Hot School District in Vancouver – West Point Grey and West Point Grey Academy

We are the Vancouver real estate website BurnabyHouse.com and the design and construction website CitiDesign.ca. Today, I would like to introduce to everyone West Point Grey in the northwest of the Vancouver West End and the renowned private school, West Point Grey Academy.

West Point Grey is located between the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Kitsilano, stretching along English Bay. Roughly, it starts from English Bay to the north, extends south to 16th Avenue, goes east to Alma Street, and reaches UBC to the west, bordered by Blanca Street to the east.

The meaning of Point Grey comes from ancient Indigenous mythology, signifying the “battlefield of the west wind.” The local Musqueam people lived in the ancient Ee’yullmough village. It was rediscovered by the Spanish explorer Jose Narvaez and his team in 1791. The following year, Captain Galiano and Valdez met Captain Vancouver on the same coast, leading to the naming of two places, Spanish Banks and English Bay.

As a cultural hub in the Vancouver West End, this community has a deep cultural heritage. The residents are of high quality, including professionals like doctors, lawyers, university professors, as well as business owners, executives, artists, young families, and UBC students. With diverse residents, the keyword for the community is children’s education.

The famous private school in the area is West Point Grey Academy (WPGA), a renowned private elementary and high school in Vancouver. Living here, adjacent to the world-class University of British Columbia, you can enjoy the magnificent sea views along English Bay, endless forests, and immerse yourself in a rich cultural atmosphere.

Residents of Point Grey can find seven parks within an 800-meter range, totaling an area of 420,000 square meters. The residents have almost 40,000 square meters of park green space per thousand people, four times more than the average in the entire city of Vancouver. The community has nearly 370,000 square meters of land dedicated to community services, including Jericho Park, Spanish Banks, and more.

UBC is only a five-minute drive from this area, close to the renowned higher education institution, the University of British Columbia (UBC). UBC, founded in 1908, is situated by the ocean, surrounded on three sides, and is considered to have one of the most beautiful campuses in North America. The campus spans about 400 hectares, with the westernmost part being by the seaside, offering beautiful beaches and captivating scenery. It’s also home to Wreck Beach, famous for its celestial beauty. UBC has two campuses, and for the Vancouver campus, it is located at the farthest west of Vancouver, less than half an hour’s drive from downtown.

The beaches in the Point Grey area include Spanish Beach, Jericho Beach, stretching all the way to Kitsilano Beach not far to the east. Point Grey is a paradise for nature lovers, a place for outdoor leisure for Vancouverites in the summer, resembling a fairyland. Whether residents or tourists, everyone can enjoy activities such as sunbathing, picnicking, cycling, walking, sailing, and more. In addition to the community center and outdoor public tennis courts, Jericho Park also has a golf club, tennis club, yacht club, a club specifically for weddings, and a restaurant.

West Point Grey, located in the prime area of Point Grey, is surrounded by high-end villas to the south, and the sea-view villas to the west and east are often priced at tens of millions of Canadian dollars. Going east towards the sea, Point Grey Road is called “The Golden Mile,” with luxury homes lined up, one after another.

The mansion of Chip Wilson, the founder of the famous clothing brand Lululemon, is on this street, often ranking as the highest-valued mansion in Vancouver in government assessments over the years. The houses in the entire community are mostly single-family homes, with a few multi-story and high-rise apartments mainly concentrated along Alma Street, between West 5th Street and West 8th Street. As a luxury home community, Point Grey is naturally a place affordable only to high-income groups. Over the past two years, the pandemic has led to a surge in house prices in Greater Vancouver, and the cheaper areas have seen greater increases. This, in turn, has increased the cost-effectiveness of luxury home communities. For high-income groups with the ability to afford, now is still a good time to invest in Point Grey’s luxury homes.

The public schools in the West Point Grey area are also among the best in Vancouver. To the south on 16th Avenue is the renowned public school, Lord Byng Secondary, and to the west is the famous public school, University Hill Secondary. The corresponding elementary schools mainly include Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Kitchener. In recent years, to meet the local demand for education, the Vancouver government has allocated 20 million Canadian dollars specifically for Queen Mary Elementary for expansion and renovation.

The commercial street in West Point Grey is Point Grey Village on West 10th Avenue. Here, there are various sizes of supermarkets, bank shops, and restaurants. The shops at the intersection of 10th Avenue and Alma offer various antique and collectible shops, as well as cafes and small restaurants. To the east of Alma, there are many high-end clothing stores, shops, and restaurants on West 4th Avenue and Broadway. There are multiple bus routes here, making public transportation very convenient.

West Point Grey is only half an hour’s drive from Vancouver International Airport and downtown Vancouver.

West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) is a private school from kindergarten to high school, founded in 1996. The school has over 940 students and 125 teachers. It offers JK-12 grade courses, with an average class size of 18-20 students. The school emphasizes racial diversity, with limited spots open each year for Asian families, leading to intense competition for admission. The admission process includes exams and interviews, with parents also participating in interviews.

The school does not admit students with limited English proficiency. In the annual Fraser Institute elementary and secondary school rankings, the school consistently scores a perfect ten. Every year, it sends high-quality graduates to top universities in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, with a 100% college admission rate. In 2022, two students were accepted into Harvard University, two into the University of Pennsylvania, and other students into Stanford, Columbia University, Yale, Cornell, and other prestigious institutions.

Development Plan for West Point Grey: The development plan for West Point Grey and Jericho Lands is located in the prime area of Point Grey, adjacent to the familiar Jericho Beach Park. Covering an area of 36 hectares (90 acres), it extends from West 4th Street to the north, West 8th Street to the south, Discovery Street to the west, and Highbury Street to the east. Owned jointly by the Indigenous Musqueam Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and Squamish Nation, these three nations formed a partnership to establish the MST real estate development company. This site is located within the unceded traditional territory of the MST, and in 2014, they acquired Jericho Lands for 237 million Canadian dollars from the state-owned Canada Lands Company (CLC).

After years of planning, a draft to rebuild Jericho Lands was announced by municipal officials at a press conference on October 18, 2021. It aims to develop this area into a vibrant mixed-use community, providing nearly 10,000 housing units for about 18,000 people. There will be around 10 million square feet of building area, including 9 million square feet of residential space, consisting of approximately 9,000 residences, accommodating 15,000 to 18,000 people. While most of these residences will be market housing, there will still be 30% designated as affordable housing. The construction of the first phase of development could begin as early as 2025, with the entire project expected to take 25 to 30 years, meaning the full appearance of this community might not be visible until 2050.

According to the development plan for the next 10 to 30 years, the SkyTrain station will extend from Arbutus all the way to the UBC campus. At that time, the Jericho area will be developed into a “seaside railway town.” Although this project involves huge costs, a survey conducted by TransLink in the spring of 2021 found that 92% of Vancouver residents support extending the SkyTrain to UBC. If this goal is successfully achieved, this development project will double the existing population of the entire Point Grey community, with the remaining approximately 1 million square feet of building area dedicated specifically to retail, restaurant, office and institutional spaces, as well as convenience facilities. This also means that dozens of low-rise or high-rise buildings will emerge.

This document was collected and compiled by Gary Gao, a Vancouver real estate agent and developer, to help you with your needs for buying and building houses in Greater Vancouver.

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