The North Shore
What It's Like to Live Here
Comprised of the two neighbouring communities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, the "North Shore" as it is called is a place where you can bask on the beach in the morning, hike forested trails by afternoon and take to the ski slopes while watching the downtown skyline twinkle in the distance.
Find out why North Shore residents are some of the happiest in the Metro Vancouver area
From Deep Cove to Capilano River and from the water's edge to the top of the slopes of our two ski hills, Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain, North Vancouver is comprised of two municipalities. The City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver which surrounds it.
Income Per Capita
160.76 Square Kilometres
40 Public Schools +7 Private Schools
Over 45 Parks and Public Green Spaces
Fun at the Shipyards
Every Friday night the Shipyards come alive with food trucks, entertainment on the live stages, pop up shops and so much more.
The communities are laid out "village style" meaning everything you need is usually found right in your own neighbourhood. But so much more is in store for you in the next village too!
Whatever you need, we've got the goods. From malls to strolls on the street, the local shops, grocery stores, artisan bakeries, clothing stores will keep you in style and in stock.
Sailing, skiing, trail running, swimming, hiking, beachcombing or anything else you'd like to do, the North Shore has got it all!
North Vancouver is bursting with stunning parks. No matter where you are in the city, you’re not far from a beautiful park, whether you’re looking for a playground, a waterside walk or a stroll through the forest - in fact, in many parks you can find all of these features. From Princess to Mahon to Waterfront, North Van parks are some of the very best anywhere.
Location, Location, Location!
North Vancouver is an ideal location for many families because it offers easy access to downtown (the seabus gets you there in about fifteen minutes and it’s a lovely ride with a heck of a view), as well as quick access to mountains, trails, and the water. From nature to shopping to the core of Vancouver, North Van’s accessibility is second to none.
Whether it’s Italian, Indian, Korean, Mexican, Seafood, Vegan fare or anything else your tastebuds long for, there are myriad restaurants to indulge your inner foodie in North Vancouver. Try the world-class comfort food purveyed by Burgoo, grab some Chinese from the legendary Capilano Heights, delight in the sushi and noodle bowls served at the popular Hachi Hanna, or simply take a stroll down Lonsdale for endless multicultural fare.
With thirteen community recreation centres, North Vancouver offers an endless array of programs, courses, and community activities. That’s a lot of locations, which ensures that no matter where you are in the city, a family-friendly community centre is within arm’s reach.
The Lonsdale Quay
With a sparkling waterfront view, a plethora of shops and a fantastic food court, this local gem is the perfect alternative to your average shopping mall.
Families Are Everywhere
Being such a family-friendly city, it stands to reason that North Vancouver would be packed with families. Parents love that they only have to step out their front door to connect with other parents and kids. This means more community engagement, and that makes for a healthier community.
Hiking is one of the best ways for families to get exercise and connect with nature, turning their focus away from the screens that tend to dominate daily modern life. North Vancouver is packed with beautiful trails for families to explore. To name only a few of many, Baden Powell Trail, Kennedy Falls and Quarry Rock are favourite spots. Visit North Vancouver Recreation & Culture's website for more info walking and hiking opportunities.
The Teddy Bear Picnic in St. Andrew’s Park, Slide the City (when Lonsdale avenue transforms into a giant waterslide), and Family Movie Nights in The Plaza are just a few examples of the family-friendly events North Vancouver offers. What’s more, North Vancouver Recreation & Culture has its finger on the pulse of North Van happenings, providing a community events calendar and an informative weekly events newsletter to keep residents in the know.
According to the families I polled, and in my opinion as well, North Vancouver boasts some of the friendliest people around. There’s a lot of kindness and understanding, and a very wholesome community vibe that residents take pride in maintaining by connecting with each other, practicing acceptance and prioritizing equality.
North Vancouver is very rich in culture, full of families with a great many ethnicities and backgrounds. This diversity is one of the things that makes North Van so special and interesting, and it helps us educate our children and ourselves on the importance of accepting and learning about other cultures.
Top ten things families love about living in North Vancouver
North Vancouver is widely regarded as one of the safest, cleanest and most beautiful places to live in Canada. It’s also one of the most family-friendly cities in British Columbia, and that’s why, for this post, I decided to poll 25 families to get their perspective on what makes North Van so special.
Here are the most popular answers (in no particular order).
