'Kitsilano' is derived from 'Xats'alanexw', the name of a Sḵwxwú7mesh chief. The area has been home to the Sḵwxwú7mesh (usually known in English as the Squamish) for thousands of years. There is still a small amount of Indian reserve land at the foot of the Burrard Street Bridge, called senakw (usually spelled Snauq historically) in the Sḵwxwú7mesh language, where Xats'alanexw, also known as August Jack Khatsahlano, lived.
The Kitsilano neighborhood is home to many young families and students as well as yoga studios, organic markets, cafes and Vancouver's Greektown. The primary type of residence is multi-unit housing.
Kitsilano is bordered to the north by two beaches, Kitsilano Beach and Jericho Beach on the shores of English Bay and extends south to 16th Avenue. It is bordered on the east by Burrard Street and on the west by Alma Street.
In addition to its residential areas and beaches, Kitsilano is home to two distinct commercial strips with shops, restaurants and other services. The first is along West 4th Avenue between Burrard and Balsam Streets, while the other, sometimes known as West Kitsilano, is located along West Broadway between Macdonald and Alma Streets.
Canadian Federal electoral district of Vancouver Quadra (the easternmost part of Kitsilano lies within the electoral district of Vancouver Centre).
Provincially, Kitsilano lies within the B.C. electoral districts of Vancouver-Point Grey and Vancouver-Fairview.
Greenpeace was founded in Kitsilano, with its first office opening there in 1975.
The first offices of the Green Party of British Columbia were originally located in Kits.
Each June, "Greek Days" is an annual street festival celebrating Greek culture and food in Greektown along several blocks of Broadway Street.
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is held at Jericho Beach Park each summer.
Vanier Park at Kitsilano Beach is home to the annual Vancouver Children's Festival and "Bard on the Beach", the outdoor Shakespeare festival
Along with the Commercial Drive area on the East Side of Vancouver, Kitsilano is one of the main centers of artistic production in Vancouver (and Canada).