Search For Commercial Real Estate in Vancouver, BC
The cities of Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland — expanding outward into the Valley, Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky Corridor — have become a magnet for investment, innovation, corporate headquarters, and high-tech jobs. The city is at the forefront in technology, digital entertainment and interactive, green economy, film opportunities, Asia Pacific relations and more. According to the Financial Post, Vancouver is #1 for 'Head Office Growth in Canada'. The Conference Board of Canada rated Vancouver #1 in 'Forecasted Economic Growth in Canada'.
Targeted tax credits support Greater Vancouver's thriving creative industries. BC's tax policies also help goods-producing industries maintain lower operating costs. Investors are eligible for tax credits for investing in qualified business corporations, employee share ownership plans and venture capital corporations. And training tax credits are available to eligible employers based upon wages paid out to apprentices. Others target specific industries, like clean technology, life sciences, mining, natural gas, and screen-based industries. Certain local incentives focus on revitalizing the commercial districts of cities.
In the Fraser Valley's cities and rural communities, you'll find thriving economies in aerospace, agriculture, education, health care, and tourism. Areas like Surrey and Squamish have seen explosive growth and development over the past decade. Whether you're a startup, adding a new location, or relocating, here are twenty-four cities to give serious consideration. (Communities are listed alphabetically. Statistical information is based upon the most recent 2016 Census and Townfolio data.)
Known as the City in the Country, Abbotsford is located to the south of Mission and Hatzic, with Langley to the west, Chilliwack to the east, and the US/Canada border to the south. Across the border are Everson and Sumas, Washington. Abbotsford's population is 141,397, and it has been growing at an average of 1.4% per year over the past 15 years. The population has more than doubled since 1981. The median household income is $72,511, and the unemployment rate is 6.6%. It's a young family oriented community, with a median age of 39.0.
Abbotsford recorded a record-breaking number of building permits in 2017, representing a 92 per cent increase over the previous year. West Abbotsford currently has the most industrial square footage in the permitting process, or under construction, anywhere in the Fraser Valley. According to Western Investor, Abbotsford is emerging as a commercial power centre. It's one of the cities to the east of the Lower Mainland that is easing the growing pressure for Metro Vancouver's commercial and residential demand.
Some of Abbotsford's key commercial areas include Highstreet Shopping Centre, Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, West Oaks Mall and Historic Downtown Abbotsford. Industrial areas include Peardonville Road, off Clearbrook Road, along King Road, and Abbotsford Airport. Operated by Tourism Abbotsford, the Fraser Valley Trade & Exhibition Centre (Tradex) hosts international trade shows and entertainment events.
Key sectors include agriculture; aviation and aerospace; film, television and special events; and niche manufacturing. The City of Abbotsford Economic Development (CEAD) offers tax incentives, support programs, resources, handholding and a marketing toolkit. While many still think of Abbotsford as an agriculture community, aviation and aerospace have become the No. 1 sector driving the city’s economy.
Two highways bisect Abbotsford: Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy) running east-west, and Hwy 11 (Abbotsford-Mission Hwy) north-south to the Huntingdon Canada–US border. Two border crossings, CN, CP and Southern Railway access, and Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) have earned Abbotsford the tagline: Hub of the Fraser Valley. Abbotsford is 5 minutes from the border and 1 hour 15 minutes (71.2 km) from Vancouver.
Burnaby is BC's top shopping destination, and the city serves as a gateway to Metro Vancouver's many attractions and activities. To the north, this 2.97 km2 (730 acres) compact city is bounded by Thurston, Bond, Grange and Dover Streets. The western border is Boundary Road — taking in Central Park — and to the east, it's Royal Oak Avenue. To the south Burnaby is bounded by Imperial Street. Burnaby's population is 232,755, and it has been growing at an average of 1.26% per year over the past 15 years.
Burnaby's median household income is $64,737, and the unemployment rate is 6.4%. Burnaby's population is well educated. 70.5% have a post-secondary education, with 43% achieving a Bachelor's Degree or above. The population is relatively young, with a median age of 40.3.
The City of Burnaby is a great place to conduct business due to its central location and vibrant urban economy. Key business sectors include biotechnology, education, environmental technology/services, film, information technology (IT), life science, light industry, new media, professional services, retail and wireless. Burnaby's Environmental Sustainability Strategy (ESS) is a plan for the city's sustainable “green” future.
Burnaby has the largest mall in BC: Metropolis at Metrotown. Metrotown is a three-storey shopping mall complex with more than 450 shops and services. Other shopping centres and districts include Brentwood Town Centre, Crystal Mall, Kensington Square Shopping Centre, Lougheed Town Centre Mall and The Heights Commercial District. Business parks include Burnaby Business Park, Cariboo Business Park, Glenlyon Business Park, New Haven Business Park, Prospero Centre and Riverbend Business Park. For light industry, two options are Glenwood Industrial Estates and IntraUrban Brentwood.
Burnaby is well-connected via TransLink's multi-modal transit system, for Bus, and SkyTrain. Highway traffic in and out of Burnaby is managed by Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), Highway 7A (Barnet Hwy), Highway 7 (Lougheed Hwy), Highway 1A (Kingsway) and Marine Way.
Chilliwack offers the advantages of doing business in Metro Vancouver but at a much lower cost. The city is bounded on the north by the Fraser River, and surrounded by mountains and recreational areas like Cultus Lake and Chilliwack Lake Provincial Parks. To the west are Abbotsford, Langley and Surrey. The population is 83,788, and the City of Chilliwack has been growing at an average of 2.01% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $67,800, and its unemployment rate is 6.4%. The area has a young population, with over 25% of the total 19 or younger, and a median age of 41.3.
Key sectors are agriculture, aviation & aerospace, distribution and logistics, food and beverage processing, and manufacturing. Chilliwack enables business owners and employees to enjoy greater buying power, with the lowest commercial to residential taxes, lower start-up costs, lower property costs, fast permits and approvals, and a skilled workforce.
