A Main Street Community in Vancouver, BC
An affluent and charming Vancouver community, Mount Pleasant offers residents a little of everything: stunning mountain views, a rich and interesting history, excellent location within a very short distance to all of Vancouver’s amenities, the wholesome feel of a small town, and some of the most gorgeous homes in the Vancouver area. This particular neighbourhood spans the city’s east-west divide; it’s one of the few to do so and explains the huge range of prices that can be found within Mount Pleasant. Even in the more affordable areas, Mount Pleasant is still a neighbourhood that draws in individuals who love the unique homes (many of which date back to the late 1800’s), and the overall luxury the area provides.
Certain parts of the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood are referred to as South Main or SoMa, which is simply the area right around Main Street. This area has garnered a lot of interest lately from younger individuals as a trendy and hip place to call home. The homes available tend to fall within one of two categories: the older, eclectic mixture of single-family homes and the newer, multi-family housing units such as condos and townhouses. The population of 23,501 is primarily younger professionals and families; 44.8% of them are between the ages of 20 and 39 and the next largest group – 33.4% – is between the ages of 40 and 64. The median household income of Mount Pleasant residents is $37,782. A 2011 National Household Survey revealed that over 50% of residents rent their homes rather than owning them.
Although the population has decreased slightly (down 3.8% between 2001 and 2006), a shift in the demographics shows an increase in certain age groups, such as those between 20 and 39. For families, investors and young professionals with refined taste, there is no better neighbourhood than Mount Pleasant. A quaint, friendly community packed with historical landmarks, art, culture and an emphasis on education, this area offers a little something for everyone.
The unemployment rate of residents in Mount Pleasant is 5.5%; very close to the overall unemployment percentage in British Columbia. A large number of the folks who live there are younger entrepreneurs and professionals who work in the downtown Vancouver area. As it is home to The Port of Vancouver, Vancouver’s largest port, it’s easy to see that the town’s leading industry is international commerce and trade.
Something a lot of individuals aren’t aware of is that Vancouver is North America’s third largest producer of movies; film companies take advantage of British Columbia’s tax credits as well as the multitude of backdrops available throughout the city. It’s very easy to get the “look” of virtually any story setting when shooting in Vancouver. Other very popular industries within the area include technology, tourism and banking and finance.
Main Street is the primary shopping destination for residents of Mount Pleasant and the surrounding neighbourhoods. In fact, locals voted Main Street the “Coolest Street,” as well as the “Favorite Shopping Destination” and “Best neighbourhood for Restaurants,” and gave Mount Pleasant the title of “Best neighbourhood.” A lively commercial area, Main Street offers up just about every shop, boutique, professional service or amenity one could wish for; more than 400 in total. When hunger strikes, there is a slew of diners, cafes, and fine-dining establishments offering local and international cuisine. From vegetarian dishes and delicious Chinese cuisine to Mediterranean and Japanese fare, there is something to suit every taste.
Like the rest of Vancouver, Mount Pleasant is served by the Canada Line (with a stop available on Cambie Street) and SkyTrain, which boasts a fleet of buses that regularly travel throughout the Vancouver area. Residents often skip public transit or driving their own cars because it’s so easy to get around the neighbourhood by walking or biking. In fact, Mount Pleasant is the 6th “most walkable” neighbourhood in Vancouver according to Walk Score.
The Mount Pleasant children are served by six different schools, including the Florence Nightinggale Elementary School, Mount Pleasant Elementary School, Mount Pleasant Elementary School, Lord Strathcona Elementary School, Admiral Seymour Elementary School and the Queen Alexandra Elementary School. With peaceful streets and such a sprinkling of schools throughout the neighbourhood, many parents choose to walk their children to and from school each day.
The arts scene is alive and kicking in Mount Pleasant; after all, the area is home to more than one well-known artist/entertainer, including CBC personalities Ian Hanomansing and Tod Maffin, editor David Beers with The Tyee and documentary filmmaker Peter Klein. A number of excellent galleries are scattered throughout and the area, as well as publicly-commissioned art pieces that the public can enjoy in many of the parks. The Archer and the Horseman is an excellent gallery nearby that showcases more than 1,000 pieces of fine art (original or giclee print) of well-known Vancouver artist Raymond Chow as well as artists like Darlene Kokotailo, Ning Liu and Frances Sky. The Arts Off Main Gallery, (located on Main Street) is a collective of female artists selling their pieces as well as others.
Places with amazing historical value are also scattered here and there throughout the city of Vancouver, including the Vancouver City Hall and Heritage Hall, which opened in 1916.
Mount Pleasant features 9 beautiful parks where families can enjoy nature, go exploring or enjoy a fun game of tennis or soccer. China Creek North Park offers up jogging trails, plenty of room for sports and other recreational activities and stunning views of the North Shore Mountains. Another option active families have is to visit the Mount Pleasant Community Center Fitness Center, which boasts a wide array of exercise equipment and supplies, including elliptical machines, treadmills, stationery bikes, stair-climbers, and much more. It’s open Monday through Friday, from 6am until 10pm, Saturday from 8am until 6pm and Sundays/Holidays from 9am until 6pm.
Residents of the area also enjoy urban exploring, or visiting the historical landmarks throughout the neighbourhood. Vancouver City Hall on Cambie Street and 12th Avenue is an outstanding facility to study, while Heritage Hall is a wonderful example of one of the oldest buildings in the area, opened in 1916.
Investing in Mount Pleasant Real Estate
Mount Pleasant can be the perfect place for families with school-aged children and young professionals. Excellent schools are just blocks away, as are top-notch medical facilities like the British Columbia Women’s and Children’s Hospital in South Cambie, the Mount Saint Joseph hospital on Kingsway, Vancouver General Hospital just outside the neighbourhood and a whole host of doctors and clinics.
The gentrification of the area, resulting in many new condos and townhouse units, and the gorgeous old homes that have been around for over 100 years are just a few of the amazing benefits of this neighbourhood. Whether it’s a first-time homeowner or a seasoned investor, Mount Pleasant is an excellent investment opportunity for financial portfolios and for the future. ■