Making the decision to move to a new city can be an intimidating and challenging process. There are many factors you need to consider before venturing out, but it's worth the work, especially when you're considering moving to such a beautiful and cultural area such as South Vancouver!
So, why move to South Vancouver? How about the beautiful scenery? Or the fantastic local boutiques and eateries? Maybe the big draw for you is the wide selection of real estate or the exceptional school system! Whatever your reasoning, South Vancouver is definitely not a hard sell!
This guide will help you get acquainted with this incredible area of the city and find your new home faster!
The History of South Vancouver
When Vancouver was first developed in the 1880s, the city sprawled west from Burrard Inlet to Clark Drive. Everything south of Nanaimo Street was considered "South Vancouver." When most of the residential areas downtown and on the east side filled up with houses, the wealthy began looking for a new place outside of town to build their homes. That area, most of it south of King Edward Avenue, was considered "South Vancouver" and some other parts were called “South Hill.”
The term eventually stuck and by the end of WWI, the new city hall (which is still in use today) was built on Cambie Street. This signaled to everyone that this area was the new center of the city. The next several decades saw South Vancouver grow exponentially. They added many different areas in and around Cambie Street, Oak Street, Marine Drive, and Boundary Road as well as Crown Land on the south side of Fraser River (Fraser Lands). As this was happening, more wealthy families were moving into West Vancouver, which, being closer to downtown, was much more convenient.
The "Great Depression" and WWII had an effect on the development of South Vancouver as a whole. Only certain areas continued developing while others were left abandoned. By 1950, there was only one way into and out of South Vancouver via Oak Street Bridge.
By 1960, many areas of South Vancouver felt deserted and neglected, but had potential to fill in the gaps left behind by developers. New shopping malls such as Oakridge, Marine, and Fraser were built to serve these areas. Many trees planted in the '50s are still standing today, giving this area a more scenic feel than other parts of Vancouver in addition to its natural beauty.
Real Estate Options
According to data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the average price for a home in South Vancouver is around $1.2 million. This number continues to grow as housing prices continue to rise.
The types of homes found in South Vancouver vary greatly. However, the most common types of homes found among the real estate listings are condos and townhouses. The other types of housing that can be found in South Vancouver include single-family homes and duplexes, so there is truly something to suit all residential needs.
If renting is more your style, you'll find a great many options in South Vancouver. The most common types of apartments among the listings are one-bedroom two-bedroom units with the average falling around $2,000 per month.
Top South Vancouver Neighbourhoods
There are many diverse neighbourhoods that make up South Vancouver. These neighbourhoods include:
- Shaughnessy Heights
- Oakridge (which includes the University of British Columbia and Point Grey)
- Dunbar-Southlands (which is known for its amazing views of the ocean along SW Marine Drive)
- South Cambie
- Fraser Lands
No matter what your lifestyle, there is bound to be a place for you in South Vancouver. Whether you're looking for the ideal place to retire, you're seeking your forever home for your budding family, or you're hoping to find a place close to Downtown as a working professional, each unique South Vancouver neighbourhood offers something a little different.
A Flurry of Activity
There is always something going on in South Vancouver! Whether it's a big event at the PNE or Nat Bailey Stadium, or just relaxing on some of the many beaches nearby.
You can enjoy a leisurely stroll down the famous streets of South Vancouver while you soak up the many sights and sounds. The entire area has a very unique European flair to it that gives off a nice vibe. You will find many coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, and boutiques throughout the area that you can enjoy any time of day. Be sure to stop by the South Vancouver Community Centre as well as parks, trails, and beaches for even more fantastic options.
Cambie Village is always happening with concerts and outdoor movies playing all summer long! When the weather gets cold, you can head to one of the local hotspots such as Railway Club for live music and an intimate setting, Cottonwood for some good food with friends, or Alibi Room if you're looking to dance the night away. There are so many things to do in South Vancouver that everyone is sure to find something they love!
Getting Some Fresh Air
For the nature enthusiast, there's nothing quite like the spectacular scenery of British Columbia! South Vancouver is filled with natural beauty and offers a wide variety of outdoor activities. If you're looking for something a little more serene, you can walk or cycle along any of the quieter, less hectic trails in South Vancouver such as W 16th Avenue, Moody Park Trail, or parallel to SW Marine Drive, where you can find a quiet creek walk just off the busy road.