In the 2017 Industrial Development “Report Card” produced by NAIOP, Chilliwack earned top ranks for “lowest taxes” and “fastest approvals”. Chilliwack is a “top BC investment town”, according to the Real Estate Investment Network, and recognized as one of the most business-friendly communities in the region.
Major commercial areas include Chilliwack Mall, Cottonwood Mall, Holland Shopping Centre, Vedder Pointe Shopping Centre and the downtown corridor along Young Road. Industrial areas include Cattermole Industrial Estates, Kerr Avenue Business Park and Progress Way Industrial Site.
For over two decades, Chilliwack has been investing heavily in its downtown core. The city offers a Downton Revitalization Tax Exemption program, Industrial Revitalization Tax Exemption and Commercial Revitalization Tax Exemptions. New facilities like the Cultural Centre, the Landing Leisure Centre and Prospera Centre are establishing Downtown Chilliwack as a hub for activity.
Chilliwack is ideally situated for industry, with industrial development along Hwy 1, and highway and rail access to the Lower Mainland and BCs Interior. For business trips and light freight, fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft at Chilliwack Municipal Airport (YCW) provide quick, easy access to Abbotsford or Richmond International Airports.
Known as a quiet suburb of Vancouver, Coquitlam is the sixth-largest city in the province. It does deliver the expected laid-back West Coast lifestyle, with excellent shopping and dining; but over the past decade, it's made an inspiring transformation into a vibrant and growing community. To the north are Burke Mountain, Eagle Ridge, and Coquitlam Mountain. Burnaby and New Westminster lie to the west, and Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows to the east. The southern border is the Fraser River, with Surrey on the south side.
Coquitlam's population is 139,284, growing at an average of 1.47% per year over the past 15 years. The median income is $74,383, with an unemployment rate of 6.1%. The community's median age is 41.1, and 35.2% of the residents have a university degree.
Coquitlam is just 10 to 15 km east of Vancouver. Coquitlam's rapid growth can be linked with significant infrastructure project investments, including the SkyTrain Evergreen Extension, Port Mann/Trans-Canada Corridor improvements, and King Edward Overpass. Coquitlam has certainly capitalized on this vital transportation infrastructure, and they have focused on creating development and business opportunities throughout the city.
Key industries include construction, extraction (mostly gravel), film, retail, transportation and trucking, technology, wood products, wholesaling and warehousing. The technology sector has diversified over the past decade to include digital media and wireless, health and life sciences, clean-tech, and ICT (Information and Communications Technology). Coquitlam is also in the position to provide a friendly one-stop service to the film sector.
Shopping hubs include Coquitlam Centre, Henderson Place Mall, and Westwood Mall. Notable industrial areas are Mayfair Industrial Park, Kwikwetlem Business Park and the southern Maillardville/Fraser Mills area near the Fraser River.
Delta is the largest municipality in Metro Vancouver, but many of its municipalities are compact, family friendly and walkable neighbourhoods. To the north is the Fraser River and Richmond. The Straight of Georgia wraps around the west and south, and Surrey lies to the East. It's made up of three distinct communities: Ladner, Tsawwassen, and North Delta. South of Tsawwassen is Point Roberts, Washington (USA).
Delta's population is 102,238, and the average growth has been 0.36% per year over the past 15 years. The median income is $92,300, and the unemployment rate is 5.3%. It's a family-oriented city, with a median age of 44.4. 26.52% of inhabitants have a university degree.
Delta's pastures and farms serve as a visible reminder of the area's rich agricultural history. The region grows some of BC's finest vegetables, nursery plants and turf. Industrial property markets in Delta are experiencing near-record levels of deals and dollar volumes. Industrial areas include Annacis Business Park, Boundary Bay Industrial Park, Delta Link Business Centre, and Tilbury Park.
Annacis Island is located in the south arm of the Fraser River. The island is mostly industrial and also contains one of Metro Vancouver's secondary wastewater treatment plants. Scottsdale Centre and Nordel Centre are two of Delta's popular shopping centres.
Delta is a major gateway for Canada’s trade with the rest of the world. GCT Deltaport is Vancouver’s largest container terminal. Approximately 70% of Vancouver’s imports and 55% of its total container volume move by rail. Highway 17 to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Highway 99 (Fraser Delta Thruway), Boundary Bay Airport and its proximity to the US border help make Delta the ideal location for businesses that need to move a lot of cargo.
Low tax increases, strategic investment into the city's infrastructure, some of the lowest business license fees in Metro Vancouver, long-term excellence in financial management and no debt also make the City of Delta a very attractive place to invest.
Ladner is one of the three communities that make up the City of Delta, located along the southern banks of the Fraser River. Together with its neighbouring suburb to the south, Tsawwassen, they are known as South Delta. Kirkland, Gunn, Barber and Westham Islands are situated to the west, in the Fraser River delta. Ladner has a population of 22,193 and has grown about 3% over the past decade. The median household income is $90,709, with a 5.3% unemployment rate. The median age of Ladner's residents is 46.2.
Ladner was the first administration centre for Delta when the municipality was incorporated in 1879, and this fishing and farming village has a rich history of commerce and development. Fishing and farming remain important industries to the community, but tourism, transportation and film have created new opportunities.
Commercial shopping areas include Ladner Village Market, Ladner Harbour Centre, and Trenant Park Square. Ladner's transportation infrastructure includes the Hwy 99 (Fraser Delta Thruway), Hwy 17A, Hwy 17 (Patricia Bay Highway), Ladner Trunk Road and Boundary Bay Airport. Boundary Bay Industrial Park is a large new warehousing/distribution facility, built to capitalize on Ladner's transportation systems.
Ladner Village has become a popular film location due to its 'Main Street USA' feel, heritage church buildings and coastal fishing settings. Beautiful beaches, the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, and Boundary Bay Regional Park draw tourists to Ladner throughout the year.
