North Vancouver is a waterfront municipality north of the Burrard Inlet, across the City of Vancouver. Together with West Vancouver and the District Municipality of North Vancouver, these three make up what is known as the “North Shore.”
Encased by the North Shore Mountains—Grouse, Cypress, and Seymour—North Van offers easy access to nature, while being the most urbanized community on the North Shore. North Vancouver was originally a massive incorporated municipality, spanning from Deep Cove to Dundarave. Coupled with the fact that it used to be a swampy area, settlers had a tough time developing the land: bridges were swept away, and buildings collapsed. And when the young city declared bankruptcy in the 1890s, it forced the formation of West Vancouver and the District Municipality of North Vancouver, who chose to break away from the original municipality.
In time, the city did recover. Lonsdale Avenue (named after Arthur Heywood-Lonsdale, who made significant investments in the city’s development) revitalized the city with the help of North Vancouver Ferries, who brought North Van residents to their work in Vancouver, across the bay. This brought in more businesses and visitors, which jumpstarted the economy.
Now, the City is a bustling, densely populated urban centre, with a mix of active, green-minded residents, and a variety of things to do and see. Visit Lonsdale Quay to purchase fresh produce or buy some alder-smoked salmon, or beer from microbreweries. Chat with First Nations artists who feature their art at local galleries; or challenge yourself to brave the infamous “Grouse Grind” on Grouse Mountain. Amazingly, all these and more are just a 20-minute drive away from downtown.