Grand Boulevard, North Vancouver, British Columbia, V7L, Canada
Grand Boulevard Park
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Grand Boulevard is a suburban garden development in a residential section of the City of North Vancouver. Wide lots face the large, 105 metres wide,1.6 kilometre long central garden boulevard between the two sides of the roadway. Facing the Boulevard are a number of mansions and bungalows, many of which have views of the Burrard Inlet, the mountains and downtown Vancouver.
Grand Boulevard is valued as North Vancouver's most prominent garden subdivision, designed to attract affluent and prominent families to the North Shore of Burrard Inlet. Planning and development was initiated in 1906 by the North Vancouver Land and Improvement Company. Following the lessons of the disastrous fires caused by that year's San Francisco earthquake, Grand Boulevard was laid out as a generous fire break. Prestige was guaranteed through minimum construction cost standards and restrictions on buildings and landscaping.
Early owners were protected by a number of building and landscape restrictions that applied to the properties facing the boulevard, to ensure that the area would remain prestigious and distinctive. The provision that residences must cost more than $4,000 to construct ensured that the area would maintain a high status within North Vancouver. Property owners were obliged to sign a covenant, also applicable to the owner's heirs and successors, agreeing to abide by the development's regulations. During the first phase of development, large stately houses were built predominantly on corner double lots and designed in the popular Arts and Crafts styles of the day. More modest Period Revival houses were built during the 1920s. Following the Second World War, a building boom saw the remaining lots developed with more modest modern bungalows. A few larger houses have now been built on infill lots.
Grand Boulevard is valued as part of a rectilinear system of boulevards and parks known as North Vancouver's "Green Necklace," which also includes Ottawa Gardens, Victoria Park and Mahon Park.
The design of the Grand Boulevard considered the elevated height of the area, and how the sightline down Queensbury Avenue to the waterfront would give Grand Boulevard a commanding view of Burrard Inlet and Vancouver. Like other garden suburbs of the early twentieth century, Grand Boulevard's plan focused on the landscape setting and the importance of the boulevard itself. It is the largest manicured area in the municipality. The gardens are a centrepiece for the community, and the garden bed at the south end at Keith Road is used for flower displays. The last exposed section of Moodyville Creek is located in the southeast corner of the boulevard. The central boulevard contains many notable mature landscape specimens, a number of which date from its first planting. The grove of purple Japanese maples between 18th and 19th Streets vary in size to approximately thirty feet in height. The multi-stemmed Katsura tree located at the northwest corner of Grand Boulevard and 17th Street is a beautiful example of this ornamental species.
Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver
Key elements that define the heritage character of Grand Boulevard include its:
- wide spacious layout with views to all sides
- south-facing slope
- rectilinear block plan with intermittent cross streets
- notable mature landscape features such as the purple Japanese Maples and the Katsura Tree
- pedestrian paths
- unified subdivision of housing facing the Boulevard
- uniform building setbacks
- landscape features facing the Boulevard, including mature trees and hedges
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Sports and Leisure
Function - Category and Type
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Planning Files, City of North Vancouver
Cross-Reference to Collection