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Local Community Profile: West Vancouver

Introduction

West Vancouver became a distinct municipality, detaching itself from North Vancouver, in the year 1912, on March 15. One of the most popular features of the region, the Lions Gate Bridge, became functional near the end of 1938. This event jump-started the population growth of the community, which had not been very populated before, because it had been difficult to reach. Most houses in West Vancouver are around 40 years old, dating back to the 1970s.

Community Resources and Recreation

If you're looking to relax by enjoying what nature has to offer, West Vancouver has a variety of parks in which you can spend your leisure time. One of the most popular ones, Ambleside Park, offers you the possibility of taking long walks on its beach, and even includes an off-leash area for dogs. Another popular example is Horseshoe Bay Park, which gives you the opportunity to take in the beautiful views of mountains and water, and admire the passing ferries. If you are trying to learn more about culture, West Vancouver has that covered too! The West Vancouver Museum displays different creations at specific times, pinpointing events that are important to the community and even to the entire country. If, on the other hand, you would just like to enrich your knowledge, then you can find an overwhelming number of books in the West Vancouver Memorial Library. Should you ever find yourself dealing with a medical issue, Lions Gate Hospital offers a variety of different services. As it is one of the five available centres for neurosurgery in the province of British Columbia, this hospital is also quite busy. Inglewood Care Centre also has health in mind, but it is for seniors who need a place to live where they will be very well taken care of.

Local Access and Public Transportation

The road system in West Vancouver covers over 250 km of paved roads. For those out there who drive, you will most probably find the Trans-Canada Highway to be a great asset, running in the northern section of the region. A major road running in the southern part of West Vancouver is Marine Drive. As previously mentioned, the area is connected to the rest of Vancouver through the Lions Gate Bridge. If you don't like to drive, or simply prefer to take the bus, you will find the bus system quite helpful. It can help you get to your destination within the community, but it also enables you to get downtown or to North Vancouver, and to UBC or Capilano University.

Education: Elementary and Secondary Schools

For those who have children, West Vancouver is one of the best communities they could grow up in because the schools in this area are ranked in the top percentiles of British Columbian schools, due to their overall accomplishments. There are a total of 14 elementary schools, and three secondary schools. One of the elementary schools available is West Bay, which provides a challenging environment in which children can begin their learning. As for secondary schools, one of the three available is West Vancouver. This particular high school strives to motivate teenagers to learn, while arming them with the skills needed to succeed.

Income Demographics and Local Tax Rates

The population of West Vancouver was 42,694 in 2011, having increased by over 2,000 people from the previous decade. The average income of a family in the community was $101,963 in 2005, which was nearly double from the rest of the province. The median income was $29,049, which was still higher than the rest of British Columbia by almost $4,000. For homeowners, the prices of utilities, such as water and sewage, are set to increase by 2016. Water will cost 774 dollars annually, while the cost of sewage will increase to 877 dollars yearly. The current rate is $1.02/m3 for water, and $1.55/m3 for sewage.

Annual Events and Festivals

If you want to feel more connected to the community, one of the best ways to do it is by taking part in annual events and festivals. The three most popular annual events are: Harmony Arts Festival, Canada Day, and Community Day. The first takes place in August, and it celebrates cultural features such as music and arts. On Canada Day, there are fun activities in the park, and the day ends with a show of fireworks. Lastly, Community Day offers activities for every member of the family the first Saturday in June every year. If you're planning on moving to West Vancouver, then be prepared to be surrounded by beautiful nature, which is well conserved in parks, and by a variety of services. In this community, you can be sure that your children will benefit from some of the best educational institutions in the province, and also that you will have a variety of activities to do.