Geographically, East Vancouver is bordered to the north by Burrard Inlet, to the south by the Fraser River, and to the east by the city of Burnaby. East Vancouver is divided from Vancouver's "West Side" (not to be confused with the "West End" of Downtown Vancouver or with West Vancouver) by Ontario Street.
Historically, East Vancouver has been the first home for many non-British immigrants since the 1880s. It was also a more affordable area and traditionally the home for many lower-income working class. The East Side is best summarized by its diversity – in family income, land use, ethnicity and mother tongue. The rapid increase in housing prices and gentrification may be affecting diversity of the area.
The City of Vancouver identifies seven communities as being entirely in the East Vancouver area: Grandview-Woodland, Hastings-Sunrise, Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Killarney, Renfrew-Collingwood, Strathcona and Victoria-Fraserview.
In addition to East Vancouver, the City of Vancouver is made up of the West End, Downtown, Downtown Eastside, and West Side. The Downtown area is further differentiated into Coal Harbour, Yaletown, Gastown, and other semi-distinct regions.
East Vancouver has a strong geographic and community identity. This identity is about a diverse community living together within a dynamic urban neighbourhood. This diverse identity is strengthened by many active ethnic communities, a vibrant artistic presence, a politically engaged youth population, and vocal sexual-orientation and gender-identity groups.
Increased housing prices are causing changes in East Vancouver neighbourhoods, such as fewer new immigrants moving to the area and decreasing affordability for artists, seniors, young families and others.
Rising prices throughout the city have produced challenges for new social housing projects. This has caused conflict where East Vancouver residents feel that social housing projects are disproportionately located in their communities versus areas in Vancouver's West Side, some of which have no social housing at all (Dunbar, Kerrisdale and Shaughnessy)