Unlike its neighbour district, North Vancouver, West Vancouver is mainly residential with little in the way of industry and less though still exciting retail. Popular with a wide range of residents from retirees to the daily commuters West Vancouver encompasses a large amount of land with varied terrain. Residential areas extend from seaside condos with spectacular views over Howe Sound and English Bay to mountainside villas that are world-class locations to live. Situated between the Lions Gate Bridge, Horseshoe Bay to the West and the famous Sea to Sky highway to the NorthWest Vancouver is ideally suited to those seeking access to both city amenities and world-rated wilderness recreation areas.
Located within West Vancouver boundaries are ski hills, hiking trails and access to genuine wilderness. Marine Drive is a 25 block long shopping and restaurant “town center”. Here buses to Vancouver downtown, the Park Royal Shopping mall and numerous other points of interest can be found.
Cyprus Provincial park offers skiing, hiking and mountain biking and was a key venue of the 2010 Olympic games. Golfers sporting facilities such as skating rinks and numerous other venues ensure that West Vancouver residents are never far from their favourite form of activity. It might surprise you to learn that West Van residents are great readers too. The West Vancouver Memorial Library in Ambleside has the highest per capita circulation rate in Canada.
In line with its high percentage and retirees and older residents, West Vancouver enjoys a 100% wheelchair accessible transit system and is part of the Greater Vancouver Area TransLink public transit system.
Surprisingly for what is now one of Canada’s wealthiest municipalities, West Vancouver had humble beginnings. First visited by non-indigenous peoples in 1792 it was over 100 years before anything approaching a settlement appeared. By the early 1900s, the first real estate boom was underway in West Vancouver though it was still part of North Vancouver.
In 1912 West Vancouver incorporated as a separate entity from the District of North Vancouver, the population was then about 1500!
In the 1930s 650 hectares of land were bought and developed into what is now the famous British Properties neighbourhood. In 1938 the Lions Gate Bridge was opened, and the North Shore was connected by road to the rest of Vancouver.
More recently West Vancouver has cemented its status as the home to many unique and beautiful neighbourhoods and is considered one of the most desirable areas to live in the Vancouver region and for many people, the world.