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Kitsilano History


Kitsilano's most famous citizen -  Sam Greer

Named after a chief of the Squamish Nation Khahtsahlanough. Kitsilano has the distinction of being the second most recognized neighbourhood in Canada.  One of the area's first non-native settlers, Sam Greer, lived on Kits Beach. In 1882 Sam, an Irishman, who had been an unsuccessful gold prospector in the Cariboo, claimed he bought 160 acres, bounded by lst Avenue, Trafalgar and the beach.  

Sam moved his wife and duaghter into a small cabin at the present site of the Kits Beach bathhouse.  His land claim was never recognized by the CPR.  They began proceedings to prove his claim was worthless and that the railway had legal title. The CPR was given authority to evict Sam and sent in the sheriff.  Sam grazed the sheriff with buckshot and was convicted of common assault in 1891.  He died in 1925 at the age of 82.  Greer Street commemorates this colourful early citizen. 

Sam's Daughter Jessie Hall

Sam's daughter, Jessie Hall, married John Hall, the city's first notary public.  Born in 1872 Jessie was the first settler baby in the Cariboo.  In 1908 the Hall family built Killarney Manor at Bayswater & Point Grey Road.  The stone mansion had oak and mahogany woodwork, elaborate stained glass, bathroom tiles set with gold, a massive fireplace inlaid with carved shamrocks and a fully outfilled ballroom with a sprung floor. 

Jessie was known for her charitable work and when she died in 1949, an era ended for Kitsilano.  Seven years later, developers bought the old mansion and built the palatial Killarney apartments, which retain the mansion's stone wall and much of the grace and charm of an earlier era.

Housing: Craftsman style houses were built i Kits during the 1910 to 1912 boom period. Neighbourhood housing consists of heritage homes, bungalows, lowrise condo buildings, townhomes and duplexes.

Movies:  One of the first movies filmed in Vancouver was Robert Altman's 1960 file "That Cold Day in the Park" and Kits was the selected location.

Library:  The Kits Branch of the Vancouver Public Library is the oldest branch in the province, opened in 1927.

Totem Pole: The totem pole outside the Maritime Museum was carved by Mungo Martin and is a replica of the one given to Queen Elizabeth II in 1967.  At that time it was the tallest totem pole in the world.

Recreation:  Most of Kits recreation focuses on the waterfront.  Kits Beach has an outdoor pool, tennis courts, beach volleyball and the seawall for jogging/biking/rollerblading and Vanier Park.  Not to forget the Kits Community Centre, the Vanouver Conservatory of Music and the Observatory.

Shopping:  Kits has it all - health food stores to clothing and kitchen stores.  Check out the character cafe on Arbutues and 6th, which dates back to 1907.  4th Avenue and West Broadway offer everything at your doorstep.

Transportation:  A 10 minute commute to Downtown by car, bus or bike.

Schools:  Bayview Elementary 2251 Collingwood, Henry Hudson 1551 Cypress, Lord Tennyson 1936 W. 10th, fraser Academy 2294 W. 10th, Kits Secondary 2550 W. 10th, Montessori 1819 Larch

Kitsilano Transportation


 Public transit is easily accessible in Kitsilano and is also inexpensive and eco-friendly. Trip fares start at $2.75 for adults and $1.75 for children (“concession”), and increase if you travel outside of the zone boundary. For more info, visit the Translink website at www.translink.bc.ca.


 Kitsilano is easily accessible by vehicle, however, many streets are restricted to residential parking only, which require a permit. The quickest way Downtown and the Business District is via the Burrard Street Bridge.

3) Car Sharing

Vancouver has a number of car sharing companies which have designated parking spots and can also park in residential permit-only parking areas. Vancouver car sharing programs:  Car2Go, ZipCar and Modo.

4) Biking

Kits has dedicated biking lanes across the Burrard Street Bridge to Downtown.

5) Taxi

MacLures Cabs

6) Skytrain

Travel to the Vancouver Airport, Downtown or eastern suburbs by train, via the Broadway and Cambie Station or W. 2nd Station.  Check the schedule.

Kitsilano Schools

Kitsilano has many schools.

Kitsilano Public Schools

Henry Hudson Primary School on Cornwall and Cypress. General Gordon at 2896 W. 6th Ave. Bayview at 2251 Collingwood. Lord Tennyson at 1936 W. 10th

 Kitsilano Secondary School is at 2550 W. 10th. Along with Henry Hudson, Kits Secondary offer French Immersion.

Kitsilano Private Schools

Sonic Planet Rock School

Metropolitan Bar Tending School

P.S. I am your Kitsilano real estate Realtor! hyper-local experience!

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