- New Westminster
- Residential Attached
- MLS® #:
- # 1702 320 Royal Avenue
- New Westminster
- Downtown NW
There's a reason for the buzz in the media and online about Downtown New Westminster lately. The neighbourhood has been completely revitalized. Where countless bridal shops once took up retail space in main areas of the neighborhood, popular retailers have moved in, creating cafes, restaurants, diners, specialty and novelty shops. A sense of community and history exists that wasn't present before, and new developments have popped up all over the place.
Downtown New Westminster has recently been called "the new Brooklyn," and some investors and developers believe it could be one of the most popular destinations in Metro Vancouver for shopping and living within 10 years. Recent changes in condo requirements mean that many more 2 and 3-bedroom condos are being created for families with children, and businesses with families in mind are setting up shop in Downtown New West daily. The gorgeous riverfront location ensures beautiful views from various parts of the neighborhood, and despite the big-city feel, it retains the small-town charm of friendly people, tree-lined streets, and affordable homes.
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Residents enjoy the convenience of being within walking distance to virtually any amenity they could wish for, including diners and restaurants, coffee shops, parks and playgrounds, pharmacies, clinics and more. Downtown New Westminster also offers access to rapid transit, making it even easier for residents and visitors to get around. The perfect combination to serve young families and professionals, more and more are making Downtown New Westminster their permanent home; 2,910 of nearly 9,000 residents own their homes. While there are some single-family homes available downtown, the majority of homes offered are condos, townhouses and apartments. The neighborhood is served by Royal Columbia Hospital, a top-notch medical facility including a trauma center and 350 patient beds, as well as a variety of walk-in clinics and physicians' offices.
With increased interested in Downtown New Westminster from commercial and industrial companies, the number of jobs increases, keeping unemployment rates down. In fact, in 2009, the unemployment rate in Downtown New West was just 4.5%, slightly lower than Metro Vancouver's rate of 5.6%. Jobs are available in a variety of different industries, with the largest percentage of the population employed in sales and service positions. High employment rates can also be seen in the business, management, trades and social science industries.
Shopping options in Downtown New Westminster have grown significantly in the past several years. While the area was once known to be populated primarily with bridal boutiques, it is now a much more diverse commercial area. Locals enjoy the retail shops along Columbia street, where they can find plenty of gifts, furnishings, collectibles, gifts, specialty and novelty items, as well as the basic necessities. Also drawing in locals and visitors is Westminster Quay, the riverfront market where fresh seafood and produce are available along with arts and crafts, gifts, and a variety of specialty items. Most of these options are within walking distance to residents of Downtown New Westminster, which supports the area's sustainability efforts.
It's so convenient to be able to duck into a fantastic restaurant or diner whenever the mood strikes. Downtown New West residents enjoy this convenience daily, with a huge variety of dining options as well as coffee shops and bakeries. Individuals can enjoy delicious West Coast cuisine when visiting the Heritage Grill, and when in the mood for Greek choices, can stop into Taverna Greka or Stefanos. Places like The Keg and the Old Spaghetti Factory serve up delicious comfort foods and the Hide Out Cafe as well as the Downtown New West Starbucks provides plenty of options for a quick coffee pick-me-up.
One of the biggest advantages of living in Downtown New Westminster is the variety of transportation options. Those who want to walk or cycle can do so, easily accessing all of their needs because of the compact layout of the neighborhood. The SkyTrain is another option residents frequently take advantage of, with two different stations: the New Westminster station and the Columbia Street station. This is one of the reasons so many Vancouver professionals are relocating to Downtown New Westminster; they can enjoy significantly lower housing costs without a difficult commute. Downtown Vancouver is less than 30 minutes away by car or SkyTrain, and access to Surrey is available to the east, across the Fraser River.
The town of New Westminster serves families and students with 8 elementary schools, 1 secondary school and 2 middle schools. Construction is underway on a brand new middle and high school as well. Residents of Downtown New Westminster enjoy having John Robson Elementary School right in their neighborhood, so it's easy to walk children to and from school. Those who opt to home school their young children can take advantage of the New Westminster Homelearner's Program, and parents of toddlers have a few different options for daycare and pre-kindergarten learning. Downtown New Westminster also has a plethora of adult learning facilities, including Douglas College, and a variety of trade and technical learning institutions.
Taking in the arts is easy in Downtown New Westminster. Several fine and contemporary art galleries, theaters and live performance venues are located within the neighborhood. The area is also home to the annual Cultural Crawl, an event celebrating the rich history of New Westminster. Those visiting the area should be sure to check out the gorgeous mosaic tiles placed along Columbia Street. Created by local artists, each one offers a visual representation of the some aspect of the area's history. The Arts Council of New Westminster is an active and beneficial presence in the community, placing a priority on local artists, city history and making art accessible to all New Westminster residents.
The Royal City Youth Soccer Club has leagues for children ages 4 to 17 that play from September to March as well as spring programs for all children between the ages of 4 and 17. Families can also take advantage of the Hyack Swim Club, offering training at Canada Games Pool, fully equipped facility in New Westminster. Meets are hosted four times a year, twice at Canada Games Pool. In addition to these options, Westminster Pier Park offers up a basketball court, 2 playgrounds, and concession areas. More than 30 golf courses are within an hour's drive of Downtown New Westminster as well.
Throughout the year, New Westminster is home to many festivals, including Heritage Week and the Hyack Festival, taking place in November and May. Children will enjoy amusement park rides, face painting, art contests and various other activities. During the Hyack Festival, the May Day Celebration is a big draw, and features Maypole dancing as well as the crowning of the May Queen.
Serious positive change has happened in Downtown New Westminster in recent years, leaving even the most suspicious individuals pleasantly surprised. Through recent development and housing initiatives under the guidance of city leaders, Downtown New West has transformed into a bustling, family-friendly area. These changes are reminiscent of Vancouver's Gastown, and have gotten the attention of investors and young families eager to take advantage of affordable homes and rising property values. Hip, popular retailers are grabbing commercial properties very quickly, taking advantage of the robust demand for goods, supplies and services within the downtown area.
The growth of New Westminster is obvious to residents who view the area on a daily basis, but the proof is in the numbers: the city's population of 65,976 (2011 census) is up 12.7% from 2006, more than double the national average growth rate of 5.9%. The population of Downtown New Westminster alone is 8,870. While a huge chunk of that population (26.4%) is made up of individuals between the ages of 50 and 69, the urban environment is drawing in a younger crowd at an exceptional speed. Nearly half of the population (46.3%) being adults between the ages of 25 and 49 (2006). There has never been a better time to invest in a Downtown New Westminster home, and it's a fantastic opportunity to watch the neighborhood flourish and grow into its full potential.
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Listing information last updated on October 21st, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT.
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