Local incentives are in place to stimulate new business. The South Delta Business Sustainability Strategy is an action plan for business leadership organizations, business owners, commercial property owners, and the City of Delta to pursue the long-term viability of the South Delta business community. The South Delta Revitalization Tax Exemption Program is a revitalization tax exemption program that encourages improvements to existing businesses and attracts new businesses to Ladner and Tsawwassen.
The City of Langley is an urban centre, 10 km2 in size, right in the heart of the Lower Mainland. It is located directly east of Cloverdale, and the City of Surrey. Langley City is surrounded on the north, east and south by the Township of Langley, with 316 km2 of land. The Fraser River bounds the Township to the north and the US border to the south. The population is 25,888 and has been growing at an average rate of 0.62% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $59,452, with an unemployment rate of 5.9%. The median age is 5.9%.
Langley has a thriving economy, significantly lower costs than downtown Vancouver, competitive land prices, affluent population, and a supportive business community. It offers an extraordinary lifestyle, with all the amenities of a major urban centre, and over 346 acres of parkland. Popular shopping areas include Langley Crossing Shopping Centre, RioCan Langley Centre and Willoughby Town Centre.
Langley is one of the most active industrial and commercial bases in the Lower Mainland, with 4.5 million square feet of commercial floor space and easy highway access; and they're attracting big business. Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), Hwy 10, the Fraser Hwy, CN Rail and Langley Regional Airport (YNJ) connect Langley with Vancouver, the US, and the rest of Canada. Langley is 52 minutes (46.6 km) from Downtown Vancouver.
The township has significantly more construction, manufacturing, retail, and wholesale than Vancouver. Prime business areas include Langley 216 Business Park, Langley Business Centre, Langley Town Centre, Langley's Gloucester Industrial Estates, Langmark Industrial Centre, Mufford Business Centre and Walnut Grove Commerce Centre.
The Township of Langley offers a variety of grants, incentive programs and policies to promote business and help enhance the quality of life of its residents. According to mayor Mayor Ted Schaffer, "It takes ten weeks to approve a development permit in Langley. Elsewhere, it takes years."
The growth projection for Langley is that it will double by 2040. Western Investor and the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) ranked the Township of Langley as a “top British Columbia investment community."
Maple Ridge has experienced unprecedented levels of residential, commercial, and industrial demand over the past five years, becoming one of Greater Vancouver’s fastest growing cities. Maple Ridge is surrounded by the mountain peaks of Golden Ears to the north. Pitt Meadows lies to the west, and east of Hayward Lake the municipality is flanked by Steelhead and Mission. It is bounded on the south by the Fraser River.
The population is 82,256, and it's been growing at an average of 1.84% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $86,178, and there's a 5.1% unemployment rate. Average incomes have grown by 13% over the past five years. Maple Ridge has a median age of 41.4 and attracts active young families with good jobs. The city has some of the most affordable real estate in Metro Vancouver, and couples are more likely to be married, with children, and live in single-family homes than the provincial average.
Key industries are agriculture, manufacturing, professional services, technology and tourism. The city's spectacular natural surroundings, small-town feel, maximized tax credits and proximity to Vancouver have also made it a film maker's dream.
Commercial business areas include Haney Place Mall, Valley Fair Mall, Westgate Centre, Westridge Centre and Maple Ridge's Town Centre Area. The Town Centre Area is projected to grow by 14,700 people over the next decade.
Business and industrial districts include Albion Industrial Park, Kanaka Business Park, Maple Meadows Business Park, North Kanaka Work Spaces, Websters Corner Business Park and the Ruskin/Fraser River Industrial Lands. Maple Ridge re-designated approximately 278 acres of land in 2017 for industrial development, expected by 2040.
Maple Ridge has seen significant transportation infrastructure improvements over the past five years, with new Golden Ears, Pitt River and Port Mann Bridges, and South Fraser Perimeter Road. These upgrades have significantly improved access to Metro Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and the USA. Hwy 7 (Lougheed Hwy) connects Maple Ridge with Vancouver and Mission, and Golden Ears Way with Langley. Downtown Vancouver is 40 minutes away, via either Hwy 7 or Hwy 1. Pitt Meadows Airport (YPK)
District of Mission residents enjoy its strong sense of community, rich history and easy access to Greater Vancouver and the US border. Mission is situated on the floodplains lining the northern banks of the Fraser River, and the forested hillside backing onto mountains and lakes overlooking the Central Fraser Valley.
Mission has a population of 38,833 and has been growing at an average of 1.5% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $78,159, and the unemployment rate is 6.0%. Most of the workforce is involved in construction, manufacturing, retail, transportation, education and health care. At present, roughly 60% of the population works in outlying locales. Mission attracts families living in Metro Vancouver who are looking for more affordable housing.
The District is actively growing its industrial base, to become more than just a bedroom community. Mission posted a real GDP gain of 2.5 per cent in 2018, led by strong gains in industrial production and strong domestic demand. The District of Mission's Economic Development Department oversees and coordinates business retention and expansion, investment attraction, marketing and communications, tourism services, film production and workforce development. There are also downtown development incentives that include taxation and fee-related considerations.
Commercial areas include Heritage Park Marketplace, SmartCentres Mission, The Junction Shopping Centre and the Lougheed Corridor lining both sides of Hwy 7. Industrial areas include Mission Industrial Park and Silver Creek Industrial Park.
Hwy 7 (Lougheed Hwy) connects Mission with Maple Ridge and Tri-Cities to the west; Agassiz and Chilliwack to the east. Travelling south, Hwy 11 (Abbotsford-Mission Hwy) bisects the City of Abbotsford on its way to the US border. Mission is only 1 hour 11 minutes (74.5 km) from Vancouver and just 15 minutes from the US border. The West Coast Express offers daily commuter rail service between Mission City and Downtown Vancouver.
