Overview of the Industry

The Life Sciences sector is demonstrating rapid and significant growth in the region of North Vancouver. Currently, the region identifies health and wellness services as one of the top drivers of their economy. Thanks to a $62.2 million expansion to the Lions Gate Hospital – first announced in 2011 – and a new $166-million six-story acute care facility on the horizon, the region of North Vancouver is truly a hub for the Life Sciences sector.


  • B.C. is home to more than 300 biopharmaceuticals, medical device, testing, and research and development companies.
  • The province has research strengths in HIV-AIDS, oncology, and genomics, and has also contributed significant advancements in health information technologies with advanced mobile digital solutions that include big data platforms, health applications and other solutions for a more connected healthcare ecosystem.
  • According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the life sciences sector in B.C. employs just under 180,000 people and contributes $14.4 billion to the province’s gross domestic product.

Quick Takeaways

  • Jobs have increased 56% since 2014, a growth which is almost exclusive to Vancouver.
  • As of 2018, there are 3,043 jobs within the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing industry. In addition, there are 2,833 jobs in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry.
  • The job growth in the life sciences sector is driven proportionately more by smaller companies, a fact evidenced by rising levels of venture capital funding going to startups, and in turn, accelerating companies in the Vancouver area, according to the Canadian Venture Capital Association.
  • Lions Gate Hospital, located in North Vancouver, is one of the top employers in the region with 1,500 jobs.
  • Lions Gate Hospital will be adding a $166-million six-story acute care facility. According to the Journal of Commerce, the tower will include 108 beds, eight operating rooms, and a medical-device reprocessing department. The facility is funded by Vancouver Coastal Health and the community, through a campaign led by the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation.

Workforce Availability

The region of North Vancouver is home to many postsecondary facilities including the Greta and Robert H.N. HO Psychiatry & Education Centre, (The HOpe Centre). According to the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, the Centre has changed the way mental health services are delivered on the North Shore. It’s also home to the Djavad Mowafaghian UBC Medical Education Centre and the BC Ambulance Centre.

The HOpe Centre will help train future physicians, many of whom will make North Vancouver their permanent home. According to UBC News, the $62.2 million expansion to the hospital – first announced in 2011 – not only provided the funding for The HOpe Centre, it also made it so there was increased space in the hospital for the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s growing number of medical students and residents. Lions Gate Hospital is one of 20 hospitals throughout the province that plays a formal role in the faculty’s medical training programs.


  • There is an increased opportunity to collaborate with other experienced practitioners thanks to several new facilities opening in North Vancouver.
  • Thanks to the HOpe Centre and the increased space in Lions Gate Hospital for the UBC Faculty of Medicine, there is access to a growing and experienced workforce thanks to the growing number of medical students and residents moving to North Vancouver.
  • The expansion of Best Practice Fellowship Program from Physiotherapy, through UBC’s Department of Medicine, to other disciplines has resulted in an increased retention of healthcare professionals.
  • There is an aging population in the region of North Vancouver. Presently, there are around 21,400 people who will reach retirement in the next 15 years – the average age of retirement in Canada is 61. This aging population results in increased economic opportunity and significant construction, home renovation, and business development opportunities.


  1. Vancouver Coastal Health: A health care provider offering primary care, community-based residential and home health care, mental health and substance abuse services, public health, hospital care, and research. Operates the Lions Gate Hospital.
  2. SimpeQ Care Inc.: An award-winning provider of value-adding staffing, services, and administration within the senior health care industry.


news.ubc.ca/2011/05/05/lions-gate-hospital-expansion-makes-room-formore-medical-training www.pwc.com/ca/en.html

www.cvca.ca canada.constructconnect.com/joc/news/infrastructure/2018/09/north-vancouver-hospital-tower-plans-approved