Want to live in Metro Vancouver but like a small town feel? One of Vancouver's best kept residential secrets is rapidly becoming discovered as one of Vancouver's most livable neighbourhoods. Boasting Vancouver's only lake, the Trout Lake area also has an excellent community recreation center, one of Vancouver's best off-leash dog parks for Fido, a terrific little league programme, public schools with French immersion, and private schools like Stratford Hall which offers an international baccalaureate program for your children. It provides easy access to skytrain, care homes for your older relatives, and is very close to the world famous Commercial Drive. When my wife and I bought our house on Garden Drive in 2000, I was very excited because I always wanted to live on the lake. As schoolchildren, we used to ride our Mustang bikes down to Trout Lake for a swim on those endless Vancouver hot summer days. I still swim in the lake every summer.
Trout Lake is located on the east side of Vancouver between Victoria Drive and Nanaimo Street where 12th Avenue morphs into Grandview Highway. John Hendry Park (the official name of the park locals call “Trout Lake”) encompasses 68 acres of tranquility smack in the middle of the city. Definitely one of Vancouver’s hidden gems, the park was one of Vancouver's first lumbering operations in the late 19th century. The Hastings Sawmill was owned by John Hendry and the lake was the water source for the mill.
There is a beach for swimming on the south side of the lake and a free run dog park on the north side. The water is safe for swimming and there is a lifeguard on duty during summer months. Trout Lake is stocked with fish and many fishing enthusiasts enjoy fishing from the several beautiful and secluded docks around the perimeter of the lake. Although I personally have never seen any decent size fish come out of that lake, an avid fisherman showed me a picture of a large carp, probably 2 feet long, which he claims he caught here.
The park has a small concession and washrooms. There are two excellent playgrounds both to the east and west of the beach as well as covered picnic area which can be reserved for a fee.
The park houses a very nice, very new Trout Lake Community Centre, complete with ice rink, amazing gym, activity rooms, pottery studio, and a steam room.
The east side of Trout Lake has 3 baseball diamonds which are home to the Trout Lake Little League
The west side of the lake has a soccer field which is illuminated for night games. At the southwest corner there is tennis and basketball courts.
On Saturdays from May to October Trout Lake hosts the very popular Trout Lake Farmers’ Market. It is fun to get to know the people who work with love to grow and sell super fresh vegetables.
Also for sale are organic meats, artisan breads, local cheeses, jams and preserved goods. It is very satisfying to eat produce grown in someone’s garden and not in a factory farm. The Farmers’ Market is also my favorite place to buy starter plants like tomatoes and herbs as well as bedding plants. After all that shopping you're probably starving, and lucky for us there are always a few fantastic food trucks waiting to wow our senses.
The area is almost exclusively single family homes, so if you're looking for an apartment or townhouse, the selection is extremely limited. There is, however, an excellent stock of homes with rental suits for that all important mortgage helper.
If you're looking for a property with a larger than standard lot size (33 x 122 feet or 4026 square feet), the area immediately east of Trout Lake on the Garden Drive side has lots as big as 49.5 x 140 feet ( 6930 square feet).
If you're looking to build a new home and or a laneway house, the bigger the lot, the more square footage you can build. The Victoria Drive area to the west of Trout Lake has a number of lots which are zoned for duplexes, which could be a real advantage if you're looking to share a house with another family.
If you need the services of a Realtor® in the Trout Lake, Commercial Drive area, why not hire someone who lives and works in the area?
Better call Walt!