Back to Hollyburn Route


The Hollyburn walk begins at the corner of 18th Street and Marine Drive. Street parking is available in the area, or try the parking lot at John Lawson Park. Once on foot, begin by heading east from 18th Street, along Marine Drive through Ambleside Village (02), enjoying the variety of shops and services located in the area. At 14th Street, turn right towards the waterfront to reach Heritage Square (03) and Ambleside Landing (04), part of West Vancouver’s Ambleside revitalization project. The Ferry Building (05) was built in 1913 to house the West Vancouver Municipal Ferry Service (06) and is now art gallery: stop in and peruse the current exhibition. To the east of the Ferry Building, at the water’s edge, you will find artist Don Vaughn’s “Stone Assemblage” (07). Continue east along the water a ways, to find the Hollyburn Sailing Club (08), established in 1963.

At 13th Street, turn left and pass the West Vancouver Police Department building on your left. Cross Marine Drive and walk north up to Duchess Avenue, taking note of the horse chestnut trees (09) planted by the Boy Scouts as a fundraiser in 1935. On the left-hand corner is Hollyburn Elementary School (10). The school was built in 1913, with two classrooms. Continue walking west on Duchess Avenue past the school playing fields and turn right at 14th Street.

Walk the steep hill of 14th Street up to Gordon Avenue and turn left. On your right, look for the Vinson House (11) at 1425 Gordon Avenue, named for West Vancouver Reeve Valiant Vivian Vinson, who built it in 1913. The Smith House (12), at 1457 Gordon Avenue, was the home of Darius Smith, captain for the West Vancouver Ferry Service. And further down the street, at 1488 Gordon Avenue, you will find the Partington House (13). At 15th Street, turn right, go up a block, and turn left onto Haywood Avenue. From this corner, you can see the entrance of the British Pacific Properties up the hill. Diagonally across the street, you will also glimpse of the McMahon House (14), an example of late Craftsman-style house architecture.

Turning downhill, you will cross a charming footbridge at the western end of Haywood Avenue to view the Clegg House (1929) at the corner on the right-hand side (15). At the corner, turn right up 16th Street, and continue up the hill to Inglewood Avenue. Carefully cross Inglewood, and walk up the lane onto the grounds of West Vancouver Secondary School campus (16), passing the auxiliary buildings and the main school, where a new theatre is under construction. At Mathers Avenue, turn left and walk past the front of the school. This main part of the school was built in 1950.

Continue west along Mathers Avenue and turn left at Mathers Court to view the Keenleyside House (17), built in 1937. Return to Mathers, and continue to 19th Street where you will turn left. At the end of this block is the entrance to Hay Park (18), named after West Vancouver Reeve George Hay. Follow the trail through the park, crossing over the small footbridge and enjoying charming McDonald Creek before heading south to the end of the trail.

Coming out of the park, turn left and head east along Inglewood Avenue, past the school fields, noting that the fields were formerly the site of the Vancouver’s first high school, Inglewood, built in 1927 (19). Turn right on 17th Street and head towards the water, passing under more of the Boy Scout’s horse chestnut trees. At Esquimalt Avenue, turn left to view the West Vancouver Municipal Hall (20) on your left, and the historic Gertrude Lawson House (21), now the West Vancouver Museum & Archives, on your right. The Municipal Hall was designed by Toby, Russell & Buckwell, and completed in 1964. The Gertrude Lawson House was built in 1939 and became home to the West Vancouver Museum & Archives in 1994. The facility will celebrate its tenth anniversary on July 3, 2004. Enter the house to enjoy the current exhibition.

Continue down Esquimalt Avenue and pass the Fire Hall No.1 (22), built in 1967 by the same architectural team that designed Municipal Hall. At 15th Street, turn right and continue all the way to the waterfront. Turn right on Argyle, and pass the public Argyle Gardens and the Harmony Arts Festival building (23). Stop at the Silk Purse Art Gallery (24) to enjoy the current exhibit.

Continue along Argyle Avenue to John Lawson Park (25), noting the site of the old Fraser McNair Lumber Company’s (26) private wharf on the left side. Take the time to admire the spectacular views of Vancouver and the Lions Gate bridge (27) from the end of the pier, the original docking point for John Lawson’s private ferry service.

Continue west along Argyle Avenue. On the left hand side just after the park is the Navvy Jack House (28), built by early pioneer Navvy Jack Thomas in 1873: the house is holds the record for continuous occupation in BC. The former Thompson House (29), built by Lawson’s brother-in-law and West Vancouver Ferry Transportation partner, W.C. Thompson, was formerly located in this area. At 18th Street, you will find a small park that demarcates the eastern end of the Centennial Seawalk. Turn right here and walk up to Bellevue Avenue. Cross the street and turn right, walking through the parking lot past the Masonic Hall and into the alleyway to find Little Wall Street (30), named after one of the passageway’s earliest tenants, the Hollyburn Credit Union. Go through this passage to reach Marine Drive.

Head east again, crossing Marine Drive and 17th Street to the northwest corner of Marine Drive and 17th Street where you can view the art piece “Eye of Mountain Bear” (31) in jade. The Mohawk Oil Company donated the piece to West Vancouver in support of the revitalization work in the area. West Vancouver’s original Post Office (32) was originally located here, with John Lawson as the postmaster. You have now completed the tour and can turn back west along Marine Drive to the original starting point at 18th Street.