In 1860 a Catholic Missionary was ordered to build a church on the water front of what is now called St. Pauls Church. Shortly afterwards two men by the name of T. W. Graham and George Scrimgeour secured a pre-emption of 150 acres (0.61 km2), the first on the North Shore of the Burrard Inlet. They proceeded to build a lumber mill and named it The Pioneer Mills and was the first industrial lumber plant on the Inlet. This consequently initiates an influx of residents. With the mill facing bankruptcy, an American by the name of Sewell Prescott Moody bought the Mill.
In the 1990s and 2000s, the City of North Vancouver embarked on an ambitious plan to redevelop former industrial lands of Lower Lonsdale. Highrise and lowrise condominium and other multi-family developments were constructed in the area between 3rd Street and south to the waterfront. During that time, many new restaurants and retailers have located in the stretch of Lonsdale Avenue between 3rd Street and Burrard Inlet. The City also oversaw the construction of the John Braithwaite Community Center, located in the 100 block of 1st Street.
A national maritime museum is proposed for former shipyards site on Esplanade Avenue, pending funding from federal and provincial governments.
Lower Lonsdale is a historic waterfront neighbourhood in the city of North Vancouver. Lower Lonsdale runs up Lonsdale Avenue from Lonsdale Quay to Keith Road. Its history is inseparably connected to the lumber and shipbuilding industries on the North Shore of Burrard Inlet, as well as ferry crossings connecting the area to Downtown Vancouver. Lower Lonsdale is currently going through large waterfront renewal processes. The old shipyards are being torn down, making way for new public spaces, condominiums, retail outlets and a hotel.