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West Vancouver British Columbia

West Vancouver

Located on the North Shore across the Burrard Inlet via the Lions Gate Bridge from Vancouver, West Vancouver is one of the wealthiest cities in Canada.


The District of West Vancouver

With a population of close to 43,000, West Vancouver is home to movie stars, professional athletes, old wealth families and successful business people from around the world. It’s also home to splendid parks, ski trails, beaches and miles and miles of natural beauty.


Squamish Nation Welcome Figure at Ambleside
Squamish Nation Welcome Figure at Ambleside Beach


Top West Vancouver Attractions

The top attractions in West Vancouver include the following:

  • Ambleside – one of Metro Vancouver’s most popular beaches with paved walking and biking trails.
  • Dundarave – an attractive seaside neighbourhood and beach.
  • Cypress Bowl – Metro Vancouver’s largest ski hill with the most advanced terrain.
  • Cypress Falls Park – a forested park with hiking trails and a few waterfalls.
  • Cypress Provincial Park – a large forested park with hiking opportunities in spring, summer and fall, and snow sports in winter.
  • Horseshoe Bay – a picturesque seaside town and gateway to Vancouver Island and Bowen Island via one of BC Ferries‘ main terminals.
  • John Lawson Park – an ocean-side park with a fabulous children’s play area that’s halfway between Ambleside and Dundarave.
  • Gleneagles Golf – an exceptional par 35 9-hole golf course that’s open to the public.
  • Lighthouse Park – one of the Lower Mainland’s most stunning, yet lesser known parks.
  • Park Royal – a large shopping centre with a couple hundred stores not far from Ambleside Park.
  • West Van Aquatic Centre – a swimming pool facility with water slide and large children’s play areas.
  • Whytecliff Park – a rugged ocean-side paradise near Horseshoe Bay.
  • Whyte Lake Park – a park in West Vancouver with trails and a small lake.


Cherry Blossoms at John Lawson Park
John Lawson Park in spring


West Vancouver Festivals & Events

West Vancouver is also host to four of the North Shore’s main festivals, all of which take place in or around Ambleside Park during years when there isn’t a pandemic:


West Van Bridge Festival at Ambleside
West Vancouver Bridge Festival


What to do in West Vancouver

There is a fair bit to do in West Vancouver. It’s a beautiful place with amazing homes, fabulous places to walk, and fine places for a swim.


House Window Shopping

In addition to visiting the above first-class venues, an interesting activity is to simply drive around the residential areas of West Vancouver admiring all the private estates. British Properties in particular has some especially spectacular homes.


Walks and Bike Rides

A popular pastime for locals of all ages on the North Shore is going for strolls (or bike rides) along the seawall from Ambleside to Dundarave. Just a block or so up from the waterfront, and running parallel to the seawall, is Marine Drive which represents downtown West Vancouver with all its shops and restaurants. This can be a good area for shopping or getting a bite to eat.



West Vancouver is blessed with some amazing beaches. Ambleside is beautiful, with views of Stanley Park across the water, the Lions Gate Bridge and English Bay. Dundarave also has a nice beach, and swimming is also popular at Lighthouse Park and Whytecliff Park, although with less sandy beaches.

Another popular place for locals (especially ones with kids) is the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre, which has one of Metro Vancouver’s best pool facilities complete with leisure pool, swimming lanes, hot tubs, sauna, steam room and giant water slide.


Beach at Ambleside
Ambleside Beach


Other Information

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

For a list of places to stay on the North Shore, see our article about North Vancouver Hotels.