From Capilano River to Lion's Bay, West Vancouver is certainly one of the most beautiful places to live. If you love the outdoors, everything is accessible to you within a few minutes drive. Just like North Vancouver, West Vancouver has a vibrant village lifestyle, some incredible shopping and dining experiences await you in this stunning seaside municipality not to forget enjoying a day starting at Ambleside Beach and ending on the slopes of West Van's own Cypress Bowl Ski Hill.
Income Per Capita
87.26 Square Kilometres
15 Public Schools +5 Private Schools
Over 10 Parks and Public Green Spaces
West Van Sea Wall
This incredible stroll will take you from Dundarave Village, past Ambleside Beach, all the way to the excellent shopping at Park Royal Village and Mall.
Just like North Vancouver, communities are laid out "village style" meaning everything you need is usually found right in your own neighbourhood. But so much more is in store for you in the next village too!
West Vancouver has some of the best shopping in Vancouver. From Park Royal to strolls on the street, the local shops, grocery stores, artisan bakeries, clothing stores will keep you in style and in stock.
Just like North Vancouver, you can do anything here! Sailing, skiing, trail running, swimming, hiking, beachcombing or anything else you'd like to do, the North Shore has got it all!
Amuse the Bouche
Voted Best North Shore in Vancouver magazine’s 2017 Restaurant Awards, Café Ça Va (1860 Marine Dr.) is led by Michelin-star chef Alain Rayé and serves elegant French cuisine with a certain joie de vivre.
Enjoy the View
Nestled at the base of Cypress Mountain, the Salmon House on the Hill (2229 Folkestone Way) is your “special dinner with a killer view” destination. A panorama of glass windows faces the ocean and spans the width of the timber-chic restaurant, so you can sip picks from an award-winning wine list (chosen to pair perfectly with the West Coast fare) over sunsets on Burrard Inlet.
Take a break from city life by going on a kayak tour of Ambleside Beach or take an interpretive tour of the North Shore with Talaysay Tours (334 Skawshen Rd.). The tour company focuses on First Nations cultural and eco experiences, and offers other walking and kayak tours around the Burrard Inlet and Deep Cove.
Horseshoe Bay’s Olive and Anchor (6148 Bay St.) was an honourable mention for Best North Shore in Vancouver magazine’s 2017 Restaurant Awards and is well worth the trip. Chef Lisa Kim offers a diverse menu—everything from brioche French toast with mascarpone to Korean bibimbap—to accompany the view in this casual location.
Better Than a Gift Shop
Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver in picturesque Horseshoe Bay lies the Spirit Gallery (6408 Bay St.), which showcases and sells First Nations bentwood boxes, carvings, jewellery and prints by notables such as Musqueam artist Susan Point.
Born in Dundarave, Temper Chocolate and Pastry’s (2409 Marine Dr.) chef Steven Hodge has earned his place among chocolatiers by working with star-status chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Vancouver’s own Thomas Haas. Visit the mod marble-forward shop any day of the week for a chocolate- or pastry-laden pick-me-up.
Hit the Market
Every Sunday, the Ambleside Artisan Farmers’ Market (1000 Argyle Ave.) features vendors armed with everything from farm-fresh vegetables to tipples to crafts. After you’ve wandered (or eaten) your way through the market, head to the nearby park and beach at Ambleside to round out a day of relaxation.
Let's Do Brunch
Feast Dining (2423 Marine Dr.) is West Vancouver’s self-proclaimed neighbourhood table—and it has the rustic-farmhouse, down-to-earth decor to match. Stop by for brunch, lunch or dinner for time-honoured favourites like chicken and waffles, or treat yourself to happy hour’s $5 drink specials of wine and/or bubbles.
Call of the Wild
For a taste of the wilderness right in the city, visit Cypress Falls Park (find a parking lot and trail entrance near 4698 Woodgreen Pl.). The park’s low elevation makes it an excellent snow-free pick for a hike year-round. It’s dog friendly, easy to reach by public transit and features a gentle three-kilometre hike round-trip to get the blood flowing.
Take to the water to discover the history and wildlife of Howe Sound with Sewell’s Marina (6409 Bay St.). Whether you explore one of North America’s southernmost fjords by guided sea safari, private boat rental or chartered fishing boat, you’ll spend the day getting to know a new side of Vancouver’s backyard (life jacket required).
Top ten things to do in West Vancouver
While once known only as the home of B.C.’s first enclosed shopping mall (we’re looking at you, Park Royal), West Vancouver is now a destination for foodies and outdoorsy folks alike. With the ocean and the mountains right next door, and its farmers’ markets, cafés, museums and galleries, this northwestern municipality offers a plethora of activities for every day of the year.