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History and Culture: Exploring the Museum of North Vancouver

Ultimate Guide to Museum of North Vancovuer
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Did you know that the Museum of North Vancouver (MONOVA)  has over 9,000 artifacts? Our Museum of North Vancouver guide spills the beans on this cultural gem. 

So, gather ’round, fellow history buffs, and let’s uncover the rich history of North Van. Ready for a journey through time? Dive into our guide and explore the Museum of North Vancouver like a true local!

What is the history of the Museum of North Vancouver?

What is the history of the Museum of North Vancouver
Image by the North Shore News via

The Museum of North Vancouver showcases the history and culture of the region, serving as a vital repository of local heritage. It stands as a cultural hub, by preserving and presenting the unique stories that define North Vancouver.

The MONOVA used to chill at Presentation House on West 4th Street back in 1971, but they shut it down officially in 2018.

Fast forward to Dec. 4, 2021, and bam! MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver pops up almost 50 years after it first started, but this time in a shiny new spot down in Lower Lonsdale.

It’s not an ancient relic, but folks in the hood already love it. MONOVA sits in this cool 16,000 square-foot joint, packing over 9,000 artifacts. 

North Vancouver's wild past, its happening present, and the bright future it's got ahead
Image by MONOVA via

They’ve got both permanent and rotating exhibits that spill the tea on North Vancouver’s wild past, its happening present, and the bright future it’s got ahead.

Dig this – through their collections, MONOVA wants locals and out-of-towners to dive deep into North Vancouver’s epic history. They showcase artifacts, photographs, and stories that bring to life the rich cultural heritage of the area.

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST) (UTC-8)

Best Time to Go

The Museum of North Vancouver is a fantastic destination all year round. The museum has a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits that showcase the rich history and culture of the North Vancouver region.

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar

Language: English

Calling Code: +1 

How to Get to the Museum of North Vancouver

From downtown Vancouver: Go towards BC-1A and take the Marine Dr exit toward Capilano Rd/Trans Canada Hwy/BC-1/Grouse Mountain Recreation Area. Merge onto Marine Drive, keep going onto 3rd St W, then turn right onto Forbes Ave.
From YVR: Head towards the Trans-Canada Hwy and take exit 23A for Main Street. Continue onto Cotton Road and merge onto Esplanade Avenue.
By public transit: Hop on the Seabus at Granville Street. Once you’re off, catch the R2 bus and hop off at Lonsdale Quay Bay 7. From there, the museum is just a 4-minute walk away.

Where to Stay near the Museum of North Vancouver

Seaside Hotel North Vancouver

Address: 125 Victory Ship Way #130, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0G5, Canada

Phone: +1 604-973-1473

Pricing: $$

Book Now

If you’re looking to be near Downtown Vancouver but not right in the middle of the hustle and bustle, Seaside Hotel is your go-to.

It’s up in North Vancouver at the Shipyards, where you’ve got loads of cool stuff to do within a short walk. It’s a boutique hotel, so don’t expect a ton of fancy extras, but the spot itself totally makes up for it.

Lonsdale Quay Hotel

Address: 123 Carrie Cates Ct 3rd Floor, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-986-6111

Pricing: $

Book Now

Over at Lonsdale Quay Hotel, a snazzy spot by Vancouver Harbor, you can snag yourself a standard room with all the essentials. Toss in a bit more cash, and you’ll land a room with sweeping views, a personal balcony, and a fancy whirlpool tub.

Grab your breakfast at the lounge on the 3rd floor, and they’ve got more goodies like a gym, a badminton court, a ballroom, and even coin-operated laundry facilities. Plus, parking’s on the menu, too.

Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier

Address: 138 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0B1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-986-7437

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

Staying at the  Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier places you one ride away from downtown. This is the ideal spot if you’re aiming to escape the downtown hustle. This place is a gem for those planning to ferry into Vancouver and savor Lonsdale Quay. 

The market is at the hotel’s doorstep, offering everything under the sun – food, clothes, wine, fresh produce, deli delights, cheese, beautiful flowers, you name it. The pier itself is charming, and there are a couple of restaurants nearby to pick from.

