If you are like us, you often find yourself racing through Squamish on the way to a big weekend at Whistler. And while memories of a great craft beer or moment by the icy river may creep in, you keep driving. Whether it is on the way to Whistler or just a day trip on its own, Squamish has likely undergone a huge amount of change since you were last there and is worthy of spending some time to discover it anew.
You can’t talk about Squamish without speaking of the Squamish Nation. The total area of Squamish Nation traditional territory is a massive 6,732 square kilometers. While most people know the Squamish Nation encompasses the town of Squamish, fewer probably realize that the traditional lands are scattered from Vancouver to Gibson’s Landing to the area north of Howe Sound, including the entirety of North and West Vancouver.
While the Squamish people refer to Mount Garibaldi as Nch’kay, the reason we call it Garibaldi today is due to the strange logic of the British Naval Captain George Henry Richards. At the time of Richards’ voyage, an Italian General named Giuseppe Garibaldi was bringing parts of the Italian peninsula into a unified Kingdom of Italy. Richards liked the concept, and thus decided on the name Garibaldi.
As you likely know, Squamish’s biggest tourist attraction, the Sea to Sky Gondola is out of service likely until Spring 2020 due to an unfortunate vandalism incident. However, that doesn’t mean there is any lack of places to explore in and around Squamish. It just removes one option in a series of difficult decisions. Many of these are either suitable or meant for kids.
Stawamus Chief – it has to be the most iconic landmark in Squamish and for good reason. As one of the largest granite monoliths in North America, it is a pilgrimage for climbers around the world. But for those who don’t fancy a 2,000-foot climb, there are family-friendly hikes that guarantee incredible views.
Squamish Estuary & Spit – home to hundreds of bird species, here you get to explore the network of trains traversing salt marshes, wetlands, and mudflats with the family. It also happens to afford some of the best, unobstructed views of the Stawamus Chief.
Shannon Falls – it’s the third-highest waterfall in the province, and practically right of the highway. And in the odd winter where it freezes, glitter turns to gold.
Ground Up Climbing Centre – climbing in Squamish is serious business. But don’t let that put you or your kids off from going to Ground Up. They welcome all levels and have plenty of space for bouldering and climbing with routes changed regularly.
Ninja Gym – inspired to train competitors for America Ninja Warrior, local trail builder Gary McFarlane passionately assembled the first dedicated warrior gym in Western Canada. Your kids will have a blast, and be in good hands as they challenge themselves across the course.
Rope Runner Park – closing on October 13th to reopen in April, this aerial adventure park is fun for kids and adults alike. It includes two hours on the course and kids as young as seven can join in the fun.
Britannia Mine Museum – Well, not physically active, but you get to ride in a train that spans part of the 200-kilometer underground tunnel system. Within this 20 story building, you have the chance to explore the vestiges of the largest copper mine in the British Empire.
BREWERIES & CIDERIES
The craft brewing scene is growing so fast in Squamish that it is highly possible that we missed on or two. These places make for a great stop on the way up to Whistler. Many serve food, and all have options for carrying your haul up to Whistler or back down to Vancouver. And correct us if we are wrong, but Squamish may have even more craft cideries than Vancouver. Some of these locations also make for a great way to spend some quality adult time while your kids burn off the calories inside the Ninja Gym or Ground Up.
Backcountry Brewing – with the Steamworks brewmaster at the helm, Backcountry has quickly become one of the most beloved craft breweries in BC. Known primarily for its unfiltered beers, particularly IPAs, they’ve perfected other styles as well. With a full pizzeria, this place is nearly always packed and for good reason.
A-Frame Brewing – a mere few blocks from Backcountry, you’ll feel like you are in a different world. With a patio and tasting room overlooking the Stawamus Chief, the views are worth the visit alone. A food truck is typically onsite if you are in need of a bite.
Howe Sound – the grandfather of the local craft scene, Howe Sound is not just a brewery. They also run multiple restaurants and an Inn in a local mega-complex of sorts. Don’t let that distract you from one of the largest selections of beers from any BC craft brewer.
