While locals have always loved this small town, Squamish has long lived in the shadow of its larger neighbours, Whistler and Vancouver. But with plenty of new development underway and a red-hot real estate market, this outdoor enthusiast’s paradise has come into its own as a highly desirable residential destination along the Sea to Sky corridor, especially for young families. Here are five great reasons to call Squamish home.
1. The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada
Squamish may have bestowed this title upon itself, but it’s unlikely any other municipality will step up to challenge the claim. It would be a tough battle, since Squamish is not only a world-famous destination for rock climbing, but also offers plenty of hiking, biking, kite boarding, kayaking, snowshoeing, eagle watching and golf. The Sea to Sky Gondola, opened in 2014, has opened up a whole new way to access mountain hiking and snowshoeing trails, or for armchair athletes to get in on the iconic views of Howe Sound.
2. An Alternative to the Suburbs
Just a 45-minute drive from Vancouver along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway, Squamish is well within commuting territory – but it’s got the heartbeat of a small town rather than a suburb. There are also employment opportunities in town for those who prefer to work where they live – primarily in construction, retail and hospitality – and the District is looking to increase entrepreneurship and new business development in the coming years.
3. Easy Access to Vancouver and Whistler
Squamish is at the halfway mark between Vancouver and Whistler, giving residents easy access to both destinations for work and play. If residents somehow wear themselves out on the outdoor recreation options at their doorstep, world-class skiing and snowboarding at Whistler-Blackcomb is less than an hour away.
4. A Young and Thriving Population
More than half the Squamish population is under 40 – and there are more than three times as many residents under five years of age as there are over 80. For young families, that means plenty of friends for kids to play with and a strong sense of community. With three elementary schools, one each of middle and secondary schools, and two universities, the region is well equipped to keep its young people learning.
5. Real Estate Options for All
While single-family homes currently dominate the real estate landscape, new condo and townhouse developments are the hottest tickets in town – a 64-unit condo development sold out in just 90 minutes when it opened for pre-sales in November 2015. Still, there are real estate options for all budgets and family sizes, ranging from a $100,000 studio to a couple of million for a large estate.