West Vancouver

West Vancouver

Infobox Settlement
official_name = District of West Vancouver
other_name =
native_name =
nickname = West Van
settlement_type = District Municipality
motto =

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image_shield = Dwv coa.pngshield_size =
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mapsize = 220px
map_caption = Location of West Vancouver in Greater Vancouver

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = CAN
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = BC
subdivision_type2 = Region
subdivision_name2 = Lower Mainland
subdivision_type3 = Regional district
subdivision_name3 = Metro Vancouver
subdivision_type4 =
subdivision_name4 =
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title = Governing body
leader_name = West Vancouver District Council
leader_title1 = Mayor
leader_name1 = Pam Goldsmith-Jones
leader_title2 = MLA
leader_name2 = Ralph Sultan (Capilano-Lib)
Joan McIntyre (Garibaldi-Lib)
leader_title3 = MP
leader_name3 = Blair Wilson (Green)
leader_title4 =
leader_name4 =
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = March 15, 1912
established_title2 =
established_date2 =
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area_magnitude =
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area_total_km2 = 87.4
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area_blank1_title =
area_blank1_km2 =
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population_as_of = 2006
population_footnotes =
population_note =
population_total = 42,131
population_density_km2 = 473.92
population_density_sq_mi =
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timezone = PST
utc_offset = -8
timezone_DST = PDT
utc_offset_DST = -7
coordinates_display = display=title
latd= 49 | latm = 22 | lats= 0 | latNS=N
longd= 123 | longm= 10 | longs= 0 | longEW=W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 178
elevation_ft =
postal_code_type =
postal_code = V7X
area_code = 604, 778
blank_name =
blank_info =
blank1_name =
blank1_info =
website = [http://www.westvancouver.net/ West Vancouver]
footnotes =

West Vancouver is a district municipality in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Part of Metro Vancouver, the municipality is northwest of the city of Vancouver on Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound, and is adjoined by the District of North Vancouver to its east. It forms the North Shore municipalities together with the District of North Vancouver and City of North Vancouver.

West Vancouver has a population of 42,131 (2006 census)cite web |url=http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/profiles/community/Details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=5915055&Geo2=PR&Code2=59&Data=Count&SearchText=West%20Vancouver&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&GeoLevel=&GeoCode=5915055 |title= 2006 Community Profiles - Census Subdivision|accessdate=2008-10-11 |author= Statistics Canada|date= |work= |publisher=] . As of 2007, the mayor is Pam Goldsmith-Jones. Cypress Provincial Park, mostly located within the municipal boundaries, will be one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics. West Vancouver was also named a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2006. [ [http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/newsroom/index_e.cfm?fuseaction=displayDocument&DocIDCd=5N0321 Minister Frulla Announces Cultural Capitals of Canada for 2006] ] West Vancouver is also home of Canada's first shopping mall, Park Royal Shopping Centre. ["West Vancouver", Kerry McPhedran, "The Vancouver Book"]


The Municipality of West Vancouver was incorporated on March 15, 1912, after separating from the District of North Vancouver. The first municipal election was held on April 6, 1912. In November 1938, the Lions' Gate Bridge was opened to traffic, allowing extensive growth of the semi-populated community, previously only accessible by ferry. Some homes in West Vancouver date back to the 1920s and 30s, though most of the currently existing dwellings were built in the 1970s and 80s, and mostly in British Pacific Properties' developments.


