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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 outbreak of the coronavirus is having a big impact on the District of West Vancouver. As of mid-April most municipally-run facilities were still closed indefinitely. This included all community centres, libraries, Gleneagles Golf Course, the Ambleside Golf Course, West Vancouver Art Museum and other facilities. Not affected were the police station and fire halls. As of mid-June both golf courses had reopened, but not yet the other facilities.

Effective March 20th, all playgrounds, basketball courts and skateboarding facilities at municipal parks were closed. As of March 24th, parking lots at Lighthouse Park, Whyte Lake Park and Whytecliff Park were also closed. By mid-May these facilities had all reopened, except for the playgrounds which didn’t become accessible until June 1st.

On April 15th, 2020, the District of West Vancouver announced that it was cancelling all municipally-run summer programs and events until at least the end of August. This decision affected summer camps and rec centre programs, as well as the Harmony Arts Festival and July 1st Canada Day celebrations (neither of which will be taking place this year). West Vancouver’s annual Bridge Festival in June was also cancelled a number of days earlier.

As of June 9, 2020, all playgrounds and outdoor spaces in West Vancouver are currently open. The Ambleside Farmers Market is also open for business.

For more information and the most up-to-date details about the municipality’s response to the coronavirus outbreak see the District of West Vancouver‘s website.

North Shore’s 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 Mountain – Metro Vancouver’s largest ski hill with the most advanced terrain.
  • 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:

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

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