The pretty communities extend along Marine Drive, and are the heart of West Vancouver. They area accessed from the Upper Levels Highway exits 10 & 11. The streets here are aligned along a grid and the Avenues are named in alphabetical order from the waterfront, and the streets are numbered from the Capilano River. The seawall promenade takes pedestrians from the Capilano River through Park Royal Shopping Centre to Ambleside Park to the pier at Dundarave, with unparalleled views of Vancouver's harbour, the Lion's Gate Bridge and Stanley Park.
Ambleside Village is one of West Vancouver's oldest neighbourhoods, beginning as am across-the-narrow seaside retreat for Vancouver residents. Today, the lively area has many of the best shops and restaurants in West Vancouver. Ambleside Village runs along Marine Drive from 13th Street west to about 20th.
Dundarave Pier used to be the Vancouver-West Vancouver ferry dock prior to the opening of the Lion's Gate Bridge in 1936. Dundarave Village is a popular retail and restaurant neighbourhood located along Marine Drive, centred around 25th Street, which leads to the Dundarave pier and the seawall, which have stunning waterfront views east to Vancouver and west to Vancouver Island.
Colourful planters and iron cast lamps decorated with hanging flower baskets mark the retail stretches of Marine Drive in Dundarave and Amleside. Bellevue Avenue, just south of Marine Drive also has fashionable shops, and trendy restaurants and cafes. Park Royal Shopping Centre is the area's major shopping spot.
These neighbourhoods are served by Irwin Park, Pauline Johnson Elementary Schools and West Vancouver Secondary, and there is a public library in Ableside.
This pedestrian-friendly shopping area is considered West Vancouver's town centre. The seawall promenade runs from the Capilano River alongside the railway tracks past Ambleside Park, John Lawson Park (with the 17th Street per) to the 25th Street pier at Dundarave. Ambleside Park has great shoreline pathway with views of Stanley Park, tennis courts, a pitch & putt course, a beach, and outdoor pool, several baseball diamonds, sports and soccer fields, and tennis courts. There is a sailing club just west of 13th Street beside the park, an ice arena at 21st Street, and a running track beside West Vancouver Secondary School.
These neighbourhoods are characterized by high density high-rise apartments along the waterfront, overlooking the railway line, which accounts for two-thirds of the households. The balance split between single-family homes and low-rise apartments/condos. About half the buildings were built before the 1970s, with 20% built in the 1970s and that many again in the 1980s, with about a tenth of residences built since 1990.
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