Monday, June 16, 2014

My Little Italy

Today I am going to show you more photos from Italian Days on the Drive. I am also going to tell you a little about this area of town.

Prior to the 1930s, Italian immigrants settled mainly in the Strathcona district of Vancouver. However, on the 40s and 50s, mainly of these newcomers moved to the northern area of Commercial Drive. The Italians who moved here opened businesses and restaurants and are credited with revitalizing the area.

Little Italy, as this part of town was known, became a real ethnic Italian enclave. By the 1960s, more Italian businesses were springing up in the Hastings and Nanaimo area although Commercial Drive remained the cultural core. Ethnic Italians were influential in this area from the 1940s to the mid 1970s.

A number of things changed during the 70s though. Many different cultures began to move into the Grandview-Woodland area. In addition, a schism in the Italian community led to the decline of Italian influence and concentration in the Little Italy.

I lived in this area, not far from where I am now, for part of 1984 and '85. There seemed to be more Italians in the area at that time then there are now. That doesn't mean that the Italian influence is gone because far from it. Not only does the Italian days still attract a lot of people but there are businesses on the Drive that have an Italian influence. From coffee shops to Italian bakeries - the influence of these earlier inhabitants is still strong. Sometimes, though not as often as before, I will still see little old Italian ladies doing their shopping at one of the numerous vegetable and fruit stores on the Drive.

So if you are in Vancouver, don't forget to visit Commercial Drive. It is a vibrant area full of restaurants where you can eat food from every corner of the world. It is an exciting mixture of nationalities and cultures. Hopefully, one of the many festivals held here will be on at that time and you can really see the personality of the area.

I want to thank Wikipedia for the above information.

 I hope you find the beauty around you.


  1. Such is the same in many States in the United States. Many different cultures in various areas. Like California. I love all the different cultures and wish to know more here in my own country and visit each area. Thanks Karen for letting us peek into your world.

    1. Thank you for continuing to be such a loyal reader.