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  • Writer's pictureMagy Aguiluz

Life in Vancouver: Living in North Vancouver, BC

Updated: Feb 25


Beautiful sunset, snow, Vancouver ski hill, snowy pines, cloud inversion



There is no doubt that every city in this world has its beauty, but in my opinion, North Vancouver is one of the most welcoming places to live. One of the first things that captivated me when I first moved to North Vancouver was definitely its nature. It is not a very big city but it is known to respect the nature that surrounds it and at the same time take advantage of it to make it a healthy place to live. It’s filled with beautiful hiking trails, surrounded by mountains and has access to multiple beaches.


The North Shore, as many like to call it, is a city that has not grown much vertically and continues to maintain its suburban characteristics. I have lived in this city for 5 years and despite the little room for growth, you can mostly see low-rise houses instead of large skyscrapers. On the other hand, it is a city that is not flat, it is built on a mountain, which means that there are beautiful views from any point where you can see the ocean and downtown Vancouver. Also, it is a very family-oriented city, with many activities for children.


It is close enough to the city (Vancouver) that your commute to work won’t be hard while at the same time being isolated enough to still have that outdoor feel to it.


Let's dive into the advantages of North Vancouver


Accessibility:

North Vancouver is a vibrant city that is constantly evolving. Getting around is convenient as you can explore many areas on foot, and for those that are further away, bicycles are a popular option with bike lanes and dedicated paths throughout the city. Additionally, buses are readily available to take you anywhere you need to go, or if you prefer to drive, there are ample parking options. The city is actively promoting sustainable transportation options such as walking, cycling, public transit, and other alternatives to help reduce our carbon footprint. for more information click here.


Nature:


Something that I really like here is the amount of things that one can do and how they are mostly free.


Do you like to enjoy an outdoor walk, hike or even go for a bike ride?


First and foremost, we can start with the number of trails in the forests, where you can go from a simple hike to a much more complex one such as entering the mountains. Here’s a helpful link from the district of North Vancouver that has a map with trails for hikers and cyclists that run through the District and across the North Shore.


In turn, if you enjoy cycling, the city is getting better and better at making many roads within the city for the use of bicycles instead of motor vehicles. You can traverse the entire city on these bike trails. Here’s a detailed map with these trails.


North Shore BMX
North Shore BMX


But if you like the adventure of mountain bikes more, there are also many special trails for this type of adrenaline, as well as a completely free BMX track where you can practice a lot and you can even be part of BMX North shore where children from 2 years old can be part. Here’s their website and here’s their Facebook page in case you wish to learn more.


North Vancouver is blessed with its close proximity to the 3 mountains, making it one of the most stunning locations in the area. The breathtaking view of the towering peaks is undeniably one of the most alluring features of this region.

To the East of North Vancouver you can find Seymour Mountain, where you can reach both by bus and by car. You don't need a gondola to already be in the snow. And you don't need a pass to get in and do lots of hiking and having fun in the snow. But if you want to ski or do winter activities you can also pay for your day ticket or your annual pass. Here’s the link for the resort


In the middle of North Vancouver we have Grouse Mountain, to get to it you have two options: one is to pay your day or annual pass to use the gondola and the other is to hike and get to the mountain. The most common is to do the Grouse Grind trail. If you do decide to go to Grouse Mountain, here’s a link to their website in case you want to learn more before you go.


To the west of North Vancouver we have Cypress Mountain, which like Seymour can be reached by car. It offers different trails that are very well signed and are completely free. However, If you want to use the Resort for skiing, snowboarding, etc. you would need a pass in order to ride the lifts. You can find all the information you want regarding Cypress Mountain here.


Last but not least, if you have kids and are looking for playgrounds you will be pleasantly surprised by the multitude of options the city of North Vancouver provides. Here is a fun “KidCity” map that shows you the location of playgrounds, schools, community gardens, splash parks and even duck ponds!



Beach in North Vancouver, clear day

North Vancouver boasts a plethora of stunning beaches with breathtaking views, including the renowned Cates Park. This expansive park is ideal for picnics, featuring a pristine beach area perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding. Additionally, there is a well-maintained playground that children can enjoy. For those seeking adventure, the surrounding area offers opportunities for short hikes with scenic vistas. During the summer months, Cates Park is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike, with its picturesque setting attracting crowds of nature enthusiasts.


Activities and Entertainment: Explore the activities and entertainment options available in North Vancouver.


Places to visit:






North Vancouver boasts numerous community centers that offer a plethora of activities, ranging from sports and arts and crafts to language classes, children's programs, and beyond. Not only do these centers provide a fantastic opportunity to engage in community activities, but they also offer a chance to meet new people and expand your social network.


To register with a Community Center in North Vancouver, follow these simple steps:


1. Visit the City of North Vancouver website or use Google maps to locate the nearest community center.

2. Browse through the schedule and classes available at the community center.

3. Register conveniently online or in person at the community center.


The not so good of North Vancouver


Like everything in life, North Vancouver, as wonderful as it is, has imperfections. One of them is how excessively expensive rents are and this is because it is a city that cannot grow anymore and the demand to live here is very high.


On the other hand, another imperfection would be that if you are traveling by car (or bus), then it is only possible to leave this city through the two bridges. To the west we have Lions Gate Bridge and to the east we have Iron Workers Memorial, which in the busiest hours can be chaotic with traffic and long lines to cross. The flipside would be that if you are willing to leave your car at home you can easily hop on the Seabus which you board at Lonsdale Quay and takes 15 minutes to cross to Waterfront Station (which is in Downtown Vancouver). This is very useful especially for people who work in Downtown or nearby. Because even when crossing the Waterfront you can take the Skytrain that takes you quicker (and cheaper) than by using your own car!


In conclusion, North Vancouver is a great place to live. If you can find a good deal housing wise then I am sure you will not regret your decision to move here.



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