North Shore

Learn about the the Mayors’ Council vision for transportation on the North Shore.

City of North Vancouver (CNV)

Lonsdale Quay photo courtesy of dennistt/flickr


The City of North Vancouver is home to a population of more than 48,000 residents, and is expected to grow by approximately 15,000 people over the next 15 years.  Despite living in one of the region’s most important commercial centres, the majority of CNV residents leave the North Shore for work, leaving less than one-third of the residents working close to home. This indicates the North Shore’s heavy reliance on transportation links with the rest of Metro Vancouver. The SeaBus is the CNV’s direct link to downtown Vancouver, but automobile traffic is routed through the District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver for bridge access to Vancouver. The SeaBus, which runs between Lonsdale Quay and Waterfront Station, is operated by Translink, allowing users to board with the same fare as other modes of public transit. Areas outside of the Lonsdale Avenue corridor are underserviced and underdeveloped, especially along the East-West arterial routes. The North Shore Trade Area is home to an active port and rail yard. Additional transportation issues stem from modal interface problems (e.g. the grade-level rail crossing at Pemberton Street), which interfere with goods movement, transportation efficiency, and the potential for improving or expanding service.

District of North Vancouver (DNV)

Ironworkers Bridge photo courtesy of ChristianBier/wikipedia

Taking up a large area of the North Shore region, the District of North Vancouver has a population of more than 84,000 and is expected to grow by approximately 21,000 people in the next 15 years. The DNV sprawls from Indian Arm to Capilano River, and from the mountains to the Burrard Inlet, curving around the CNV. DNV has direct access to Vancouver via the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (a.k.a. Second Narrows’ Bridge), which is part of the Trans-Canada Highway and has  Phibbs Exchange and the Kootenay bus loop at either end. There is also a lift bridge adjacent to the Ironworkers, which is used and operated by CN Rail. As for the CNV, most DNV residents cross the Burrard Inlet when they head to work and, compounded with limited transit service and a traffic bottle-neck at the bridgehead, “bridge traffic” presents the area’s most significant congestion problems. The east-west corridor congestion and modal interfaces described in the CNV profile also present problems for the DNV.

District of West Vancouver (West Van)

Lions Gate Bridge and West Van photo courtesy of gord99/flickr

The District of West Vancouver currently has a population of over 42,000, and is expecting to grow by 13,000 people over the next 15 years. The majority of daily trips made by West Vancouver residents are by single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs), eastbound toward Lions Gate Bridge and the District and City of North Vancouver. Lions Gate Bridge is West Vancouver’s most immediate connection to the rest of Metro Vancouver and the direction of traffic in its centre-lane alternates, depending on the congestion pattern. Traffic along the east-west corridor of Marine Drive and at the bridgehead, where West and North Vancouver traffic converge, are the District of West Vancouver’s major transportation hot spots. West Vancouver also lacks a direct bicycle/pedestrian connection across the Capilano River and bicycle infrastructure on busy routes, more generally. Unlike the rest of Metro Vancouver where transit service is operated by Coast Mountain Bus CompanyWest Vancouver Blue Bus operates the West Vancouver’s bus service through TransLink. Transit access to Lions Gate Bridge and connectivity with North Vancouver are a challenge in West Vancouver.


  • The North Shore sub-region includes West Vancouver, the City and District of North Vancouver, but also the municipalities of Lions Bay and Bowen Island and the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations
  • Most of the population, totaling 180,022, resides in the District or City of North Vancouver and West Vancouver
  • 90% of trips through the region travel into or out of the City of Vancouver
  • As of 2011, approximately 78% of all trips were by personal vehicles, while only 10% were by transit and 10% were by foot
  • 76% of all trips stay on the North Shore while the remaining 24% are destined for south of the Burrard Inlet

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