Known as the Royal City, New Westminster is the oldest city in western Canada, and it was the first capital of British Columbia; but it is undergoing an inspiring transformation. New West is located on the banks of the Fraser River. Burnaby is to the northwest, and Richmond to the southwest. South of the river lies the City of Surrey. It has a population of 70,996, and growth has averaged 1.83% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $64,695, and the unemployment rate is 6.0%. Income growth over the past five years has been 13.8%. 35.4% of its residents have a university degree. The median age is 41.5, and that's on a downward trajectory.
New Westminster is rapidly transforming from an ageing bedroom community into a vibrant new downtown hub. Ten years in the planning, a significant facelift is now being rolled out, particularly along the riverfront. The city is geographically, economically, and technologically at the centre of Metro Vancouver, with some of the most affordable transit-accessible retail and office space available. This combination of access and affordability is also attracting many young adults to live and work in New West.
Key growth sectors include arts, entertainment and recreation; finance and insurance; information and cultural industries; professional, scientific and technical services; transportation and warehousing; and wholesale trade. The City of New Westminster has co-funded the NISP (National Industrial Symbiosis Program) circular economy pilot program, helping participating businesses discover resource matches that make the most immediate business sense.
Bustling commercial areas include River Market at Westminster Quay, Royal City Centre, Royal Square Mall, Shops at New West, Westminster Centre and historic Columbia Street. Queensborough Logistics Park is a premier business park that offers an exceptional central location with quick access to major highways. New business spaces like the Anvil Centre office tower are springing up to support this revitalized city.
Marine Way/Stewardson Way connects New Westminster with Burnaby and Richmond, and E Columbia Street/Brunette Ave provides quick access to Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy). It's 26 minutes (20.6 km) to Downtown Vancouver. And 5 SkyTrain stations whisk commuters into Downtown in 25 minutes.
The City of North Vancouver is a waterfront suburb of Vancouver, separated from Gastown and Downtown Eastside, and Hastings-Sunrise to the south by Burrard Inlet. It is the smallest of the three North Shore municipalities, and the most urbanized. To the west North Van is bounded by the Capilano River and West Vancouver, and on the east, by Indian Arm. The Coast Mountains are to the north.
The District of North Vancouver surrounds the City of North Vancouver on three sides. Upper Lonsdale is a suburban area in both the City and District of North Vancouver. North Vancouver is the second wealthiest city in Canada, second only to neighbouring West Vancouver.
The City of North Vancouver has a population of 52,898, while the District has 138,833. The City of North Vancouver grew 9.8% in the five years between the 2011 and 2016 census, while the District increased by 1.8%. North Van's median household income is $80,838, and the unemployment rate is 5.1%. 38% of the residents have a university degree.
One of the primary reasons for the City's growth is lifestyle. It's possible to go sailing or diving in the morning, spend the afternoon skiing or boarding at Grouse Mountain, and enjoy a round of golf after dinner. The Coast Mountain rainforest provides some of BC's best hiking and mountain bike trails.
North Van commercial centres include Capilano Mall, Edgemont Village, Lonsdale Quay and Lynn Valley Centre. Exciting new developments in the works include The Shipyards — an interactive, year-round, activity-driven people place — and the proposed Brewery District for the Lower Lonsdale waterfront. Business and industrial areas include Capilano Business Park, Dollarton Business Park, Harbourside Business Park, Northwoods Business Park. Key industries include chemical production; construction and trade; film, arts and entertainment; health and wellness; tech, engineering and innovation; recreation and tourism; retail and restaurants; ship repair and industry; specialty manufacturing and advanced technology.
North Vancouver residents can access Vancouver's downtown via Lions Gate Bridge (11 minutes), or the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing (about 25 minutes). The TransLink SeaBus takes about 10 minutes.
Primarily an agricultural area, Pitt Meadows has become one of the region’s fastest-growing eco-tourism recreational centres. Mountain ranges border the municipality to the north and northeast. Pitt River defines the western boundary, and Port Coquitlam is on the other side of the river. To the east lies the city of Maple Ridge, and the southern border is the Fraser River.
Pitt Meadows' population is 18,573, and growing at an average rate of 1.65% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $86,912, with an unemployment rate of only 5.0%. The median age is 42.3, and 21.4% of the residents have a university degree. Key sectors are agriculture and eco-tourism; education and health; accommodation, food and beverage; and construction.
Pitt Meadows is known as the gateway to the Fraser Valley. About 85% of the residents are currently employed in other Lower Mainland cities. Downtown Vancouver is about 45 minutes by car and 40 minutes via West Coast Express commuter train. Pitt Meadows delivers the ideal balance between urban and rural living, with great shopping, dining and amenities. Shopping options include Meadowtown Shopping Centre and the new Meadowvale Shopping Centre.
But the economy is changing, and Pitt Meadows has experienced unprecedented levels of commercial, industrial, and residential demand over the past five years. With the new Golden Ears Business Park and diversification into manufacturing and aerospace, Pitt Meadows has caught the attention of business investors.
Hwy 7 (Lougheed Hwy) passes through the heart of Pitt Meadows, and Golden Ears Way crosses the Fraser River to connect with Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), and the City of Langley. There's also a large CP Rail Intermodal yard and Pitt Meadows Regional Airport (YPK). By highway, rail, air or river, Pitt Meadows offers every major mode of transportation to ship goods quickly and efficiently to market.
PoCo is a family-oriented community, with a historic and authentic downtown, an excellent central location, strong base of businesses, and new commercial and industrial areas. It’s situated on the north bank of the confluence of the Fraser and Pitt Rivers. Coquitlam is to the north. Port Coquitlam is bordered on the west by the Coquitlam River, with Coquitlam on the other side. Pitt Meadows lies to the east of the Pitt River. Across the Fraser River, to the south, is Surrey. Douglas Island, an uninhabited island in the Fraser River, is part of Port Coquitlam.
