Squamish, British Columbia

Christina Newberry
March 10, 2016

A former logging town and pit stop for travellers to Whistler, Squamish is coming into its own. Ambitious plans are underway to redevelop the city’s core and waterfront. The oceanfront lands were sold to Newport Beach Developments Limited Partnership on February 3, with a major mixed-use development including about 1,100 residential units scheduled to break ground later this year. Another 2,000 residential units could be built on another piece of land two kilometres from downtown Squamish.

Quest University, an independent, not-for-profit university that opened in 2007, has also added to the community’s allure.

Employment in Squamish is dominated by construction, retail and hospitality. Outdoor sports also contribute to the economy. The Chief, a popular peak for hikers and rock-climbers, dominates the Squamish landscape. Windsurfers and kite boarders from all corners of the world find their way to Squamish for the great wind and marine conditions. The community also offers access to extensive trail networks.

Squamish offers a huge range of real estate options, from studio condos starting at around $100,000 to 5,000+-square-foot homes for about $2 million. View Squamish homes for sale and upcoming open houses.

Squamish Amenities


Squamish has developed as a key retail centre along the Sea to Sky Highway. A growing population and strong tourism traffic have boosted the appeal to retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot and Save-On Foods, while the shops along Cleveland Avenue provide small-town charm. On Saturdays from May to October, the Squamish farmers’ market offers local produce.

Cafés and Restaurants

Squamish offers plenty of restaurants, dominated by casual fare. Chef Big D’s is a favourite spot for breakfast and brunch, and the Howe Sound Brewing Company is known for its craft beer.

Arts and Culture

Squamish has an active arts scene headed up by the Squamish Arts Council, which manages the galleries at the Arts Council building and the Artisan Galleries on Main Street. The Squamish First Nation celebrates and promotes Indigenous art, dance and other cultural traditions dating back to the Coast Salish peoples.

Sports and Recreation

Squamish calls itself the “outdoor recreation capital of Canada,” and with good reason. The area draws rock-climbers from all over the world to its more than 1,500 climbing routes, including the legendary Stawamus Chief. Those who don't want to venture the sheer rock face can take one of the hiking trails (or snowshoe in the winter), or head out for a round of golf. Boating, kayaking, windsurfing, mountain biking, kite boarding and eagle watching are also popular. The new Sea to Sky Gondola opens up even more hiking and climbing possibilities.


Squamish is connected to surrounding communities by the Sea to Sky Highway. BC Ferries offers services to the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island from Horseshoe Bay, a 35-minute drive south, and Squamish has its own municipal airport and floatplane access for charter flights. Residents use the Squamish Transit System for local jaunts.

Squamish Schools and Education

Primary schools

Middle school (Grades 7–9)

Secondary school


Squamish Property Statistics

Average home price in downtown Squamish1  $530,166

Rental information2

Average monthly shelter costs for rental dwellings


Makeup of dwellings3

Total occupied private dwellings


Single detached houses


Semi-detached and row houses




Apartments, five or more storeys


Apartments, less than five storeys


Moveable dwellings


Squamish Demographics3

Population 17,158




60 to 79


40 to 59


20 to 39


5 to 19


0 to 4


Neighbourhoods Surrounding Squamish

1REW.ca interactive map, incorporating data from the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, March 2016. The number is exclusively based on listings in downtown Squamish.

2Statistics Canada. Squamish, DM, British Columbia (Code 5931006) (table). National Household Survey (NHS) Profile. 2011 National Household Survey. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 99-004-XWE. Ottawa. Released September 11, 2013. The figure Includes all shelter expenses paid by households that rent their dwellings, such as the monthly rent and the costs of electricity, heat and municipal services.

3Statistics Canada. Squamish, British Columbia (Code 5931006) and Canada (Code 01) (table). Census Profile. 2011 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-XWE. Ottawa. Released October 24, 2012.

Christina Newberry
Christina Newberry is a Vancouver-based writer and editor who writes lifestyle and travel stories for publications both online and in print. When she's not travelling, Christina can be found exploring Vancouver's unique neighbourhoods or puttering in her community garden plot.