I live in the Blueridge neighborhood in North Vancouver. It’s only fitting I publish a post about it since I know it well and think it’s a great place to live. Here goes…
Where is Blueridge Neighborhood?
Blueridge Neighborhood is located on the east side of the North Vancouver District. It’s just east of the Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge.
It’s a relatively convenient commute to downtown Vancouver. I know many folks who commute downtown daily or several times each week. I did for a few years. If there aren’t any unusual traffic problems, it’s 20 to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 to 40 minutes in the evening.
Here are 20 Things You Should Know About Blueridge (if you’re thinking about moving there)
1. Surrounded by world-class hiking and biking trails (easy access on the east side, north and west side of the neighborhood)
Some people move to Blueridge for the trails. You can access the extensive North Shore trail system to the west, north and east sides of the neighborhood. In other words, the neighborhood is surrounded by forest on three sides.
The trails access the Baden Powel trail which spans the entire North Shore. This means you can pretty much get anywhere on the North Shore via trails from Blueridge. It’s pretty cool.
The trails are shared by hikers and mountain bikers. You have easy, strolling trails as well as steep, more difficult trails and everything in between. For example, Fisherman’s is an easy, flat, well-maintained long trail ideal for strollers and easy biking.
However, Fisherman’s has branch trails that take you to much steeper and more difficult terrain. If it’s a challenging hike or mountain biking trail you seek, Blueridge neighborhood offers it all.
If you want to get a sense of just how extensive the trail system is, I suggest getting the Trail Forks app. Most of the trails are set out in the app. I don’t enter the forest without it.
2. Plenty of families throughout
We’ve lived in Blueridge for seven years and during that time the number of families that have moved in increased. There are families on every street and it seems like more move in every month. It’s a very kid-friendly neighborhood/area.
On the flip side there are also many retirees who have lived in the neighborhood for decades. Folks don’t leave which is a testament to the quality of life the area offers.
3. People are incredibly friendly and willing to get to know one another
This is particularly true in the Blueridge school community. We’ve met and befriended many families in the area which is one of our favorite aspects of living here. It’s a friendly community where you can make great friends. Most of our social life involves families and friends in the area.
4. Interurban trails connecting roads for convenient mobility throughout (kids love them)
We take advantage of these short, well-maintained trails all the time when walking and biking around. There are dozens of them which not only cuts down on how long it takes to get throughout the neighborhood, but they’re fun as well. Some have bridges. Some are longer and branch off in different directions. Some give access to creeks and forests. Some are short merely taking you directly to another street.
5. It’s located on the base of a mountain so be prepared for walking/biking on hilly terrain
That’s not to say all streets are a steep hill. There are some flat streets but there are also some steep streets. We initially lived on a very steep street but recently moved to a flatter street. I prefer a flatter street but we gave up an incredible view for it.
The point is if you head out for a walk or bike ride, be prepared to get a workout because you’ll be hoofing it up a hill at some point.
I actually bought an electric mountain bike to make biking the area more enjoyable. I head out on it almost daily. If you aren’t up for rigorous workouts or having to put in a huge effort to bike around, consider an e-bike.
6. There are two parks. Four parks if you include the two elementary schools
At the top of the neighborhood (northern part) is Blueridge Park. Our first 7 years we lived a five-minute walk from this serene, picturesque park. I went there all the time with our young boys. There’s a great playground, some trails and a large field. The park is lined with trees. It’s a great place to head out for an hour or two.
On the opposite end of the neighborhood (southeast side) is McCartney Park. McCartney Park is incredible. It’s large. It’s a place you can easily go spend several hours. It includes:
- Baseball fields
- Tennis courts
- Free parking
- Public bathrooms
- Picnic tables (not many but a few scattered throughout)
- Forest area with a creek
We now live closer to McCartney Park and so we go several times each week.
There are also two elementary schools in the neighborhood which offer fields and playgrounds. We go to those regularly as well.
7. Great elementary school(s)
There are actually two elementary schools in the area. The area is actually comprised of Blueridge and Seymour Heights. Often the entire area is referred to as Blueridge.
Blueridge Elementary is located higher up (northernmost school) and Seymour Heights Elementary is lower down (south).
