West Vancouver: The view from the top.

West Vancouver is much more than mega-mansions.

Date14.11.2023
Words byREW Editor
Sponsored
West Vancouver: The view from the top.  hero image
INTRODUCTION
Neighbourhoods matter a lot. And not just for resale value, either. In their own way, they are alive. They live, breathe, grow and develop. And there’s a sense of each of these places, something that’s impossible to engineer; a certain feeling that comes from knowing the people in your community, and of feeling like you’re a part of it.

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.

Often regarded as one of Canada's most prestigious neighbourhoods, West Vancouver is a blend of natural beauty, views and one-of-a-kind homes. The city is divided by the Trans-Canada Highway, offering two distinct experiences. Above the highway to the north, the British Properties stand tall, boasting estates with panoramic views that are nothing short of breathtaking. It’s here that the planned Cypress Village, too, offers a serene environment with vistas that can rival any in the world.

Below the highway, the atmosphere shifts to a more communal feel. Ambleside, with its beach vibes, and Dundarave, with its larger homes and waterfront properties, provide a gateway to the iconic seawall. Stretching all the way to Lions Bay, West Vancouver's limited waterfront properties, coupled with its world-class views, make it a real estate haven.

We explore the city in Season One of RealTours with local realtor Jesse Dean Cook. Watch now.

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On the house.

No matter which side of the highway you end up on, the luxury housing market is thriving in this neck of the woods. West Vancouver has some of the most sought-after real estate in Canada, for more than a few reasons. The scarcity, especially of waterfront properties, drives demand and pricing to unparalleled heights.

Above the highway, the estates offer views of, well, pretty much everything from the Lions Gate Bridge to Mt. Baker. On top of the views, homes are located just a stone's throw from Cypress Mountain and a short hour and fifteen-minute drive to Whistler.


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Below, Ambleside and Dundarave offer more of a friendly community feel. Ambleside is the epitome of beach community living. With the seawall stretching to its sandy shores, the area boasts incredible walkability, drawing interest from families. The real estate here, especially the penthouses, ranks among the priciest in Canada per square foot. Despite its luxury, Ambleside is diverse, welcoming people from all walks of life. The lots here might be smaller than what you’ll find in the British Properties, but then again, everything is smaller than what you’d find in the British Properties.

Just a short drive from Ambleside, Dundarave offers a different experience. Larger lots, expansive homes, and some of Canada's most stunning properties define this area. Dundarave has evolved into an international hub with top-tier schools and luxury condos in the works. The city's vision for Dundarave is clear: to make it the heart of West Vancouver. With a shift towards smaller properties to accommodate younger families, the neighbourhood is buzzing with energy.

Thanks to a variety of unique homes, West Vancouver ensures there's something for everyone, with more options coming in the not-so-distant future. Speaking of which.

Future plans.

The future of West Vancouver lies in Cypress Village. This new project is calling for 3,700 new housing units for approximately 7,000 people, along with a grocery store, shops and services, and a new public school. Cypress Village aims to cater to young families and downsizers alike, creating a community where residents won’t have to leave to shop, eat and go to school. It’s a missing piece north of the highway in West Van.

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Room for activities.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the North Shore Mountains, this region is a dream for those seeking relaxation, adrenaline, or both from the great outdoors. Probably not at the same time, though.

A stroll along Ambleside Park is a great place to start, with mesmerizing views of the Lions Gate Bridge and Vancouver's skyline as your backdrop. The sandy beaches here are perfect for sunbathing, picnicking and even skimboarding during the warmer months.

For the more adventurous souls, the rugged trails of Cypress Mountain beckon. Whether you're into hiking, mountain biking, or snow sports during the winter, Cypress will become your new metaphorical and literal base camp. The Cypress Trestle Bridge is a local favourite, connecting the Mountain Path trail network and offering incredible views of the city.

Lighthouse Park, with its towering old-growth cedar and fir trees, offers numerous trails leading to viewpoints overlooking the rugged coastline and distant islands. West Vancouver's close proximity to the ocean means water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding and sailing are readily accessible. And after a day full of activity, nothing beats watching the sunset from Whytecliff Park, known for its stunning vistas and regular seal sightings. In West Vancouver, the great outdoors is always just a few steps away.

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Watch RealTours: West Vancouver
Discover the real West Van with local realtor Jesse Dean Cook
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Down to business.

West Vancouver is not just about scenic views, it's also a hub for local businesses. Whether you're in the mood for a pint of beer or a pint of ice cream, West Vancouver has got you covered. Here are some of our favourite local businesses in West Van.

Learn more: Earls

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Bar Olo

Bar Olo, nestled in the heart of the Dundarave neighbourhood in West Vancouver, stands as a testament to the adage, "Life is Better With Pasta." The ambiance exudes a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for any meal, be it lunch, brunch, dinner or even just cocktails. Among the must-try dishes are the Five Meat Bolognaise Strozzapreti and Sebastian's Veal Chop Parm, both of which have garnered rave reviews from diners. Adding a touch of celebrity to the establishment, real estate mavens and RealTours stars Jesse Dean Cook and Amanda Wood Cook are proud investors in the business. Whether you're looking to savour authentic Italian flavours or enjoy a leisurely cocktail, Bar Olo in Dundarave is the place to be.

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Crema Café

Over in Ambleside, Crema Café is a sanctuary for those who appreciate the finer things in life. From the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to the tantalizing tastes of wood-fired pizza, every aspect of Crema is designed to captivate the senses. Their commitment to genuine service and the magic of delectable food and drinks is evident in every cup, slice and bite.

Regulars rave about the unparalleled taste of their drip coffee and the irresistible allure of the double almond croissants. But Crema's offerings don't stop at espresso and baked goods. With the recent addition of pizza and wine to their repertoire, they've truly become a versatile dining destination. The warmth of the staff, combined with their impeccable service, makes Crema Café an all-around delightful spot.

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Temper Chocolate & Pastry

If you have a sweet tooth in West Vancouver, you’re in for a treat. Temper Chocolate & Pastry offers limited edition chocolates, cakes, confections and sweet gifts of all kinds. Their Dundarave location also serves fresh baked Viennoiserie, from Chocolate Almond Croissants to Orange Cranberry Scones and Breakfast Sandwiches. When you need something sweet, you need to calm yourself…and embrace a little Temper.

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Image captured from: Temper Chocolate & Pastry

School's in session.

West Vancouver's School District, known as School District 45, is renowned for its commitment to excellence in education. Covering the entirety of West Vancouver, from Ambleside to Lions Bay, the district is home to a number of top-tier schools.

There are 14 elementary schools, three secondary schools, and a variety of alternative programs to cater to the diverse needs of its students. The district's reputation for academic achievement is complemented by its emphasis on arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities.

With a dedicated team of educators and state-of-the-art facilities, students in West Vancouver are provided with a holistic education experience. Additionally, the presence of several esteemed private institutions further enhances the educational landscape of this prestigious community.

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