Once known as “The Broadest City Avenue in America”, the nearly one mile long, and almost 30 football fields in size, Grand Boulevard has a rich history.
108 years ago in 1908, a 1.5km x 100 meter ribbon of woods was cleared, and instead of drawing fury & indignation (can you imagine?!)–brought the well-to-do to invest in our fair city. What an asset it is today.
The North Vancouver Land and Improvement Company (with Mahon, McFarland & Procter Ltd. As Official Agents) cleared the land to create the boulevard in 1908 (the 8 acre Boulevard Park was added a little later), and the marketing of nearby lots began in earnest.
Marketed as the “North Shore’s Own Champs Elysées”, cleared boulevard lots measuring 52’ x 140’ sold for a whopping $1,000, and double, corner lots, measuring 104’ x 140’ or 150’ sold for a cool $2,500. Terms were simple: 1/3 in cash, 1/3 in 9 months, 1/3 in 18 months. Interest on ‘deferred installments’ was 6%.
Read one brochure: “The position of this property makes it ONE OF THE BEST RESIDENTIAL SITUATIONS IN THE WORLD. With its southern aspect, open space, elevation, magnificent view and all the modern conveniences (electric railway cars running the whole length of the Boulevard, 60 yards from residence line, water and electric light…” Buyers could buy & hold, but it was stipulated that residences built must be at a minimum cost of $4,000. Those were the days!
And another: “Compare the above prices with those of other property. North Vancouver Real Estate today offers unrivalled opportunities to investors. The City Ferry Co. will shortly build a new modern ferry boat and make improvements in the landings. The Second Narrows Bridge seems now to be assured.”
North Vancouver Museum & Archives has information that suggests the early development of these lots went slowly, but improved greatly in the post WWII building boom.
The Benchmark price today of a home in the Boulevard area is about $1,428,000, so wouldn’t it be nice to have inherited some land from the family of an original owner. Nevertheless, an owner on the Boulevard or not, people of all ages, and our four legged friends can all enjoy this treasure contemplated such a long time ago.
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