North Van’s main claim to fame is its scenery and parks. Check out the year-round recreation at Grouse Mountain, Lynn Canyon or Mount Seymour. Capilano Canyon Park has both the 670-acre Capilano Lake Reservoir and the beautiful Capilano Suspension Bridge. Lynn Canyon Park also has a suspension bridge plus the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. Mount Seymour Provincial Park offers superb hiking and picnic areas with incredible views.
On the North Shore, east of the Lion’s Gate Bridge is the community of North Vancouver. Catch the BC Transit SeaBus from the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver, and in 15 minutes you’re there! Lonsdale Quay is at the SeaBus terminal on the North Shore and has a pretty market, with boutiques and restaurants. You can head up Lonsdale Avenue, which is North Van’s main north-south artery and shopping district.
Annual festivals, events
Lions Parade and North Van Folkfest (end of June), Funky ART CAR Festival (mid-Sept), Edgemont Bavarian Festival (Sept).
3735 Capilano Road
The Capilano Suspension Bridge offers a piece of Western Canadian history as well as an exciting adventure for people of all ages. The bridge was originally erected by pioneering Scotsman George Grant Mackay in 1889. The 450 foot long bridge is made of steel cable and cedar planks and rises 230 feet above the Capilano River. The Nature Park is a tranquil retreat located on the west side of the suspension bridge. The old growth forest hides many trails and by following one of these trails, you’ll discover a 200 foot waterfall which flows from mountain-fed trout ponds to the Capilano River below. Visitors are greeted by the sight of colorful totem poles which were first put up in the park in the 1930s. The Capilano Trading Post, which has been open since 1911, offers native art, hand-crafted leathers, classic apparel and unique Canadian-made art and gifts.
6400 Nancy Greene Way
This ski hill overlooks North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver. In the winter, there are 22 runs from beginner to expert, complete with night skiing, serviced by four chair lifts. In the summer time, Grouse is host to the “Theatre In The Sky,” helicopter tours, and a Skyride to the Peak of Grouse.
Lynn Canyon Park
3663 Park Road
This 617 acre park has been open since 1912 and features its own suspension bridge, 20 stories above Lynn Creek. The forest of douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock has been protected from logging, but early activity in the 1800s is evidenced by tree stumps. Some of the trees were up to 11 metres in circumference. There are a number of hiking trails through the thick forests with different degrees of length and challenge. Check out the photos of the early days of Lynn Canyon in the Ecology Centre, open 10 am-5 pm daily.
Mount Seymour Provincial Park
1680 Mount Seymour Road
This provincial park on the eastern edge of North Vancouver rises high above the city. The park is mostly used for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. You can drive to an elevation of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) for a choice of two scenic viewpoints: one overlooking Indian Arm (to the east) with an occasional view of Washington State’s Mount Baker (on clear days), the second with a westward vista of downtown and the Islands.
Park and Tilford Gardens
440-333 Brooksbank Ave.
Park and Tilford Gardens consists of eight theme gardens. Created in 1968 by a privately-owned distillery and given to North Vancouver as a gift, the gardens are now funded by the Park and Tilford Shopping Centre merchants. There’s a display garden, native garden, oriental garden, white garden, rock pool, rose garden, herb garden and colonade garden. Each is fascinating in its own way. The gardens are open daily from 9:30 a.m. until dusk and there is no admission.
North Vancouver Parks
Here are the parks in North Vancouver from west to east, north to south (see other area parks):
Capilano River Regional Park
(Capilano Park Road)
This 160 hectare park, alongside the Capilano River straddles both North Vancouver a& West Vancouver. This is the most popular of the Regional Parks in the Vancouver area, because of its spectacular canyon trails, the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, and several viewpoints. There is a 7 kilometre walking trail from Cleveland Dam at the ‘top’ of park (holding back Lake Capilano) to mouth of the Capilano River at the First Narrows. The River is navagable by kayaks, and the park has plenty of picnic facilities and a Federal Government fish hatchery.
Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
(Lynn Valley Road)
This rugged 4,685-hectare mountain park is the source of Lynn Creek, between the better-known Capilano and Seymour Watersheds. During the 20s and 30s, Lynn Creek was the water supply for North Vancouver. The park is best known for its rugged mountain slopes, the rocky tumbling and turbulent creek, with several tributaries plummeting to the Creek with spectacular cascades and debris chutes. You can still see signs of lumber camps and copper and lead mines dating back to the early 1900s. There are several backcountry routes for experienced outdoor people and developed trails for less experienced hikers.
Lynn Canyon Park
(Foot of Peters Road, Lynn Valley)
The 250 Lynn Canyon Park has dramatic and accessible west coast rain forest with scenic canyons, pools and creeks. There are 100-year-old Douglas-fir stands as well as younger western hemlock and western red cedar, 40 types of moss, and a variety of native birds. There are several hiking trails including one across the famous Suspension Bridge, which is 50 metres above Lynn Creek, and one part of the Baden-Powell Trail.
This park contains the convergence of Wagg and Mission Creeks providing for a natural setting for the many trails and bridges that traverse the forested creek ravines. There are also a variety of outdoor sports and recreation facilities including a lighted baseball diamond and grandstand, sports fields, a gravel running track and water play area.
(Keith and Lonsdale)
Victoria Park was the first and central component of a system of boulevards and parks proposed and promoted as North Vancouver’s ‘Necklace of Parks’ which include Grand Boulevard and Mahon Park. The 2.7 hectare park was cleared from the forest in 1905, and European trees were planted; with over a 100 of these original trees remaining today.The eastern half of the park is home to the recently restored Cenotaph and Commemorative Flame.
(2nd Street & Moody)
This 4 hectare park marks Moodyville, one of the first European settlements on the North Shore, which was home to Moody’s Mill. There is a sign commemorating the pioneer settlement and the sailing of the first cargo of lumber from Burrard Inlet Moodyville Park – City of North Vancouver Location:
Maplewood Conservation Area & Farm
(2645 Dollarton Hwy)
This 35-hectare salt marsh is a prime fish and wildlife habitat, with over 200 species of birds. You can walk the nature trails to view the wildlife. Maplewood Farm (405 Seymour River Place) was a thriving dairy farm in the 1920s, and is now home to more than 200 domestic animals and birds. Special events include the Sheep Fair in May; Farm Fair in September; and Country Christmas in December.
Mount Seymour Provincial Park
The 3,508 hectare Mount Seymour Provincial Park is located 30 minutes northeast of downtown Vancouver and encompasses Mount Seymour, Mount Elsay and Mount Bishop. There is an expensive trail system and four picnic areas for day-use. Wilderness camping is permitted throughout the park and there is a group campground is located near the parking lot. Mount Seymour Resort provides access to its ski runs with four chairlifts and a tow.
This park is beside the SeaBus Terminal and Lonsdale Quay Public Market, providing handy access to the City of Vancouver and shopping (including that perfect picnic lunch!). The picnic area has waterfront access with views across to Vancouver’s skyline, Stanley Park and the Lion’s Gate Bridge.
This is the District’s largest seaside park, with a 6 km waterfront trail winding past sandy beaches and mixed forests of douglas fir and bigleaf maple. Viewpoints look north over tranquil Indian Arm and south over busy Burrard Inlet. The park has tennis courts, playgrounds, beaches (with lifeguards on summer weekends), picnic shelter, a concession, and a display of native totems and a canoe. There is a year-round boat launch for anglers, kayakers, sailors and powerboaters.
Deep Cove Park & Panorama Park
Beside the quaint Deep Cove Village, at theend of Gallant Avenue, these two popular waterfront parks offer excellent views of Deep Cove. The Cove is a perfect setting for boating, swimming (lifeguards on summer afternoons), strolling and picnicking with its change rooms, boat house, playground and picnic shelter. Panorama Park is the easterly access point to the Baden Powell Trail.