If you’ve never had your butcher offer you a free bag of bones for your dog, or had your barista warmly welcome you by your first name, you’re missing out on that neighbourhood that everyone should be searching for. We’re here to help you find it.
Lay of the land.
Richmond, BC, is a dynamic city that serves as the gateway to the Lower Mainland, thanks to its proximity to Vancouver International Airport (YVR). But beyond the roar of the jet engines lies a city teeming with life and culture. Local real estate expert Vincent Lim, a proud resident of Richmond, offers a unique perspective on the city's diverse neighbourhoods in Season One of RealTours, a must-watch if you’re thinking about making a move to the area.
The city can be broadly categorized into three distinct areas: the bustling Airport region at Sea Island, the vibrant heart of Central Richmond (located both south and north of the Fraser River - yes, you read that right), and the serene waterside community of Steveston to the south. Each area offers its own charm and character, making Richmond a city worth exploring.
Central Richmond stands as the city's beating heart, offering a blend of modernity and tradition. The northern waterfront boasts the state-of-the-art Richmond Olympic Oval, a reminder of the city's role in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Surrounding the Oval are some of the city's most luxurious condos, with prominent developers like ASPAC, Intracorp, and Onni leaving their mark on the skyline.
Venture south, and you'll find yourself in the quaint community of Steveston, with its Fisherman's Wharf and scenic waterfront. Steveston Village, scattered with charming streets and seafood establishments (featuring the best fish and chips in the province), is the crown jewel of the area. The newer townhouse complexes around the Village offer modern amenities while retaining the area's old-world charm. Once people move to Steveston, they seldom want to leave - a testament to the lifestyle the area provides.
On the house.
The allure of Richmond is undeniable. With its strategic location and diverse neighbourhoods, the city is attracting a steady stream of homebuyers. From the luxury condos of Central Richmond to the serene townhouses of Steveston, there's something for everyone. And with developers like ASPAC leading the charge, Richmond's real estate scene is poised for even greater heights.
The luxury master-planned community of River Green by ASPAC Developments is Richmond's Coal Harbour, so to speak. In RealTours, Vincent Lim likens the community to some of BC's most affluent neighbourhoods, offering a blend of location, convenience, and amenities. With its waterfront views, top-tier finishes, and a grand lobby complete with concierge services, River Green is setting the gold standard for luxury living in Richmond.
For first-time buyers, Central Richmond is a dream come true. The area offers unparalleled convenience, with the SkyTrain, community centre, and a plethora of dining and shopping options just a stone's throw away. The ongoing development in the region is a testament to its growing appeal, making it a hotspot for investors and young families.
Steveston, on the other hand, feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of Central Richmond. The area is dotted with low-rise condos, townhomes, and single-family homes, offering something for everyone. The school catchment area here is top-notch, drawing many growing families to the area in recent years.
Room for activities.
Richmond offers plenty of recreational activities, from water skiing on the Fraser River to ice skating at the Richmond Olympic Oval. For those who prefer dry land, the city's extensive network of biking and hiking trails provides dozens of opportunities for exploration. The West Dyke Trail boasts panoramic views of the ocean, mountains, and the city skyline, making it a favourite among both locals and tourists.
For those who prefer their outdoor activities to come with a hot dog at the halfway point, Richmond is blessed with several world-class golf courses throughout the city. And the Richmond Olympic Oval, believe it or not, has more to offer than just skating. Beyond its iconic ice rinks, the Oval has facilities for rock climbing, table tennis, basketball, and badminton. Its state-of-the-art fitness centre includes the latest in training equipment, and the indoor rowing and kayaking simulators provide a unique training experience.
Down to business.
Richmond's business scene is as diverse as its neighbourhoods. From the artisanal coffee shops of Central Richmond to the seafood in Steveston, the city offers a culinary journey like no other. Richmond's business scene is thriving.
Matcha Cafe Maiko
Dive in and savour the matcha magic. Nestled in the heart of Central Richmond, Matcha Cafe Maiko is a haven for matcha enthusiasts. Renowned for their delectable matcha soft serve, they artfully blend their ice cream with flavours like ube, hojicha, and vanilla, creating a symphony of tastes. And if you're in the mood for a warm beverage, their matcha lattes are simply perfection, making every visit a delightful experience (no matter what the weather looks like).
The Richmond Night Market
Explore the Richmond Night Market, an expansive bazaar brimming with food and beverage stalls. The market’s reputation is nothing short of legendary, and its sheer magnitude and variety are extremely impressive. From tantalizing fried octopus and authentic banh mi to crispy chicken delights, the offerings here are so extensive that if you were to sample a different stall each evening, you'd be rolled out of the market.
A word to the wise: pace yourself.
Pajo’s, Garry Point, and Dave’s Fish and Chips
Yes, we could have picked just one of the chip shops in Steveston to highlight, but the truth is that all three of these local businesses are worth visiting. So don’t feel like you’re cheating yourself if you visit the restaurant with the shortest line. Don’t skimp on the salt and malted vinegar.
Located in the southeast corner of the city, just on the north side of the Massey Tunnel, sits a gem of a brewery with incredible beverages on tap. Fuggles Beer is known for its eclectic tasting room, where the brewery features live events and arcade games. Fuggles has a reverence for retro sci-fi nostalgia, which you can spot on its comic-book-inspired cans. Swing by for a cold beverage and a Mario Kart tournament.
School's in session.
Richmond's School District is a testament to the city's commitment to education. With its array of elementary, middle, and high schools, the district is nurturing the next generation of leaders. And with private schools and French Immersion programs also on offer, Richmond's students have no shortage of options. School district number 38 consists of 48 schools, 38 elementary schools and 10 secondary schools.