North Vancouver (city)

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North Vancouver
The Corporation of the City of North Vancouver
North Vancouver Canada.JPG
North Van
Location of City of North Vancouver within the Metro Vancouver area in British Columbia, Canada
Location of City of North Vancouver within the Metro Vancouver area in British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates: 49°19′N 123°4′W / 49.317°N 123.067°W / 49.317; -123.067Coordinates: 49°19′N 123°4′W / 49.317°N 123.067°W / 49.317; -123.067
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional districtMetro Vancouver
IncorporatedMay 13, 1907[1]
SeatNorth Vancouver City Hall
 • TypeMayor-council government
 • MayorLinda Buchanan
 • Council
List of councillors
 • MPJonathan Wilkinson (Liberal)
 • MLABowinn Ma (BC NDP)
 • Land11.83 km2 (4.57 sq mi)
80 m (260 ft)
 • Total58,120
 • Estimate 
 • Density4,913.0/km2 (12,725/sq mi)
DemonymNorth Vancouverite
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
Forward sortation area
Area codes604, 778, 236, 672 Edit this at Wikidata

The City of North Vancouver is a city on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, British Columbia, Canada. It is the smallest in area and the most urbanized of the North Shore municipalities. Although it has significant industry of its own – including shipping, chemical production, and film production – the city is considered to be a suburb of Vancouver. The city is served by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Columbia Ambulance Service, and the North Vancouver City Fire Department.


Moodyville (at the south end of Moody Avenue, now Moodyville Park) is the oldest settlement on Burrard Inlet, predating Vancouver; only New Westminster is an older non-native settlement in the region. Logging came to the virgin forests of Douglas Fir in North Vancouver, as sailing ships called in to load. A water-powered sawmill was set up in the 1860s at Moodyville, by Sewell Moody. Subsequently, post offices, schools and a village sprang up. In time, the municipality of North Vancouver (which encompassed the entire North Shore from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay) was incorporated in 1891. In the 1880s, Arthur Heywood-Lonsdale and a relation James Pemberton Fell, made substantial investments through their company, Lonsdale Estates, and in 1882 he financed the Moodyville investments. Several locations in the North Vancouver area are named after Lonsdale and his family.[5]

The cost of developing the raw mountainous terrain was high and the ocean foreshore was primarily swamp. The distances, rivers and streams that swelled in to destructive debris torrents with the annual snow melt and heavy rainfall, often washed out the many bridges that were required. Not long after the District was formed, an early land developer and second reeve of the new council, James Cooper Keith, personally underwrote a loan[6] to commence construction of a road which undulated from West Vancouver to Deep Cove amid the slashed sidehills, swamps, and burnt stumps. The road, sometimes under different names and not always contiguous, is still one of the most important east-west thoroughfare carrying traffic across the North Shore.

Development was slow at the outset. The population of the District in the 1901 census was only 365 people.[6] Keith joined Edwin Mahon and together they controlled North Vancouver Land & Improvement Company. Soon the pace of development around the foot of Lonsdale began to pick up. The first school was opened in 1902. The District was able to build a municipal hall in 1903 and actually have meetings in North Vancouver (instead of in Vancouver where most of the landowners lived). The first bank and first newspaper arrived in 1905. In 1906 the BC Electric Railway Company opened up a street car line that extended from the ferry wharf up Lonsdale to 12th Street. By 1911 the streetcar system extended west to the Capilano River and east to Lynn Valley.

The owners of businesses who operated on Lonsdale, as part of an initiative led by Keith and Mahon, brought a petition to District Council in 1905 calling for a new, compact city to be carved out of the unwieldy district.

During the ensuing two years there was much and sometimes heated debate. Some thought the new City should have a new name such as Northport, Hillmont or Parkhill. Burrard became the favourite of the new names but majority view was that North Vancouver remain in order to remain associated with the rising credibility of Vancouver in financial markets and as a place to attract immigrants.[7]

Some thought the boundary of the new City should reflect geography and extend from Lynn Creek or Seymour River west to the Capilano River and extend three miles up the mountainside. That the boundary of the City which came into existence in 1907 just happened to match that of the lands owned by the North Vancouver Land & Improvement Company and Lonsdale Estate was no accident. Since the motivation for creating the City was to reserve local tax revenue for the work of putting in services for the property owned by the major developers, there was little reason to take on any of the burden beyond the extent of their holdings.

Residents in west part of the District of North Vancouver now had less reason to be connected with what remained and they petitioned to create the District of West Vancouver (the west part of the North Shore, not the west side of Vancouver) in 1912. The eastern boundary of that new municipality is for the most part the Capilano River and a community that is easily distinguished from the two North Vancouvers has since developed.

