- New Westminster
- Residential Attached
- MLS® #:
- # 401 5 Renaissance Square
- New Westminster
There isn’t anywhere in the Royal City where the growth is as dramatic as it has been in the Quayside neighbourhood. A decade ago, the Quay was a run-down industrial eyesore with a struggling shopping centre where a massive parkade blocked any hope of a river view for most of the area. Now, Quayside’s done such a massive turnaround that people from other towns make a day of visiting this trendy new market, parks and boardwalk that give the blossoming city the riverside district it deserves.
New Westminster is the oldest city in western Canada, but it’s also the fastest growing city in BC. Many cities find it difficult to pull off a steady rate of growth while keeping their historical roots in tact, but New West isn’t just any city.
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The city’s climate is wet and mild with 2,000 hours of sunshine a year contrasted by 111cm of annual rainfall. The warmest part of the year reaches comfortable highs around 22°C while the coldest part descends to 6°C. (2011)
The median household income in the Downtown area is $51,523 with an unemployment rate of 4.2%, which is well under the 6% rate of the city at large.
The Royal Columbian Hospital is New West’s largest employer, providing the city with 3500 jobs. Right next door, the hip new brewery district already has condos for sale and is developing rapidly. The hospital, which is 3.7 km away from Quayside, has plans to expand in the coming years. Douglas College is the city’s second largest employer with 930 employees. (2006)
Most New West residents work in the sales and service sector (24%, 2006), while many others work in the business, finance and administration sector (19%, 2006).
Perhaps the development that speaks best of New West’s growth is Downtown’s Plaza 88, directly north of Quayside. The massive new undertaking was planned around the SkyTrain, literally wrapping all of its stores around the transit station and capping it with a residential tower. It brilliantly integrates condos, shops and eateries into the transit node as a nod to New West’s penchant for progressive thinking.
Another symbolic development is the River Market, which now stands on the same site as one of BC’s first public markets. Thinking locally, the River Market developers took the once half empty market, totally redesigned the space and courted local artisans and gourmet restaurateurs to show off New West’s best.
Two of the best restaurants in the city, Re-Up BBQ and Wild Rice, are both located on the “Hungry Floor” of River Market.
Of course, you can shop River Market’s year-round farmer’s market or Donald’s Market for the best local produce and food products.
The second floor of the market is the “Curious Floor,” where you can take a circus class or buy local goods and crafts from New West’s many artisans.
Front street is also one of two of the historically rich city’s best spots to find a hidden gem inside on of the many antique shops.
Another one of the Quayside area’s gems is Old Crow Coffee. Many Vancouverites make the trip just to try out the new espresso bar, which lives up to its excellent reputation.
Residents in the Quayside/Downtown area are 11% more likely to use the transit system than the rest of the city on average. (2006) This makes a lot of sense, considering the impressive modern Plaza 88 was built entirely around Downtown’s SkyTrain terminal.
It takes less than 30 minutes to get to downtown Vancouver by train or car. The train connects to local bus and shuttle services to different districts within the city and beyond via any of New West’s 5 rapid-transit stops.
New Westminster has a single secondary school (New Westminster Secondary School) two middle schools, and ten elementary schools.
New Westminster Secondary School is one of the largest high schools in BC. It offers the rigorous International Baccalaureate Programme, specialized mini-schools and strong arts and sports programmes.
Nearby post-secondary schools include New West’s own Douglas College, the lauded Simon Fraser University in Burnaby just to the north, and The University of British Columbia, 31.7km away in Vancouver.
Nearby Queen’s Park boasts two if the city’s theatrical venues and hosts several festivals and celebrations throughout the year. The city’s largest theatre is the Massey, adjacent to the high school. The Massey frequently hosts big name performers, symphony orchestras and theatrical performances.
Much like the city at large, one of the new Quayside’s community goals was to bring people together around the market. Inside you’ll find classes on Lego building, children’s baking, circus acrobatics, and lunchtime yoga.
Queen’s park, which is central and accessible to all of New West’s neighbourhoods, provides many community sport team and club options as well as courts, fields, trails, playgrounds, a spray park and even a petting zoo.
Half of Quayside’s brand new Westminster Pier Park juts out over the river in a quirky and refreshing design characteristic of the Quay’s revitalized image. Westminster Pier Park offers benches and picnic areas, playgrounds, a water misting feature, gardens, sand volleyball courts, a basketball court, and the beginning of the award-winning boardwalk that follows the river past all of Quayside.
The Fraser River Discovery Centre is another of Quayside’s popular attractions. Rotating exhibits and hands-on exhibits teach New West residents and visitors about the river’s past, present and future.
The boardwalk which runs along the river past River Market is one of the neighbourhoods most beloved outdoor features. Residents love to run, bike or stroll along the beautiful waterfront.
48 beautiful, well-kept parks dot this outdoorsy city, but for those craving a change of scenery Burnaby Lake is only 7kms outside the city to the north.
Between 2001 and 2006, the Downtown neighbourhood (which includes Quayside and the area just north of it) grew in population by 28%. Because of the living style afforded by the Quay’s condo towers, 15.3% of the city calls the Downtown district home. (2006)
There are more single young professionals living here than other districts in town, but also more residents over the age of 50. The Quay’s proximity to the city’s best dining, shopping and recreation as well as the scenic waterfront draws in many buyers who swore they’d never leave Vancouver, and the strong real estate market and overall growth of New West seals the deal.
One of the most interesting things about Quayside is its unique style of bringing people together. At the Network Hub, professionals can rent a workspace or meeting room in a shared office, catering to the growing trend of remote employment. The city’s also entering the first stages of an “open access” fibre optic broadband network initiative, which would mean an even more connected community.
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Listing information last updated on January 21st, 2021 at 12:45am PST.
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