Dunbar is located along Dunbar Street between West 16th Avenue to the north, West 41st Avenue to the south, Mackenzie/Puget Drive to the east and Camosun Street to the west. It’s a quiet, tree-lined community of single-family houses, flower gardens, large parks, mom-and-pop shops and the Dunbar Community Centre.
In 1908, however, the neighbourhood was nothing more than a mass of fallen, burnt timbers. In 1912, Dunbar’s first non-native settlers – the Mounts – purchased a lot on 22nd Avenue and built a shack. Shortly thereafter the surrounding land was subdivided into lots and a streetcar was installed along Dunbar Street (then known as Clare Road).
Many early Dunbar homes still stand today. Those built prior to 1920 are largely English Arts and Crafts and Edwardian building styles. In the mid-1920s, early zoning bylaws demanded that Dunbar homes be situated well back on their lots. A handful of these still stand today, and they are considered neighbourhood landmarks.
Dunbar real estate mainly consists of single, detached homes with an average price tag of $1.7 million. Many have mortgage helpers in the basement because of Dunbar’s proximity to UBC. In recent years, several low-rise condominium and apartment buildings have gone up along Dunbar Street. The average price of a suite in one of these Dunbar developments is $530,000.
Retail activity in Dunbar occurs exclusively along Dunbar Street. South Dunbar, near West 41st Avenue, includes florists, financial institutions, healthcare professionals and a large IGA supermarket. North Dunbar features a BC Liquor Store and Home Hardware. Central Dunbar – where most shopping takes place – is home to antique dealers, fashion retailers, children’s services, a bicycle shop, pet store, drugstore and Stong’s Market – an award-winning, family-owned-and-operated grocery store that’s been a Dunbar institution since 1931.
Schools and Education in Dunbar
- École Jules Quesnel (French immersion)
- Immaculate Conception School (private Catholic school)
- Lord Kitchener Elementary School
- Queen Elizabeth Annex School
- Queen Elizabeth School
- St. George’s School (private day and boarding school for boys K-12)
Dunbar Cafés and Restaurants
While Dunbar isn’t known as a dining destination, residents can choose from several family eateries in the area. Simon’s Kitchen, featuring MSG-free Chinese fare, has been a neighbourhood mainstay for years. Brick Oven Pizzeria also enjoys a long history in Dunbar and is well known for its hand-tossed, oven-fired pies. A newcomer, Jethro’s Fine Grub, serves giant breakfast and lunch dishes and can be identified by the hungry folks hanging around the door waiting for a seat. The Dunbar offers pub-style plates and ales, and La Notte Restaurant has been serving up delicious Italian cuisine for more than 20 years. There are also plenty of coffee shops on Dunbar Street – some are chain operations (Starbucks, Tim Hortons) and some independently owned (Bean Town Coffee House, Kokopelli Cafe).
Dunbar Sports and Recreation
Residents will tell you that Dunbar revolves around its recreational spaces and activities. Dunbar Little League is one of the most active kids’ baseball and T-Ball leagues in the City of Vancouver. Many of the local parks keep well-maintained baseball diamonds, and both Balaclava Park and Chaldecott Park feature summertime water activities and day camps.
Not only does Dunbar boast numerous public parks, it shares its western border with Pacific Spirit Regional Park, which comprises 763 acres of forest, wildlife, walking/running and biking trails that separate the City of Vancouver from the University of British Columbia.
The Dunbar Community Centre could easily be called the epicentre of the Dunbar area. Serving as a gathering place for community members, it also offers quality, year-round programs for all age groups, from pre-school and youth to seniors. The local pool is at Lord Byng School and features a whirpool, sauna and weight room.
Although Dunbar is not located near any rapid-transit SkyTrain routes, the 33 and 25 TransLink crosstown buses originate at UBC and connect to all three SkyTrain lines, making Richmond, Vancouver East, Burnaby and New Westminster accessible. The 7 and 32 travel along Dunbar from 41st through Kitsilano to Downtown.
Dunbar Property Statistics
|Average gross rent||$1,365|
*Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, benchmark sale prices in Dunbar for February 2011 generated by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI)
**Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, average sale prices in Dunbar, Mackenzie Heights, Southlands for 12 months ended November 3, 2010
Population* – 21,480
|40 to 64||37.8%|
|20 to 39||23.1%|
|19 and under||25.8%|
|Apartment, under five stories||4.7%|
|Apartment, five or more stories||0.0%|
Neighbourhoods surrounding Dunbar
View Dunbar MLS® listings
|Born and raised in one of the first houses to be built in the Dunbar-Southlands area, this area was my backyard for over 25 years. I watched as the farmland and forests were transformed into the neighbourhoods that maintained the feel of the country just minutes from downtown.Submitted by Taryn Brown, Taryn Brown Real Estate Marketing Group|