Keith Road looking west, with Hollyburn Mtn in the distance

The City of North Vancouver continued to grow around the foot of Lonsdale Avenue. Serviced by the North Vancouver Ferries, it proved a popular area. Commuters used the ferries to work in Vancouver. Street cars and early land speculation, spurred interest in the area. Streets, city blocks and houses were slowly built around lower Lonsdale. Wallace Shipyards, and the Pacific Great Eastern Railway provided an industrial base, although, the late arrival of the Second Narrows railway bridge in 1925 controlled development.

City of North Vancouver as seen from Upper Lonsdale

Sawmills, logging, and small farms continued in the interwar years. Yet the nearby mountains also proved to be a permanent attraction. Ski areas were set up on Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour.

The Depression again bankrupted the city, while the Second World War turned North Vancouver into the Clydeside of Canada with a large shipbuilding program. Housing the shipyard workers provided a new building boom, which continued on through the post-war years. By that time, North Vancouver became a popular housing area.


Main thoroughfare Lonsdale Avenue with Mount Fromme in the background

The City of North Vancouver is separated from Vancouver by the Burrard Inlet, and it is surrounded on three sides by the District of North Vancouver. The city has much in common with the District Municipality of North Vancouver and together with West Vancouver are commonly referred to as the North Shore.

The City of North Vancouver is relatively densely populated with a number of residential high-rise buildings in the Central Lonsdale and Lower Lonsdale areas.

The North Shore mountains have many drainages: Capilano River, MacKay, Mosquito, and Lynn Creeks, and Seymour River.


North Vancouver has an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb) with cool, rainy winters and dry, warm summers.

Climate data for North Vancouver (N Vancouver 2ND Narrows) (Elevation: 4m) 1981−2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average precipitation mm (inches) 262.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 255.3
Average snowfall cm (inches) 6.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 20.5 15.5 18.0 15.4 13.8 11.7 7.4 6.7 9.6 16.1 20.9 20.3 175.9
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 19.7 15.1 17.9 15.4 13.8 11.7 7.4 6.7 9.6 16.0 20.7 19.6 173.5
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 1.7 0.92 0.54 0.12 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.08 0.72 2.2 6.2
Source: Environment Canada (normals, 1981−2010)[8]


Mayor Linda Buchanan (2018)
Councillors Holly Back (2018), Don Bell (2011, 2014, 2018), Angela Girard (2018), Tina Hu (2018), Jessica McIlroy (2018), Tony Valente (2018)
Provincial MLA Bowinn Ma (North Vancouver-Lonsdale)
MP Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver)

Sites of interest[edit]

The area around lower Lonsdale Avenue features several open community spaces, including Waterfront Park, Lonsdale Quay, Ship Builders Square and the Burrard Dry Dock Pier.

Other sites of interest in the city include:[9][10][11]

  • Centennial Theatre, 2300 Lonsdale Avenue
  • First Church of Christ, Scientist, a local heritage site
  • North Vancouver Museum & Archives, 209 West 4th Street
  • The Polygon Gallery
  • Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield Avenue
  • St. Edmund's Church, 535 Mahon Avenue, a local heritage site
  • Trans Canada Trail Pavilion, Waterfront Park
  • The Shipyards, near Lonsdale Quay, which includes Ship Builders Square and the Burrard Dry Dock Pier, on the site of the old Wallace Shipyard
  • Lonsdale Quay Market, easily accessible from the Seabus. The Quay has a view of Vancouver's skyline and is locally owned and operated.


Lonsdale Avenue at 13th Street is a major intersection of Central Lonsdale.

The City of North Vancouver is connected to Vancouver by two highway bridges (the Lions Gate Bridge and the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing) and by a passenger ferry, the SeaBus. That system and the bus system in North Vancouver is operated by Coast Mountain Bus Company, an operating company of TransLink. The hub of the bus system is Lonsdale Quay, the location of the SeaBus terminal. Currently, there is no rail transit service on the North Shore.

The main street in the city is Lonsdale Avenue, which begins at Lonsdale Quay and goes north to 29th Street, where it continues in the District of North Vancouver, ending at Rockland Road.

Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway (often referred to as the "Upper Levels Highway") passes through the northern portion of the city. It is a freeway for its entire length within the City of North Vancouver. There are three interchanges on Highway 1 within the City of North Vancouver:

  • Lynn Valley Road (Exit 19)
  • Lonsdale Avenue (Exit 18)
  • Westview Drive (Exit 17)


Public schools are managed by the North Vancouver School District, which operates 8 high schools and 30 elementary schools shared by the city and the District of North Vancouver.

The Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique operates one Francophone school in that city: école André-Piolat, which has both primary and secondary levels.[12]

There are also several independent private elementary and high schools in the area, including Bodwell High School and Lions Gate Christian Academy.

Post-secondary education is available at Capilano University in the district, as well as at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia in neighbouring communities.


