Edgemont Village is a community of residents, businesses, schools and groups. This small commercial area in the District of North Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada, is centred around the intersection of Edgemont Boulevard and Highland Boulevard in the north-western part of the District of North Vancouver. “The Village”, as it is known locally, has become the community hub for nearby residential neighbourhoods.

Edgemont Village early 1900s

Residential development in the Capilano Highlands area began in the late 1930′s, following the completion of the Lions Gate Bridge. The residential neighbourhoods surrounding the village were mostly built in the 1940-1960s and contain many examples of mid-century ‘west coast modernism’ inspired by the Capilano River rainforest and the coastal mountains. Designed by architects like Fred Hollingsworth, Arthur Erickson, Ron Thom and Ned Pratt, these homes responded to the need for functional and affordable family residences. These small scale post-and-beam structures inaugurated open-plan layouts, used local materials, and sought to maximize natural light and integrate with the landscape.

Edgemont Village history.

The first neighbourhoods in the area to be built were Capilano Highlands, Forest Hills, Sunset Gardens, Delbrook Gardens and Edgemont Village. It was a time of optimism for the young families from across the Lower Mainland and other parts of Canada who moved to these suburbs, seeking a milder climate, economic opportunity, and fresh start. Now, decades later, the children of those original families have grown up and had families of their own – many of whom still live in the community. The young men and women of the 1950s and 60s are now the seniors of the 21st century. Over the last decade or so, many older buildings have begun to redevelop to newer, larger single family houses.

Edgemont Village developed over the second half of the 20th century as the commercial and social hub of Upper Capilano, with shops and services that served the residents of the many nearby neighbourhoods. Casper’s Pharmacy, along with the Mountaineer Café and Todd’s Dry Goods, were the first three businesses to open in the village in 1947.

The Highlands Business Association was formed in 1955, beginning a history of active merchant involvement in the success of the village that continues to this day with the Edgemont Village Business Association. By 1956, Edgemont Boulevard was well-established as the local ‘high street’ of Upper Capilano.

In the early 1980s, the Edgemont Village Business Association and the District of North Vancouver worked on the next major planning initiative for the Edgemont Village area. Many of the features we associate with Edgemont date back to this master plan: the ‘candy cane’ light standards, the pedestrian corner bulges, and the meridian trees along the boulevard.

Today, there are over 100 businesses operating in around 160,000 square feet of commercial space in Edgemont Village. TransLink bus routes 232 (from Phibbs Exchange) and 246 (from Downtown Vancouver or Park Royal in West Vancouver) pass through the Village. Typically, shops and commercial services occupy the ground level, with office uses above. While Edgemont Boulevard functions as the village’s ‘main street’, many streets have commercial frontages, giving the village it’s attractive, compact ‘precinct’ feel. Due to local zoning, most businesses tend to be smaller operations. There are no “big box” outlets, and the majority of the businesses are locally owned and operated.

Edgemont Village is the centre of day-to-day life for area residents. However, the “heart” of the Village lies in the community events on the Village streets. Throughout the summer, there is a summer concert series, Show & Shine Car Show, as well as an outdoor movie night for local families.  Other annual events throughout the year include a Turkey Quest, Halloween Trick-or-Treating, Christmas Lighting of the Village and an Easter Bunny Hunt.