The City of North Vancouver is nestled under Grouse Mountain, and is a popular place with those who want to ski the north shore mountains or enjoy the spectacular scenery. There are major development projects on the waterfront in Lower Lonsdale that suggest that North Vancouver will continue to grow beyond it’s humble beginnings as a logging town.
The population now is approximately 45,000 people, with over a third of these being 25-44 years old. The area attracts families and younger people.
North Vancouver has easy access to the Trans Canada Highway, commonly known as the Upper Levels Highway. This will take you eastwards to the Fraser Valley and west and northwards to West Vancouver and up to Whistler.
Commuting downtown is possible by vehicle, across either the Lions Gate Bridge or the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (the second Narrows bridge). Alternatively the Seabus from Lonsdale Quay runs a service to Vancouver’s Waterfront station every 15 minutes, taking about 12 minutes for the journey. There you can connect to the Sky Train or buses.
The north shore’s bus service is available too. For details of transport, see the Translink web site.
If you are interested in buying in this area (or anywhere in BC) please use our buyer's agency form to tell so that we can help you find the right area and the right home. Our local experts are available here and for most other areas.
Below is a table showing the Benchmark prices for typical detached houses, townhouses and apartments in North Vancouver. This comes from the Vancouver Real Estate Board’s monthly statistics.
|Benchmark Prices: North Vancouver as at September 2012|
|Category||Benchmark $||1 Yr Change||3 Yr Change|
|Source:Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - MLS ®|
This table indicates that North Vancouver’s property market is divided between family houses and apartments. Detached houses still represent the majority of property in North Vancouver; the high number of apartments sold are probably the result of the active condo market.
The section below gives a brief sketch of the main areas of North Vancouver, as defined by properties sold. We have provided statistics on property sales within these areas.
This area extends from the Upper Levels Highway to the north, west to Mahon Park, east to Moody Avenue and south to Keith Road. The area is set out in a grid pattern, with Lonsdale Avenue being the centre, and numbered streets running east-west. So Lonsdale Ave marks the division between east and west.
Lonsdale Avenue runs north to south and has the bulk of the shops and facilities in the area. These amenities are one reason for Lonsdale’s popularity. It’s mix includes large stores (Safeway, London Drugs), banks, snowboarding shops, coffee shops, restaurants and music shops, as well as the Centennial Theatre.
The number of medium to high rise apartments bordering Lonsdale Avenue characterize the area. This higher density living being more popular with the younger population of Lonsdale.
This area, also centered around Lonsdale Avenue, extends to Keith Road to the north, Bewicke Avenue to the west, Moody Avenue to the east and the Burrard Inlet and Lonsdale Quay to the south.
The Lower Lonsdale area is undergoing extensive redevelopment. There are new high rise buildings and more planned around the Versatile Shipyards Site alongside Lonsdale Quay. This mixed use development, called The Pier, has began construction in 2004, with the first stage now complete.
The area features the Lonsdale Quay and Market, and the seabus terminal. Along the Esplanade, there are shops, restaurants and a movie theatre, with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and businesses in the neighbouring streets.
This area extends north from the Upper Levels Highway in the south. The grid pattern of Central Lonsdale gives way to more variety and houses take over from apartments.
The area’s appeal is more to families.
This area is at the extreme east of the north shore and has a very special small community feel about it. The Cove attracts those who enjoy being near the water and feeling away from the city (even though the city is only 30 minutes away).
This area is a family oriented area, featuring family homes rather than apartments. Townhouses are also available and offer more affordable accommodation for young families starting on the housing ladder.
When you are in Vancouver, one good way of exploring the real estate market is to go to Open Houses. You can visit these on your own, but bear in mind that you should get a REALTOR® to act as your agent when you are ready to buy. You are strongly advised not to engage the same REALTOR® who is listing the house you want - there is an inherent conflict of interest in this. See our page on house buying for more.