PoCo’s population is 61,000, and it’s been growing at an average of 0.92% per year over the past 15 years. There’s been a recent growth spurt, however, and that’s resulted in the increase over 58,612, published in the 2016 census population. The median household income is $84,096, and the unemployment rate is a low 4.7%. The city’s location and affordable real estate have made it popular with young families, and the median age is 40.7. 25.8% of the residents have a university degree.
Moneysense ranked Port Coquitlam the 3rd Most Liveable city in BC, in their “Best Places to Live” feature edition. More than 300 businesses operate in the City’s downtown, and many are small businesses. Commercial shopping areas include the new Freemont Village Shopping Centre, Poco Place Mall and Prairie Mall.
Port Coquitlam also has many big established and new commercial, service and industrial businesses, with the largest firms employing hundreds of people. Companies choose PoCo because of its proximity to key transportation corridors, a local skilled workforce, local services and amenities, and competitive lease rates. Commercial and light industrial areas include the Kwikwetlem Business Park (under construction), Mary Hill Business Park and Nicola Business Centre.
Two primary arterial roads, Shaughnessy Street and Hwy 7 (Lougheed Highway), bisect Port Coquitlam east to west and north to south. Hwy 7B (Mary Hill Bypass) follows the Pitt and Fraser Rivers to connect with Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy). The Coast Meridian Overpass is a new four-lane bridge that now routes traffic over the Canadian Pacific rail yard that handles much of the freight in and out of PoCo.
Promoted as the City of the Arts, Port Moody is the smallest of the Tri-Cities. The city is located at the head of Burrard Inlet and the foot of Eagle Mountain; bordered by Burnaby on the west, and Coquitlam on the east. The villages of Belcarra and Anmore lie to northwest and north. The population is 33,551, and it’s been growing at an average of 2.48% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $92,922, and the unemployment rate is 5.2%. The median age is 40.6. Port Moody is well educated, and 41.9% of its residents have earned a university degree.
Historically, Port Moody was an industrial town because of its tidewater location, deep water port and rail connections. Over the years there has been a shift away from heavy industry — the oil refineries, sawmills, steel pipe plant, chemical plants and electrical generation facilities — towards service businesses, light manufacturing and wholesale distribution.
Small business is booming in Port Moody, made possible by a loyal community that believes in shopping locally. Port Moody’s pedestrian-friendly shopping areas include Newport Village, Suter Brook Village and Heritage Mountain Shopping Village and the Barnet Hwy (7A) Corridor.
Key business sectors include professional, scientific and technical services; construction; real estate and rental and leasing services; health care and social assistance services; retail trade; and finance and insurance. Port Moody’s primary commercial areas are the Moody Centre and Inlet Centre neighbourhoods.
Highway 7A (Barnet Highway) passes through Port Moody, connecting with Coquitlam to the east, and SFU (Simon Fraser University) and Burnaby to the west. Port Moody is just 30 minutes from Downtown Vancouver by car. SkyTrain’s Millennium Line and the West Coast Express commuter rail system both stop at Moody Centre Station. With the opening of the Evergreen Extension, Metro Vancouver now has the longest, fully-automated rapid-transit system in the world.
Richmond is at the heart of North America’s gateway to Asia Pacific, with direct access to BC’s largest trading partners: China and the US. Located on Lulu Island at the mouth of the Fraser River, Vancouver and Burnaby are situated to the north, Delta to the south, and The Straight of Georgia is its western boundary. Richmond’s population is 198,309, and it’s been growing an average of 1.3% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $65,241, and the unemployment rate is 5.9%. The median age is 43.5.
Richmond is best known for its international airport, strong Asian influences, the International Buddhist Temple, Steveston Village and prime industrial areas for commercial development. Shopping areas include Aberdeen Centre, CF Richmond Centre, Lansdowne Centre, Parker Place plaza, Yaohan Centre and the Golden Village.
Richmond boasts over 38.5 million square feet of industrial space. More than 13,000 people are employed locally by over 700 manufacturing companies. Richmond manufacturing companies create a wide range of products and capabilities, for both domestic and international markets. Low corporate income tax, labour, facility and transportation costs, and its strategic location have made Richmond the place to build or relocate.
Airport Executive Park, Bridgeport Industrial Park, Knightsbridge Business Park, Richmond Industrial Centre, and Steveston Industrial Park are a few commercial/industrial areas. Industrial property markets are experiencing a near-record number of deals and dollar volumes, causing developers to scramble to build out more space. Richmond has also become known to producers as an A-list filming destination.
Richmond’s inter-modal global transportation network makes the city truly special. Vancouver International Airport (YVR) was voted the top airport in North America in the Skytrax Awards. YVR was also named the world’s best airport by the CAPA Centre for Aviation. YVR offers several international flights daily. Richmond is also served by three Class 1 railways, and the Port of Vancouver provides quicker access to Asian markets than US ports.
Three main traffic arteries connect Richmond with Metro Vancouver, the US border, and beyond: Hwy 99 (Fraser Delta Thruway), Hwy 91 (Richmond Freeway), and Knight Street. Downtown Vancouver is 28 minutes away by car, via Granville St. Highway 99 connects directly with Washington’s I-5 Highway.
Sardis is Chilliwack’s shopping destination and the urban core of the city’s south side. Sardis is bounded to the north by Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy). South Sumas is to the west, and East Chilliwack - Southside lies to the east. It’s bordered on the south by Chilliwack River. Beyond the river is Cultus Lake Park. Sardis residents have a median household income is $62,993.
Sardis is a family oriented community, with a median age of 43.3. Originally a farming community, Sardis has become a residential suburb of Chilliwack, with an eclectic mix of old and new homes. Some brand new subdivisions have been built over the last few years, particularly in the area near Promontory Heights.
