If you live in or have ever visited the city of Vancouver, chances are you’ve seen the historic area of Lonsdale – perhaps not yet by foot, but from looking out across from downtown’s Canada Place or from above when travelling across the iconic Lion’s Gate Bridge.
Nestled cosily on North Vancouver’s waterfront, you’ll find lifestyle, culture and adventure flowing down Lonsdale Avenue from North to South. Starting with Upper Lonsdale, down through Central Lonsdale and descending further to Lower Lonsdale at the base – and with all three enveloped by mountains and ocean views, it’s no wonder this is one of the most sought-after locations to call home.
HOW TO GET HERE
Getting around Vancouver is easy thanks to the city’s widely accessible public transport system, and finding your way to Lonsdale is no different. For those with vehicles, it’s only a short 20-minute drive from the bustle of downtown, or you can catch one of many TransLink bus routes to get you directly from a to b.
For those looking for something a little more scenic, one of the most popular transport methods is by SeaBus, taking only 12-minutes to cross Burrard Inlet from downtown to the popular pocket of Lonsdale Quay. This is a fantastic way to see float planes taking off, cruise ships coming in or freighters and tugs that come and go.
If you happen to be travelling Southbound from Whistler along Route 99, continue past Horseshoe Bay and take Exit 4.
If you took the water route by SeaBus, you would arrive at the Lonsdale Quay Terminal. Arguably the most well-known location on the North Shore, up to 30,000 per day come and go from this transport hub whether commuting to and from work or visiting the many local ‘must see’ points of interest.
Commonly referred to as the Shipyards District, this historical area of Lonsdale harbours (excuse the pun), deep shipbuilding and industrial roots. Before the Lions Gate Bridge was built, the Burrard Dry Dock housed the largest shipyard in Western Canada supporting the lumber industry, wartime efforts and ferries setting off for sail. Today, the area still sees plenty of maritime action in its coastal waters and happens to be one of the fastest-growing neighbourhoods in the city.
This urbanized neighbourhood is filled with high rise apartments, an array of vibrant pubs, restaurants, coffee shops and retail stores. One of the most popular attractions here for visitors and residents alike is the Lonsdale Quay Public Market. A unique hub for 60 locally owned businesses that proudly showcase unique artisanal items, crafts, food vendors as well as a boutique hotel – I can personally recommend the Waterfront 180° room with views directly across to Vancouver. While you’re there, take a minute to brave the 77 steps up the famous Q Tower – see featured image.
For those who have a keen interest in arts and culture, you can take a short wander and find yourself in the Lower Lonsdale cultural precinct. On December 4, the Museum of North Vancouver will be celebrating its grand opening bringing to life local stories, plus hosting events, exhibits and educational hands-on learning. Nearby you’ll find the Polygon Art Gallery and make sure to snap a selfie at Fun Alley – the most colourful alley in North Vancouver.
In the heart of the Lonsdale Avenue corridor, Central Lonsdale houses one of the largest real estate areas in North Vancouver. High-rise’s, townhouses, and duplexes line the streets and as the commercial hub of the city, you will find the Lions Gate Hospital, schooling, library, Municipal Hall as well as the new North Shore Hospice.
Expanding upward from Lower Lonsdale as the city grew in population, Central Lonsdale is the bustling and charming mid-section. You’ll find this area filled with art installations, some of the North Shore’s best (and widely diverse) cuisine, boutique shops as well as the new Civic Plaza where many like to read a book, enjoy a coffee and play the free-to-enjoy public piano.
For those looking for some QT time with mother nature, you’re never far from beautiful parks and trails including Mahon Park or Mosquito Creek Park, not to mention only being a short (30 minute) drive from nearby ski hills and national parks thanks to its proximity to Trans-Canada Highway.
Statistics Canada (2021) scored Central Lonsdale a strong 75/100 for liveability noting that the area’s amenities and schooling both get an A+ and the cost of living is 18% lower than the North Vancouver average. Not bad at all when you have so much on offer at your doorstep!
One knows that that the higher one goes the more views one can see, and Upper Lonsdale is no exception. With its peak reaching 850 feet above sea level and as the northernmost of the three ‘Lonsdale’s’, this third sits above the Trans-Canada Highway, creeping further up into the forest hills and regional park surrounds. From this vantage point, take in views of the Burrard Inlet below, across to Vancouver, English Bay, and Lion’s Gate Bridge.
As the more suburban and sought-after neighbourhood, here you’ll find a mix of apartments, townhouses and single-family homes that range from new builds, character homes and mid-century bungalows. Homes up here will often have street parking, larger yards and more trees lining the neighbourhood, making it a perfect spot to settle in with your family.
With local shops and services handy, as well as an easy connection by TransLink bus directly to Lower Lonsdale and the ferry terminal (walking is also a great option), residents here also enjoy the accessibility to many North Shore outdoor activities and hot spots. Grouse Mountain is a visit made regularly by tourists and locals alike, offering endless mountain biking and hiking trails, ski runs in winter as well as the love-it-or-hate-it Grouse Grind. Being higher in the hills, the weather can be a fickle mistress, so we suggest keeping an umbrella, sunscreen (and bear spray!) nearby if you’re venturing off on an adventure.
LOCAL PROPERTY MARKET
As with most of the wider Vancouver region, Lower, Central and Upper Lonsdale are all hot pockets with plenty of interest in each neighbourhood. Although current supply across all Metro Vancouver regions is in tight supply right now, this makes it a perfect time to take a trip to visit the area, put the feelers out and find out how this could be the perfect spot for you to relocate.
HOW STILHAVN CAN HELP
Our curated collection of top-performing REALTORS® make it their business to understand this local Vancouver market and look forward to answering any questions you might have – from current market trends and valuations through to finding the perfect home based on your preferred amenities.
Our Stilhavn agents understand that every client is searching for something different and enjoys working through your home buying journey with you, through each step, ensuring you feel confident and comfortable with any options, decisions, and regulations along the way.
Click here to see our current Lonsdale listings and together let’s #findyourhavn today.