You can find open houses in the local real estate papers (free) or via the search below:
For many people one of the main attractions of living on Vancouver’s north shore is the easy access to the local ski mountains: Grouse, Seymour and Cypress. There are also many other destinations that are worthy of mention:
Grouse Mountain (6400 Nancy Greene Way)
This is a year round attraction and is one of the major tourist attractions of Vancouver. In the winter there is skiing, snowboarding and ice skating, as well as the whole Santa’s workshop thing. In the summer there are shows, paragliding and trail walking. For those wanting a challenge, there is the Grouse Grind - this 2.9 km (1.8 mile) hike goes straight up the face of Grouse Mountain. Your climb takes you up 853 metres (2,800 feet) - one and a half times the height of Toronto’s CN Tower. Make sure you are fit and properly prepared for this grueling climb. But once you get to the top at least there are restaurants, shops and spectacular views to take in! You can take public transport to Grouse: either Bus 232 from Phibbs Exchange or Bus 236 from Lonsdale Quay. Of course, unless you are doing the Grouse Grind, you still get to ride up in the cable car.
Mount Seymour (1700 Mount Seymour Road)
This is a family oriented resort, with skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tobogganing and snow tubing. For the more adventurous it has developed three terrain parks and an in-ground halfpipe. A shuttle services run 7 days a week with stops at the Lonsdale Quay, Phibbs Exchange, and Parkgate Mall.
Maplewood Farm (405 Seymour River Place)
A great destination for those with young children who want to go and see domestic animals in this rural 5 acre setting. Self-guided tours are available and there are special events from time to time.
Capilano Suspension Bridge (3735 Capilano Road)
Another major tourist draw, and understandably so. It is not for those who are afraid of heights, but spectacular nevertheless. Easily accessible by public transport, this will be somewhere that you will bring out of province visitors to.
Lynn Canyon Park (Peters Road)
This park in Lynn Valley is well worth a visit. It has a suspension bridge across the canyon, trails to hike and the ecology centre. There is a cafe too.
Lonsdale Quay (123 Carrie Cates Court)
This may be a tourist destination, attracted by the trip across on the Seabus, but the quay is more than a scenic spot. It has a food market, a variety of places to eat and a number of specialist shops. With the development of the old shipyards we believe that the whole lower Lonsdale area will increase in popularity.
Capilano Mall (935 Marine Drive)
On Marine Drive, this mall is popular because it offers WalMart and a variety of smaller stores.
Lynn Valley Centre (1199 Lynn Valley Road)
This large shopping centre, with Save on Foods, Zellers and Winners, is the major shopping area for the Lynn Valley community.
Edgmont Village (Edgemont Blvd)
The village, located in the Capilano Highlands area, is more like a British shopping street than most of the malls in Vancouver. It has a series of shops spread along the high street - and, with its pretty flower borders and central reserve, it is an attractive sight. The shops, restaurants and garden centre are a great place to shop or while away some time.
Park and Tilford (Brooksbank Avenue)
This shopping centre has a large Save on Foods and a Cineplex Odeon, as well as a number of smaller shops and restaurants.
Park and Tilford Cineplex (Brooksbank Avenue)
Esplanade at Lonsdale (200 West Esplanade)
Centennial Theatre (2300 Lonsdale Avenue)
This is the north shore’s major theatre, seating 700 people. It features a varied programme of events from showcasing local artists and community events to hosting international artists. It’s location, at 2300 Lonsdale Avenue, is close to the Upper Levels Highway and easily accessible by bus.
North Vancouver Museum (209 West 4th Street)
If you are interested in North Vancouver’s history, then the Museum is the place to visit. It’s collections include artifacts, photographs, and textual references that cover North Van’s colourful history.
North Vancouver’s public schools are managed by School District 44. Within this district there are 29 elementary and 7 secondary schools, covering education from Kindergarten to Grade 12, when children graduate from high school and move onto post-secondary education. [Also see our article on transferring into school.]
The school district’s web site has information on all the schools in the district. Many individual schools also have their own web sites. If you are interested in a particular school, then it is a good idea to contact them to arrange a visit.
|Top Secondary Schools in North Vancouver by Fraser Institute Rank|
|School||Rank in B.C.||Score (out of 10)|
|St Thomas Aquinas||25||8|
|Source: Fraser Institute 2011|
If you are interested in independent schools then the Federation of Independent School Associations has a directory of schools. You will need to contact schools directly. In North Vancouver there are a number of independent schools:
- Federation of Independent School Associations
- Brockton Preparatory School (440 Hendry Avenue)
- École Française Internationale de Vancouver (4343 Starlight Way)
- Holy Trinity Elementary School (128 West 27th Street )
- Lions Gate Christian Academy (420 Seymour River Place)
- North Star Montessori Elementary (1325 E Keith Rd ) - now also has a pre-school.
