Country Living / Life Style / Working River Waterfront
Southlands is a prestigious enclave of elegant estates, urban-dweller farmland and distinctive show homes on the Southwest corner of Vancouver’s Westside. Single-family dwellings, plentiful parkland, community shopping districts, easy access to downtown and the Vancouver International Airport, and old-world elegance make Southlands an enviable place to live.
A predominantly single-family dwelling area, there are numerous choices for educational institutions either within, or in close proximity to the borders of Southlands.
Southlands Elementary, Kerrisdale Elementary, Kerrisdale Annex and McKechnie Elementary all offer solid alternatives to the needs of elementary school children. For the secondary school-aged members of the family, Point Grey Secondary and Magee Secondary offer quality education within an easy commute of the enclave of Southlands. Also within easy access to Southlands residents are the private/independent school offerings of such diverse institutions as Crofton House, St. George’s School, Immaculate Conception School, Glen Eden School and the Vancouver Montessori School. The renowned University of British Columbia is a quick 10 minute trip along SW Marine Drive.
…vast amount of green space is augmented by the beautiful walking and sports activity areas of Fraser River Park
Location & History
Bordered for the most part by natural boundaries, Southlands is a precious enclave of the Lower Mainland. The Fraser River makes a natural eastern/southern boundary while UBC Endowment Lands anchors the northwest corner of the area. SW Marine Drive, with a jog up to West 41st Avenue marks the northern boundary for Southlands as it then winds its way down to the eastern boundary of Angus Drive.
Southlands shares much of its history with its adjoining neighbourhood to the north, Dunbar. Its history began as a clear cut area of Vancouver, basically uninhabitable in the early 1900s due to the leftover mass of fallen burnt timbers.
As town planning principles evolved and access to this Vancouver Westside area became accessible by the establishment of streetcar routes in the 1920s, homes began to be built. Early zoning bylaws required that houses be situated well back on their lots, easily identifying the “originals” which may still stand today. Some of these early homes were designed in the English Arts and Crafts and Edwardian building styles. Southlands has a rich architectural heritage. As of 1992, 21 structures of historical significance in the combined Southlands/Dunbar area are listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register. The majority of the homes in this neighbourhood were built pre-1946. Although renovations to these heritage homes have taken place over the years, the eclectic mix of old elegance combined with stately lots remains to this day.
Southlands is a totally unique area on Vancouver’s Westside. North Southlands reflects the housing types and eclectic population of its neighbouring district of Dunbar. Another area of Southlands is part of the Musqueam Indian Reserve where there are non-native homes on long-term land leases. The West Southlands area is made up of mainly single family homes on large lots (33′ X 100′ as well as plenty of 66′ X 100′). Southlands has maintained a semi-rural quality, and boasts a large number of horse stables, beautiful estate homes and several elegant smaller homes. Southlands is truly a unique country lifestyle choice that is still only 20 minutes from the downtown core.
Most residents of this Vancouver Westside area live in close proximity to one of the community’s many parks. The combined area of Southlands and Dunbar offers 2.07 hectares of parkland per 1,000 persons compared to the city average of 1.12. Two of the city’s finest golf courses – both public (McCleery Golf Course) and private (Point Grey Golf and Country Club) – lie within the boundaries of Southlands. This vast amount of green space is augmented by the beautiful walking and sports activity areas of Fraser River Park located in the southeast quadrant of Southlands and the vast Musqueam Park to the northwest.
Located in the heart of Southlands is one of the city’s finest and largest nurseries; Southlands Nursery offers everything and anything an urban gardener or estate botanical expert may need.
Southlands also has three distinctive shopping districts all within a short commute. The 41st Avenue corridor of shops to the north offers old-time neighbourhood stores and amenities at its best. A stroll down 41st Avenue on either side of Arbutus is one that covers everything from old-world delis to new and hip clothing with many restaurants and coffee shops in between. Neighbouring Dunbar offers a “main street” filled with restaurants, small shops, grocery stores, a liquor store and even a movie theatre. To the east of Southlands lies the shopping corridor of Granville Street. Here a Southlands resident can buy groceries, get the perfect bottle of wine for dinner, stop at the bank or buy insurance, go to the library, sip a cappuccino all the while contemplating which of the eclectic neighbourhood restaurants to drop into.
Southlands has easy access to the downtown core through public transit, cycling and automobile. No freeways are involved and there are three main arterial routes that can be used for vehicular commuting to downtown. As well as easy downtown access, these main arterial routes make it simple to hook up with the main highway/freeway routes to the outlying areas of the Lower Mainland. The Vancouver International Airport is also an easy commute from Southlands.