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News flash: Location is important. But how to decide the right location for you? a tour of six very busy neighbourhoods

The Drive, as locals call it, is the hub of the city's working-class east side. A dozen blocks east of Chinatown, Commercial intersects East Hastings and runs south to Broadway. At first glance it looks like little more than the slightly rough-around-the-edges blue-collar neighbourhood it is.

"We fit in because people who come to Commercial Drive consider themselves eclectic and cutting-edge," says Ms. Sylvest. "People come to Commercial Drive because it's rejecting the mainstream globalization of marketing. It's one of the few places left in Vancouver where the businesses are small, independent or family owned."

Although the bulk of Vancouver's gay businesses and residents are clustered in the West End, another popular queer part of town is Commercial Drive. Once the home of Vancouver's ethnic Italian community, this area has since become a center for urban hipsters of all sexual orientations, with a particular preponderance of lesbians.