Shelley Williams

Cell: 604-803-4280 |

When the Guinness family built the Lions Gate Bridge to connect their British Properties in West Vancouver with downtown at the height of the Great Depression, it was almost an act of desperation.

Previous developers had gone broke attempting to entice homeowners across the fast moving waters of the First Narrows, but the ferry service was never successfully up to the task.

The huge estates carved up on the sinewy streets above the Capilano River were designed by the famous architectural firm Olmsted Brothers of Boston, Massachusetts.

Fans of landscape architecture have no doubt read and re-read Witold Rybczynski’s classic, "A Clearing in the Distance," about Frederick Law Olmsted and the creation of Central Park and Mount Royal. The Capilano Golf & Country Club was designed by Stanley Thompson.

Even today, British Properties' street names evoke a certain colonial nostalgia. Craigmohr, Ballantree, Glengarry. “Southborough,” for instance, sounds like it should be lined...

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West Vancouver’s British Properties is one of the most expensive, and lovely, neighbourhoods in Canada. It’s a mix of Bentley-driving, old-money types, seniors who bought in years ago, and the nouveau riche who’ve only recently made it big.

 

The shifting market that’s happening throughout the Lower Mainland is illustrated perfectly on Southborough Drive, a winding road that cuts through the Lower British Properties and wraps itself around Capilano Golf & Country Club. While a house may sit unsold for months despite huge price reductions, another can still go for more than asking.

 

There is a lovely three-bedroom rancher on the south side of Southborough that has been on the market since early this year. It sits so close to the golf course that I could see the 18th tee while standing in the front yard, which is more like a park, really. When I viewed it, the owners were asking $3.695-million and I hear they’ve recently re-listed at $3.198-million....

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