Whether you’ve already bought a home in Squamish or are trying to decide if it’s the right place for you this guide is intended to introduce you to Squamish, and all it offers families. In recent years Squamish has been inundated with new families moving to the region. Squamish has a population of over 17,500 which grew 15 percent in a recent five year period; when walking down the streets or mountain biking in the trails it’s obvious who occupies this town – young, active, professional families who are seeking a better work-life-balance in one of Canada’s most desirable towns.
Deciding on which neighbourhood to live is one of the biggest decisions when moving to a new place. Do you want to be walking distance to shop and cafes? Would you like to have forests and trails at your door-step? Would you like to be centrally positioned close to everything? Squamish has seven main residential neighbourhoods: Brackendale, Garibaldi Highlands, Central Squamish (Garibaldi Estates, Northyards, Dentville and Brennan Park area), Valleycliffe, Downtown, Britannia Beach and Rural Squamish (Paradise Valley, Ring Creek, Upper Squamish).
Brackendale is the northernmost suburb and is just 30 minutes south of Whistler. Valleycliffe is the southernmost suburb and is a quick 45 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Britannia Beach, a small municipality just ten minutes south of Squamish, is an area that many families are considering due to its affordability and proximity to Vancouver. Choosing the right neighbourhood for your family that meets your criteria is an important step when planning your move.
Squamish has six public elementary schools, a middle school and a high-school. It also has two private elementary schools, a private high-school and a non-profit, Liberal Arts University. For the size of the town Squamish has a multitude of daycare and pre-school programs with over a dozen Family Daycares plus several licensed day care centres, pre-school programs and Montessori schools.
It is important to research the schools in Squamish when deciding which neighbourhood to move. In most cases your child will go to the primary school in your neighbourhoods’ catchment area; this rule does not apply if your child attends a specialty program such as French immersion. All students in the public school system attend Don Ross Middle School from grades seven to ten and then proceed to Howe Sound Secondary for their final years of high-school.
One of the main reasons families move to Squamish is for the outdoor recreation. With world-class mountain biking, rock-climbing, kite-boarding and skiing in your backyard, there really is no better place for the adventurous family. Along with nature’s playground Squamish has a range of parks, community services and facilities that are great for families. Brennan Park Recreation Centre has an ice arena and aquatic centre plus well maintained sports fields, and is always a hub for families throughout the year.
New to Squamish this year is Airhouse, an indoor trampoline centre with children’s programs, and Ground Up, a state of the art indoor climbing gym with youth programs. There is a great BMX club and track for all ages and an indoor play-centre for rainy days. With the surge of children in Squamish over the last several years the town is seeing a boom of development targeting the younger crowd.
Squamish Resources for Families
Here are some great websites I recommend to families moving to Squamish:
Sea to Sky Children First (great daycare resource)
When moving to a new town you probably have many questions that only a local could answer for you. Organizing a tour of Squamish is a great way to familiarize yourself with the neighbourhoods, property market, schools and general feel of the community. Tours of Squamish take one to two hours depending on how many neighbourhoods you would like to see, and if there are any properties you want to view. Check out the latest real estate listings, and schedule a tour of Squamish today.