Hotel At The Waldorf

Address: 1489 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1S4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-253-7141

Pricing: $

Book Now

Nestled in the heart of Grandview-Woodland, you’ll find the Hotel At The Waldorf – a lively, uniquely decorated spot with cool and classic rooms. This neighborhood isn’t known for luxurious vibes, but it’s hands down the best bang for your buck in the city.

There’s a cafe with island vibes serving up Italian delights, complete with wood-fired pizzas. And don’t miss the quirky tiki bar, where you can catch live entertainment. Plus, there’s a handy on-site liquor store stocked with craft brews, wines, and spirits.


Address: 1634 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7P 3B4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-987-8185

Pricing: $

Book Now

The rooms at SureStay are simple, but they’ve got all the essentials for a short stay. Even though the hotel is on the older side, it’s remarkably well-maintained and clean. The location is pretty sweet, right in the middle of West Van and North Van.

Ubering to downtown Vancouver for a night out is a breeze. Bonus points for free parking and a spacious pool. Plus, the on-site restaurant is a handy perk, and the food hits the spot.

Where to Eat near the Museum of North Vancouver

Chop and Chew

Address: 1842 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7M 2J9, Canada

Phone: +1 604-971-2475

Pricing: $$


Chop and Chew is the go-to for sausage and beer enthusiasts—unless you’re a vegan, but hey, we’re not getting into that right now. The sausages are undeniably fantastic. 

Go all out with the Chop & Chew Platter. It’s got a variety of sausage choices, perfect for sharing and getting a sample of the top 4 specials for the day. Each sausage packs a punch with its own unique and bold flavors.

Burgoo Bistro Lonsdale

Address: 3 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7M 2E4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-904-0933

Pricing: $$


For more than two decades, this charming bistro has been dishing out some seriously tasty comfort fare – think chicken, mac and cheese, salads, meatballs, and grilled cheese.

Their crab bisque is the stuff of legends; we find ourselves coming back for it time and time again. Opting for the combo deal, where you can snag both soup and sandwiches, is a solid value move.

Tap & Barrel • Shipyards

Address: 8 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0B2, Canada

Phone: +1 604-638-2339

Pricing: $$


The Tap & Barrel • Shipyards is a spacious joint that leans heavily towards the sports bar feel. If you’re on the hunt for a place to kick back with drinks and friends while soaking in a killer view, this spot has got you covered. 

The vibe is perfect for socializing, and the scenery is downright breathtaking. The menu keeps it simple but nails it. It’s like your go-to classic pub grub – nothing too fancy, but hey, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Andreas Restaurant

Address: 153 16th St W, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1T3, Canada

Phone: +1 604-985-0414

Pricing: $


Andreas Restaurant brings a Greek twist with a seriously fun vibe. Hands down, they’ve got the town’s best pizzas, and the best part? They’re serving them up till the wee hours of the night.  

Everything here is authentic and crafted by hand – no processed stuff here. The toppings are generous and fresh. Go for the baked tortellini with meatballs. It’s a decadent, cheesy delight, and the portion size won’t leave you hungry.

The Gull Bar and Kitchen

Address: 175 1st St E, North Vancouver, BC V7L 1B2, Canada

Phone: +1 604-988-5585

Pricing: $$


The Gull Bar and Kitchen rocks a snug interior, serves up local brews, offers friendly service, and the real star? The mouthwatering food! Their burgers? Ground in-house, so no overcooked beef patties here – just a perfectly pink and juicy delight.

We can’t get enough of their Pork Belly Nugz, Steak & Potatoes, and The Gull Style Burger. And, if you’re eyeing dessert, do yourself a favor and dive into their Birdie Bar – it’s absolutely divine.

What to Do in and near the Museum of North Vancouver

Check Out the Tram from 1908

Address: 115 West Esplanade, North Vancouver, BC, V7M 0G7

Phone: +1 604-990-3700


The 1908 Tram housed within MONOVA is the sole survivor of a once-thriving three-line streetcar network run by B.C.E.R. in North Vancouver from 1906 to 1947.

This meticulously restored trolley car, brimming with a diverse history encompassing science, innovation, and the cultural heritage of North Vancouver.

It’s absolutely worth a visit, or two, to transport yourself back in time and appreciate the remarkable accomplishments the North Shore has forged over the years!

Explore the MONOVA’s Permanent Collection

Address: 115 West Esplanade, North Vancouver, BC, V7M 0G7

Phone: +1 604-990-3700


The MONOVA packs a punch with its permanent exhibit showcasing the city and neighborhood histories. The exhibits are diverse, featuring an Indigenous welcome circle adorned with Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh artifacts.