Most residents of North Vancouver are either Christian (47.4%), or affiliated with no religion (41.7%). The remaining 10.9% of residents are affiliated with another religion.

For residents from the age of 25 years to 64; 95.3% have a high school diploma (or equivalent to), 75.6% have a post-secondary degree, and only 4.7% don't have any certificate, diploma or degree.

According to the 2001 Statistics Canada Census[dead link]:

  • Population: 44,303
  • % Change (1996–2001): 6.8
  • Dwellings: 21,217
  • Area (km².): 11.95
  • Density (persons per km².): 3706.2
  • Has the highest level of fitness of any city in Canada.


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, North Vancouver had a population of 58,120 living in 27,293 of its 29,021 total private dwellings, a change of 9.9% from its 2016 population of 52,898. With a land area of 11.83 km2 (4.57 sq mi), it had a population density of 4,912.9/km2 (12,724.4/sq mi) in 2021.[3]

In 2011, the median age was 41.2 years old, which is a bit higher than the national median age at 40.6 years old. There are 24,206 private dwellings with an occupancy rate of 94.1%. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the median value of a dwelling in North Vancouver is $599,985 which is significantly higher than the national average at $280,552. The median household income (after-taxes) in North Vancouver is $52,794, a bit lower than the national average at $54,089.

Population estimates according to BC Stats:[13]
1996+ 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001+ 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
43,268 43,725 44,550 44,938 45,489 46,236 46,977 46,496 46,831 48,037 49,248


North Vancouver has one of the highest West Asian population ratios for any Canadian city at 7.2%.[when?] The racial make up of North Vancouver is:

Canada 2016 Census[14]
Ethnicity Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Persian 4,360 8.4%
Filipino 3,450 6.6%
Chinese 2,290 4.4%
South Asian 1,840 3.5%
Korean 1,155 2.2%
Latin American 840 1.6%
Japanese 815 1.6%
Black 485 0.9%
Southeast Asian 265 0.5%
Arab 215 0.4%
Other visible minority 140 0.3%
Mixed visible minority 490 0.9%
Total visible minority population 16,340 36%
Aboriginal 1,650 3.2%
European 34,040 65.2%
Total population 52,898 100%
Canada 2006 Census
Ethnicity Population % of Total Population
Visible minority group[15] South Asian 1,340 3%
Chinese 2,205 4.9%
Black 315 0.7%
Filipino 1,910 4.3%
Latin American 430 1%
Arab 90 0.2%
Southeast Asian 240 0.5%
Persian 3,065 6.8%
Korean 1,160 2.6%
Japanese 630 1.4%
Other visible minority 45 0.1%
Mixed visible minority 340 0.8%
Total visible minority population 11,775 26.2%
Aboriginal group[16] First Nations 670 1.5%
Métis 225 0.5%
Inuit 0 0%
Total Aboriginal population 925 2.1%
White 32,160 71.7%
Total population 44,860 100%


Mother languages as reported by each person:[17]

Canada 2011 Census
Mother language Population % of Total Population % of Non-official language Population
English 31,550 66.0 N/A
Persian 3,505 7.3 22.8
Tagalog 1,700 3.6 11.0
Korean 1,225 2.6 8.0
Spanish 855 1.8 5.6
German 790 1.8 5.1
French 710 1.5 N/A


  1. ^ "CivicInfo BC | Municipality: North Vancouver (City)". Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  2. ^ "Mayor & Council | City of North Vancouver". Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "Profile table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population - North Vancouver, City (CY) [Census subdivision], British Columbia". Statistics Canada. 17 August 2022. Retrieved 21 August 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Services, Ministry of Citizens'. "Population Estimates - Province of British Columbia". Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  5. ^ Canada North Shore News
  6. ^ a b Francis, Daniel (2016). Where Mountains Meet the Sea. Harbour Publishing Co. P.O. Box 219, Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0: Harbour Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-55017-751-0.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  7. ^ Sommer, Warren (2007). The Ambitious City: A History of the City of North Vancouver. Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0: Harbour Publishing. pp. 64, 83, 93, 94. ISBN 978-1-55017-411-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  8. ^ "N VANCOUVER 2ND NARROWS]". Canadian Climate Normals 1981−2010. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  9. ^ " - Recherche". Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Attractions in North Vancouver". Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
  11. ^ "Primary Buildings". Archived from the original on 19 August 2007.
  12. ^ "Carte des écoles Archived 17 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine." Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. Retrieved on 22 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Population Estimates". Government of British Columbia. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census North Vancouver, City [Census subdivision]". Statistics Canada. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  15. ^ "File not found | Fichier non trouvé". Retrieved 19 August 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ [1], Aboriginal Peoples - Data table
  17. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (8 February 2012). "Census subdivision of North Vancouver, CY (British Columbia) - Census Subdivisions - Focus on Geography Series - Census 2011". Retrieved 19 August 2022.

External links[edit]