Kerrisdale is an affluent neighbourhood nestled in Vancouver's exclusive west side. It features a mix of newer houses and older bungalows as well as various low and mid-rise rental and condo apartment buildings in its northern section. The neighbourhood is an ethnic mix of Caucasian and Asian Canadians. It features a shopping district running generally along West 41st Avenue between Larch and Maple Streets and West Boulevard between 37th and 47th Avenues. Although the city officially defines Kerrisdale as being south of 41st Ave (north of 41st is called Arbutus Ridge), the majority of the area's residents consider the area's boundaries to be West 33rd Ave to the north, the Railway right of way to the east, West 57th Street to the south, and Blenheim Street to the west. The northern part of Marpole is also generally thought of as part of Kerrisdale, thus some refer to the area as Kerrisdale-Marpole. The southwestern part of Kerrisdale is known as Southlands, due to its location in relation to the city. Southlands is known for its horse stables and rural feel and is located on the floodplain of the North Arm of the Fraser River.
Kerrisdale gained its name in 1905 when British Columbia Electric Railway manager R.H. Sterling asked Mrs. William McKinnon to name the interurban stop at Wilson Road (today West 41st Avenue). She chose to call it "Kerry's Dale", after the name of her family home, Kerrydale, in Gairloch, Scotland. Kerrydale means "little seat of the fairies". It was quickly corrupted to Kerrisdale. The area was part of the Municipality of Point Grey, which amalgamated January 1, 1929 with the City of Vancouver and the Municipality of South Vancouver. Many of the streets and avenues surrounding this focal intersection developed around this time, with local landmarks such as Point Grey Secondary School, Ryerson Church, Shannon Mews and the Allen Brown Estate constructed in these formative years.
Kerrisdale has a mix of professionals, the very wealthy and students renting basement suites, or more inexpensive apartment blocks to attend nearby schools. The area is also home to elderly residents who primarily rent in the low rise rental blocks that characterize the north central section of the community.
As of the census of 2006, there were 14,615 people, 5,555 households, and 3,970 families residing in the Kerrisdale. Out of which 3,760 had children under the age of 18 living with them, with 42.0% married couples living together. The average household size was 2.6 and the average family size was 2.92.
Projected average 2008 household income: $131,769 as compared with $75,854 and $79,798 for Vancouver and Metro Vancouver respectively.
The stretch of businesses along W. 41st Ave between Balsam and Maple streets comprise the Kerrisdale Business Association, the longest running such association in Vancouver. Member businesses pool funds for festivities and general beautification of the area, including the hiring of a full-time gardener during summer months.
Kerrisdale is home to Kerrisdale Elementary School, Kerrisdale Annex, Maple Grove Elementary School, Dr. R. E. McKechnie Elementary School, and Quilchena Elementary School, as well as Magee Secondary School, Prince of Wales Secondary School and Point Grey Secondary School.
Although formerly British in character and demographic, Kerrisdale began to experience an influx of affluent immigrants from Hong Kong in the mid 1980s. Many new immigrants constructed large, modern houses. Therefore, Kerrisdale is generally a mix of architecture, with older bungalows in between new houses and renovated houses.
The Arbutus Corridor, a no-longer-used CPR railway line which bisects the neighbourhood, has been the object of many debates since its abandonment in January 2000. Suggested uses of this 10 km corridor have included a SkyTrain line, a paved bikeway, condominium development, and a tourist-oriented streetcar line. The City passed an Official Development Plan in 2001, designating the corridor as a transportation corridor, specifically precluding SkyTrain. CPR contested this in court, and in early 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the City was within its rights. At present, CPR and the City of Vancouver are in a heated dispute over the sale of the line. CPR(the owner), has set the price of the line at 100 million dollars, however the City of Vancouver puts the value at only 20 million. During this (as of August 2014) CPR has begun rehabilitation of the line for it to be brought back up to operating standards.
- Majury, N. (1994). "Signs of the times: Kerrisdale, a neighbourhood in transition." The Canadian Geographer 38, 265-70.
- City of Vancouver - Kerrisdale
- Vancouver Public Library - Kerrisdale Branch
- Kerrisdale Community Centre
- Footage of erection of the Kerrisdale Arena, City of Vancouver Archives
- The Kerrisdale Bowladrome in 1959