Finding the ideal rental apartment in Vancouver isn’t an easy feat.
Upon searching online, older buildings and basement suites are aplenty, but new rental properties offering premium features and exceptional amenities don’t come around too often.
Situated at the crossroads of Olympic Village and Mount Pleasant — at Wylie Street and West 2nd Avenue — W2 Living by Aurmon Development launched earlier this year, bringing with it a new level of sophistication you typically don’t see in a purpose-built rental building.
To get a firsthand experience of what it would be like to live at W2, we stayed in one of the building’s two-bedroom apartments, covering over 750 sq ft. Here’s how it went.
Before you even step inside the W2 building, its exterior architecture instantly impresses — brought to life by DYS Architecture. Standing at 12 storeys tall, with a total of 138 rental suites, it has a refined yet homely feel.
After entering the lobby and signing in at the 24-hour concierge desk, W2 felt more like a boutique hotel than a residential apartment building with marble design finishes, contemporary furniture, and dedicated management provided by Promont.
Cool, clean air filled the lobby, which we learned was a result of air conditioning and a PuraAir HEPA filtration system, eliminating dust, odours, and other contaminants. It’s worth noting that all homes and shared amenity spaces at W2 have air conditioning. A couple living in the building since June told Daily Hive this was “really nice during the heat dome.”
The building operates with keyless entry, meaning residents don’t have to worry about fumbling to find their keys when coming home or leaving their apartments. (This was a big game-changer for us; it meant using only one fob to enter the building, the elevator, and the door of our apartment for the weekend.)
One word came to mind when we entered the apartment: wow. This two-bedroom home had not one but two spacious bathrooms (with bathtubs and showers in both), a flex space ideal for a home office, and an open-plan kitchen and living area, plus a private balcony. The space felt palatial in comparison to the one-bedroom home we’re used to.
In our apartment, chic art prints lined the walls, adding pops of colour to the already elevated interior and complementing the lofty feel brought about by the high ceilings.
In the kitchen, you’ll find a high-end Bosch dishwasher and oven, a sleek ceramic cooktop, a Blomberg refrigerator, and a Panasonic microwave.
There’s also a high-efficiency Samsung washer and dryer for your laundry needs in every suite, as well as a closet containing additional storage space for your coats and sports gear. The built-in closets in both bedrooms offer plenty of space for individuals, or for couples sharing too, with sufficient floor space for shoe racks.
Something we really loved? The W2 Renter’s Manual. Every resident receives one of these guides when they move in, and it covers everything from how to get your WiFi set up (with one quick phone call), to the need-to-know about your appliances, to best practices for recycling in the ground-level recycling room.
The manual also included a helpful map of the surrounding area; we referenced this before visiting Nook on West 2nd Avenue and ordering a mouth-watering pizza and an Aperol spritz.
With many of us now working from home, having a comfortable environment free from distractions has never been more important. Residents at W2 have the pleasure of utilizing the on-site co-working space located on the ground floor, complete with high-speed internet, a massive sofa, and a selection of desks.
We spoke with a couple who transformed their den into a home office — with natural light flooding the space through the building’s expansive windows. Despite living in a one-bedroom apartment, they were able to make use of all their space and still have a large dining and lounge area where their cats played (yes, the building is pet-friendly). Another resident told us she was working from home in her studio, which was going very well for her.
Beyond the co-working space, residents have access to an amenities lounge on the seventh floor.
What’s more is that the lounge opens up to a striking rooftop area offering views of the downtown cityscape, complete with a plethora of tables and BBQs for residents to use. A number of W2 renters told us they already fired up the BBQ, and one resident even hosted a beer pong night on the rooftop after booking out the space — all residents have the ability to do this.
On the rooftop, there’s also a community garden. Fresh herbs are currently growing in the garden, and residents are free to pick some to elevate their home cooking. There will also be plots available in the future for those who wish to test their hand at gardening.
When residents aren’t enjoying the rooftop area, they have the option of using the gym covering over 1,000 sq ft on the ground level. Complete with state-of-the-art equipment and weights from Life Fitness, this wide-open, air-conditioned fitness centre has everything you need for a thorough workout session.
Down the hallway from the gym, we were impressed to see a loading bay exclusively for move-ins, offering residents an area to unload their moving boxes without having to come in and out through the main entrance of the building.
And downstairs in the parkade, there are EV charging spots available. “I have an electric car, and that was a big draw [for choosing W2] because it’s really nice to be able to plug in the car in the parking stall that we use,” noted a resident.
While we had just one weekend (and two restful nights of sleep) to take in the essence of W2 Living, we discovered that it checks the boxes for everything a resident could want in a new rental building, and it exceeded our expectations. Now, when can we move in?