North Vancouver Shipbuilding

North Vancouver, British Columbia (city)

The City of North Vancouver is a waterfront municipality on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, directly across from Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the smallest of the three North Shore municipalities, and the most urbanized as well. Although it has significant industry of its own, including shipping, chemical production, and film production, the City is usually considered to be a suburb of Vancouver.


The City of North Vancouver is separated from Vancouver by the Burrard Inlet. It is surrounded on three sides by the District of North Vancouver.

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 City has much in common with the District Municipality of North Vancouver and West Vancouver. Together these three municipalities are commonly referred to as the North Shore. The differences between the two "North Vans" are most apparent to their residents. Other Lower Mainland residents are seldom aware of the difference between the two and refer to both as "North Vancouver".


Moodyville, today referring to the Lower Lonsdale area but originally several blocks west, is the oldest settlement on Burrard Inlet, predating Vancouver; only New Westminster on the Fraser is the older settlement in the region. Logging came to the virgin forests of Douglas Fir in North Vancouver, as sailing ships called in to load. A waterpowered 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 Dundarave) was incorporated. The financial collapses of the 1890s and 1907 aggrieved the young city into bankruptcy. As a result of this, the separate areas of West Vancouver, and District of North Vancouver came into being, with the City only holding onto a small portion of its former area.

Part of the reason was the cost of developing raw mountainous terrain. And, originally the ocean foreshore was primarily swamp.The great distances, and large rivers to span, hindered development. Bridges were built, only to have them washed out in a few years from winter floods. The City and District built Keith Road in 1912, which undulated from West Vancouver to Deep Cove amid the slashed sidehills, swamps, and burnt stumps.

Yet the City did gain a strong foothold, with 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 Bridge controlled development.

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 North Vancouver mountains have many drainages: Capilano, MacKay, Mosquito, Lynn, and Seymour Rivers. 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.


The City of North Vancouver is connected to Vancouver by two bridges; the Lions' Gate Bridge and the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing, and also by a passenger only ferry, the SeaBus. This system as well as 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, location of the SeaBus terminal.

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, part of 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)


According to the 2001 Statistics Canada Census:

  • 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.

Population estimates according to BC Stats:

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

People and Politics

Mayor: Darrell Mussatto

Coroner: Lauren Carlin

Sister city

Surrounding Municipalities


External links

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