With its name giving a pretty good indication of its whereabouts, West Vancouver is a municipality of B.C., (incorporated back in 1912), and is one part of a local regional group that makes up what we often refer to as the ‘North Shore’.
Having grown in population since 1938 when the iconic Lion’s Gate Bridge opened to traffic, people were able to visit and relocate much easier, as prior to this, the area was only accessible by ferry. It’s for this reason that some homes in West Vancouver date back to the 1920s and 30s, though most of the existing dwellings were built later, in the 1970s and 80s.
Primarily a residential district, visitors and residents can still find shops, restaurants, and other common amenities along a 13-block strip of Marine Drive without having to commute further into downtown. However, many head to the Park Royal Shopping Centre, proudly holding the title of Canada’s first mall since opening back in the 1950s and is the second largest mall in British Columbia (after Metrotown in Burnaby).
Many residents of West Vancouver are retired, or otherwise work from home or commute into other areas of Vancouver. Recently in 2019, West Vancouver was named the most affluent place in Canada, with an average household net worth of CAD$4.5 million., and being home to large, luxurious and expensive properties, it’s not tricky to see why.
With Highway 99 running right thorough the district, and Highway 1 beginning at Horseshoe Bay heading south, those who live here have no trouble packing up to head away for the weekend, or a quick drive into downtown. The Blue Bus is also a fantastic public service, serving West Vancouver as Canada’s longest running municipal transport system, as well as the North Vancouver TransLink bus service. If you prefer a scenic water trip, BC Ferries runs from Horseshoe Bay, and connects travellers to Nanaimo, Bowen Island the Sunshine Coast, as either foot or vehicle passengers.
There are many neighbourhoods that make up West Vancouver, each with many amazing spots to explore and activities to enjoy.
Horseshoe Bay, a very popular local spot, is a popular seaside village where you can find one of the two ferry terminals that link the Lower Mainland across to Vancouver Island. Horseshoe Bay is scenic, yet quaint. With homes tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of moving passengers and vehicles, it’s often nice to sit and people watch from the park that looks directly over the action on the water.
A quick and easy turnoff from Highway 99, even if you’re not a ferry traveller, Horseshoe Bay is a beautiful stop for lunch or a quick bite. You’ll easily find a selection of restaurants, stores, and coffee shops to choose from, right in front of easy parking, and each with a beautiful view. We recommend a takeaway serving of fresh fish and chips to share or enjoy an ice-cream cone as you stroll along the pier.
The waterfront along the coast of West Vancouver is filled with pockets of coves, secret beaches, and parks to visit. If you’re feeling active, Gleneagles Golf Course (one of Vancouver’s oldest golf courses) can be found here, Lighthouse Park, an iconic symbol of the area offers a network of approximately 10km of trails to hike, and Cypress Mountain, Vancouver’s largest mountain playground offers both winter and summer adventures for the whole family. And thanks to the many inlets around the coast, this area makes for a perfect spot to explore by kayak or paddleboard, not to mention for those who like to scuba!
For those with families, there are 17 public schools and 4 private schools in this district, 6 of which are high schools.
All in all, this municipality is a beautiful community that has everything families, couples and singles need in one area, where there is always something to see and do. If you’re in the market to find your new havn and would like to find out more about what’s best in the west, reach out to one of our expert Stilhavn REALTORS® today. We can advise you on current properties in the area, each unique neighbourhood, and find you the best home to become your new sanctuary.