West Vancouver is a community defined by its geography, bordered on three sides by the ocean, backed by mountainous wilderness and threaded by creeks and ravines. This setting gives the region a distinct identity, attracting people from all over the world with the prospect of stunning scenery and unparalleled opportunities for outdoor activity, but also defines how the community has developed. As West Vancouver transitioned from a beachfront cottage community to a region filled with houses that only the affluent can afford, its growth has been characterized by ongoing tension between efforts to conserve its natural beauty and the drive to open it up to eager would-be West Vancouverites. In recent decades, the Squamish Nation has also become a major player in shaping the future direction of the area.
In Dreamers and Designers, Francis Mansbridge traces the history of West Vancouver, examining how its approach to land use has shaped the region and illustrating the consequences of this fight, including the marginalization of its less affluent citizens. The text is enlivened by accounts of the major personalities involved in the shaping of West Vancouver and sidebars featuring the voices of West Vancouverites throughout the ages. With archival and contemporary photographs that provide a visual account of the changing landscape, Dreamers and Designers paints a vivid picture of how West Vancouver’s unique setting has defined the dynamic coastal community and the lives of those who reside there.