Point Grey – The Neighbourhood
West Point Grey is a neighbourhood on the west side of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Today, it’s one of Canada’s most expensive residential areas, with Point Grey average home prices sitting above the $3 million mark.
West Point Grey is one of Vancouver’s oldest and most exclusive neighbourhoods, with many long-time residents. The area is known for two of the city’s popular beaches, Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks, Pacific Spirit parks offer several recreational trails. Both beaches are great for watching the sunset, over English Bay and the mountains. It is comprised of a mix of residents including business executives and faculty members of the University of British Columbia; working professionals, business owners, artists, and young families; and students, who find the proximity to UBC and the many recreational opportunities appealing. Point Grey Village serves as the area’s shopping district, where many independently owned businesses contribute to a village-like atmosphere. West Point Grey runs along English Bay, between the University of British Columbia and Kitsilano.
The hillsides offer a natural terracing that provides a range of exquisite views of the North Shore mountains and the spectacular towers of the downtown core. Vancouver may be one of the most beautiful city in the world, but it’s one best admired from Point Grey.
The community, which extends west from Alma Street to Pacific Spirit Regional Park and the University Endowment Lands, and north from West 16th Avenue to the beaches bordering English Bay, has long conceived of itself as set apart. Named for Captain George Grey, a friend of Capitan George Vancouver, Point Grey was its own municipality from 1908 to 1929, when it amalgamated with Vancouver. The historic shopping district along West 10th Avenue between Discovery and Tolmie streets remains intact, yet in a state of constant renewal. Time-loved stores sit by new residential blocks, with their own additions to the retail streetscape.
Point Grey Boundaries
Point Grey’s appeal is its small community character, and a fact that has also made it very easy to get around. West 16th, its southern boundary, while to the north West 4th Avenue runs through the once-vast tracts of government property, much of it now parkland. Between the two avenues is West 10th, the commercial heart of the neighbourhood and discussions are in progress regarding a rapid transit line from UBC to SkyTrain lines in East Vancouver. Alma Street, the eastern boundary of the neighbourhood, and Blanca Street the western boundary.
Community Resources and Recreation
Point Grey has many parks of its own and borders acres of others that provide many opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Popular beaches and lush stands of rainforest provide a spectacular backdrop to homes and ample space for a variety of activities from bird watching to beach volleyball, cycling and dog-walking to simple sunbathing.
Trimble and West Point Grey parks sit on the heights of Point Grey, and look down on the beaches where Locarno and Hastings Mill parks offer waterfront settings. A hidden gem is Westmount Park on Bianca Street, where ancient trees shelter benches and a play area for children.
The beaches of Jericho, Locarno and Spanish Banks offer trails through forest and along beaches for walking dogs, not to mention off-leash areas for more free-spirited play. Above the beaches, trails wind through Pacific Spirit, connecting with the area’s main arterials for some stunning circuits that will be sure to keep you in shape and provide fresh appreciation for the natural terrain.
West Point Grey Community Centre offers a variety of activities at several facilities, including Aberthau Mansion, an event centre with a coach house that serves as a pottery studio; Jericho Arts Centre, and its resident drama company; and Jericho Hill Centre and Lord Byng pool and weight room.
West Point Grey Lawn Bowling Club – We are a Vancouver lawn bowling club founded in 1921.
The clubhouse, at the corner of 6th and Trimble, is located in one of the loveliest parts of Vancouver. There are two greens (one lighted for evening play) with a total of sixteen rinks, so there is always plenty of room for everyone to bowl, including room to share with the Vancouver Croquet Club. The location is quiet with a lot of accessible free parking. The exquisite view of the mountains is unparalleled; even non-bowlers enjoy the club.
Jericho Sailing Centre offers kayaking lessons and is also home to a popular bistro.
Education in Point Grey
Point Grey is home to five schools, both public and private, for elementary school students. The oldest, Queen Mary Elementary School, opened in 1915, and is one of three schools in the city offering Multi-Age Cluster classes. Jules Quesnel Elementary School offers French immersion classes, while Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an independent Roman Catholic elementary school. The fourth school offering elementary classes, Queen Elizabeth Elementary School, opened in 1940, and is one of the top schools from Vancouver. It’s adjacent to the community’s only public high school, Lord Byng Secondary School, which consistently receives high marks in the Fraser Institute’s annual ranking of local schools.
West Point Grey Academy, which is open to students from pre-kindergarten to high school, is a well-regarded private alternative to the public system that sits on the grassy slopes above Jericho Park. A number of Montessori schools operate in the neighbourhood, including Sunflower Academy and the Family Montessori School Society.
Annual Events and Festivals in Point Grey
The highlight of Point Grey’s social calendar is Fiesta Days, a popular community festival organized by the West Point Grey Community Centre with the backing of local businesses. A parade combines with stage performances and a carnival, complete with a small midway. It typically coincides with the end of school, the first weekend of summer, and the high spirits that accompany these things.
In addition, July brings the annual Vancouver Folk Music festival, one of several events that take place at Jericho Park through the year. The music resounds across the neighbourhood, and attracts an international array of visitors as well as leading names from the music industry. Don’t miss out on the many live theatre productions that occur at the Jericho Community Theatre
Point Grey Faves
Starbucks, 4580 W 10th Ave Vancouver, BC – (604) 222-1456: It’s pretty much the same as ever, a nice layout with a smaller retail display than some locations, but it’s primarily a commuter-type clientele. There are great window seats (I am a sucker for people-watching) and outdoor seating, so if you’re not in a hurry to commute somewhere else, it’s a good place to hang out and watch the world go by. The staff are great and they always recognize the regulars.
The Jericho Arts Centre 1675 Discovery Street, Vancouver, B.C. 604-224-8007. Jericho Arts Centre (JAC) is a 135-seat performance venue located off NW Marine Drive near Jericho Beach in the heart of Vancouver’s West Side. One of my favourite theatres to watch live Community theatre by some very talented artists…give the a try.
Jericho Beach Park 3941 Point Grey Road. Everyone has their favorite place in Vancouver for views and to watch the sunset. For me, there’s no place better than on Jericho Beach. It’s a local beach that serves the neighborhood. On warm days, it can get a bit crowded, but it’s still very pleasant. There are concession stands and facilities. And, late in the summer, if you are looking for a great spot to watch the Vancouver Fireworks…there is no better location.
Browns Socialhouse Point Grey – 3651 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.604-734-3651 This busy Point Grey Socialhouse is on the corner of 10th and Alma, a 10 minute walk to Jericho beach. The friendly service and delicious food will have you coming back time and time again. Enjoy a cold drink on the beautiful patio year round or come in and watch all the local sports games! If you’re currently attending UBC, ask the servers about our UBC discounted student offer.