Of the top Vancouver beaches, Kitsilano Beach—known as "Kits Beach" to locals—is the most happening. On hot summer days, the beach is packed with sunbathers and swimmers by the water, volleyball players on the sand, tennis players in the courts, and Frisbee players on the grassy lawn. And with a cluster of bars and restaurants just across the street, the beach party can continue into the night.
Kits Beach is also the best beach for swimmers: the waters are usually calm and the awesome Kits Pool, Canada's longest pool, is part of the beach's extended park.
Kitsilano Beach History
Kits Beach was originally known as Greer's Beach, named for Sam Greer, one of the first non-native settlers in the area. In 1882, Greer built his homestead on the site where the Watermark restaurant now sits, and challenged the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) for rights to the land. Unfortunately for Greer, the CPR won that battle and took the land in the 1890s.
Kitsilano Beach, as it is today, owes its existence to private citizens, who raised the money to purchase the land from the CPR, and to the Vancouver Park Board, who leased additional lots to create the extended park.
Getting to Kitsilano Beach
If you're driving, the major parking lots for Kits Beach are located off Cornwall Avenue, between Yew St. and Arbutus; this area also functions as a "main entrance" to the beach. The beach's pay parking lots are about $3.50 per hour or $13 all day (April 1 to September 30).
Kits Beach is the northernmost beach in the chain that curls around Vancouver’s western coast. South of Kits—traveling along the coast toward the University of British Columbia (UBC)—are Jericho Beach, Locarno Beach, Spanish Banks Beach, and Wreck Beach.
Dining Near Kitsilano Beach
You can combine your trip to Kitsilano Beach with a trip to W 4th Avenue, Kitsilano's shopping and dining district; 4th Avenue is about a 15-minute walk north of the beach. Or, you can grab an after-beach meal at The Boathouse, a seafood restaurant right on Kits Beach, with incredible sunset views.
Kitsilano Beach Amenities
- Kits Pool
- Tennis courts
- Basketball courts
- Lifeguard on duty Victoria Day to Labour Day
- Grassy park