- St Edmund’s Elementary School (535 Mahon Ave)
- Saint Pius X Elementary (1150 Mount Seymour Road)
- St. Thomas Aquinas High School (541 West Keith Rd )
- The Vancouver Waldorf School (2725 St Christophers Road)
- North Vancouver School District 44
- Elementary Schools
- Blueridge Elementary (2650 Bronte Drive)
- Boundary Elementary (750 East 26th Street )
- Braemar Elementary (3600 Mahon Avenue)
- Brooksbank Elementary (980 East 13th Street)
- Canyon Heights Elementary (4501 Highland Boulevard)
- Capilano Elementary (1230 West 20th Street)
- Carisbrooke Elementary (510 East Carisbrooke Road)
- Cleveland Elementary (1255 Eldon Road)
- Cove Cliff Elementary (1818 Banbury Road)
- Dorothy Lynas Elementary (4000 Inlet Crescent)
- Eastview Elementary (1801 Mountain Highway)
- Fromme Elementary (3657 Fromme Road)
- Highlands Elementary (3150 Colwood Drive)
- Larson Elementary (2605 Larson Road)
- Lynn Valley Elementary (3207 Institute Road)
- Lynnmour Elementary (800 Forsman Avenue)
- Montroyal Elementary (5310 Sonora Drive)
- Norgate Community Elementary (1295 Sowden Street)
- Plymouth Elementary (919 Tollcross Road)
- Queen Mary Elementary (230 West Keith Road)
- Queensbury Elementary (2020 Moody Avenue)
- Ridgeway Annex Primary (450 East 5th Street)
- Ridgeway Elementary (420 East 8th Street)
- Ross Road Elementary (2875 Bushnell Place)
- Seymour Heights Elementary (2640 Carnation Street)
- Sherwood Park Elementary (4085 Dollar Road)
- Upper Lynn Elementary (1540 Coleman Street)
- Westview Elementary (1660 Bewicke Avenue)
- Windsor House Elementary Alternate Program (2132 Hamilton Avenue)
- Windsor House Secondary Alternate Program (2132 Hamilton Avenue)
- Secondary Schools
- Argyle Secondary (1131 Frederick Road)
- Balmoral Jr. Secondary (3365 Mahon Avenue)
- Carson Graham Secondary (2145 Jones Avenue)
- Handsworth Secondary (1044 Edgewood Road)
- Keith Lynn Alternate Secondary (1290 Shavington Street)
- Seycove Secondary (1204 Caledonia Avenue)
- Sutherland Secondary (1860 Sutherland Avenue)
- Windsor Secondary (931 Broadview Drive)
- School catchment areas
North Vancouver does not have any major industries. There are many shops and small businesses, but it’s two main employers are:
- Lions Gate Hospital (231 East 15th Street)
- ICBC - Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (151 West Esplanade)
People living in North Vancouver can easily commute to work in downtown Vancouver via car, bus or the seabus. Easy access to the Upper Levels Highway makes commuting relatively easy to Burnaby and communities further east.
The weather in Vancouver as a whole is mild by Canadian standards. According to Environment Canada, which ranks Canadian cities according to their weather statistics, Vancouver ranks:
- 1st for the fewest freezing days
- 4th for mildest winter
- 4th for warmest spring
- 5th for warmest fall
- 9th for rainiest city
- 11th for most clear skies in summer
North Vancouver being under the mountains, tends to get a bit more rainfall than Vancouver itself. Vancouver is in a rainforest and you should expect rain. It is rare for it to snow at sea level in the winter, though at the higher elevations and on the local mountains there will be snow.
These are the two local papers. These are delivered weekly to locals and are a useful source of information on local events. The North Shore News has a searchable archive and you can search the classifieds.