Continuing our series on Vancouver’s neighbourhoods this week we look into the history of Coal Harbour. Nestled on the edge of Vancouver overlooking Burrard Inlet and surrounded by the Sea wall, Stanley Park and downtown’s shopping and entertainment districts, Coal Harbour real estate offers some of the best (and most expensive) views in all of Vancouver.
The name Coal Harbour originates from the history of Coal discovered in the harbour in 1859 by Colonel Moody. It was low grade and didn’t warrant much further exploration however the name stuck! In 1862 the first settlers came to Vancouver and settled in the eastern part of what is now Coal harbour. They shared the land with the Squamish and Musqueam people who used parts of Stanley Park as burial grounds.
In 1884 Coal Harbour became the terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway and the town of Vancouver was officially established. The area became a commercial area full of warehouses until 1911 when shipping piers were built to be later used in the 2nd world war as munitions factories and ship yards. These docks were destroyed in the 1950’s and the industries were removed from this area entirely in the 1960’s with only the float plane terminal remaining. In 1961 the area was forever changed with the building of the Westin Bayshore Hotel – the start of Coal Harbour as we know it today. Following this Canada place was built for Expo 1986 and a new convention centre was prepared. Following this change from industrial to commercial, the 1990’s brought about a huge residential expansion.
Today Coal harbour is recognised as a premier residential area with properties selling for more than $2,000/Sq Ft and studio apartments selling for over 1 Million Dollars. With these obscene prices it is not surprising that this area is largely foreign investment. The concern of empty residences and the effect on Vancouver Real estate pricing has been at the forefront of many concerns about the future cost of living of Vancouver. The recently introduced empty home tax aims to address this concern. With approx. 22% of homes in Coal Harbour empty or non-owner occupied compared to 6% in other areas of Downtown such as the west end, this area is one of the prime targets of this tax.
Coal Harbour Stats (www.vanmag.com)
Median Age of Residents: 35.9
Average Monthly Rent: $1,646
Avg. Total Household Income: $85,490