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West Vancouver is a suburban area of Vancouver's North Shore in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It has a few good parks, excellent hikes and some of the most expensive property in Canada.

Understand[edit]

West Vancouver and Grouse Mountain, viewed from across English Bay

West Vancouver is mainly a residential district as it has no manufacturing industry by law. Many of its residents commute to downtown Vancouver, work at home, or are retired. It is home to some very large expensive houses, most with views of Vancouver Island, English Bay, and/or Howe Sound. West Van (as the locals call it) is Canada's wealthiest municipality (followed by its neighbor, North Vancouver). Together with the District of North Vancouver and City of North Vancouver, it is part of a local regional grouping referred to as the North Shore municipalities, or simply "The North Shore".

Get in[edit]

Map of West Vancouver

See Vancouver for options to get in the Vancouver area by plane, by bus, and by train, and by boat.

By car[edit]

The main entry points to West Vancouver are Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) from North Vancouver or by Highway 99 across the Lion's Gate Bridge from Vancouver. Visitors travelling south on Highway 99 from Squamish or Whistler will arrive in the North Shore just above Horseshoe Bay.

By boat[edit]

  • 1 BC Ferries - Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) ferry terminal, toll-free: +1-888-223-3779. This ferry terminal is located in West Vancouver and connects directly to Highway 1.
    • Destinations served by this terminal, all using ferries that carry vehicles and foot passengers:
      • Bowen Island (Snug Cove) ferry terminal (20 minute crossing), operating every 1.25 to 2 hours. Daily first inbound departures are normally at 5:20 am and daily first outbound departures are at 5:50 am, except on Sundays, when inbound departures normally start at 6:20 am. Last departures vary seasonally, but generally depart sometime between 10 pm and 11 pm.
      • Nanaimo (Departure Bay) ferry terminal on Vancouver Island (1 hour 40 minute crossing), operating slightly less frequently than every 2 hours. First and last departure times vary seasonally with typical inbound and outbound daily first departures being around 6:15 am and last departures being around 10 pm or 11 pm.
      • Sunshine Coast (Langdale) ferry terminal (40 minute crossing) near Gibsons, operating slightly less frequently than every 2 hours. Normally, the daily first inbound departure is at 6:20 am, the first outbound departure is at 7:30 am. Last departures vary seasonally from around 9 pm to nearly 11 pm.
    • Reservations
      • Reservations can be completed on BC Ferries' website or by phone.
      • Reservations are a generally good idea, as ferries can fill up. If you book far enough in advance and prepay with saver fare is available, you may even pay less than showing up at the terminal. Otherwise, reservations increase the cost of the trip, between increasing cost between $2.50 extra and $17, depending on which option you choose.
      • Drivers must redeem their reservation at the ferry terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled sailing or they lose their guarantee to be on the sailing and are given the same priority as anyone else showing up at the ferry terminal without a reservation.
    • Public transit
      • Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) ferry terminal is served by several of TransLink's bus routes including:
        • Route 250, connecting to downtown Vancouver. Enables connections with Burrard station (SkyTrain Expo Line) at its stop on Georgia St at Burrard St, and with Granville station (SkyTrain Expo Line) and Vancouver City Centre station (SkyTrain Canada Line) at its stop on Georgia St at Granville St
        • Route 257, a limited stop service connecting to downtown Vancouver. Enables connections with Burrard station (SkyTrain Expo Line) at its stop on Georgia St at Burrard St, and with Granville station (SkyTrain Expo Line) and Vancouver City Centre station (SkyTrain Canada Line) at its stop on Georgia St at Granville St. This is faster than Route 250 if your destination is downtown.
        • Route 262, connecting to Lions Bay and parts of West Vancouver
      • Bowen Island (Snug Cove) ferry terminal has bus service operated by TransLink on routes 280, 281, and 282, which travel to different parts of the island
      • Nanaimo (Departure Bay) ferry terminal is served by bus routes operates by BC Transit on the following routes:
        • Routes 20 and 20A travel between downtown Nanaimo and Woodgrove Exchange (in north Nanaimo) via the ferry terminal
        • Route 25 travels a large single direction loop around Nanaimo, starting at Woodgrove Exchange, stopping at the ferry terminal, stopping in downtown, stopping at Vancouver Island University (VIU), and then ending at Woodgrove Exchange.
      • Sunshine Coast (Langdale) ferry terminal is served by bus routes operated by BC Transit:
        • Route 1 connects with Sechelt via Gibsons
        • Route 90 connects with Sechelt via Gibsons, but includes less detours, resulting in faster travel time to and from Sechelt
    • Parking options
    • Amenities
      • Wi-Fi: Free service at the ferry terminal. Not offered on the ferries.
      • Washrooms: Available in the terminal and on board ferries.
      • Eating and shopping: Vending machines sell snacks in the terminal. Restaurants and shops are located in a several block retail area immediately west of the terminal. A cafeteria style-restaurant and a gift shop are on board the ferries, except on the ferry connecting to Bowen Island.

