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As the residents of North Vancouver will very quietly tell you, there’s no better place to live in the province. You may notice them keep their voices low when they distribute this information, as a means of protecting the neighbourhood from a flood of new residents. But the truth is there’s no keeping a lid on North Vancouver’s charm. The secret is out.
Tucked away in the breathtaking setting just south of Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour, this vibrant community is alive with its own unique spirit. From the lush parks to the exceptional local businesses, there's an undeniable allure to North Vancouver that draws both residents and visitors alike.
Before we go any further, let's take a brief trip down memory lane. North Vancouver’s history dates back to the late 1800s when it was known as a popular vacation spot for city dwellers seeking refuge in nature. The District of North Vancouver was incorporated in 1891 (with a population of 250 total), extending all the way from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay. When business owners became reluctant to have their tax dollars go towards far-outlying areas, a small commercial section of the city separated from the district, paving the way for the incorporation of the City of North Vancouver in 1907.
Today, the North Shore is connected to Vancouver by the Lions Gate Bridge, Ironworkers’ Memorial Second Narrows Bridge, and the beloved SeaBus. With quick access to the city and stunning scenery in abundance, it’s easy to see why this is such an attractive place to call home.
In Series One of RealTours, host Tadgh and local real estate expert Mehdi Miar offer viewers a comprehensive overview of the neighbourhoods and local business community, starting with the downtown-style living in Lower Lonsdale, heading up the hill to more suburban Upper Lonsdale and exploring the mountain village vibes in Edgemont. A trip to North Van isn’t complete without a stop in Deep Cove, a waterside haven on Burrard Inlet’s Indian Arm and possibly the paddle boarding capital of BC.
Surrounded by nature, North Vancouver is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Tourists come from around the world to visit the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Lynn Canyon might just be one of the most tranquil spots in the province.
Quarry Rock in Deep Cove is known for its incredible views. Access is via a moderate hike up a well-maintained path, but arrive early (or late) if you want a crowd-free experience. At the top, you’ll have a vast view of the surrounding landscape, with the waters shimmering below providing the perfect backdrop for a quick lunch, snack, or beverage of your choice (Wildeye Brewing’s Czech Pilsner comes to mind).
The Old Buck Trailhead is another local favourite, a 5.5-kilometre loop near the Burrard Inlet that takes just shy of two hours to complete. Birding, hiking, mountain biking, and dog walking are all encouraged, so don’t miss out on your favourite outdoor activity.
In the winter, two mountain parks are on your doorstep, so take your pick of skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing on Grouse or Seymour.
Similar to many communities across the Lower Mainland right now, the number of homes for sale in North Vancouver is tight. But there’s a great mix of property types, with apartments and detached houses making up the majority of available listings, and some townhomes up for grabs as well.
This growing city has seen a relatively large amount of search traffic on REW over the past year, with nearly double the searches as New Westminster, a city with only 10,000 fewer residents. There’s just something about living near the mountains that makes North Vancouver an attractive place to call home.
Down to business
When it comes to coffee shops, restaurants, breweries and other local shops, North Vancouver is full of options. Here are just a few of our favourite local businesses in North Vancouver.
Because every neighbourhood needs a great slice of ‘za. Located in the heart of Edgemont Village, this fabulous pizzeria pays tribute to the culinary traditions of four generations of the Nicli family. For the vegetarians among us, the Melanzana features pomodoro, roasted eggplant, and fior di latte, with a cashew garlic sauce and parsley oil. Meat-eaters might prefer the Salumi e Funghi, a highly elevated version of the pepperoni and mushroom you’ve been ordering from Domino’s. And yes, highly elevated is an understatement.
A quintessential spot for your beverage needs, you’re going to find yourself in Lower Lonsdale more than a few times a month if you live in North Vancouver. We love the previously mentioned Wildeye Brewing, but there are more than a handful of spots you can check out in a day of touring Lower Lonsdale. North Point Brewing, House of Funk, and Beere Brewing are in high demand, or if you need something a little stronger, Copperpenny Distilling is making quite a stir. They’ve just won the Global Gin Master Gold Medal, high honours for the North Vancouver staple.
First of all, let’s all agree that donuts are the path to perfect harmony. A visit to Upper Lonsdale isn't complete without savouring the delectable treats at this local favourite. Harmony is a mashup of vintage culture and really eccentric artwork, and their donuts are as appealing to the eyes as they are to your taste buds. Leave with a box of assorted treats and see if they all make it home.
For those eager to explore the North Shore from a different perspective (and burn off a few of those calories you happily threw back), the Deep Cove Kayak Centre offers rentals and guided tours for everything from sea kayaking to stand-up paddle boarding. Paddle along the calm waters, spot wildlife and immerse yourself in the wonders of the Pacific Northwest.
North Vancouver isn't just a picturesque retreat; it's a place where neighbours become friends, and bonds are formed through shared experiences.
Local events, festivals, and community gatherings bring everyone together to celebrate and create lasting memories. Upper Lonsdale is home to some of the best community centres in North Vancouver, along with parks - like the regal Princess Park - that offer plenty of room for old-growth trees.
Visit the First Impressions Theatre at Deep Cove Shaw Theatre for a list of upcoming shows, attend one of Parkgate Society’s Community Days, or swing by one of the many farmer's markets that pop up across the city. There’s always something going on in this neck of the woods.
North Vancouver takes pride in its excellent educational institutions. Families with children have access to some of BC's top schools that prioritize academic excellence and a nurturing environment. The vision of School District 44 is simple: to provide world-class instruction and a rich diversity of engaging programs to inspire success for every student, and to bring the community together to learn, share and grow.
The district operates 25 elementary schools and 8 secondary schools, encompassing 15,000 students and more than 2,500 staff members.