This winter, I visited Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver. If you haven’t been there in a while you might be surprised at the growth that has taken place. I was told by a local, that it is the new “hot spot” and that many young professionals and retirees are moving to this area. Along with a lively and walkable waterfront with restaurants, shops, markets, live music, waterfront trails, bus lines, and the Seabus, there is new construction taking place for a 71-room four-star hotel, two restaurants, shops and a public 12,000 square foot rink for ice skating in the winter and water play in the summer.
What does this mean for boaters? There is a lot more for you to experience in North Vancouver. Here are six features you’ll fall in love with.
Six Features of Lower Lonsdale That Make Everyone Love It
1 – Shopping and Dining at Lonsdale Quay Market
One of the features that struck me the most is the Lonsdale Quay Market. It opened its doors over thirty years ago, and some of the businesses such as The Soup Meister have been around since the beginning. It holds 80 vendors including a food court, restaurants, retail shops, arts and crafts, children’s stores and a brewery. The building has undergone a recent facelift and the iconic rotating Q has been replaced with a new model with LED lights.
For boaters, the market is a one-stop shop where you can stock up on essentials like fruits, veggies, meat, fish, baked goods, wine, and treat yourself with Bowen Island pizza, baked goods, gelato or a cold beer.
During my visit, I enjoyed a bowl of savory soup from The Soup Meister and a beer from Green Leaf Brewing on the outside patio with a view of the Vancouver skyline.
Tip: If you get something to eat in the market, you can bring it into the brewery to enjoy with your beverage.
Tip:There is a summer farmers market at the Lonsdale Quay on Saturdays.
Tip: The Lonsdale Quay Market is within walking distance of the St. Roch Dock, where moorage is first-come-first-serve and free for the first three hours, and the Seabus terminal. It is also a short walk from Mosquito Creek Marina.
2 – Delicious Eateries Along the Waterfront
The Lonsdale Quay Market has over a dozen restaurants in their food court, and many are international such as George’s Souvlaki, Akebono Sushi, and ThiaGo. If you venture outside the market, you’ll find more within walking distance such as Burgoo Bistro Lonsdale, Raglan’s Bistro, and Pier 7 Restaurant & Bar.
During my visit, I had lunch at Tap & Barrel’s flagship location, which is steps away from the Lonsdale Quay Market. The restaurant is huge with a dining room, mezzanine, bar, and outdoor patios. I ordered the fish tacos.
Tip:Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For dinner, I dined at The Lobby Restaurant & Lounge at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier. Guests can choose the lounge or more formal seating as well as a small outdoor patio. Dishes are locally-inspired, and my dinner was excellent. I’d even say it was the best pork chop I’ve ever had. For a fun dessert, order the Chef’s Taster which is a sample of their housemade desserts.
Tip:Happy hour is every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close with regular daily specials.
3 – Accommodations with a View of the Waterfront
We know that many of you have downsized your boats and like to stay in hotels while cruising or have families or friends that meet you along your route and need accommodations. In Lower Lonsdale, there are two hotels within walking distance of the St. Roch Dock and Mosquito Creek Marina – Lonsdale Quay Hotel and Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier.
During my visit, I stayed at the Lonsdale Quay Hotel, which is above the Lonsdale Quay Market. Rooms have recently been renovated and refurbished with upscale and contemporary decor, and many have water views. For breakfast, head to their breakfast lounge or take the elevator down to the market.
Tip:If your family is meeting you and driving to the hotel, the parking fee is $15. Parking is under the hotel, and hotel guests get preference. If there a line drive to the start and let the attendant know you are staying at the hotel.
The Pinnacle Hotel at the Pieris another great option. I had the pleasure of touring the hotel and seeing their elegant harborview, mountainside and studio rooms. Some rooms have private balconies, and they also have pet-friendly rooms for those traveling with a furry friend.
4 – Shipyards Night Market
If you are looking for something fun to do on Friday night, check out the Shipyards Night Market. There are at least 35 food trucks, local artisans, live music and entertainment, a beer garden, and more. It starts at 5 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m., and runs from May to the end of September
5 – Art and Museums
As you walk around the waterfront, you’ll notice public art is everywhere. A few installations of note is the Fountain Mosaic outside the Lonsdale Quay Market. Next to the shipyards is the Big Drawer which has an image from that very spot of workers on their way to work and their file cards. Next to Pier 7, is the Joe Bustemente Trumpet. Joe was hired to blow his trumpet so the ferry captain could find his way to the North Vancouver wharf.
In between the Lonsdale Quay Market and Tap & Barrel is The Polygon. This museum has rotating exhibits of contemporary art and photography.
Tip: The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Mondays when it is closed. On Fridays, in the summer, the museum will be open to 9 p.m.
Tip:Through 2020, admission is by donation (suggested $5).
New Museum:Across from the Lonsdale Quay Market, the North Vancouver Museum is slated to open in 2019.
6 – Views of Vancouver’s Skyline
Boaters often have unique views of destinations and cities, and so does Lower Lonsdale. Throughout the day and night, you’ll see people snapping photos of the Vancouver skyline or watching the sunset. A much-loved place for a 360-degree view is the 700-foot Burrard Dry Dock Pier.
That wraps up my six features of Lower Lonsdale everyone loves. What would you like the most?
~ by Lara Dunning