Location (location, location…)
There are not a lot of true beach communities within a five minute drive from downtown Vancouver (or a five minute drive from any city center anywhere in the world for that matter). Kits offers just that. In the summer, people from all around the city flock to the joys of the beach, swimming pool, cafes, etc. and infuse energy and a life-is-good vibe into the neighbourhood. As the summer fades, the locals quietly rejoice as they take back the jewels in their backyard and Kits once again finds its trendy and laid-back attitude.
Since the late 1960’s, Kits have put Vancouver on the world map, initially as the flower-power hub of Canada. The hippies found a heaven here where mother nature showed what Vancouver was, and is, all about; ocean, beach, mountain views, tree lined streets with heritage homes - a neighbourhood with character and soul (or good energy as they would have said…)
This Kits counter-culture fostered Greenpeace, probably one of the most famous movements to come out of Vancouver and an important contributor to the DNA of Kits today; the co-existence with the great outdoors, the praise of organic foods and a healthy lifestyle, and, not at least, the grassroots idea that real change comes from the individual fighting “the man” - an example being the recent successful overthrow of the city plans to carve a bicycle path through the Kits Beach area.
In recent history, the healthy lifestyle focus has produced the yoga powerhouse of Lululemon whose global head office welcomes visitors coming off the Burrard St. Bridge (and also produced Canada’s most expensive residential home owned by Lululemon founder Chip Wilson located on the “Golden Mile” of Point Grey Road in Kits).
Given Kits top-notch location with easy access to the downtown core, yet offering some of the best outdoor scenery of Vancouver, it is not a surprise that real estate prices are among the most expensive in the country. But, as opposed to other upscale neighbourhoods on the Westside, Kits has maintained a very diverse mix of residents brings a genuine community feel. One of the reasons is that the real estate stock is mixed. The multi-million dollar home sits next to the $900/month rental condo building. The residents might have different financial profiles but because Kits attracts a lot of young families with kids, either as home owners or home renters, the streets are alive with street hockey, neighbour projects and familiar faces. Block parties are a big deal around here.
Location, history and diversity. A formula that is difficult to duplicate for any neighbourhood and the reason why Kitsilano is such a coveted and famous part of Vancouver.