West Vancouver has purchased one of the last remaining waterfront homes in Ambleside – part of a decades-long plan to buy all of the land between Ambleside Park and John Lawson Park for public use.
Mayor Mark Sager announced at the outset of Monday’s meeting that the district had acquired 1448 Argyle Ave. from its owner, self-made magnate Jimmy Pattison.
“I am delighted that we are that much closer to the completion of this waterfront park plan, something that has been welcomed and anticipated by the community and residents of West Vancouver for decades. I would also like to express my most sincere gratitude to my friend and longtime resident of West Vancouver, Jim Pattison, for helping to make this a reality,” Sager said in a release issued by the municipality during the council meeting.
The district agreed to pay Pattison $5.175 million for the 4,295-square-foot property. The Argyle lot was assessed in 2022 at $5,447,700.
The purchase was made possible by the sale of two district-owned lots on land that was once known as Brissenden Park in Upper Dundarave. Those two properties, at 2523 and 2539 Rosebery Ave., sold for $2,587,500 each.
The real estate deals are expected to close in August.
The new greenspace opened up on Argyle Avenue will be renamed Brissenden Waterfront Park to honour the family that donated the land later sold to finance the waterfront acquisition.
Pattison issued a statement, welcoming the transaction.
“1448 Argyle was home for me and my family, and also for my mother and father for many years,” he said. “Today, we are happy to help Mayor Sager and the District of West Vancouver in achieving their goal of creating this new parkland on the oceanfront.”
Only one of 32 original privately owned properties remains, at 1444 Argyle Ave.
Sager said the district’s plans to purchase the waterfront weren’t always popular, dating back to his early days on council in the '90s, but he added it was the right thing to do.
“We wore a lot of scars because there were plenty of people in the community who thought we shouldn’t acquire those homes but I’m very, very happy that councils stood firm over all of the years and all the different people involved and took every opportunity to acquire the homes. We’re down to one last,” he said.
Acquiring the last of the properties is one of the components of the 2016 Ambleside Waterfront Concept Plan, which seeks to revitalize the area.