West Vancouver is about ten kilometres deep (north to south) and 12 kilometres wide, extending from the Lions Gate Bridge to Horseshoe Bay. There is arguably more money in West Van than anywhere else in Canada, with the houses here priced at the top of the area housing market. But why not? Most homes have a view of English Bay, Stanley Park, and the Gulf Islands. While there is some value to being close to the water, there is also value in having a better view from being higher up. The area is 80 per cent single-family detached homes, though there are some luxury highrises clustered along Marine Drive's eastern end.
Homes in West Vancouver run $1.4 to 1.6 million, waterfront homes $2 million and up, and condos can cost $566-688,000.
The Ambleside (also known as "the Village" to locals) and Dundarave areas, along the water, show signs that this was a vacation/cottage community before the Lions Gate Bridge was built. At the upper levels, are the very exclusive British Properties, built by the distillery-owning Guiness family, which also built the Lions Gate Bridge for $6 million in 1939. There is also the newer Chartwell subdivision, with smaller lots. Close to Vancouver, there are several nice areas:Sentinel Hill with great views though awkward terrain, Bayridge, Westmount, and Altamont which has extra large properties. To the west, you'll find Eagle Harbour close to the water, Gleneagles built around the golf course beside Horseshoe Bay, and Caulfeild beside Lighthouse Park. The exclusive Lions Bay Village, is about 11 kilometres north of Hoseshoe Bay on Highway 99. The rural waterfront community has impressive scenery, accompanied by above-average prices.
West Vancouver has 4 secondary schools, 11 elementary schools, including one at Lions Bay. French immersion is available at Hollyburn Elementary (K-3), Pauline Johnson (4-6) and at Sentinel Secondary.
The area is mostly residential, with light commercial zoning (and no industrial zoning at all). The area is flush with fashionable cafés, restaurants and boutiques. The biggest shopping mall, Park Royal, is also Canada's oldest.
The area has access to several beaches, fast access to BC Ferries at Horseshoe Bay, ski hill at Cypress Bowl, a variety of watersports on Capilano Lake. There are several large parks, three golf courses, 32 play areas, 38 playing fields, 40 tennis course, and 8 recreation facilities (arenas/pools).
While this area lives the West Coast dream lifestyle, the commuting across Lions Gate Bridge is a challenge for most peoples' patience. The low density means commuting to various degrees for everyone. West Vancouver has its own "Blue Bus" service from downtown Vancouver, and you can catch the 239 Crosstown from the Lonsdale Quay SeaBus Terminal.