Home Vancouver’s North Shore The City and District of North Vancouver

The City and District of North Vancouver

Lonsdale Quay at Dusk

North Vancouver has some of the Lower Mainland’s most spectacular attractions and places to visit including mountains, numerous parks and miles of nature.

North Vancouver, BC

There are few cities anywhere, in fact, with as many world-class outdoor recreational venues and as much natural beauty as North Vancouver.

Based at the foot of the North Shore mountains, the area is home to ski hills and some of the most spectacular (and extreme) mountain biking and hiking trails on the planet.

About North Vancouver

Located across from Vancouver via either the Lions Gate Bridge or Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge, North Vancouver is actually made up of two separate municipalities: the City of North Vancouver (population 48,000) and the District of North Vancouver (population 83,000).

When you look across Burrard Inlet at the North Shore mountains from Canada Place or Coal Harbour, the beautiful city you see at the base of the hills is North Vancouver, or just “North Van” for short.

North Vancouver’s Best Places

North Vancouver has some of the Lower Mainland’s most spectacular attractions and places to visit. North Van’s highlights include the following:

Capilano Bridge Visitors in Winter

  • Cates Park – a great park for young children and from which to kayak in the summer.
  • Cleveland Dam – a site to visit at the Capilano River Regional Park with beautiful views and nearby walking trails.
  • Deep Cove – a picturesque seaside village that’s perfect for kayaking and paddle boarding.  It’s also great for hiking, with excellent trails leading to a lookout at Quarry Rock.
  • Grouse Mountain – Vancouver’s most accessible and popular ski hill, and home to two captive grizzly bears, zip-lining, the world-famous Grouse Grind hiking/stair-climbing trail and more.
  • Lonsdale Quay – one of Metro Vancouver’s two best and most famous public markets, and one of the best views of Vancouver from across the water.
  • Lower Lonsdale – the area of North Vancouver that’s home to the Polygon Gallery, Lonsdale Quay and the Shipyards.
  • Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve – a great park and home to beautiful Rice Lake and the Seymour Demonstration Forest.
  • Lynn Canyon Park – a first-class park with trails through the forest and a free suspension bridge.
  • Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – exceptional hiking trails for both beginners and experts.
  • Maplewood Farm – a former dairy farm that now features pigs, chickens, horses and hundreds of birds and other farm animals, making it a fun place for young children.
Mt. Seymour Ski Run
Mount Seymour in Winter
  • Mt. Seymour – Metro Vancouver’s favourite ski hill for young families and snowshoeing enthusiasts.
  • Northlands Golf Course – one of Metro Vancouver’s best public golf courses.
  • Polygon Gallery – an art museum located at 101 Carrie Cates Court in Lower Lonsdale.
  • Rice Lake – a beautiful lake in the woods that’s great for fishing and walking around.
  • Seymour Demonstration Forest – one of the best places to take the family for a bike ride with its paved cycling trails through the woods.
  • Trans Canada Trail – the longest hiking trail in the world which passes through some of North Vancouver’s finest natural areas.

If you love nature and outdoor recreation, then you’ll love North Vancouver – it has the most of everything, including rain, snow, mountain bikes, sports equipment stores and wait times at the hospital’s emergency room (due to all the extreme sports activities in the region)!

Check out North Vancouver’s Best Bars and Restaurants for places to eat and drink on the North Shore.

Waterfront Park Seawall on Canada Day
Canada Day Festivities at Waterfront Park

North Van Festivals & Events

North Vancouver hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year. Some are small and community-focused, and others are major events that attract people from all across the Lower Mainland.

The following are North Vancouver events of special interest:

Deep Cove Penguin Plunge Crowds
Penguin Plunge event on New Year’s Day
  • Polish Festival  a small Polish festival at either Lynn Valley Village or the Shipyards in early September.
  • Coho Festival – a festival in early September celebrating salmon. The event takes place primarily in West Vancouver, but the Coho Walk portion of it occurs in North Vancouver’s Capilano River Regional Park.
  • Remembrance Day – the City of North Vancouver’s main Remembrance Day event includes a small parade through the streets and a ceremony at Victory Park each year on November 11th.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas light displays at Park and Tilford garden in December.
  • Philippine Days – a Filipino cultural event at North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park near Lonsdale Quay in June.
  • Shipyards Festival – a relatively new music festival and street party at the bottom of Lonsdale Avenue in September.
  • Shipyards Christmas Festival – Christmas celebrations at Shipbuilders’ Square on the first Saturday in December.
  • Shipyards Night Market – a seasonal artisan market at Shipbuilders’ Square near Lonsdale Quay with evening concerts on Fridays from May until September.
  • Vancouver’s North Shore Craft Beer Week – a beer-themed series of events involving North Vancouver craft  breweries in October.
North Vancouver's Lower Lonsdale Christmas Tree
Christmas in North Vancouver