Northyards Cider Co – whether you are a novice dipping your toes into the cider or an expert looking for something unusual, look no further than Northyards. They also have a full menu, and perhaps one of the best charcuterie plates around. Well, that is a bit of local bias, as they use products from our North Van fav, Two Rivers.
Geo Cider Co – sticking exclusively to apple-based ciders, they make both old and new world styles making for a fun compare & contrast.
Cliffside Cider – just off the edge of downtown, check out Cliffside if you are looking to try something more experimental. It also serves as a great 3-1, as they frequently have a Backcountry beer on tap, as well as spirits from the local distiller, Gillespies.
While the Squamish market has seen substantial price increases over recent years, real estate developers clearly think Squamish has plenty of additional room for growth. With a population approaching 20,000, just the addition of these three sizable developments will dramatically increase the housing options for those considering a move or second home in Squamish.
Waterfront Landing – a master-planned community on 53 acres that will feature 900 townhomes and apartments, as well as a waterfront park, public plaza, shops, and cafes.
Newport Beach – featuring 21 acres of park, public space and community facilities, this development will eventually accommodate 6,500 people
Cheekye Neighbourhood – 537 small and medium single-family lots, a tiny home village, and 768 multi-family units in midrise apartments and townhomes. The development has featured a 50-acre park with trail corridors.
There are also many homes currently for sale. Relative to North Shore and Vancouver prices, homes in Squamish represent an incredible value. If you are thinking about buying in Squamish, please don’t hesitate to email us.
UPCOMING NORTH SHORE EVENTS
September 22 | 10AM–12:30 PM
Join West Van Mayor Mary-Ann Booth in Horseshoe Bay Park for a shoreline cleanup around Horseshoe Bay and the surrounding area. Tools, garbage bags and gloves will be provided. While not mandatory, registering here will ensure there are enough supplies for everyone.
September 28 | 12–10 PM
This free family-friendly street party will overtake The Shipyards. With live music, family activities and crafts, vendors, food trucks and beer, it will be a great way to say farewell to summer.
September 28 | 1–3 PM
If a party is not your thing and you’d rather cavort with mycelia, Willougbhy Arevalo will be leading a participatory field-based mushroom workshop at the Lynn Canyon Ecological Centre. The workshop will cover mushroom identification, names and meanings, and the uses of different types of mushrooms. Participation is $9, and registration is required by calling (604) 990-3755.
This annual festival is back with even more events and breweries participating, as the explosion of new breweries in the North Shore continues. From the Launch Party to more intimate dinners with beer tastings, it will be hard to limit it down to just a few.
6364 Nelson Road, West Vancouver
Living in Gleneagles is out-of-reach for many due to demand for the area driving prices high. Every once in a while, a listing comes on the market that is a huge bargain for the neighbourhood. This has to be the best family home in West Vancouver under $1.5M.
Inside the home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms spread over 2,310 square feet. The kitchen, bathrooms, and roof were all updated in 2010. There’s even a studio suite to rent downstairs as a mortgage helper.
When you live here, you’re surrounded by so much within easy walking distance. From the Gleneagles Community Centre & Elementary School to the Golf Course, hiking trails, and ocean don’t be surprised to see your own child skipping along happily across the neighbourhood and cutting through a neighbour’s yard to nods of approval.
To see more photos please click here. 6364 Nelson Avenue is offered at $1,450,000, and available for a private viewing.
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Sean and Kim are one of the most assertive, exceptional and passionate Real Estate couple we have ever had the pleasure to work with. They are super knowledgeable about the market and extremely resourceful to move the deal forward with the least amount of obstacles that usually appear when buying a home. Happy to say that they found our dream home in the area that we love. We are now proud home owners thanks to Sean and Kim! Highly, highly recommended!
– ASHKAN JALILI
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AUGUST MARKET STATS
We remain in a balanced market that favours neither sellers or buyers. Although the average price for homes has dropped 8.3% year over year, sales are up compared to the same last year. In August months of inventory rose slightly and the benchmark home price fell to its lowest point in 2019 to $993,000. Market conditions vary by neighbourhood, so please contact us if you’d like specific information in your neigbourhood or where you are considering moving.