Luckakuck Way is home to two major indoor malls, and what has become known as Restaurant Row, due to its high concentration of restaurants. There are three shopping centres in Sardis: Chilliwack Mall, Cottonwood Mall, and Vedder Pointe Shopping Centre. The Legacy Pacific Industrial Park on South Sumas Rd was developed for a wide range of uses, including retail, offices, general manufacturing and warehousing.
Sardis business incentives include low property costs, low taxes, fast permits and approvals, low municipal fees and development cost charges, and the lowest commercial to residential taxes. Chilliwack has earned top marks for “lowest taxes” and “fastest approvals” in the 2017 Industrial Development Report Card, published by NAIOP.
Downtown Chilliwack is a quick 5 km drive north via Vedder Rd/Yale Rd or Chilliwack River Rd/Young Rd. Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy) connects Sardis with Metro Vancouver and the rest of Canada. Vancouver is 1 hour 10 minutes (101.7 km) by car.
Squamish is a city that has completely reinvented itself over the past two decades, with its proximity to Vancouver, affordable real estate, urban amenities and outdoor lifestyle. Squamish is located at the northern tip of Howe Sound, on the Sea to Sky Hwy (Hwy 99), a highway that sees roughly 10 million annual trips, midway between Vancouver and Whistler.
Squamish has a population of 19,512, and it’s been growing at an average rate of 2.23% per year over the past 15 years. But that doesn’t reflect the past five years, with explosive growth at 8.3%. Squamish is expected to boast 20,000 by 2020, making it one of the fastest growing communities in British Columbia. The median household income is $89,012, and the unemployment rate is a low 5.4%. Squamish is attracting a very young family oriented population, fleeing Vancouver’s high property prices, with a median age of only 37.8. 22.9% of the residents have a university degree.
BC Business magazine has ranked Squamish as the top place to work for three years running. Squamish is all about lifestyle; a seaside city that satisfies a plethora of adventure pursuits while staking its claim in recreational technology, wood manufacturing and clean energy. Squamish is young, entrepreneurial and growing rapidly; with global reach and competitive real estate pricing. Squamish was rated #15 in “Canada’s Best Places for Business”, published by Canadian Business and Profit (2016).
Key industries in Squamish are construction; real estate; professional, scientific and technical services; hospitality and tourism; retail; education; health care and social services; forestry; wood products manufacturing; and clean technology. Shopping areas include Chieftain Centre, Garibaldi Shopping Village, Squamish Station and Downtown’s Cleveland Avenue and Second Avenue. The primary commercial/industrial area is Squamish Business Park.
Squamish is connected with the world by highway, air, rail and deep-sea port. Squamish is roughly 45 minutes from Vancouver or Whistler by car, via the Highway 99 (Sea to Sky Hwy). Squamish Airport is a general aviation airport located just outside of town, and Squamish Terminals is a deep-water, break-bulk terminal on Howe Sound.
The Sunshine Coast is located just northwest of Greater Vancouver, and it follows the southern mainland coast, on the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia. It includes the coastal areas of the regional district — like Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt, and Halfmoon Bay — as well as Powell River, up to and including the village of Lund and into Desolation Sound.
Tourism and service industries are experiencing strong growth on the Sunshine Coast. There’s plenty of residential construction going on, and several significant commercial and institutional projects in the works. It has created demand for custom home builders, including specialists in timber frame and log home construction.
Gibsons is the leading marine gateway to the Sunshine Coast. It is a coastal community with a population of 4,605, that’s been growing at an average of 1.13% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $57,370, with an unemployment rate of 5.9%. The median age is 54.8.
Gibsons is the commercial centre for the region south of the Roberts Creek/Sechelt boundary. There are two shopping centres: Sunnycrest Mall and Gibsons Park Plaza. Gibsons Industrial Park is the primary commercial/industrial area.
The District of Sechelt is located on the lower Sunshine Coast. It has a population of 13,157 and is growing at an average of 0.09% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $58,888, and the unemployment rate is 7.3%. The median age is 56.6.
Sechelt has several shopping areas: Tsain-ko Village, Trail Bay Centre, and Davis Bay retail hub along Highway 101. There’s land zoned for heavy and light industry along East Porpoise Bay Road, from the shíshálh lands to Sandy Hook, and along Field Road in Wilson Creek.
Powell River is a city on the northern Sunshine Coast. Its mill is down-sizing, and only three paper machines remain in production. But the community has diversified its local economy, with a new focus on ecotourism and the arts, in addition to traditional resources like mining, fishing, and forestry. The population is 13,157, growing at an average of 0.09% per year over the past 15 years. The median income is $56,525, with an unemployment rate of 7.3%.
Just outside Port Mellon, up the coast from Gibsons, Hillside Industrial Park is zoned for warehousing, light and heavy industry. There’s deep water access from Howe Sound, as well as road access via the Port Mellon Highway. Hillside is a very desirable site for marine services, wood products, or any industry looking for an alternative to escalating land values, taxes, or encroaching residential development.
Surrey’s Pacific Rim location for international trade with Asia and the US and fast-growing culturally diverse population has made it a premier business investment location. To the north, Surrey is bounded by the Fraser River, with New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows on the north side of the river. To the west lie Delta and Richmond, and Langley flanks Surrey on the east. To the south is Semiahmoo Bay, on the BC’s Pacific coast, with the city of White Rock inset into South Surrey’s coastline. Blaine, Washington is across the bay.
Surrey has seven town centres: Fleetwood, Whalley, City Centre, Guildford, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey. By population, Surrey is the second largest population in BC, after Vancouver. Surrey is big, with the third largest land area after Abbotsford and Prince George. The city has 18% of the region’s industrial lands, of which 32% are still undeveloped or vacant.
Surrey’s population is 517,887, and it’s been growing at an average of 2.85% per year over the past 15 years. Surrey’s population is projected to increase by an additional 250,000 people over the next thirty years, becoming the largest city in the province in as little as two decades. The median household income is $77,494, and the employment rate is 6.5%. The city is attracting many young families, with its affordable real estate, jobs and business incentives, and has a median age of 38.7.
