If you live in Vancouver and have ventured to both the east and west side, you probably noticed a stark difference between the two. All one has to do is drive along King Edward, 41st or any of the the major east/west roads in the city and you’ll notice an immediate difference after you pass Ontario Street (the street that divides east and west addresses in the city). The grass is greener, the house are bigger, sidewalks are cleaner and wider etc…
The above map indicates all the million dollar single detached properties in Vancouver. As you can see, Main Street seems to be the major street (Ontario being the minor street) that divides east and west. The blue indicates million dollar properties, red under a million and the vast amount of white space is either parks, office, industrial or multiple dwelling residential neighbourhoods.
Traditionally, in Vancouver the west has been the wealthier and noticeably less diverse part of the city in comparison to the traditional working class neighbourhoods of East Vancouver. However, that is slowly changing as more and more million dollar homes are popping up in East Vancouver.
Furthermore, in all of Vancouver there is no property less than $500,000. You’ll also notice that the majority of the homes on Vancouver’s west side are above a million dollars, save for a few isolated cases in South Vancouver’s Marpole neighbourhood.
In East Vancouver the majority of homes are still under a million dollars, however, many homes are closer $800,000 and still unaffordable to the general population, hence, Surrey is a popular choice for most as it is the most affordable suburb in the Metro for those that desire the big back yard and all that good stuff.
Naturally, a lot of the single family homes will be passed on to future generations, it’s like winning the lottery. This will be the only way the majority of future generations will be able to live in a detached home in Vancouver. To this day one of the greatest things my parents ever did was not sell their home in Vancouver and flee to Surrey and other suburbs as so many were doing so in the 90’s.
Main Street, for the time being remains the social, cultural, and political divider. However, that line is slowly starting to blur and soon Vancouver will become a mass of million dollar homes, regardless of what side one is on. This is not good for many reasons. That is why it is imperative that the city look at other housing options for families and not just single people and childless couples, that most of the condos seem to cater to. A vibrant city, is one that caters to all class of citizens, not just the well to do.
Image: City of Vancouver