British Properties

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British Properties
British Properties is located in Vancouver
British Properties
British Properties
Location in Metro Vancouver
Coordinates: 49°21′00″N 123°08′00″W / 49.35000°N 123.13333°W / 49.35000; -123.13333

The British Properties is a residential area in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[1] The municipality of West Vancouver agreed to sell 4,000 acres to a syndicate controlled by the Guinness Brewing Company.[2]

The syndicate A.R. Guinness—Br. Pacific Properties developed the area as the Capilano Estates, but Vancouverites nicknamed it the British Properties.[3] The development is credited with starting West Vancouver's slow transformation from a ferry-access only, resort-style beachside enclave into a leafy suburban community with roads, parks, and shopping centres.[3] The development aided the design and construction of the Vancouver landmark, the Lions Gate Bridge, which opened in 1938 and was partly financed by Guinness money.

A cabin at 15th St. and Ottawa Ave. in 1942. Photo by William Mcphee

The original landscaping was designed by the prestigious Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm from Boston. Olmsted Brothers was founded by Frederick Law Olmsted—the father of North American landscape architecture and the creator of Central Park in Manhattan, Mount Royal in Montreal, and the innovative Riverside suburb in West Chicago.[3]

The neighbourhood was known for its strict whites-only policy. Property titles including covenants such as barring sales to "any person or persons of African or Asiatic race or of African or Asiatic descent."[4] Jewish people were also excluded, although, eventually, the first synagogue in West Vancouver was built opposite the entrance to the British Properties.[5] In modern times, the resident population is diverse due to the property values and other factors attracting Asian and other international investors.[3] It is said that residents are just as likely to speak Persian or Mandarin as they are to speak English.[5]


  1. ^ "British Properties (community)". BCGNIS. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  2. ^ Davis, Chuck. "Brief History of Greater Vancouver". The History of Metropolitan Vancouver. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Project builds on storied history". Vancouver Sun. 17 December 2011. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  4. ^ Hopper, Tristan (16 May 2014). "B.C. property titles bear reminders of a time when race-based covenants kept neighbourhoods white". National Post.
  5. ^ a b Ditmars, Hadani (27 Nov 2009). "In Vancouver, a Rancher revival". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 22 May 2014.

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Coordinates: 49°21′00″N 123°08′00″W / 49.35000°N 123.13333°W / 49.35000; -123.13333