Too often Vancouver's laneways are relegated to dumpsters, commercial loading bays, and parking-garage exits—in other words, they're something to be avoided, especially at night.
That's why we're saying "right on" to to a group of Vancouverites working to turn a few East Van back alleys into thriving hubs of art, markets, and cafe culture for a few evenings this month.
The fun is set to happen between 5 and 9 p.m. in Mount Pleasant, amid the south-north corridor from Broadway to East 8th Avenue, just west of Main.
There you'll find the Laneway Night Markets, inspired by those back-street pedestrian ways you've likely stumbled on travelling everywhere from Melbourne to Tokyo to Amsterdam—but never expected to find here.
On the roster this Saturday (July 16) is hula-hooping, live music, and displays by artists who are part of the annual studio tour, The Drift. Expect to see everything from ice cream to chai, with the sidewalk patio spaces of nearby restaurants like Eight ½ and Nice Café all connecting.
The project is the brainchild of Livable Laneways, Vancouver Design Nerds, Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area, and VIVA Vancouver.
And if this series takes off, we can think of many more dumpy, underused laneways that could stand some livening up, too.