By the mid 1980s, the face of the central waterfront had been radically altered by the construction of the Seabus Terminal, ICBC Corporate offices, the Lonsdale Quay Market and Hotel and Waterfront Park. Today, the residential and commercial waterfront re-development taking shape on the Shipyards site continues to change the face of North Vancouver.
After two decades in which the fortunes of Lower Lonsdale had declined, the 1970s witnessed the first stirrings of a revitalization that is today being realized. New residential development, most of it in the form of high rise condominiums and townhouses, is bringing with it a massive infusion of economic activity and people, many of them eager to move to North Vancouver because of the recreational activities just minutes from their doorsteps. Hikers, mountain bike enthusiasts, skiers and snow boarders have flocked to the community. Traditional activities such as mountaineering, snow shoeing, hiking, and skiing have been popular in the alpine areas of North Vancouver for decades. In recent years, they have been joined by snow boarding and mountain biking. In fact, some of the world's most challenging mountain bike trails are located in North Vancouver, which is widely recognized as the birthplace of "freeriding".
The 1970s also witnessed the opening of North Vancouver's largest educational institution Capilano College (now Capilano University). Founded in 1968, its scenic 13 hectare campus in the Lynmour area of North Vancouver opened in 1973. Over the years, it has grown steadily and has become known for signature programs in tourism management, jazz studies, and business administration among others. In 2008, it was re-designated a university.
During the 1970s and 80s, the ethnic composition of North Vancouver also began to change substantially. A large influx of new residents from Asia and, in particular, from Iran, has added to the community's diversity. Many new residents found employment in enterprises more in tune with present economic realities than were the old industrial operations of the past. For instance, many North Vancouver companies are in the business of creating and marketing digital content and high technology. The local television and film industry employs 5,000 North Shore residents and has made North Vancouver a hub for Hollywood North. Numerous film and television productions have been shot at North Shore Studios and Mammoth Studios on a site adjacent to Park & Tilford Mall (originally developed in the late 1980s by Lions Gate Studios).
North Vancouver has changed dramatically over the past century and a half. The mountain backdrop remains the same and the old town sites of Lynn Valley, Deep Cove, Lower Lonsdale, and the First Nations communities on the water remind us of the past. But in most ways, North Vancouver is now a very different place than it used to be. Until the 1970s and 80s, North Vancouver was a mostly working-class community with employment opportunities that centered on logging, at first, and later on shipbuilding and related maritime industries. The residents tended to stay put, the pace of change was slow, and most people had deep roots in the community. In recent years, the workforce has changed and many North Vancouverites participate in the "knowledge economy". Residents, by and large, are also older, better educated, wealthier, more itinerant, and much more diverse than in earlier years. Yet, old-timers and newcomers alike probably agree that North Vancouver today - home to about 140,000 people - is one of Canadaﾒs most vibrant and livable communities.