Our kids attend Blueridge which has about 350 kids. It spans Kindergarten through grade 7 (both schools do). We are very happy with Blueridge Elementary. Our kids love it. The teachers are great. It’s a beautiful setting. Easy to get to.
As far as I know, there is a waiting list for kids to attend who live outside the catchment which suggests it’s a sought-after school. All I know is it’s been a great school for our kids.
8. The catchment high school, Windsor Secondary, is walking/biking distance for kids
The catchment high school is Windsor Secondary which is located just south of Blueridge across Seymour Parkway. If you live in the southern part of the neighborhood (i.e. Seymour Heights), it’s a ten-minute walk. If higher up, a bit longer.
Getting there is all downhill so it’s easy for kids to walk/bike there. However, coming home is more difficult. They’re young so no problem. The point is they can walk or bike.
9. Offers a helpful and active neighborhood association aptly called the “Blueridge Community Association”
The Blueridge Community Association is a great aspect of the neighborhood that helps keep residents up to date with what’s going on. The association publishes a print newsletter, email newsletter, and website and offers a Facebook Group.
The website offers a local business directory, babysitter directory and other local information.
10. Convenient Chevron gas station at the Blueridge neighborhood entry/exit point
Having a gas station (a nice one at that) at the exit point onto the main thoroughfare is very convenient. I never have to drive out of the way to fill up. It serves as a great destination with kids while biking/walking to enjoy a slushie while outdoors. Let’s just say we go to the Chevron gas station often.
11. Ron Andrews Community Center is minutes away
Ron Andrews is a 3-minute drive or bike ride just south of the neighborhood. While it’s an older facility, it offers plenty such as:
- Hot tub, sauna and steam room
- Workout facilities (cardio and weights)
- All kinds of fitness classes
- Gym times for kids
Seriously, just check out the Ron Andrews website to see what’s offered. It’s a lot. The rates are cheap. We go all the time.
12. Twenty-minute drive to ski slopes at Mount Seymour
Plenty of downhill skiers live in Blueridge. After all, we all live only 20 minutes from Mount Seymour which is our local hill. It’s a decent ski hill. We go 20 to 30 times per year. Seasons passes are very reasonably priced for families. Sometimes we go for a quick 1.5 hour ski and other times we make a day of it.
Mount Seymour is also a great destination in Summer with hiking and various outdoor camps for kids.
13. Coffee shop “United Strangers” is conveniently located within walking distance
On the southeast end is a newish coffee shop called “United Strangers”. It’s a convenient place to walk/bike to or grab a coffee from on the way out. There’s plenty of parking (parking lot and on-street).
14. Terrific river swimming hole only a 20-minute walk from the main trailhead
This is one of our favorite summer features in Blueridge. You access it from the Fisherman’s trailhead off Hyannis. It’s a 20-minute walk down to the river located just south of the Twin Bridges. The river slows into a large swimming hole that’s very deep in some areas. At it’s peak, it’s about 30 yards wide. There are plenty of areas above the swimming area to settle in with towels and food. It’s fairly well-known among Blueridge residents so can get busy on hot weekends.
15. Ten-minute drive to the beach
Cates Park is a ten-minute drive. It’s a large, great park close to Deep Cove. It’s on the water (Burrard Inlet where it turns into Indian Arm).
The park includes a huge playground, fields, picnic tables, concession, trails and a beach. We go swimming and spend a day there often when warm. The water is cold but swimmable if hot enough.
Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver is a 20 minute drive. It’s a great swimming beach that’s very sandy, tons of space, a concession, fields and a playground. It’s a great place to spend the day or afternoon or evening.
16. Houses are expensive
Expensive houses aren’t unique to Blueridge. Houses in all of Vancouver are expensive thanks to a recent 15-year run-up in prices. Houses on the North Shore are particularly expensive because of their proximity to downtown Vancouver.
17. Pretty much everything you need is within a 10-minute drive… rarely need to venture west of the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge
One of my favorite aspects about living in Blueridge is there are three commercial/shopping areas all only a short ten-minute drive away. They’re easy to get to. There are no traffic slowdowns. They offer pretty much all you need for day-to-day living. The shopping areas are:
- Deep Cove / Dollarton
All three offer a grocery store. We go to Northlands most often which includes a grocery store, liquor store, bank, dentist, and optometrist.