The Real Estate Investment Network has named Surrey the “best place in British Columbia to invest” for the third year running. Surrey was also recognized as “Community of the Year” in 2011 the Clean Energy Association of BC, for its integrated approach to sustainability and energy conservation. Key business sectors include advanced manufacturing, clean technology, health technology, agri-innovation, high technology and the creative arts.
Surrey is very effectively attracting companies with its pro-business formula. It’s the only BC city to offer financial incentives to companies choosing to invest in designated geographic areas, with additional clean air benefits. Incentives include no property taxes for three years, $1 business license fee for three years and significant reductions in development cost charges and building permit fees.
Some of the city’s shopping areas include Central City, Guildford Town Centre, Peninsula Village Mall, Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, and The Shops at Morgan Crossing. Where Surrey stands out is its many business parks and industrial areas. Business parks include: Campbell Heights Business Park, Fleetwood Office Complex, Rosemary Heights Business Park, and Willowbrook Business Centre.
Surrey industrial districts include Cloverdale industrial areas, the Douglas industrial area, Newton industrial areas and business parks, the Port Kells industrial area, South Westminster and Bridgeview industrial areas, and the West Surrey industrial district. Surrey highway transportation needs are handled by Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), Fraser Hwy, Hwy 10 and Hwy 15 (Pacific Highway). Highways 10 and 15 connect with Canada/USA border crossings.
Known as the “Land of Sun”, Tsawwassen gets three times as many full days of sunshine as Vancouver. Tsawwassen means “Land Facing the Sea” in Coast Salish, and this suburban, mostly residential community is located on a peninsula in the southwestern corner of the City of Delta. Tsawwassen provides the only road access to the community of Point Roberts, Washington, at the southern tip of the peninsula. The suburb of Ladner is situated to the north. The seaside community is surrounded by the Strait of Georgia and the Salish Sea.
Tsawwassen has a population of 21,588, and the community has been growing rapidly, at an average rate of 4.16% per year over the past 15 years. The median income is $84,053, with an unemployment rate of 7.7%. The sunny community is popular with retirees, raising the median age to 54.3, somewhat higher than most of the Lower Mainland. 26.4% of the residents have a university degree.
Tsawwassen has become a popular shopping destination, with four shopping centres: Tsawwassen Commons, Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Mall, Tsawwassen Quay Market (at the BC Ferries terminal), and Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall. The heart of Tsawwassen, surrounding the intersection of 56th Street and 12th Avenue, supports more than 275 businesses ranging from retail shops, award-winning restaurants and cafés, and a variety of professional services.
The Delta Revitalization Tax Exemption Program offers economic incentives for specific mixed-use developments in the Ladner and Tsawwassen town centres, to promote strong local economies, enhance the attractiveness of these town centres, and to preserve the heritage feel of the community.
The Deltaport Logistics Centre is a commercial and light industrial park strategically located directly adjacent to Port of Vancouver Deltaport and Roberts Bank Superport. It’s located minutes from the US/Canada border. Tsawwassen is served by several highways: Deltaport Way, Highway #17 (South Fraser Perimeter Road), Highway #99 (Fraser Delta Thruway), Highway #91 (East-West Connector), and Highway #17A. These truck routes offer connections to Delta, Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and the US/Canada border. The Deltaport Logistics Centre is also served by three Class A railways: CN, CP and BNSF.
The City of Vancouver is a west coast seaport in BC, and it’s the most densely populated city in Canada. The city is bounded on the north by Burrard Inlet, with North Vancouver on the other side of the channel. To the west are Pacific Spirit Regional Park, The University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University Endowment Lands. The Fraser River is the city’s southern boundary. Boundary Road defines the eastern border between Vancouver and Burnaby. It’s a compact city, loosely defined by a 20-minute radius.
Downtown Vancouver is generally considered to be bounded by Burrard Inlet to the north, Stanley Park and the West End to the west, the Downtown Eastside to the east, and False Creek to the south. Situated roughly along West Georgia and Burrard Streets, the Financial District contains more than 60% of Greater Vancouver’s office space.
The city’s population is 631,486, and it has been growing at an average of 1.0% per year over the past 15 years. The median income is $65,327, with an unemployment rate of 5.6%. Vancouver attracts young entrepreneurs and career-makers, and the population has a median age of 39.9.
Vancouver incentives include competitive taxes, tax incentives, streamlined regulations, supportive government and a business-friendly economy. It’s one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in the country, and 52% have a first language other than English. Approximately 30% of the city’s inhabitants are of Chinese heritage.
Vancouver has become known as North America’s next big tech scene, attracting many of the world’s top foreign tech experts, turned away by US immigration and work visa policies. The city has made it easy for US tech companies to open offices in Canada, offering financial incentives, while working with the federal government to expedite visas for skilled foreign workers. Vancouver has also earned the nickname “Hollywood North”, with major production studios turning Greater Vancouver and nearby areas into one of the largest film production centres in North America.
From 2004 to 2010, Vancouver, Canada was ranked the EIU’s most livable city, and CNN Travel rated the city #6 in their “Most liveable cities 2018”. The Economist called it the 3rd Most Liveable City in the World. Startup Genome said it’s the #1 Startup Ecosystem in Canada. And Vancouver’s green! World SIemens/Economist Intelligence Unit rated Vancouver the 3rd Greenest City. LEED/Canada Green Building Council has certified 300+ LEED projects in the city.
Major shopping centres include CF Pacific Centre, Harbour Centre and International Village Mall. Key shopping neighbourhoods include Chinatown, Commercial Drive, Davie Village, Downtown, Granville Street, Granville Island, Gastown, Kerrisdale, Kitsilano, Punjabi Market, Robson Street, South Granville and Shaughnessy, South Main Street, and Yaletown.
