The City of North Vancouver has 44,000 residents and lies directly across the Burrard Inlet from Vancouver's downtown, accessible by sea using the SeaBus passenger ferry, or via either the Lion's Gate Bridge or the Second Narrows (Ironworkers Memorial) Bridge. Residents are typically about a half hour from downtown Vancouver, whether by road or by SeaBus. The City of North Vancouver has three exits on the #1 Upper Levels Highway: Lynn Valley Road (Exit 19), Lonsdale Avenue (Exit 18), and Westview Drive (Exit 17). The North Shore's bus transit hub is Lonsdale Quay, location of the SeaBus terminal.
The City of North Vancouver is not to be confused by the District of North Vancouver, which surrounds the City to the north and the east and has a population of 82,000.
In the early days, the north shore was primarily a tough logging and mill community, In the early 1900s, grandiose plans for North Vancouver were disrupted by the worldwide depression in 1913 followed immediately by World War I. One of the Gran plans was to build a ring of boulevards around the community, today run from Victoria Park along Keith Road to and then up Grand Boulevard. When the Great Depression began in 1929, the community suffered economic difficulties and severe tax shortfalls. Both the City and the District were placed in receivership in 1933. The opening of the Lions' Gate Bridge in 1938 to supplement the [first] Second Narrows Bridge (which was lower than today's span, and was often hit by passing ships, disrupting road traffic) made the North Shore more accessible. During the Second World War, many ships were built in the Burrard Drydock at the foot of Lonsdale. After the war North Vancouver was primarily a cottage area.
Over the past few decades "North Van" has evolved into a family-oriented community with a population of about 120,000 attracted by its spectacular mountainside location with two mountains and ski hills (Grouse and Seymour) and two scenic river valleys. On the downside, this area attracts a lot of rain as the moist ocean air masses get pushed up the mountains.
Homes in North Vancouver run $875-935,000; townhouses can set up back $570-612,000; and condos are priced in the $372-388,000 range.
Most houses are bungalows, ranch homes, and two-storey walk-ups, with some new executive detached homes in the north. There are an increasing number of townhouses and condos near the water, and clustered around Lonsdale Avenue. Nicer residential neighbourhoods include: Lynn Valley close to the Lynn Creek parks, The Boulevard with older homes on larger lots around Grand Boulevard Park, Montroyal and Canyon Heights offer an elevated view from the slopes of Grouse Mountain, with a new subdivision called Grouse Woods under development.
The City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver share one school board. Of special interest, Larson School (K-7) offers French immersion programs, and the Canadian International College on the Dollarton Highway offers English classes and business studies for Japanese students. Francophone programs are offered at Ecole Andre Piolat (K-7), Balmoral Jr Secondary (8-1) and Handsworth Secondary (11-12). North Vancouver is also home to Capilano College which offers two year programs.
There are lots of places to shop in North Vancouver, and there are several shopping malls in the community. Lonsdale Quay is a popular destination for both locals and visitors, located right beside the SeaBus station, with a public market and a great view on the waterfront. There are also lots of shopping & dining up Lonsdale Avenue toward the #1 Upper Levels Highway, and to the west along Marine Drive. For power shopping, residents tend to go to Park Royal just west of the Capilano River in West Vancouver.
The community lives in the shadow of grouse Mountain (above Lonsdale) and Mount Seymour Provincial Park (above the neighbourhood of Deep Cove), with its skiing & snowboarding in winter and hiking & mountain biking in summer. The Capilano River is the site of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Capilano Fish Hatchery at Capilano River Regional Park, and Cleveland Dam and Capilano Lake. The Lynn Valley is home to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (which is free!) in Lynn Canyon Park, Capilano College, and the Maplewood Flats conservation area. To the east is Indian Arm, an offshoot of Burrard Inlet, is well known for its sea kayaking at Deep Cove.
Running the length of the North Shore is the 50 kilometre Baden-Powell Trail, which runs from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove, as well as the renowned and almost vertical Grouse Grind hiking trail. North Vancouver Neighbourhoods
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