Parkgate offers a chiropractor, Shoppers drug store (with a Canada Post) and a host of other stores.
Deep Cove and Dollarton area offer restaurants, grocery store, liquor store and a variety of other outlets.
Just east of Highway 1 exit for the Seymour Parkway is a Superstore which sells everything. It’s a very popular shopping destination for not only folks in Blueridge but from North Shore and Burnaby.
With those four shopping destinations east of Seymour River, we seldom need venture west of the Iron Workers’ Bridge which is where the traffic gets insane.
18. North Shore Traffic is horrible
If you’re thinking of moving to the North Shore, know this and that is the traffic in most areas, especially when trying to get from one area to another, is horrible from 2 pm to 6 pm. Don’t even bother trying to get around the North Shore during those hours.
That said, traffic within our immediate area (east of the Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge) is great. Seymour Parkway, the main thoroughfare in the area flows well 24/7.
Yes, there are black bear, coyote and even cougar sightings. Black bear and coyote sightings are the most common
19. Well-serviced by public transit
I’ve taken public transit downtown many times. It’s a decent service. A good number of Blueridge residents use it instead of driving. There are some express buses in the morning and evening which keeps the ride reasonably short. All-in-all it’s a decent service.
While taking the bus to downtown Vancouver is pretty easy, getting around on the North Shore by bus isn’t. That often requires a transfer or two and can take a long time.
20. There are some Blueridge homes and suites available for short-term rentals on Airbnb and VRBO
I just learned about this after hearing about one family I know who occasionally rents out their home on Airbnb and VRBO. Search “Blueridge, North Vancouver” and options will show up in our neighborhood. It never occurred to me that Blueridge would be a vacation rental option but apparently, they do rent out. I suppose being close to downtown Vancouver plus all that North Vancouver has to offer makes it a decent place to stay.
What do I like most about Blueridge?
- The people.
- The nature (parks, trails, forests and river).
- The elementary school (because my kids love the school).
- Living close to a decent ski hill.
- We have pretty much all we need within a ten-minute drive.
What do I like least about Blueridge?
- The rain
- The hilly streets/terrain.
Are there multi-family housing options?
There is are two apartment complexes in the south end on Berkely. I believe they are owned but may come up for rent from time to time.
There are many, and I mean many, in-law suites available for rent throughout the neighborhood. More and more homeowners add them. Many houses have them already. Most are one or two bedrooms, but you can find the occasional three-bedroom suite for rent.
How walkable is the neighborhood?
I love walking around the neighborhood but it’s not all that “walkable” with respect to being able to walk to stores and services. You can walk to them along some trails to Parkgate but it’s a 30-minute walk or longer depending on where you live in the neighborhood. I would not call Blueridge walkable.
Does it rain a lot in Blueridge?
Yeah, it rains a lot. It’s North Vancouver, BC where it rains a lot. Each year 92″ of precipitation falls on North Vancouver; most of that is rain (some is snow). Compare that with White Rock, BC, which is a 45-minute drive south, gets substantially less rain each year (66″ of rain per year).
Is Blueridge a quiet neighborhood?
Yes, overall, it’s a very quiet neighborhood. It’s far enough from the highway so you don’t endure constant traffic noise. If higher up, unobstructed by trees, you can hear a bit of bridge traffic noise on a still night. You can hear the occasional train in the distance. Occasionally commercial jets fly overhead. But these instances are not happening every day all day.
The worst you might encounter is a noisy neighbor which is never fun. I don’t think there are many but you never know.
Are there golf courses nearby?
Yeah, there are three golf courses east of Seymour River. They are:
- Northlands (public)
- Seymour Golf & Country Club (private)
- Seymour Creek Golf Centre (driving range only)
Northlands is pretty much adjacent to Blueridge on the east side. You can walk to it along a trail (we have). It’s a beautiful course.
I’ve gone once to the Seymour Creek Golf Centre to hit balls. It’s decent. Not the prettiest driving range but it’s a place to smash golf balls.
I’ve never golfed at the Seymour Golf & Country Club.