Get around[edit]

By public transit[edit]

TransLink, +1-604-953-3333. The main public transit network in the Vancouver area, including: Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and White Rock. Its network includes buses, SkyTrain (rail rapid transit), SeaBus (ferries), West Coast Express (commuter rail), and HandyDART (door-to-door shared-ride service for those who cannot ride public transit without assistance).   Passengers can pay for fares using Compass Cards ($6 refundable deposit), Compass Tickets, or tap-to-pay using contactless credit cards (only American Express, Mastercard or Visa) or mobile wallets. Passengers using Compass Cards and Compass Tickets pay discounted fares. Passengers can transfer for up to 90 minutes, except if taking West Coast Express, in which case they can transfer for up to 120 minutes. On bus and HandyDART, passengers can also pay in cash, but in that case will not receive change and are not eligible for transfers.   Zone based fares apply between Monday and Friday for trips starting before 6:30 pm, if travel involves SkyTrain or SeaBus. Outside of those hours or for travel on only bus or HandyDART, a single zone rate applies. If traveling by West Coast Express, a higher cost zone based fare system applies regardless of time of travel.   Children 12 and under can ride for free. People aged 13 to 18, and 65 and older pay discounted concession fares.

Travelling to/from North Vancouver costs $3.10 for a standard adult fare (as of July 2022). Crossing the harbour means crossing a fare zone boundary so a ticket to/from Vancouver, Burnaby or Richmond will cost $4.45 and a ticket to/from Surrey will cost $6.05.

By bus[edit]

West Vancouver is served by the Blue Bus. It is one of two bus companies in the Greater Vancouver region operating under contract for TransLink, and transfer is free between the Blue Buses and other TransLink buses.

The following are routes connecting West Vancouver with other communities:

  • R2 - frequent limited stop rapid bus, which travels between Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver and Phibbs Exchange in North Vancouver with a stop along the way at Londsdale Quay Exchange (adjacent to Lonsdale Quay SeaBus terminal) in North Vancouver
  • 250 - travels between downtown Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal with a stop along the way at Park Royal Mall. In Vancouver, stops within a block of SkyTrain's Burrard station (Expo Line), Granville station (Expo Line), Vancouver City Centre station (Canada Line).
  • 257 - limited stop route that travels between downtown Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal with a stop along the way at Park Royal Mall. In Vancouver, stops within a block of SkyTrain's Burrard station (Expo Line), Granville station (Expo Line), Vancouver City Centre station (Canada Line).
  • 262 - travels between Caufeild and Lions Bay with a stop at Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal.

By taxi[edit]

By ride hailing[edit]

  • Kabu.
  • Lyft.
  • Uber.

See[edit]

  • 1 Lighthouse Park, Beacon Lane (follow Marine Dr west from Dundarave, turn left onto Beacon Lane and follow it to the park parking lot), +1 604 925-7270 (for information about recreation programs and facility rentals). Open daily 6AM-10:30PM. Trails wind over and around huge glacial boulders and old-growth forest, some leading down to various beaches with views of Vancouver. The main trail from the parking are leads to the Point Atkinson lighthouse for which the park is named (entry not permitted though). There are picnic facilities (no fires permitted), bathrooms, and in season wildlife lectures. A great place for families with kids. You can take your dog, but he must be leashed between May and September to avoid disturbing seasonal wildlife. This is a popular hiking spot, so trails tend to be fairly busy. Free. Lighthouse Park (Q1824686) on Wikidata Lighthouse Park on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cypress Falls Park, at the end of Woodgreen Pl (take exit 4 from Hwy 1 and head east on Westport Dr; it becomes Woodgreen Dr, turn right shortly after at Woodgreen Pl).
  • 3 Whytecliff Park, Marine Dr (7000 block of Marine Drive just west of Horseshoe Bay).

Do[edit]

The Lions Gate Bridge viewed from Ambleside Park.
Cypress Mountain ski area
  • 1 Ambleside Beach, Argyle Ave, east of 13th St. Probably the nicest sandy beach on the North Shore. It is a common place to come for a walk or to hang out on the beach. Has a nice view of Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge.
  • 2 Dundarave Beach, foot of 25th St. A small pleasant beach on the west end of the sea wall. The pier provides views of Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge. It is a popular place to have a picnic in the summer.
  • 3 Cypress Mountain, top of Cypress Bowl Rd (exit 8 from Hwy 1). Cypress is usually open from 9AM to 4PM throughout the season, with night skiing (closes at 10PM) starting in early/mid Dec and extending until March. The downhill area is spread across two mountains and has the largest vertical of the North Shore skifields with a good mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs. There is a cross-country and tubing area around Hollyburn Mountain. Full day Downhill tickets are $46 (adult), $39 (youth), $23 (seniors) and $20 (child). There is an extra premium over the Christmas period and discounts for evening (4PM) and night (7PM) skiing. Full day Cross country tickets are $17 (adult), $13 (youth), $11 (seniors) and $10 (child). Evening tickets (after 3PM) are discounted. Cypress Mountain Ski Area (Q1137200) on Wikidata Cypress Mountain Ski Area on Wikipedia
  • 4 West Vancouver Sea Wall. A mostly paved walkway along the ocean that runs between Ambleside Park and Dundarave Village. It's very popular in the summer and on nice weekends.

