Kitsilano History: Neighbourhood Guide and Real Estate

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Featured image of ‘Greer’s Beach’ (now Kitsilano Beach) circa 1908 from the Vancouver City Archives.

Kitsilano in Vancouver, BC is an old neighbourhood with a lot of character. Blessed with beautiful beaches and quaint homes, the diverse communities here in “Kits” have shaped it into the colourful, picturesque town it is today. Trust us, living here will never be boring. Before we show you the active heritage home property listings, we thought we’d share what we love about Kitsilano, past and present. 

 

How Kitsilano came to be

Kitsilano has such a rich and colourful history, influenced by the various communities that settled there for centuries. It has been home to indigenous people for as long as 10,000 years. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation notes that people began to move into the region as the ice started retreating in the area, which we now know as Vancouver. 

While explorers have been around since the 19th century, the neighbourhood got its present name in 1905, right around the time streetcar service began. “Kitsilano” is an anglicized form of Khatsahlano, after famous Squamish chief August Jack Khatsahlano. He was a medicine man who helped record his people’s oral history and worked closely with many of Vancouver’s first settlers. 

Various settlers filled the town with single-family dwellings in the early 20th century, and eventually, industrialization firmly took hold after World War II. 

 

In the 1950s, apartments began replacing houses, which brought in a younger generation of residents. A decade later, it became the creative hub for hippie culture — home to Greenpeace, the Green Party of Canada and The Naam, Vancouver’s premier vegetarian restaurant. 

 

Kits today

Today, Kitsilano is still home to yuppies, but perhaps with a less psychedelic culture than before. Young families who live in the area enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, thanks to Kitsilano’s combination of parks, homes, and commercial districts. Yoga is incredibly popular, and it’s the birthplace of global athleisure brand lululemon athletica

One of Kitsilano’s biggest attractions is Kits Beach. From water sports to the Vancouver Maritime Museum, Kits Beach is filled with a lot of activities for everyone in the family. Even if you’re just there for a walk on the sand, the view of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains is a real treat.

 

The Kits legacy

But there’s so much more to this neighbourhood than its chill vibe. One of the province’s oldest residential neighbourhoods, Kitsilano is home to historical structures that have stood the test of time. 

The Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library, for example, has been around since 1927. Arbutus Coffee, a coffeehouse whose boomtown-style building has been around since 1907, is listed as a Class A Heritage Building by the Vancouver Heritage Register.

In the Delamont Park area, there are 22 heritage homes that are still intact. Heritage Vancouver hopes to preserve the site in the form of a Mole Hill type of model, where old homes were rehabilitated and converted into affordable housing. 

 

Planning to live in Kitsilano? Go vintage!

If you want to experience the town’s history on a deeper level, why not invest in a heritage home? Homes with a heritage designation have high value, which continues to rise. According to BC Assessment data, 42% of designated heritage homes increased in value from 1999-2004. More heritage homes have increased in value compared to non-heritage properties, as well. 

As an owner of a heritage home, you get to help preserve the neighbourhood’s history and culture, too. You can even opt to rent out your space, sharing its story with even more people. If you’re looking to go into business, heritage homes make great inns or bed and breakfasts as they offer a more intimate experience of the neighbourhood compared to modern hotels. 

 

Current Kitsilano Heritage Property Listings

$2,738,000 R2705335

2043-2047 W 14th Avenue, Vancouver

Royal LePage Westside

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,696 sqft
  • 6,250 lot size

$2,588,000 R2704738

1916 Stephens Street, Vancouver

Faith Wilson Group

  • 7 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,109 sqft
  • 3,300 lot size

$2,588,000 R2704733

1922 Stephens Street, Vancouver

Faith Wilson Group

  • 7 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,851 sqft
  • 3,300 lot size

$3,088,000 R2703591

3635 W 14th Avenue, Vancouver

LeHomes Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,764 sqft
  • 5,000 lot size

$9,688,000 R2703338

2502 Point Grey Road, Vancouver

Oakwyn Realty Ltd.

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 3,512 sqft
  • 6,000 lot size

$2,680,000 R2701757

3619 W 6th Avenue, Vancouver

Faith Wilson Group

  • 5 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,465 sqft
  • 3,632 lot size

$12,888,000 R2701297

3281 Point Grey Road, Vancouver

Dexter Realty

  • 4 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 3,056 sqft
  • 4,617 lot size

$2,699,000 R2700427

2616 W 11th Avenue, Vancouver

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty

  • 7 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,625 sqft
  • 3,765 lot size

$6,499,000 R2697662

2590 W 2nd Avenue, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty

  • 7 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 5,045 sqft
  • 6,240 lot size

$2,980,000 R2697475

2525 W 16th Avenue, Vancouver

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,703 sqft
  • 6,250 lot size

$3,950,000 R2694878

#1371- 1377 Maple Street, Vancouver

Sotheby's International Realty Canada

  • 7 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,221 sqft
  • 4,625 lot size

$3,398,000 R2694626

3255 W 3rd Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Real Estate Services

  • 7 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 3,234 sqft
  • 3,960 lot size

$2,699,000 R2691864

3425 W 8th Avenue, Vancouver

Keller Williams Realty VanCentral

  • 3 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,826 sqft
  • 4,620 lot size

$2,999,000 R2686971

3210 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver

Stilhavn Real Estate Services

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,439 sqft
  • 4,026 lot size

$2,398,000 R2685968

2945 W 16th Avenue, Vancouver

eXp Realty

  • 6 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,720 sqft
  • 4,026 lot size

$2,700,000 R2679596

3159 W 14th Avenue, Vancouver

eXp Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 2,463 sqft
  • 4,831 lot size

$2,999,800 R2679530

2064-2066 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver

Royal LePage Westside

  • 7 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 4,479 sqft
  • 5,000 lot size

$2,898,000 R2678330

3316 W 3rd Avenue, Vancouver

Engel & Volkers Vancouver

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,684 sqft
  • 3,959 lot size

$2,989,800 R2677924

3342 W 2nd Avenue, Vancouver

Oakwyn Realty Ltd.

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,738 sqft
  • 3,960 lot size

$3,500,000 R2677240

3556 W 1st Avenue, Vancouver

Sutton Group-West Coast Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 3,444 sqft
  • 3,960 lot size

$2,899,900 R2660179

2735 W 8th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Crest Realty

  • 2 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 1,849 sqft
  • 4,200 lot size

$4,400,000 R2651876

1228 Maple Street, Vancouver

Oakwyn Realty Ltd.

  • 3 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 3,848 sqft
  • 3,960 lot size

$1,880,000 R2616788

2627 W 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Engel & Volkers Vancouver

  • 2 bed
  • 1 bath
  • 1,303 sqft
  • 3,764 lot size

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