*1792 Capt. George Vancouver names Point Atkinson
*1872 James Blake preempted the first 65 hectares of land
*1875 First lighthouse at Point Atkinson
*1898 Mr. Francis Caulfeild was put ashore at Skunk Cove
*1903 Navvy Jack Thomas, a Welsh deserter from the Royal Navy, was the first Caucasian resident of West Vancouver, offered first ferry service to Vancouver in a rowboat. Their house still stands today at Ambleside
*1905 John Lawson, a local leader settled at foot of 17th street
*1908 First pier, Hollyburn Pier
*1909 West Vancouver Transportation Company was formed, provides ferry service across harbour to Vancouver
*1909 "Real estate boom" lots sold for at little as $450 and as much as $4,500
*1910 Water systems started at Caulfeild and Ambleside
*1911 First primary school, Presbyterian Church at Dundarave
*1912 West Vancouver separated from North Vancouver and incorporated on March 15, 1912.
*1912 Population was approximately 1,500 people
*1912 First Municipal election
*1912 Council appointed John Teare as the first police constable on May 17. F.H. Kettle was appointed the second constable on May 28th
*1914 First known settlement, the Coast Salish village at Sandy Cove
*1914 Pacific Great Eastern Railway in service
*1914 Colonel Albert Whyte pressed for a spelling change from White Cliff City to Whytecliff
*1915 Dundarave Pier built
*1915 Marine Drive was officially opened by Premier Richard McBride
*1916 West Vancouver Municipal Transport bus service started operation
*1922 BC Hydro started electrical service
*1924 House numbering scheme started
*1926 Marine Drive extended to Horseshoe Bay
*1926 "Town Planning Act" banned any new industry forming an exclusively residential community with minimum lot sizes
*1927 Inglewood High School built
*1928 Direct telephone service to Vancouver operational
*1930 Septic tanks are mandatory
*1930 Only 48 of West Vancouver's 100 kilometres of roads paved
*1931 Dan Sewell opened his marina and the Whytecliff Lodge
*1932 convert|1600|acre|km2 of land bought by A.R. Guinness-Br. Pacific Properties bought for $50 a hectare, they have been developed as the British Properties
*1934 First police car
*1936 Hollyburn Post Office built at 17th street and Marine Drive
*1938 Lions Gate Bridge finished, opened May 29. The bridge cost a total of $6 million to build
*1947 Ferry service stopped due to lack of demand after bridge constructed
*1950 West Vancouver Memorial Library opened on November 11 (Remembrance Day). The library loans more books per capita than any other library in Canada
*1950 Park Royal Shopping Centre, Canada's first shopping centre opened
*1954 Public Safety Building opened. It housed the West Vancouver Police and Fire Departments
*1959 Rezoning allowed 78 apartment buildings in Ambleside
*1961 The Crescent Apartments, West Vancouver's first high rise apartment opened
*1962 Park Royal Shopping Centre enclosed
*1963 Tolls on Lions Gate Bridge lifted on April 1st
*1967 Fire hall was built and opened on November 22, 1967 at 16th and Fulton Ave. The Police Department remained in the Public Safety building


West Vancouver has no manufacturing industry by law.

Parks and recreation

West Vancouver is mainly a residential district as many residents are retired, work at home, or take the short commute to downtown Vancouver. A 25-block strip of Marine Drive serves as a commercial district, featuring shops, small offices, garages and gas stations, restaurants, banks, and other common amenities. This area is commonly known as 'Ambleside', with a one-block section separated from that area known as 'Dundarave'. West Vancouver is also home to Park Royal Shopping Centre, Canada's first mall. Opened in the 1950s, it now consumes 2 km of both sides of Marine Drive near North Vancouver, and is home to several department stores and large retailers, as well as many small retailers. Park Royal is also the largest mall on the North Shore, and is a bus terminal for Blue Bus and North Vancouver TransLink buses.

Ambleside Park and the 15 block long West Vancouver Seawall are popular spots for families and outdoor enthusiasts. Whytecliff Park is regarded as one of the best scuba diving spots in Western Canada. The District also has many other small parks, as well as scenic Lighthouse Park at Point Atkinson, with incredible views of Downtown Vancouver and Georgia Strait.

West Vancouver has several public recreation facilities including an 18-hole par 3 golf course, a pool, an ice rink, basketball and tennis courts, skateboard parks and numerous public parks. West Vancouver is also home to Cypress Provincial Park with mountain biking trails and a large ski and snowboard facility, and will be one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The West Vancouver Memorial Library, located in Ambleside, has a circulation rate of 21.32 per capita, the highest circulation rate per capita in Canada. [ [http://www.nvdpl.ca/about/info/SpaceNeedsAssessmentandFeasibilityStudy.pdf North Vancouver District Library, Capilano Branch Library, Space Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study (2004)] ]



According to a Statistics Canada 2006 census, West Vancouver has a population of 42,131.cite web |url=http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/profiles/community/Details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=5915055&Geo2=PR&Code2=59&Data=Count&SearchText=West%20Vancouver&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&GeoLevel=&GeoCode=5915055 |title= 2006 Community Profiles - Census Subdivision|accessdate=2008-10-11 |author= Statistics Canada|date= |work= |publisher=] It has the second highest percentage of persons aged 65 or older in BC with 22% of persons fitting into the category, compared with 13% for the rest of the province. The top five professions in West Vancouver are professional science and technical services; retail trade; health care; finance and insurance; and educational services. A large portion of the population is involved in senior management in comparison with the rest of the province."2001 Census Profile of British Columbia's Regions", "West Vancouver DM" BC Stats (subscription service)]