The Port of Vancouver is the largest in Canada, extending from Roberts Bank and the Fraser River up to and including Burrard Inlet. The port supports trade with more than 170 economies around the world. Primary transportation arteries include Hwy 99 (Fraser Delta Thruway), Hwy 1A, SE Marine Drive, Hastings Sunrise, and Oak Street.
West Vancouver is a waterfront city located north of downtown Vancouver, across Burrard Inlet, connected by the Lions Gate Bridge. West Van is bounded to the north by the mountains. To the east is the District of North Vancouver, separated by the Capilano River Corridor. Howe Sound is to the west and Burrard Inlet to the south. Together with the City of North Vancouver and District of North Vancouver, it is part of a local regional grouping referred to as the North Shore.
The population is 42,473, and it’s grown at an average of 0.17% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $89,808, and the unemployment rate is 5.5%. The median age of North Van’s residents is 50.5, and 52.9% have a university degree. West Vancouver is one of the wealthiest cities in Canada.
There are twenty-seven neighbourhoods in West Vancouver. Most notable perhaps are Ambleside (southeastern corner), Dundarave (central-eastern portion) and Horseshoe Bay (on the western tip). Ambleside Beach is the commercial heart and creative hub of West Vancouver. Dundarave Village is West Van’s dining destination, with walkable seaside streets, local restaurants, cafes and bakeries, and charming boutiques. Horseshoe Bay is a pedestrian-friendly community, and home to the BC Ferries terminal.
West Van has some the lowest business tax rates of any municipality in Metro Vancouver. There are five distinctive shopping villages: Ambleside, Caulfield Village, Dundarave, Horseshoe Bay Village and Park Royal Shopping Centre. Key economic sectors include technology, film production, green industries, health care, and tourism.
West Vancouver has become a popular location with film producers, with its parks and beaches, coves, cliffs, modern and private luxury residences and historic buildings. Minutes away, Cypress Mountain is Vancouver’s biggest ski and snowboard resort, with 6 lifts and 53 runs. Hwy 99 (Upper Levels Hwy) turns a sharp right at Taylor Way, heading towards Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park and Vancouver; while Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy) continues eastward into North Vancouver.
Whistler is a resort municipality in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains in BC. Whistler is located on British Columbia Highway 99 (Sea to Sky Hwy), 46 min (58.7 km) from Squamish to the south, and 30 min (32.7 km) from Pemberton to the north. Whistler’s permanent population is 11,854, and it’s been growing at an average of 2.06% per year over the past 15 years. The median income is $79,752, with an unemployment rate of only 4.7%
Whistler Blackcomb has been consistently ranked by major ski magazines as one of the top international ski resorts. Its vibrant tourism economy has the support of community-wide partnerships, focused on Whistler’s economic growth and development. Whistler is an exceptional 4 season vacation destination, and a great place to do business. Whistler attracts over 3 million visitors each year, both destination and regional. About 40% of those visitors arrive in winter, and 60% in summer.
Total consumer spending in Whistler is $1.44 bn per year, with 85% of that generated by visitors. Revenue grows by about 4.2% per year. Whistler captures 23% of BC’s total tourism export revenue, with 3.5% growth per year.
Shopping and dining areas include Marketplace Shopping Centre, Nester’s Square, Rainbow Plaza, Whistler Village, and Creekside Village. Located 10 minutes south of Whistler Village, Function Junction is known as Whistler’s commercial district. Whistler’s resident workforce has grown steadily over the past 20 years.
Whistler’s key business sector is tourism-related services, making up 85% of the workforce. The service industries include food and beverage, accommodation, recreation and entertainment, retail trade, real estate and transportation. Business services make up another 17%. Only 12% of Whistler’s workforce is employed in the production of goods.
The scenic Hwy 99 (Sea to Sky Highway) is the only road in and out of Whistler. There are two options for air travel: Green Lake Water Aerodrome (YWS) Seaplane Base and Blackcomb Helicopters.
White Rock is a seaside city, surrounded on three sides by South Surrey. The community borders Semiahmoo Bay to the south. The northern border is North Bluff Rd. It’s bound to the west by 136 St to the west, and 160 St to the east. The population is 19,952, and it’s been growing at an average of 0.6% per year over the past 15 years. The median household income is $62,344, and the unemployment rate is 6.0%. The beautiful seaside setting makes White Rock a wonderful place to retire, but the area also attracts young family, contributing to a median age of 56.6. 31.5% of the residents have a university degree.
White Rock’s waterfront is its crown jewel. White Rock residents watched in horror as their iconic 104-year-old pier was severely damaged by 100 km/h winds on December 20th, 2018. The pier, West Beach Parking lot and promenade were closed. It has been a substantial economic setback, and some of the waterfront businesses closed or relocated.
On February 6th, 2019 the western half of the promenade, referred to by First Nations as P’Quals, was reopened. At the time of this writing, the East Beach section of the promenade, and wooden pier remain closed. East Beach is scheduled to reopen in June, and pier should be repaired and upgraded by August 2019.
White Rock relies heavily on tourism and its impressive waterfront. Beautiful sandy beaches, the legendary “white rock”, its heritage pier, the promenade — approximately two and a half kilometres long — which is used all year long, historic Train Station, and trendy restaurants and cafes, make White Rock one of Metro Vancouver’s must-see destinations.
The City of White Rock works with local businesses to facilitate and encourage economic growth. White Rock has two shopping areas: Marine Drive, with its East Beach Commercial Area, and along 152nd Street. While there are no shopping centres in White Rock, there are three just north of North Bluff Road, in South Surrey: Windsor Square Shopping Centre, Skyline Mart, White Rock Centre.
White Rock Centre is a significant transit exchange in Surrey and White Rock. It is the southern-most major transit hub in Metro Vancouver. The exchange is located near the intersection of 152nd Street (Johnston Road) and 16th Avenue (North Bluff Road).
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