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

$2,780,000 R2831423

3617 W 12th Avenue, Vancouver

LeHomes Realty Premier

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,083 sqft
  • 4,356 lot size

$2,850,000 R2824823

3081 W 3rd Avenue, Vancouver

Pospischil Realty Group

  • 3 bed
  • 2 bath
  • 1,789 sqft
  • 4,160 lot size

$2,249,000 R2822854

3350 W 8th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,493 sqft
  • 3,795 lot size

$4,990,000 R2822276

2188 W 5th Avenue, Vancouver

Dracco Pacific Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,528 sqft
  • 3,000 lot size

$4,999,000 R2821340

2318 Macdonald Street, Vancouver

RE/MAX Select Properties

  • 6 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,321 sqft
  • 2,904 lot size

$2,750,000 R2818790

3343 W 3rd Avenue, Vancouver

Pospischil Realty Group

  • 8 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,757 sqft
  • 3,940 lot size

$2,626,000 R2816875

3628 W 5th Avenue, Vancouver

Royal Pacific Realty Corp.

  • 5 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 1,956 sqft
  • 3,630 lot size

$3,948,000 R2811631

3346 W 10th Avenue, Vancouver

RE/MAX Real Estate Services

  • 8 bed
  • 6 bath
  • 3,753 sqft
  • 6,150 lot size

$2,999,999 R2808901

1915 W 16th Avenue, Vancouver

Rennie & Associates Realty Ltd.

  • 7 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 3,730 sqft
  • 6,275 lot size

$2,899,000 R2799641

2935 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver

Team 3000 Realty Ltd.

  • 7 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,200 sqft
  • 4,026 lot size

$2,799,000 R2798255

3425 W 8th Avenue, Vancouver

Parallel 49 Realty

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

$6,400,000 R2781823

2115-2117 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver

Luxmore Realty

  • 5 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 2,808 sqft
  • 6,250 lot size

$4,988,000 R2777396

3616 Point Grey Road, Vancouver

Easy List Realty

  • 7 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 2,969 sqft
  • 3,713 lot size

$2,698,000 R2770283

2043-2047 W 14th Avenue, Vancouver

Royal LePage Westside

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

$22,880,000 R2767830

2495 Point Grey Road, Vancouver

Prompton Real Estate Services Inc.

  • 4 bed
  • 5 bath
  • 5,986 sqft
  • 5,805 lot size

$2,350,000 R2760910

3019 W 6th Avenue, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty Westmar

  • 4 bed
  • 3 bath
  • 1,273 sqft
  • 3,610 lot size

$4,499,999 R2718847

2704 W 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Macdonald Realty

  • 3 bed
  • 4 bath
  • 4,107 sqft
  • 8,712 lot size

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