Main Street is the name of a major north-south thoroughfare bisecting Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It runs from Waterfront Road by Burrard Inlet in the north, to Kent Avenue alongside the north arm of the Fraser River in the south.
Beginning at Port of Vancouver terminals near the nexus of the city's historic Downtown Eastside and Gastown districts, the street passes south, intersecting Hastings Street and on through Chinatown. South of here, Main intersects the Georgia Viaduct and travels under a SkyTrain Station, about a block away from Science World. At Terminal Avenue it rises into the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of the city, and a mixture of small commercial and light industrial businesses. Past Broadway, the street passes through a mixed residential and commercial district. Formerly surrounded by blue-collar neighbourhoods, many of the establishments are now more upscale or hip, including many antique and vintage goods, cafes, etc.. Between 33rd Avenue and 41st Avenue, the street becomes decidedly more residential, and reaches its topographical summit near Nat Bailey Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Park. South of 41st, the street enters the Sunset neighbourhood, and takes on a markedly Indo-Canadian character. Just north of 49th Avenue Main begins to pass through the heart of the Punjabi Market district. South of here to Southeast Marine Drive, the street again becomes predominantly residential.
As the street approaches Marine, the character changes dramatically to large commercial establishments, notably a big-box Real Canadian Superstore supermarket. Just south of Marine to its southern terminus, the neighbourhood is a mixture of light and heavy industry and warehouses.
The north end of Main Street is located just west of the historic site of Hastings Mill, the nucleus around which Granville, later Vancouver, grew. In its earliest days, the intersection of Main and Hastings Streets was the centre of downtown Vancouver, boasting the city's central public library (now the Carnegie Centre) and — a few blocks away — the old City Hall. The intersection of Main and Hastings is now a local byword for the poverty, addictions, homelessness, and prostitution often associated with the Downtown Eastside.
Originally known as False Creek Road, the throughfare later was renamed "Westminster Avenue" (so-called because, at the time, it ran to New Westminster). It received its present name in 1911 at the behest of local merchants, who thought that it bestowed a more cosmopolitan air to the neighbourhood.