There’s also a compelling exploration of women in wartime, a journey through the North Shore’s shipbuilding industry history, a dedicated section for residential school survivors and their families, and many more.

Drop by the Lonsdale Quay Public Market

Address: 123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-985-6261


The Lonsdale Quay Public Market hosts over 60-plus locally owned and operated businesses right here on the North Shore. Nestled in the heart of Lower Lonsdale, this waterfront public market has been a cherished spot for many over the years.

If you swing by on a weekday around noon, it’s not too crowded. There are plenty of tables and seats to snag a rest and savor the food you pick up.

Shop and Eat at the Shipyards

Address: 145 Chadwick Ct Suite 220, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-790-9779


Situated on North Vancouver’s waterfront in Lower Lonsdale, The Shipyards District is a delightful outdoor space complete with fire pits and a kids’ playground.

The area’s charm is elevated by iconic cranes and remnants from the shipbuilding era, offering a unique touch. With scenic waterfront views providing a picturesque backdrop.

Check Out the Polygon Gallery

Address: 101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3J4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-986-1351


Nestled right in the heart of the Shipyards, The Polygon Gallery is a meticulously curated space that’s a breeze to reach via transit and surrounded by a vibrant array of shops and restaurants.

The architecture, both outside and inside, is truly impressive, offering a feast for the eyes.The gallery’s well-organized layout serves as an excellent platform to showcase diverse forms of art, whether on the walls or in free-standing displays.

Where to Shop near the Museum of North Vancouver

Mo’s General Store

Address: 51 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7M 2E5, Canada

Phone: +1 604-928-7827


Mo’s General Store is truly one-of-a-kind! You’ll find a plethora of home decor items, along with a diverse selection of gifts, souvenirs, seasonal goodies, and miscellaneous items.

What makes this general store stand out is its strong support for local brands and product lines. It’s like stepping into a charming little corner store filled with all sorts of delightful finds.

Shop Makers

Address: 125 Victory Ship Way #124, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0B2, Canada



Shop Makers takes the crown as the ultimate gift shop for snagging incredible handmade products. Their extensive array spans everything from beauty and cosmetics to home decor, candles, perfumes, jewelry, clothing, and much more.

What keeps it exciting is that the selection undergoes periodic changes, introducing fresh vibes when new vendors set up shop. It’s a dynamic spot where you can always discover something unique.

Stories by Swissbo

Address: 124 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7M 0G7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-973-1936


At Stories by Swissbo, you’ll find a fusion of European designs and contemporary Red Dot Design award-winning home decor, gifts, and accessories. 

Plus, they’ve got a plethora of gift options tailored to different price ranges, ensuring there’s something for everyone. It’s a haven for those seeking unique and beautifully crafted items.

Big Pete’s Collectibles

Address: 121 1st St E, North Vancouver, BC V7L 1B2, Canada

Phone: +1 604-983-2325


For all you comic book enthusiasts and collectors out there, this delightful store is a treasure trove with a selection of comics, cards, collectibles, and more that will send waves of joy through your veins.

There’s an abundance to explore, and you might just find yourself spending a good hour immersed in the offerings. Plus, they offer holds and orders on certain collectibles, making it even more convenient for avid collectors.

Helicon Books

Address: 125 W 1st St, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1B1, Canada

Phone: +1 778-729-2222


Helicon Books truly rekindles the enchantment of bookstores. With its beautifully curated collection of intriguing books, it’s like stepping into a personal library where every visit almost guarantees leaving with a new book in hand.

What sets them apart is their range of books that goes beyond the mainstream titles found in every bookstore. It’s a haven for those seeking unique and original reads, making each visit a delightful exploration.

Apps to Download for a Trip to the Museum of North Vancouver

Transit Live: search and view real-time updates of bus schedules arriving at nearby stops.

iOs | Android

North Shore Taxi: get a taxi cab instantly when you book one and get a fare estimate right away.

iOs | Android

Waze: turn-by-turn navigation app with real-time traffic updates and user-generated reports on accidents, hazards, and road closures.

iOs | Android

Paybyphone: app for cashless parking in Vancouver that enables payment and registration.

iOs | Android

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