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2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of West Vancouver which took place on March 15th, 1912; West Vancouver separated from the District of North Vancouver on this date. West Vancouver is now a district municipality, part of Metro Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver Regional District. It is located northwest of the city of Vancouver across English Bay on the southeast shore of Howe Sound. The District of North Vancouver is located nearby to the east.
Originally, West Vancouver was only accessible by water. In 1872, James Blake settled the first sixty five hectares of land in West Vancouver. Ferry service connecting both sides of English Bay began in the early 1900’s. The Hollyburn Pier was completed in 1908 and the Pier at Dundarave in 1915. In 1912 the population was under a thousand; many were temporary residents, summer cottage owners from Vancouver who enjoyed the Oceanside location. Ferry service to the area continued until about nine years after the opening of the Lions Gate Bridge which was completed in November of 1938.
Easier access via the bridge made extensive population growth possible. The population of West Vancouver today is about 42, 694 (2011 census). Many of these residents are wealth, some are retired, some work from home and others commute to nearby North Vancouver or Vancouver to work. Most homes in West Vancouver enjoy scenic views of the Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, English Bay, Howe Sound, the Coastal Mountains or the nearby islands.
Amenities in West Vancouver are many. The first shopping mall in Canada, Park Royal Shopping Centre opened in the 50’s is located in West Vancouver. It continues to grow and is undergoing an upgrade in 2013. There is a library, many art and music events annually, public and private schools and a very active West Vancouver Community Centre which offers programs year round. There are also quaint shopping areas in both Ambleside and Dundarave, a people friendly mall in Caulfeild and a picturesque village in Horseshoe Bay.
Recreation in West Vancouver includes golfing, walking, hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking and boating and winter activities at nearby Cypress Provincial Park which was one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics. There are several golf courses, an ice rink, pool, basketball and tennis courts, the Hollyburn Country Club, and many small public parks. Residents stroll along a seawall near the ocean and walk or hike in Lighthouse and Cypress Parks. Nearby Whytecliffe Park is known for scuba diving. The Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal also located in West Vancouver connects the British Columbia mainland and Vancouver Island, offering a gateway to endless recreational and tourism possibilities.
Neighbourhoods in West Vancouver include:
Ambleside is home to quaint shops, cafes, markets, restaurants, galleries, clothing stores and other services. It has a beautiful park and a long sandy beach. Ambleside enjoys sweeping views of the Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and other parts of the harbour and the city of Vancouver which is a short drive away. Beautiful homes with sweeping views are found everywhere in Ambleside from apartments to larger homes.
The renowned Olmstead Brothers, Boston landscape architects, were hired by the Guinness family, after they constructed the Lions Gate Bridge, to create the subdivision of British Properties. The idea was to create a quiet sanctuary from the city; built with high quality standards of design and construction, with houses amid parks, walkways, treed streets, and spectacular views. This residential development, constructed carefully so it embraced the beauty of the natural environment, set the tone for future residential developments in West Vancouver.Today British Properties remains a spectacular garden filled and naturally beautiful place to call home.
Dundarave is a Gaelic word, referring to a 'two-oared boat’; appropriate since it was originally home to many summer cottages. The village was named in the early 1900's after Dundarave Castle in Scotland, the ancestral home of the Macnaghten Clan, by Professor Russell Macnaghten, a Professor at the University of B.C
Dundarave Village has an oceanfront setting and a sandy beach. The scenic mile long seawall, which is bike, walk and dog friendly, is enjoyed year round by tourists and locals. The Dundarave Pier is a great place to sit, have lunch and enjoy the scenery. There is plenty of shopping in the unique Dundarave Village and manuy places to eat, drink or enjoy fine clothing and art.
Francis William Caulfield, an Englishman, arrived in West Vancouver by boat in 1898 at Skunk (now Caulfeild) Cove. Caulfeild was impressed by the beauty of this forested area and set out to build a community that embraced this natural beauty like the seaside villages he knew in Cornwall or Devon. Caulfeild purchased the land in 1899 and spent the next thirty years planning and developing the area so that it had beautiful gardens and preserved its woodsy character. Caulfeild also made roads that did not follow a grid but rather were designed to wind through the natural landscape and contours which help give Caulfeild its village like charm.
Today, Caulfeild is one of West Vancouver’s most prestigious neighbourhoods with its great ocean, mountain and city views. Situated near Lighthouse Park with its old growth trees and landmark Lighthouse at Point Atkinson, Caulfeild is minutes from downtown Vancouver in one direction and the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay in the other making it a very central and convenient location for work and for pleasure. Homes include craftsman and contemporary buildings, along with the historic and majestic Olde Caulfeild homes along the waterfront.
Altamont is centrally located, near parks, beaches, public and private schools, shops and services. Altamont is located between 27th and 31st streets (east/west) and between the highway and Marine Drive (north/south). Altamont is considered one of the most prestigious residential areas in West Vancouver with very scenic views of the ocean, great natural beauty and a quaint character.
Like Altamont, Westmount is centrally located, near parks, beaches, public and private schools, shops and services. Westmount also enjoys stunning water and mountain views and looks over Altamont Park. Minutes away are the shops in Dundarave and Ambleside and Park Royal Shopping Centre.
Horseshoe Bay is part of the District of West Vancouver. At the entrance to Howe Sound, this is the location where Highway 1 ends and the scenic Sea-to-Sky, Highway 99 to Lions Bay, Britannia Beach, Furry Creek, Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton begins.
The Horseshoe Bay community has about one thousand residents. There is a marina, coffee shops and restaurants, art galleries, pubs, walkways and small parks in Horseshoe Bay. Both permanent residents and tourists enjoy the picturesque village of Horseshoe Bay.
A major BC Ferries terminal located in Horseshoe Bay provides service to Vancouver Island (Departure Bay in Nanaimo), to the Sunshine Coast (Langdale) and to Bowen Island.
Why West Vancouver? Residents of West Vancouver enjoy living in one of Canada’s wealthiest communities with some of the finest real estate. Arts and culture, recreation and business opportunities, and an unsurpassed quality of life in a natural setting make this community a wonderful place to live. Add to these exceptional views of Howe Sound, Georgia Strait, Stanley Park and English Bay, the Lions Gate Bridge and Vancouver Island, fine recreational opportunities and renowned public and private schools and you have a winning combination. There are amazing spaces in West Vancouver for work, along with apartments, condominiums, townhomes, and houses waiting for you to call them home.
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The data relating to real estate on this web site comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver or the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver or the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver or the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.
Listing information last updated on April 4th, 2020 at 4:15pm PDT.