Culture & History of West Vancouver

West Vancouver is a district municipality in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

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".

West Vancouver has a population of 42,694 (2011 census).

Cypress Provincial Park, mostly located within the municipal boundaries, was one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

West Vancouver was also named a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2006.

West Vancouver is also home of Canada's first shopping mall, Park Royal Shopping Centre, and also of the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, one of the main connecting points between the British Columbia mainland and Vancouver Island.

The Municipality of West Vancouver was incorporated on March 15, 1912, after separating from the District of North Vancouver. The first municipal election was held on April 6, 1912. In November 1938, the Lions Gate Bridge was opened to traffic, allowing extensive growth of the semi-populated community, previously only accessible by ferry. Some homes in West Vancouver date back to the 1920s and 30s, though most of the currently existing dwellings were built in the 1970s and 80s, and mostly in British Pacific Properties' developments.

West Vancouver has no manufacturing industry by law.

West Vancouver is mainly a residential district as many residents are retired, work at home, or take the short commute to downtown Vancouver.

A 25-block strip of Marine Drive serves as a commercial district, featuring shops, small offices, garages and gas stations, restaurants, banks, and other common amenities.

This area is commonly known as 'Ambleside', with a one-block section separated from that area known as 'Dundarave'.

West Vancouver is also home to Park Royal Shopping Centre, Canada's first mall. Opened in the 1950s, it now consumes 2 km of both sides of Marine Drive near North Vancouver, and is home to several department stores and large retailers, as well as many small retailers. Park Royal is also the largest mall on the North Shore, and is a bus terminal for Blue Bus and North Vancouver TransLink buses.

West Vancouver is one of the most desirable places to leave with the most expensive real estate in the world.

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