Finding a new home can be intimidating, like circling the base of a mountain without knowing where to take the first step. Think of Local Logic like a trusty guidebook. We can’t make the trek for you, but we know the best trails, and we have a well-defined list of things to throw in your backpack before getting started.
There’s a sense in which finding the right location can be pretty subjective. If you’re moving to be closer to family, your top priority may be finding a place nearby. If your daughter was killing it at learning Chinese before moving, you’ll sacrifice a lot to find an immersion school in your new city. We can’t tell you the perfect place for your family to live, but we’ve been in the real estate game long enough to know about the qualities that make a neighbourhood family-friendly.
Below, you’ll see a heat map of Vancouver’s urban neighbourhoods. We created this by filtering for these family-friendly qualities: quiet, parks, car-friendliness, elementary schools, high schools, and daycares.
Then we ranked each neighbourhood by a composite score of all these factors.
Here’s our data-informed list of urban Vancouver’s most family-friendly neighbourhoods:
Quiet, tree-lined streets overlooking Vancouver offer a refuge from the commotion of city life. Visit Dunbar Community Centre for summer day camps and classes for kids of all ages, or take advantage of childcare facilities while you squeeze in a cycling or dance workout. Many of the restaurants in Dunbar’s small retail district cater to children—Kokopelli Café on Dunbar Street, for example, even has a play area for kids to enjoy while you eat. The majority of the neighbourhood’s homes are single-family, so you’ll benefit from rare parking and backyard space inside city limits.
2) West Point Grey
Nestled on the western tip of the peninsula, West Point Grey offers family-friendly living in a scenic location. Watch the sunset over the mountains from Jericho Beach or Spanish Banks, two of the neighbourhood’s most popular beaches. Multiple concession/washroom facilities, tennis and volleyball courts, and “quiet areas” make these beaches an ideal setting for a family BBQ. The Seawall, a paved walking and biking path, connects the area to Downtown. Like its neighbour, Dunbar, West Point Grey offers an excellent selection of schools and a wide array of kid-friendly options at its local recreation center and in its burgeoning retail district.
If you’re looking for a quiet residential area with access to nature, you’ve found it. Renfrew Ravine Park has recently undergone improvements to its wooded, creekside walking trails and added a boardwalk and dog park. One of the city’s most multicultural neighbourhoods, Renfrew-Collingwood offers a private high school specifically for new immigrants to Canada. Families from all around the world enjoy strengthening local ties in the community center, public pool, and Collingwood Neighbourhood House, a section of the Joyce Skytrain Station that offers educational and recreational programs for children and families.
4) Kensington-Cedar Cottage
Families looking for a high quality of life at an affordable price are flocking to Kensington-Cedar Cottage. The neighbourhood combines two historic neighbourhoods, but it’s now home to a young, diverse population. You’ll love taking in the view from the top of Vancouver’s east-west ridge and enjoying the countless opportunities for recreation at Trout Lake Beach, a popular freshwater beach in John Hendry Park.
Known for its lush, elegant properties, Shaughnessy is almost entirely residential. Between its high-quality schools and gorgeous parks, it’s a quiet oasis in the geographic heart of the city. Don’t miss the VanDusen Botanical Garden and the Arbutus Greenway for a nature getaway for the whole family.
Once a hippy beachside hangout, Kitsilano’s culture is now a haven for families looking for a relaxed environment. Right over the Burrard Bridge, Kitsilano offers world-class beaches and parks to keep active families moving. On the waterfront, Vanier Park offers acres of greenspace to explore, as well as family-friendly attractions like the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Farther down the shoreline, Kitsilano Beach is a hotspot for families enjoying watersports, volleyball, and picnics. The recently renovated saltwater pool right by the beach is Canada’s longest swimming pool, open from May to September.
To customize your search to your lifestyle, search Vancouver real estate listing on partner sites like Realtor.ca and Centris or use our Local Map product to find the right spot here. Play around with our lifestyle filters and check out the lifestyle scores of individual listings. Whatever you and your family are looking for, we can help you find it.