Festivals[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Park Royal Mall, 752 Marine Dr (Marine Dr at Taylor Way), +1 604-925-9576. Open every day. A major shopping mall on the north and south sides of Marine Drive with indoor and outdoor shopping sections and restaurants. Anchor tenants include: The Bay, London Drugs, Super Value, Sport Chek, Coast Mountain Sports, Linens & Things, Home Depot, Old Navy, Whole Foods.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 The Beach House, 150 25th St (at the Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver), +1 604-922-1414. Another North Shore restaurant that specializes in seafood. The view of Vancouver harbour is fabulous. Mains $30-40.
  • 2 The Boathouse, 6695 Nelson Ave (on the waterfront in Horseshoe Bay), +1 604-921-8188. Built out over the water in Horseshoe Bay, this restaurant has a large seafood selection including a variety of fresh fish, oysters and Atlantic lobsters. If fish isn't your thing, there are a number of steaks and a large wine menu. There is also an outdoor patio to enjoy the sunny days. Mains $15-40, appetizers $7-12.
  • 3 Carmelo's, 1448 Marine Dr (Ambleside), +1 604-922-4719, fax: +1 604-922-4613. Serves a variety of pasta, meat and pizza dishes. Mains $12-30, appetizers $6-15.
  • 4 Salmon House on the Hill, 2229 Folkestone Way (Exit #10 off Hwy #1 in West Vancouver), +1 604-926-3212. Set on a hill overlooking the entrance to Vancouver harbour, you can enjoy both your food and your view while you eat. Salmon (in various styles) is the signature dish, but there are plenty of other options on the menu. Mains $25-35, appetizers $8-15 (the restaurant will also offer periodic specials where you can get a three course dinner for $30-35, it's usually advertised in local papers).
  • 5 Zen Japanese Restaurant, 101-2232 Marine Dr, +1 604-925-0667. M-Th noon-9:15PM, F-Sa noon-9:30PM, Su noon-9PM. A broad menu of Japanese food styles — sushi, sashimi, robata, plus fusion, and westcoast cuisine — executed with creativity and flair. Bright attractive dining room, with patio seating available on fine days. Lots of seafood, of course, but also a respectable choice of vegetarian dishes. Dinner $25-35/person.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Square Rigger Pub ("The Rigger" ,"West Vancouver's dirty secret"), 150-1425 Marine Dr, +1-604-281-4648, . 11AM-midnight. An almost secret locals hang out, it has a very warm and casual atmosphere. Billiards table, Foosball, darts, and ping-pong are available for entertainment. There are "pull tab" lottery machines, keno, & video black jack for the gambler in you. Bar tenders have great taste in music, and along with several TV's. $5-10 a drink depending on brand & size.

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Capilano R.V. Park, 295 Tomahawk Ave (from the Lions Gate Bridge, head east on Marine Drive, turn right onto Capilano Rd and follow the signs), +1 604 987-4722. Campground and RV park set between the Capilano River and the Lions Gate Bridge. It has a swimming pool, laundromat, showers, Internet connection and other amenities.
  • 2 Horseshoe Bay Motel, 6588 Royal Ave, Horseshoe Bay, +1 604 921-7454, toll-free: +1-877-717-3377. 23 rooms with a mix of one queen, one king and two queen-sized beds. Free wifi is available. Location is excellent if catching an early morning ferry to Vancouver Island or the Sunshine Coast. $128-158.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Vancouver Island is a 1 hr 35 min ferry ride away via BC Ferries and the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. Arriving in Nanaimo, you can head down island to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, or across the island to Tofino, where you can go whale-watching, surf and storm-watch. Other ferry destinations from Horseshoe Bay are Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Northward on Hwy 99 takes you through the Sea to Sky region, which offers varied outdoor activities including hiking, swimming, rock climbing and camping. It also takes you to the resort area of Whistler, with its nightlife, fine dining and a wide variety of activities that will keep you busy regardless of what season it is.

Routes through West Vancouver
VictoriaNanaimo ← ferry ←  W BC-1 (TCH).svg E  North VancouverVancouver
WhistlerLions Bay-Britannia Beach  N BC-99.svg S  VancouverSeattle
Powell RiverGibsons ← ferry ←  N BC-101.svg S  END


This city travel guide to West Vancouver is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.