Neighbourhood series: Anmore

The CKNW and Global News Neighbourhood Series is an annual series that explores neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Surrey, and the Tri-Cities.

CKNW’s Chantal Coschizza takes a look at Anmore.

LISTEN: Neighbourhood series – Anmore

Nestled along the shores of the Indian Arm, to the north of Port Moody and Coquitlam is the Village of Anmore.

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Never heard of it? Well if you visited the increasingly Instagram-popular Buntzen Lake this summer, Anmore is what you drove through to get there.

Mayor John McEwen says the anonymity is part of why living in Anmore is pretty special.

“I remember living in North Van, and buying out here, and people said ‘Oh where are you going to move to and build a house?’ And I told them and they were like ‘Where is that?’ Probably only one out of every 10 people that actually knew where Anmore is.”

But the days of wondering where Anmore is might be coming to an end as more people move out of Vancouver and spread into the suburbs.

“The community is in a state of change. The initial inception was to keep everything as one acre, keep it semi-rural. But the problem is these houses that are being built on these one-acre parcels are now $5-$8 million. So if we continue down this path, we’re going to be eliminating the sense of community,” said McEwen.

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He said people who buy those big houses are usually too busy to volunteer or get involved in the community, adding that some don’t live there all the time.

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“We as a small community rely on a lot of volunteers, from trail maintenance to our events and that.”

And those $5-8 million so called “monster homes,” are something real estate agent Glen Bohnet sees a lot, calling Anmore the “Hamptons of Vancouver.”

“So those one-acres, they range from $1.8-$1.7 [million], and that’s for an older property that hasn’t been rebuilt on. And then they go up to [more], I have listings at $6.3 and $6.8 million,” said Bohnet.

But if you are looking to move out to Anmore, Bohnet said monster homes aren’t the only option.

“An entry level from $800,000-$900,000, which is very small entry level, there’s not that many units like that. And then what they’ve done is they’ve converted a trailer park by Buntzen Lake and they’ve converted that to Single Family Detached Homes.”

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Mayor McEwen said these big houses and high prices are obviously a challenge for his council. While they definitely welcome more investment into the village, they wonder how to balance growth in the community while still keeping a small town feel?

“You can’t stop progress and change, and we have to work with it. Prices of acres, there’s nothing we can do to stop that. It’s a proximity to Vancouver, and our special location, and what’s here,” said McEwen.

“It’s inevitable prices are going to go up, it’s what’s happening across the Lower Mainland. But we have to, I believe, start looking at a diversity of housing to be able to make sure that it’s a complete community just with bigger houses and smaller houses as well.”

And while the village is ever changing, Mayor McEwen said that at the end of the day, he just hopes that if you’re thinking of coming to Anmore, you’re also thinking of the community.

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