In the early 20th century, this street was the center of Vancouver's Italian community, and soon developed a reputation for the good food and street life.
Nowadays, Commercial Dr still sings of cultural diversity, but of a broader sort.
Portuguese, Latin American and South-East Asian restaurants and markets about between 1st and 12th Aves.
Further diversity is symbolized by rainbow flags hanging in shop windows and earnest political conversations echoing off veggie-cafe walls and coffee shops.
The Vancouver East Side Cultural Centre is a church converted into a avant-garde performance space that captures perfectly the area's left-of-center politics and artistic tastes.