Marpole is a community located in the south of Vancouver’s west side, bounded by Angus Drive, West 57th Avenue, Ontario Street, and the Fraser River. It comprises 1,386 acres (561 hectares), making up about 5% of Vancouver’s total land area.
Over the years, Marpole has experienced many significant changes and challenges. In 1957, the Oak Street Bridge opened, followed by the Arthur Laing Bridge in 1975. Together, these two major transportation projects had a tremendous impact on the neighbourhood, opening up Marpole as a commuter corridor to the growing municipalities south of the Fraser River. This also led to relocating the local shopping area from Hudson Street to its current Granville location. More recently, the 2009 opening of the Canada Line and its Marine Drive station has also contributed to further change in the community. Today, approximately 24,000 people call the community of Marpole home.
Marpole is undergoing a facelift that includes the rapidly expanding Marine Gateway town center at SW Marine & Cambie Street, a cluster of brand-new high-rise apartment buildings centered around the Marine Drive Canada Line Station. An abundance of retail shops and services, including a Cineplex Theatre that is steps away from these high-end, modern residences.
If apartments are not what you seek, Marpole has various housing options, including many neighbourhoods with single family homes, most of which were built between 1960 and 1990.
There are 5 elementary schools located in Marpole, giving residents here many options to send their children. These elementary schools include David Loyd George, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, McKechnie, J.W. Sexsmith, and St. Anthony of Pauda Independent Catholic School.
Strictly speaking, there are no high schools that fall within Marpole’s borders; however, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School sits just across 57th Avenue in Oakridge and serves the majority of the neighbourhood. Magee Secondary School serves the western portion of the neighbourhood.
Celebrating the Orient is what T&T does best; whether you are missing home or exploring new flavours, this huge supermarket helps bring Asian culture to life through authentic, fresh foods, and having this market so close to home is a huge bonus!
Marpole is home to 11 neighbourhood parks, 7 of which come with playgrounds. These eleven parks help tie the neighbourhood together and provide a great meeting place for picnics, sporting events, and places for children to play.
Marpole is easily accessible by public transportation and has frequent busses and Skytrain stops dotted throughout the neighbourhood. The area is also close to the Vancouver International Airport and major arteries that connect to all the various suburbs of Metro Vancouver.
Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre — located at 59th Ave and Oak St — has programs for all ages and abilities. The centre has a preschool, a youth centre, dance and music studios, a gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, a snack bar, a racquetball court, and a fitness centre with a sauna and whirlpool. Outside, there is a tennis court and a water park, and a playground at Oak Park.
Firehall 22 Neighbourhood House
In 2018, the Association of Neighbourhood Houses in Vancouver made the Marpole Firehall/Marpole Place its newest Neighbourhood House. Marpole Place will operate like a “classic neighbourhood house,” serving seniors, offering drop-in programs or formal adult daycare programs, as well as working with youth and young families.
Marpole has various housing options, including low and high-rise apartments, single-family homes, and townhomes. Many of the newer apartments in the area are being built along SW Marine drive and are close to the Fraser River. Most single-family homes are 30+ years old, but some recent teardowns and redevelopments in the area provide new single-family housing.
Your Life After Work
Marpole is home to Milltown Marina and the Milltown bar and grill. The restaurant has an excellent patio with views of the Fraser River, YVR, and the marina. It offers a great place to unwind after work with friends and colleagues. Marpole also has access to the Fraser River Trail, an excellent place to walk, run, jog, or bike after work, which can be a great option, especially if your job involves plenty of sitting.
Your Life On Weekends
Being on Vancouver’s outskirts, Marpole has developed its own shopping district, meaning your weekend shopping trips do not have to be spent commuting further out of the neighbourhood to other parts of the city. If you decide to leave the neighbourhood, then right across the river is th McArthur Glenn Designer Outlet Mall, which carries some of the top named designer brands from around the world.
Day Trip to Steveston
Day trips to the neighbourhood of Steveston, which is just across the river in Richmond, is home to the fishing boats in the Fraser River marinas, museum, fresh fish and chips, excellent restaurants, a boardwalk, and top-notch local stores.
How you’ll get around
With plenty of street parking, this is one of the few neighbourhoods in Vancouver where if you own a car, finding a parking spot near your house is rarely a problem. If you do not own a car, you can access busses and Skytrains that leave every 6 minutes. As well being sandwiched between the city of Richmond and the rest of Vancouver, catching rideshares such as Uber or Lyft means that whichever direction you go, your central location means your ride will not break the bank.
What You’ll Love
You will love the convenience of all the stores and shopping in the area, as well as the many parks, quick access to Richmond and YVR, and excellent public transportation. There is also a vibrant new neighbourhood composed mostly of condos along SW Marine Drive, which provides an excellent opportunity for those looking to enter the housing market and still live in a relatively new home.
What You May Not Like
Marpole is on the edge of Vancouver, and most of what the city has to offer does require a drive to get there. As well, most single-family homes in Marpole are on the older side, and caution needs to be considered if you plan on doing a renovation, as the houses here may contain asbestos, which requires extra precautions and time to remediate safely.