It is no secret that Vancouver's skyline is dominated by the towering glass and steel high-rises of Yaletown and Coal Harbour. Even Gastown, a decidedly posh neighbourhood in Downtown Vancouver, has transformed from its storied past as the city's original downtown into an area which attracts tourists with its historic buildings and trendy boutiques.
This leads us to West Point Grey.
Much like a distant island in the ever-expanding sea of Vancouver's high-rises, West Point Grey sits just minutes from Downtown Vancouver, yet has no real connection with it. Unlike many other areas of Vancouver, this enclave is comprised primarily of single-family homes rather than condominiums and thus has a much more suburban feel to it than many other areas of the city.
In addition to its distinct lack of condominiums, West Point Grey is something of an anomaly in Vancouver due to the large number of parks and recreational facilities that are nearby. In fact, a mere stroll through the neighbourhood will take you past two golf courses (Stanley Park and some of the most prestigious private courses in the city), a number of parks, beaches, and playgrounds. This area has more than its fair share of recreational facilities, which is especially appealing to families who are looking for an alternative to living downtown.
Here are five reasons why this Vancouver neighbourhood should be at the top of your list when you're looking to move:
1. Impeccable Property Options are Available to You
West Point Grey is home to some of the best housing options in Vancouver, not to mention some of the more affordable options. While the average price of a detached house in West Point Grey clocks in at $4 million, there are still options for those who are looking to spend less than $1 million, something that has become increasingly difficult to find in this trendy city.
From west-facing bungalows that look out onto the ocean to mid-century homes with modern updates, West Point Grey has something for even those on the tightest of budgets. The average price of older Tudor style homes in the area is around $1.43 million, and you can find more affordable options for condos as well.
West Point Grey has a wide demographic base. The age range in the area ranges from young couples and families with children, to retired professionals. There is also a large number of individuals who are well-traveled and have a diverse background that spans from North America to Europe. The neighbourhood is not exclusive to any single group, which makes it an especially attractive neighbourhood for people looking for an alternative lifestyle outside of the downtown core.
In regards to race, West Point Grey is one of the most diverse areas in Vancouver. With 72% of the population identifying as either white or Asian, West Point Grey is home to many people who identify themselves as being biracial or indigenous, as well as Canadians from various ethnic backgrounds who are living on their own and are not necessarily part of a family household.
2. It's Easy to Get Around Without a Car in West Point Grey
West Point Grey just might be one of the most walkable neighbourhoods in the city with easy access to all the local amenities, plenty of sidewalks, and pedestrian-friendly crosswalks.
In addition to being easily accessible via public transit throughout the neighbourhood itself, West Point Grey is also home to a number of bus stops that can whisk you into Downtown Vancouver in just minutes and major arteries such as Marine Drive, which cuts through the neighbourhood and connects you directly with Richmond, Coal Harbour, or other areas of the city.
West Point Grey is also a great district for bicyclists, as there are so many stations for bike rentals located around the neighbourhood. There's even an on-site Community Bike Centre that allows you to borrow a bike for free upon registration and drop it off at any other location in Metro Vancouver.
Finally, for those who do prefer to drive their own vehicle, there are a number of great West Point Grey parking lots where you can easily park your vehicle and take Metro Vancouver public transit to get whatever it is that you may need.
3. You'll Have Access to a Multitude of Outdoor Activities
West Point Grey is full of opportunities to spend time outdoors. There are a number of parks in the area, and it's only a short walk from one to the next.
Stanley Park is the most well-known park in the area. It begins at the easternmost part of West Point Grey and runs for a distance of five kilometres. This spacious parkland offers ample opportunity to stroll along scenic walking paths, explore the large aquarium, and even get a little bit wet in Coal Harbour. There's also an organic produce market on Saturdays that pops up throughout the summer where you can pick up fresh local food without having to buy it from a grocery store!
West Point Grey is home to Jericho Beach, arguably one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver. While the waves are usually fairly calm, making it an ideal location for families with young children, it does have a strong current that comes into play during high tide and stormy weather. It's also located close to Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Garrison, and the University of British Columbia; all three areas are hotspots for locals and tourists alike, who come to take in the spectacular views of the Coast Mountains or just to soak up some sun.
This neighbourhood is also home to some of the most reputable golf courses in the city, so you'll have access to picturesque ocean views and upscale facilities with just a short drive or cab ride. Some of the top golf courses in the area include the Jericho, Marine Drive Golf Course and the VCC Golf Course.
4. World-Class Shopping Close to Home
There's no need to head into Downtown Vancouver when you're living in West Point Grey. The neighbourhood is home to a number of high-end shopping centres such as Oakridge Centre, Urban Fare, and the Aberdeen Centre that houses everything from luxury clothing stores to gourmet food shops. In addition to these locales, there are also a number of shopping complexes nearby that will let you easily outfit your entire family including the Hillcrest Centre, Empire Fields, Guildford Town Center and Brentwood Village.
West Point Grey is home to a number of high-end boutiques and stores that are not only convenient but offer the latest in fashion. These locally run shops are an excellent way for residents to support small business owners within their own community!
If you do feel the need to venture out for a change of scenery, the surrounding areas of Vancouver offer their own unique shopping opportunities. Some of the best shopping districts in the city include Downtown Vancouver, Robson Street, and Main Street, which are all just a short drive away from West Point Grey and can provide everything from eclectic boutiques to well-known franchises and big box stores.
5. High-Ranking Educational Institutions for All Age Groups
West Point Grey boasts a number of educational facilities that will especially appeal to those who are considering raising families.
For families residing in the West Point neighbourhood with children in kindergarten through grade twelve, there are a number of excellent public and private school options. Sir William Osler elementary school, St. George's School, and Lord Byng Secondary School are just three of the area's highest performing educational institutions, and they are all easily accessible from the neighbourhood.
Those seeking post-secondary opportunities can attend a number of fantastic British Columbia colleges, universities, and specialty and trade schools including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Each of these exceptional schools draw hundreds of thousands of students in the Vancouver area each year, and West Point Grey makes it easy to commute to any one of these fine facilities.
There are a number of reasons why people choose to live in West Point Grey; its exceptional lookout views, convenient proximity to the downtown core and marina areas, elegant age-restricted homes, as well as several stunning green spaces including the vast and well-known Stanley Park. If you're someone who is looking for a neighbourhood with all of the amenities of Downtown Vancouver but without all of the congestion, West Point Grey may be your ideal location! It can be a long and frustrating process when trying to find a new home, but it's safe to say that this incredible region of the city of Vancouver will not disappoint, no matter what your lifestyle!