3658 Banff Court, Vancouver, BC
The Classics - Exterior
|Number of Units||50|
|Number of Floors||4|
|Construction Method||Wood Frame|
|Type of Roof||Asphalt|
|3658 Banff Court, North Vancouver, BC, Canada|
|Distance to Public Transit||Two to three blocks|
|Title of Land||Strata|
It's only been about 160 years, or so, since American trader Prescott Sewell ("Sue") Moody bought a failing sawmill and built a thriving logging industry on the north shore of the Burrard Inlet. The City of North Vancouver and the the surrounding District have come a long way.
Moody set up the aptly named Moodyville Sawmill in the mid-1860s. Powered by water, the mill let the first non-native settlers in North Vancouver cut and ship its abundant forests of Douglas Fir. Within a few short years, post offices, schools, taverns, and permanent residential developments grew with the sawmill at their centre - both physically and economically.
Two decades later, Arthur Heywood-Lonsdale and James Pemberton Fell made substantial investments in the city’s continued growth. Their legacies are part of the area's heritage, with names like Moody, Lonsdale, and Pemberton still carrying weight in today’s North Vancouver. Though "today's North Vancouver" may have bankrupted itself out of existence had city officials not decided to sell off land and create the separate districts that currently make up its map.
Somewhat ironically, the mountain vistas that are now among the area’s biggest draws were initially the cause of its huge financial struggle. As the city grew, new roads were either blasted through rock, or slalomed around it. Bridges washed out and needed to be rebuilt at an alarming rate – as did the houses and commercial establishments. To save itself, North Vancouver chose to sub-divide.
Thanks to that choice, the whole of "North Van" now offers residents a genuinely unique balance. The City of North Vancouver is on its way to becoming a major metropolitan centre, while the surrounding municipal district boasts vast, quiet green spaces that make for excellent escapes only minutes from the urban hub.
At 3658 Banff Court in the Parkgate area of North Vancouver, The Classics manage to be both tucked away in a beautiful ring of forest space, and easily accessible via the relatively major thoroughfare of the Mount Seymour Parkway.
Classics' residents are within walking distance of community mainstays including the Parkgate Recreation Centre, Parkgate Public Library, North Shore Credit Union, Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, local coffee shops, and the Village Shopping Centre. There are public transit options conveniently located on the same block. More enthusiastic walkers are also within distance of the Northlands Golf Course, and cyclists can enjoy the trails through Parkgate Park.
Put simply, Parkgate is everything the name implies. It's a quiet, family-friendly, green area that's centered on local community. That said, drivers and public transit users also have convenient access to North Vancouver's city centre and everything else that it has to offer.
Built in 1995, The Classics are: 50 apartments arranged over four stories in a tastefully detailed wood frame building. From the white brick facing and the simple shingled roof, to the open balconies, quaint chimneys, and beautifully landscaped central courtyard, everything about The Classics says that they are designed to be the ideal homes for a very select few.
This is not a glass tower with high-speed elevators. This is not a building that stands as the centre of a metropolitan skyline. This low-lying structure – with its large windows, and skylights, and warm tones, and hanging plants – boasts a kind of lasting quality that doesn't really need to boast at all. Like the rest of the Parkgate neighbourhood, The Classics were very clearly built to encourage the forming of a community.
Layout and Features
Once again, The Classics may not be the right homes for those in search of a 25 metre indoor swimming pool, or a fully-equipped fitness centre that offers regular yoga classes. Those things are are all available at the Parkgate Community Centre, just down the street. What The Classics do offer are quality materials that come together to make quality, spacious, open homes.
Suites at The Classics are available in one or two-bedroom layouts, with master or master-and-guest bathroom arrangements. A number of units also include den, flex, or en-suite storage space in addition to en-suite laundry.
Main living areas are floored in hardwood, laminate, or carpet, and select suites feature vaulted ceilings. Select suites also feature radiant floor heating, gas fireplaces, and/or full private patios (on the lower level).
Kitchens commonly have classic white appliances and composite worktops, though a number of units have been upgraded to include polished stone surfaces in both kitchen and bathroom. Large windows and skylights add an overall feeling of openness to many of the suites.
Floor plans for Classics are composed of mainly two bedroom varieties, although a few one bedroom varieties are also there.
In living up to the name of the development, suite models are named for famous composers. Here are many of the variations:
Also, see the reference section at the end of this article for an interactive photo tour that takes a look inside a Classics suite.
Classics residents will find their community amenities in this 11-million-dollar complex by DA Architects. Although not exactly in The Classics' building, it is very close by.
The amenities at The Classics include:
- Community room
- Common landscaped courtyard
- In-suite laundry
- Resident and guest parking
- Bike room
- The Classics welcome pets.
- Rentals are not permitted.
- There are no age restrictions on tenancy.
- Barbecues are permitted in designated areas and/or upon consultation with management.
The whole of North Vancouver's district municipality takes its environmental sustainability very seriously, and Parkgate is no exception. As a community and family-focused area, it places particular emphasis on things like recycling, reuse, and of course the preservation of green space.
Though The Classics can't claim many of the newer, flashier "green" elements - electric car charging stations, power from a geo-grid, and the like - the building is part of a community that is nothing if not consistent in its smaller efforts.
Prospective residents are encouraged to keep North Vancouver's unabashed love of cycling in mind, and consider the building's proximity to public rather than private transit options.
Even the fact that The Classics only allow suites to be owned (rather than rented) gives current residents and prospective buyers alike more immediate control of their spaces.
When renovating, then, residents might choose locally sourced sustainable materials and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint.
For more on low-VOC paint and other environmentally conscious renovation options, see the reference section at the end of this article.
Evidently, the 11-million dollars that the North Vancouver District Municipality funneled into the Parkgate Recreation Centre wasn't wasted. Since 2006, Vancouver and the surrounding districts have consistently come in at the top (or near the top) of Canada's list of fittest cities. Independent surveys appearing in McLean's, The Examiner and MSN Travel are among those to report that a combination of diet, demographic, climate, geography, and overall education with regard to physical fitness has the Greater Vancouver Regional District tipping (or, rather not tipping) the scales in the best way possible.
A combination of those same factors leave St. John's, Newfoundland; and Regina, Saskatchewan in a tie at the other end.
- Wikipedia - The District Municipality of North Vancouver
- BC Condos
- Pixilink Solutions
- How Stuff Works - Low-VOC Paint
- McLean's Magazine
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