The real estate market in Vancouver is currently stabilizing, with housing prices being held in check by lower levels of supply and demand. According to the Canadian Real Estate Board, the median selling price for a detached home in the Greater Vancouver Area in September 2014 was $633,500, an increase of 5.3 percent from September 2013. Central Vancouver consists mostly of high-rises and apartment buildings, and is home to the Downtown area and the trendy West End. The West Side is where you can find some of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods, such as Shaughnessy and West Point Grey. South and East Vancouver are both highly multicultural with a mix of houses and apartments for various income levels.
Vancouver Population (2011)
5 Year Population Change
Number of Homes in Vancouver
Data source: Statistics Canada
Why Buy a Home in Vancouver?
The Greater Vancouver Area is the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, and the largest in Western Canada. It has an idyllic location, nestled between the west coast and the Rocky Mountains. Vancouver is consistently voted as one of the best cities in the world to live in. It ranked in the top ten of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s most liveable cities list for five years in a row. Residents of Vancouver love having all the benefits of an urban environment surrounded by nature. They also appreciate the city’s laid-back atmosphere and cultural diversity – more than half of Vancouver’s residents do not speak English as their first language.
Explore Vancouver’s Rich Cultural Heritage
Aboriginal peoples have been living in the Vancouver area for as long as 10,000 years. Its present-day name comes from George Vancouver, a British explorer who explored the harbour in 1792. American settlers began to arrive in the nearby Fraser Canyon during the Fraser Gold Rush of 1858. The first European settlement in what is now Vancouver was established in 1862. Shortly afterward, logging mills were set up in the area to capitalize on the abundance of forests. The City of Vancouver was incorporated with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886. The CPR fuelled economic growth and attracted new residents. By the turn of the twentieth century, Vancouver was well on its way to becoming a prosperous, diverse economic centre.
Getting around in Vancouver
There’s a lot to see and do in Vancouver, and thankfully it’s all easily accessible. TransLink Vancouver is one of the most unique public transit systems in Canada, offering such services as the SeaBus and SkyTrain. TransLink services over 1800 square kilometres and provides some breathtaking views of the city. The streets in downtown Vancouver are grid-patterned and easy to navigate – generally, “avenues” run east-west and “streets” run north-south. The Trans-Canada Highway runs through the city’s east end, and the Vancouver-Blaine Highway runs south through Richmond all the way down into the United States. Cycling is Vancouver’s fastest growing mode of transportation, and the city has an extensive network of designated bike routes. Some bike trails worth exploring are those at Stanley Park and Pacific Spirit Park.
Shopping and Amenities
Shopping in Vancouver consists of everything from big malls, to designer boutiques, to multicultural markets. Metropolis at Metrotown, located just otuside the city, is British Columbia’s largest mall. The Downtown and Gastown area abounds with a mix of high-end and independent stores. In Chinatown, you can a wide variety of goods for sale. Vancouver’s mild climate and beautiful environment make outdoor recreation activities popular. The city has over 18 kilometres of beaches that provide for many kinds of water sport, as well as several running and cycling trails. Indoor fitness facilities and gyms are also prominent. There are over 200 public, Catholic, and private schools in Vancouver, and a number of colleges and universities, including Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.
Entertainment and Attractions in Vancouver
It would be impossible to capture all the things to do in Vancouver in a single list. The more adventurous types might want to try tree top walking in the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. For a more cultured outing, check out the Vancouver Art Gallery or the Museum of Vancouver. The music scene is prominent and encompasses everything from orchestral music, to alternative rock, to folk. The city also has vibrant nightlife centered around the Granville Entertainment District and Gastown. Sports fans won’t find a lack of teams to cheer on, including a number of minor league teams and three major league professional teams – the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps, and BC Lions.