You can also take advantage of the many parks and playgrounds that are found in South Vancouver as well as the numerous beaches nearby. Some of the most popular parks and beaches include:
- English Bay
- Stanley Park
- Second Beach
If you're searching for something that will really get your blood pumping, then South Vancouver has just what you need. There are many popular parks such as Queen Elizabeth Park and Stanley Park that are great places to hit up a nice walk or stretch of running. The river trails in South Vancouver make for some fantastic opportunities for cycling and rollerblading while enjoying the beautiful scenery and fresh sea air.
Exceptional Education in South Vancouver
Students of South Vancouver are provided quality education through the Vancouver School Board. The Vancouver School Board is responsible for educating over 150,000 students and employs over 9000 people. The school board has a long history of serving the student population of British Columbia since it was first founded as the Vancouver Board of Education in 1881.
South Point Grey is one of the top public schools in South Vancouver. There are also several other top rated schools such as Cecil Rhodes Elementary, Lord Tennyson Elementary, and Maurice O'neill Elementary. Public schooling is available for all grade levels from kindergarten to grade twelve.
There are also a number of exceptional private and religious-based schools for those seeking education outside of the public school board. Some of the top private schools in South Vancouver include:
- St. George's School & Private Preschool
- West Point Grey Academy
- L'École Bilingue Française
- Templeton Secondary
Arts, Culture, and History
If you're interested in the arts, there is always something going on throughout South Vancouver, year-round. The most notable event of this kind is the Artscape Sandcastle Contest, which takes place at Kits Beach every July and is one of the longest-running sand castle contests in North America. Following this annual event, there are a number of other arts-based festivals and events taking place all throughout the region.
South Vancouver is home to many different cultural and artistic programs. It plays host to one of the most active arts communities in Greater Vancouver, with numerous art galleries, theatres, music venues, and museums located throughout the region just waiting to be explored!
The South Vancouver Cultural Corridor is a lively community that showcases its creative side through events such as exhibitions, festivals, workshops, and more. The Corridor also hosts a number of cultural events such as the South Vancouver Egg Festival, International Festival of Authors, and the Richmond East Cultural Centre.
There's another seasonal event that takes place on West Fourth Avenue called the West Fourth Holiday Market, which is held every Saturday of the holiday season until Boxing Day. This market has been taking place now for over 20 years and brings the community together with live music, food vendors, a children's area, and more!
The Hatley Park National Historic Site of Canada is a huge historic site that is located in South Vancouver. This former residence of the Governor General, located in Hatley Park, has some fantastic greenery and trails throughout the park's 75 acres. Here you can also visit the Hatley Castle which was built in 1906 and is a National Historic Site of Canada. This castle served as the summer home for the Governor General from 1911 to 1936.
Great Eats and Unique Shops
There are a number of delicious spots to frequent for some good eats in South Vancouver. Whether you're looking for something casual or formal, traditional or fusion, there is no shortage of restaurants located throughout the area. You can find an abundance of French bakeries, creperies, bistros, and wine bars scattered throughout South Vancouver and the area is also known for its many food trucks.
Vancouver is very well known for its fantastic nightlife and there are plenty of places to choose from when it comes to bars. You can enjoy a night out with friends at one of the bars in South Vancouver facing Marine Drive or you can find a much more intimate and relaxing environment if you head to some of the small, hidden gems that are tucked away off the main streets.
Shopping in South Vancouver will keep you busy for hours! There are so many different shops that you'll definitely find something to suit your tastes. If you're looking for a specific item, one of the best places to check out is the Granville Island Public Market where you can get anything from fresh produce to handmade clothing.
South Vancouver is a great place to live with many opportunities for education, arts and culture, shopping, and dining. Whether this is going to be your first home or your twenty-first, it's not hard to understand the big draw to this amazing region of British Columbia. No matter your reason to move to a new area, with so many fantastic opportunities and incredibly tempting amenities, South Vancouver should definitely be on the top of your list of places to consider!
West Coast Real Estate Hub have built a team of industry experts to make sure you have access to local home inspectors, contractors, interior designers, service providers, property managers, lending professionals, title and escrow companies, painters, gardeners, plumbers, electricians home warranty companies and more to provide you with the best service possible!