Squamish: The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada
Squamish’s natural environmental setting, prestigious location, and incredible array of outdoor recreational activities offer a high quality of life for families and business owners who opt to live in this town. Squamish boasts more than 11 kilometers of dramatic coastal views and residential properties that are spread out over flat plains, amidst logging waste, warehouses, and old machinery. At quick glance, the town has this vast granite rock overshadowing it. As a “Climber’s Mecca”, Squamish is populated with hearty and humble dining places—you won’t be able to find many fine dining places here, but there are number of them down the road in West Vancouver or up north in Whistler.
The town of Squamish traces its beginnings during the establishment of the Pacific Great Eastern Railways. It was the initial southern terminus of the railway. A former logging town and pit stop for many travelers heading to Whistler, Squamish is now a town coming into its own. The town got its name from Sko-mish, the people who settled in the valley for at least 5,000 years. The town’s first permanent settlers arrived in 1888 to farm at the northern part of Howe Sound. The next wave of settlers arrived in the ensuing years and by the 20th century; forestry had been the town’s primary economy activity. Today, Squamish has grown to a population of more than 17,000 people over 36.8 square miles of land.
Squamish is located in the southwest part of British Columbia, north of the Greater Vancouver area, and south of Whistler. It sits in a majestic natural setting at the northern end of Howe Sound. Nestled between the Whistler Resort, and downtown Vancouver, Squamish is a place where the ocean meets the mountain ranges in sea to sky country. It is situated at the crossroads between an unforgettable West Coast culture and outdoor recreation. Squamish is a town where stunning vistas and rugged landscapes come together to produce a memorable and unique location.
More than half of Squamish’s population resides in single family homes, which is slightly more than the entire province. The second most occupied homes in Squamish are apartment buildings with less than five stories. Around four percent of the residents live in duplex apartments. Almost 80 percent of the private dwellings in town are owned. As of January 2010, the average price of single detached residential properties in Squamish is around $470,000, $370,000 for semi-detached homes, and $250,000 for apartments.
School and Transportation
Squamish currently ahs six elementary schools namely Squamish Elementary, Mamquam, Valleycliffe Elementary, Brackendale, Garibaldi Highlands, and Stawamus Elementary. It also has two high schools namely Don Ross and Howe Sound Secondary Schools. Capilano University offers university transfer courses and diploma programs. Public transport is provided by the Squamish Transit System. The service is free during summer for elementary and high school age children. There is a bus service going to Whistler managed by the Whistler & Valley Express.
Shopping and Recreation
From mountain biking and rock climbing to cross-country skiing and bird watching and river rafting to snowshoeing, Squamish is a place where you can play around all. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Stawamus Chief Mountain, the region’s second biggest granite monolith, towering over the neighborhood. It is also one of the world’s premier rock climbing spots, with more than a thousand routes for mountaineering, bouldering, and climbing enthusiasts. With eight provincial parks in the area, hiking is a popular hobby in Squamish. Enjoy hiking on the 11-kilometer trail of the Diamond Head/Elfin Lakes route or opt for the easy circuit at the Four Lakes trail. Head over to Shannon Falls Park and witness British Columbia’s third highest waterfall.
Some of the most famous Squamish festivals include the Wild at Art and Squamish Days Logger Sports that features bed races, axe-throwing contests, and many more. Squamish also boasts a good selection of dining places, from West Coast fare to fast food. Head over to Cleveland Avenue for some shopping and entertainment.