial traffic straight through this bustling neighbourhood throughout the day and into much of the night.
For all its noise and traffic, Kensington-Cedar Cottage is a relatively peaceful neighbourhood, with a crime rate typically around 50 percent lower than Vancouver in general. In the month of August 2016, the most common crime was theft of items from automobiles.
Kensington-Cedar Cottage hosts ten elementary schools and one secondary school. Neighbourhood students attending Lord Selkirk, Selkirk Annex, and Tyee elementaries continue on to the local Gladstone Secondary school. Students attending Charles Dickens, Charles Dickens Annex, Sir Richard McBride, and McBride Annex go on to attend Sir Charles Tupper Secondary in neighbouring Riley Park. Students attending Tecumseh and Tecumseh Annex continue on to David Thompson Secondary School in neighbouring Victoria-Fraserview. Students from Sir Alexander Mackenzie continue on to attend John Oliver Secondary School in nearby Sunset neighbourhood.
Kensington-Cedar Cottage offers an average Walkscore of 76, and a great location close to Downtown, Main Street, and Commercial Drive. Two Skytrain stations serve the neighbourhood. The Nanaimo Skytrain station is at Nanaimo and 24th Ave, and the Broadway-Commercial station is at 10th Ave and Commercial Drive. Buses reach nearly every corner of this close-knit neighborhood, bringing everything Greater Vancouver has to offer within extremely easy reach. In true Vancouver style, the 033 bus serves 33rd Ave and the 041 bus serves 41st Ave travelling east and west. The 022 serves Knight St., the 020 serves Victoria Ave, the 019 serves Kingsway, and the 009 serves Broadway.
Famous for its colourful celebrations of diverse cultures, Kensington-Cedar Cottage also hosts farmers markets, festivals, and family-friendly community centres with sports facilities including baseball and soccer fields, a skating rink, a swimming pool, and tennis courts. Over 31 hectares are devoted to parks and green spaces in this fun-loving neighbourhood. As the only lake in Vancouver, John Hendry Park/Trout Lake is the crown jewel of Kensington-Cedar Cottage. The parks in the area include John Hendry Park/Trout Lake Beach which offers 27.31 hectares of recreation opportunities all year round including skating from September to March; Brewers Park which has 1.38 beautifully landscaped hectares separated into a sports area, a grassy area with playground, and a wading pool; Grays Park covers 1.61 hectares with winding paths leading to gardens, nature viewing areas, grassy areas, picnic areas, playgrounds, sports courts, and even a bowling green; and Jones Park which has 1.42 hectares of relaxing recreational space, including a playground area and a section of the Midtown Bikeway. Kensington-Cedar Cottage is a fun and colourful Vancouver neighbourhood, offering an excellent example of the exciting multicultural lifestyle for which Canada is world-famous!