The community is bounded roughly by 16th Avenue, Oak Street, 41st Avenue, and Arbutus Street.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Canadian Pacific Railway chose the area to be developed as an exclusive residential neighbourhood.
In an attempt to cement the area's exclusivity, in 1914, the CPR attempted to separate Shaughnessy from its municipal authority, Point Grey. The attempt was unsuccessful, but steps were taken that prevented anything but single-family abodes.
The Great Depression years were difficult for the neighbourhood. Many residents left the area, and numerous homes were illegally converted into rooming houses.