Metro Vancouver and the Master Planned Community

Station Square near Metrotown

Station Square near Metrotown

If you've lived in Metro Vancouver in the past 15 years and ever walked into a Pre-Sale Sales Centre, you may have heard the term 'master planned community.' What exactly does this mean and why are these communities so popular?

Throughout Metro Vancouver, many major developers have focused on obtaining large plots of land throughout the past decade. Rather than targeting spaces that allow for one or two condominium buildings, they are acquiring plots that enable them to build several mixed density buildings, typically ranging anywhere from four to ten buildings. 

What They Offer

Within these communities you'll find a variety of home styles and sizes. The communities are created in such a way that you could begin with a starter home studio or one bedroom and gradually move up the ladder into a four bedroom townhouse, with everything in between. The flexibility in size and function enables residents to stay in the same community they love through all phases of their life. 

Master planned communities are most often found close to rapid transit and retail. The goal is to offer a traditional residential style setting while staying within walking distance of neighbourhood amenities. These developments achieve the balance of having a quiet retreat to your home amidst public spaces. Frequently, developers will even plant multi-phase residential communities directly within pre-existing commercial spaces along popular transit lines. 

Perhaps the most charming aspect of these large scale developments are the amenity spaces included within. Single phase developments are most often known to have a mix of a small gym, a meeting room, and occasionally swimming pool and/or hot tub. With many more homes sharing communal spaces in multi-phase projects, everything gets upscaled in both size and luxury. It is not uncommon to see dedicated facility buildings that offer 10,000 square feet or more of amenities. Developments will include most or all of the following: swimming pool, hot tub, state-of-the-art exercise centre, meeting rooms, music rooms, games rooms (e.g. billiards, table tennis), sport gymnasiums, entertainment lounge equipped with a chef's kitchen, outdoor patio spaces with barbecues, theatre rooms, gardens, and more. Generally, more amenities add up to higher maintenance costs, which appear in strata fees. However, given that these are shared among upwards of 500 homes, costs are kept down to similar levels as condo buildings which have much less amenities to offer.

What They Look Like

Rising in popularity, Metro Vancouver has a few sparkling examples of fully-formed master planned communities. Here are a few:

Windsor gate by polygon homes

Tucked just behind Coquitlam Centre, the Windsor Gate community consists of a mix of both low rise and high rise residential buildings. Just a ten minute walk to both retail and the Evergreen SkyTrain line, this setting boasts a natural surrounding with greenery and water features. The Nakoma Club also offers an unparalleled 18,000 square foot amenity space to all residents.

Waterstone by hj properties

Boardering Langley, this multiphase low rise development completed after eight years of welcoming new home owners. Central to the project is 'The Club at Waterstone,' a 15,000 square foot amenity centre featuring an indoor pool, hot tub, games room, theatre room, extra large entertainment space, and more. 

The Amazing Brentwood by Shape Properties

One of the Lower Mainland's largest development sites, The Amazing Brentwood construction will span over two decades before completing. With it, North Burnaby will see over a dozen towers for both commercial and residential use. This landscape will usher in a new concept of connectivity where the places that people live and work blend seamlessly into shops, entertainment, restaurants, transit, and services.

While the marketing terminology may be overused, these 'master planned communities' are unquestionably immersive. With a growing population, these developments enable residents to enjoy their lifestyle with almost everything they need within walking distance. By having a comprehensive set of amenities at your doorstep, residents can forego memberships at pools and gyms, and in many cases even vehicles by being so close to rapid transit. Although space in your own home may be limited with condos and townhouses, the communal facilities can be considered an extension of your home. 

If you're looking to learn more about master planned communities, or hoping to find out how you can get into one, you can email me anytime at

Thank you for reading,