Religious profile

* No religion 29.3%
* Anglican 17.5%
* United Church 17.5%
* Roman Catholic 13.7%
* Muslim 5.9%:Source: 2001 Census Profile, BC Stats


* English 74.5%
* French 0.9%
* Non Official languages 23.7%

"Top 5 non official languages"
* Chinese (all) 28.8%
* Persian 19.2%
* German 11.6%
* Korean 4.9%
* French 3.5%


West Vancouver is served by the Blue Bus, Canada's longest running municipal transportation system and Canada's first 100% wheelchair accessible transit system. Blue Bus is one of two bus companies in Metro Vancouver operating under contract for TransLink, and transfer is free between the Blue Buses and other TransLink buses.

The only freeway route within municipal limits is British Columbia Highway 1 (part of the Trans-Canada Highway), which begins in the community of Horseshoe Bay and continues east into the District of North Vancouver. Highway 99 also runs through West Vancouver, sharing the freeway alignment with Highway 1 between Horseshoe Bay and Taylor Way, and connects the municipality with Downtown Vancouver (via the Lions' Gate Bridge) and Whistler (via the Sea-to-Sky Corridor).

Additionally, BC Ferries operates routes departing from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo, Bowen Island, and the Sunshine Coast.


West Vancouver is known for its parks such as Cypress Provincial Park, which offers scenic views of Howe Sound and the Metro Vancouver area. Those looking for a day-drive to see Howe Sound can enjoy Whytecliff Park and Horseshoe Bay Village, at the continental terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway. All of West Vancouver is situated on the side of the Coast Mountains. Because of this unique position, most homes in West Vancouver have views of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and/or Howe Sound.


West Vancouver is home to some very large and expensive properties and houses. Occasionally, houses have been priced and sold at around CAD$20,000,000. As of 2006, West Vancouver's average house sells for over CAD$1,250,000; [ [http://www.realtylink.org/hpi/rebgvhpistats.cfm?date=0706&TYPE=buyers Benchmark Detached Home Price, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver] ] 70% of the houses or close to 8,000 homes were worth over CAD$1 million. West Vancouver is often referred to as the most expensive municipality in Canada, though two Ontario municipalities west of Toronto (Oakville and Mississauga) are often considered contenders for the same title. 40% of the male population and 18% of the female population of West Vancouver earned over $60,000 in 2000. Average total incomes were $86,253 for males and $37,133 for females, almost double the provincial average. Over 50% of the population has a total family income of at least $90,000.2001 Census Profile of British Columbia's Regions, "West Vancouver DM" BC Stats (subscription service)]


Provincially, West Vancouver elected Joan McIntyre and Ralph Sultan of the BC Liberal Party in the 2005 Provincial election.

Federally, West Vancouver historically voted Liberal prior to 1974, then voted Conservative, electing John Reynolds of the Reform Party of Canada (later the Canadian Alliance) from 1997 to 2004. Reynolds declined to run for re-election in 2006, however, and Liberal Blair Wilson defeated Conservative John Weston to replace Reynolds as Member of Parliament from the West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country electoral district. Wilson left the Liberals in 2007 and joined the Green Party in 2008, becoming the first Green Member of Parliament.


Public schools are operated by School District 45 West Vancouver.

urrounding municipalities

Canadian City Geographic Location (8-way)
Northwest = Lions Bay
Sunshine Coast "(by [http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/mainland/vasc-current.html ferry] )"
North = "North Shore Mountains"
Northeast = "North Shore Mountains"
West = Bowen Island "(by [http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/mainland/biva-current.html ferry] )"
"Howe Sound"
Centre = West Vancouver
East = District of North Vancouver
City of North Vancouver
Southwest = "English Bay"
South = Vancouver
"(via Lions' Gate Bridge)"
Southeast =


*"Some highlights of West Vancouver" (author unknown), West Vancouver Memorial Library archives
* [http://westvancouverpolice.ca/#top http://westvancouverpolice.ca/ "History of the West Vancouver Police Department"]
*"West Vancouver", "The Encyclopedia of British Columbia" (online edition), C 2000 Harbour Publishing


External links

* [http://www.westvancouver.net/ Official District Web Site]
* [http://www.wvma.net/ West Vancouver Museum and Archives]
* [http://www.wvpd.ca/ West Vancouver Police Department]
* [http://westvancouver.net/article.asp?c=885 West Vancouver Blue Buses]
* [http://www.cbc.ca/canadavotes/riding/305/ CBC - Canada Votes 2006]


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