Well known for its Italian heritage, Commercial Drive is a culturally-rich hive of activity with theatre, music, dinner, dancing, festivals and nightlife.
The Drive is located in the heart of the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood, with the market area encompassing Nanaimo Street (east), East Broadway (south), Clark Drive (west) and Powell/Wall Streets (north). It is easily accessible by SkyTrain on both the Expo and Millennium Lines.
The neighbourhood is an attractive one for families with younger children, but it’s also hugely popular with students and younger workers in the creative and service industries.
Population by Age
A total of 28,529 residents live in the Commercial Drive catchment area. A fast-growing neighbourhood, it has seen population growth of 9.4%, nearly double Vancouver (4.6%) and Metro Vancouver (6.5%). The dominant age group is 30-34.
Language & Ethnic Origin
English is the dominant language spoken in the home by Commercial Drive area residents (82.6%); this is significantly higher than Vancouver (66.4%) and Metro Vancouver (66.5%). 80% of residents reported Western European heritage.
Reflecting the younger demographic that live here, only 47% of Commercial Drive households are comprised of families. This is much lower than Vancouver (57%) and Metro Vancouver (71%). The average number of persons per household is 2.0.
Education & Occupation
The most common education level attained by Commercial Drive residents is tied between high school certificate (23%) and Bachelor’s degree (23%). In total, 41% of residents have some university education, which is slightly below the city (43%) but higher than the region (34%).
Income & Spending
The most common household income for Commercial Drive residents is $50,000 to $59,999 per year. This is substantially lower than Vancouver and Metro Vancouver (both $100,000 to $124,999). As a result, the average annual expenditure per household ($65,675) is lower than the city ($84,710) and region ($87,106).
The Drive can accommodate most business types thanks to six separate zoning designations. 100% of the floor space in the BIA is licensed for commercial use.
Most Commercial Drive area residents are renters (64%) as compared to Vancouver (53%) and Metro Vancouver (36%). Apartments are the dominant type of housing (85%), slightly higher than Vancouver (80%) and much higher than Metro Vancouver (58%).
Considered the spiritual home of Vancouver Italian community, The Drive has a rich and authentic history. It’s home to the York Theatre and The Cultch, while many restaurants also hold live bands and open mic nights. For outdoor sports and recreation, Trout Lake is a popular destination.
Doing Business Here
Commercial Drive BIA is home to 497 businesses, an increase of 8% since 2011. Retail, accommodation & food service, and health care & social assistance businesses comprise 82% of all businesses within the BIA. This is significantly higher than Vancouver (40%) and Metro Vancouver (27%).
Commercial Business Size
A strong home for small business, 56.6% of all businesses in the BIA are classified as “micro businesses” with fewer than five employees. 39% of businesses have 5-20 employees, while 6% have 21-50 employees.
Commercial Drive’s proximity to the downtown core and access to major transit lines is reflected in mid-range lease rates for local businesses. These fall anywhere between $30 and $48 per sq. ft.