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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of New Westminster
Uptown New Westminster

Motto: "In God We Trust"
Location of New Westminster in Metro Vancouver
Coordinates: 49°12′25″N 122°54′40″W / 49.20694°N 122.91111°W / 49.20694; -122.91111
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Lower Mainland
Regional district Metro Vancouver
 - Governing body New Westminster City Council
 - Mayor Wayne Wright
 - Councillors Jonathan Cote
Jaimie McEvoy
Bill Harper
Betty McIntosh
Bob Osterman
Lorrie Williams
 - MP Peter Julian (NDP)
Fin Donnelly (NDP)
 - MLA Dawn Black (NDP)
 - Total 15.4 km2 (5.9 sq mi)
Elevation 60 m (197 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 - Total 58,549
 Density 3,548.5/km2 (9,190.6/sq mi)
 - Private Dwellings 26,035
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
Website City of New Westminster

New Westminster is a historically important city in the Metro Vancouver regional district of British Columbia, Canada. It was founded as the second capital of the Colony of British Columbia (1858-1866).



New Westminster is located on the Burrard Peninsula, on the north bank of the Fraser River. It is 19 kilometres (12 mi) southeast of the Vancouver city proper, adjacent to Burnaby and Coquitlam and across the Fraser River from Surrey. A small portion of New Westminster called Queensborough is located on the eastern tip of Lulu Island, adjacent to Richmond. The total land area is 15.3 square kilometres (5.9 sq mi).


The city has a total population of 54,656 (2001 Census).[1]

Some notable New Westminster natives include singer/actor Alexz Johnson, Musician/Producer Devin Townsend, actor Raymond Burr, race car driver Greg Moore, astronaut Robert Thirsk, magician "Mandrake the Magician" Leon Mandrake, actress Crystal Dahl, professional baseball player Justin Morneau, and retired professional hockey player Bill Ranford.


A view of New Westminster from the Fraser River circa 1865.

In 1859, New Westminster was recommended as the first official capital of the new Colony of British Columbia by Richard Moody, the Lieutenant-Governor, because of its location farther from the American border than the site of the colony's proclamation, Fort Langley. New Westminster, at a defensible location on the north bank of the Fraser River possessed, according to Moody "great facilities for communication by water, as well as by future great trunk railways into the interior"[2] Governor Douglas then proclaimed "Queensborough" (as the site was initially called by Moody), the new capital on February 14, 1859.[3] "Queensborough", however, did not appeal to London and it was Queen Victoria, who named the city after Westminster,[4] that part of the British capital of London where the Parliament Buildings were situated. From this naming by the Queen, the City gained its official nickname, "The Royal City". A year later New Westminster became the first City in British Columbia to be incorporated and have an elected municipal government. It became a major outfitting point for prospectors coming to the Fraser Gold Rush, as all travel to the goldfield ports of Yale and Port Douglas was by steamboat or canoe up the Fraser River.

The location of New Westminster, at the edge of the forest, necessitated a large amount of labour and money to clear trees and lay out streets, which became a significant burden to the colonial budget when the imperial government shackled the colony with half of the cost of the Royal Engineers.[5] Governor Douglas spent little time in New Westminster and had little affection for the city; and the feelings were amply repaid by the citizens of New Westminster who avidly supported Colonel Moody's city-building efforts and castigated the governor who preferred to remain for the most part isolated in distant Victoria.[6] In contrast to Victoria, where settlers from England had established a strong British presence, New Westminster's early citizens were largely Canadians and Maritimers, who brought a more business-oriented approach to commerce and dismissed the pretensions of the older community. Despite being granted a municipal council, the mainlanders in New Westminster also pressed for a legislative assembly to be created for British Columbia.[7] and were infuriated when Governor Douglas granted free port status to Victoria, which stifled the economic growth of the Fraser River city.[8] Moreover, to pay for the expense of building roads into the Interior of the colony, Douglas imposed duties on imports into New Westminster.

In 1866, the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island were united as "British Columbia". However, the capital of the Colony of Vancouver Island, Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, was made the capital of the newly amalgamated Colony of British Columbia, following a vote in the House of Assembly. On the day of the vote one member of the assembly, William Cox, (the colony's Gold Commissioner and a Victoria supporter), shuffled the pages of the speech that William Franklyn from Nanaimo, (a New Westminster supporter) intended to give, so that Franklyn lost his place and read the first paragraph three times. Cox then popped the lenses of Franklyn's glasses from their frames so that the Nanaimo representative could see nothing at all of his speech. After a recess to settle the resulting uproar and allow the member from Nanaimo a chance to sort out his speaking notes and his spectacles, on the members' return to the House of Assembly, the Speaker John Sebastian Helmcken (from Victoria) refused to allow Franklyn a "second" chance to speak. The subsequent vote was 13 to 8 against New Westminster.[9]

With the entry of British Columbia into the Dominion of Canada in 1871, as the sixth province, New Westminster's economic prospects improved, but the Royal City would lose out again, this time to the new railway terminus town of Vancouver, when the Canadian Pacific Railway was extended to the shores of Burrard Inlet, even though the railway did reach New Westminster in 1886. In 1879, the federal government allocated three reserves to the Qayqayt Indian Band, including 104 acres of the South Westminster Reserve, 22 acres on the north arm of the Fraser River and 27 acres on Poplar Island.[10] A smallpox epidemic devastated the Qayqayt reducing the band members from about 400 people to under 100. Many of the remaining Qayqayt were assimilated into other local reserves, such as the neighbouring Musqueam Indian Band. Their reserve on Poplar Island was turned into an Aboriginal smallpox victim quarantine area. For decades, the Poplar Island reserve was designated as belonging to "all coast tribes".[11] In 1913 the federal government seized most of the New Westminster Band's reserve lands.[12] In 1916 the remaining land on Popular Island was turned over to the BC Government. Twelve years earlier in 1898 a devastating fire destroyed the downtown of New Westminster.[13]

Historical urban geography

New Westminster has been drastically changed by time and by the results of its incorporation into the wider urbanization of the Lower Mainland:

B.C. Penitentiary

The B.C. Penitentiary being constructed circa 1877.

In 1878, the Government of Canada opened the British Columbia Penitentiary, the first federal penitentiary west of Manitoba. "BC Pen" or simply "the Pen" as it was known (and also in old days as the "skookum house" in the English-Chinook Jargon patois common in early BC), was located between the Sapperton neighbourhood and what is now Queen's Park. It housed maximum security prisoners for the next 102 years, closing in 1980.[14] and has been the scene of many famous trials and executions, including those of the Wild McLean Boys and Simon Gunanoot. The original centre block (reputedly haunted) of the Pen still stands and has been revamped into condominiums and a fancy restaurant, while the rest of the Pen's grounds have been filled with newly built townhouses and condominiums.

The Pen's armoury and dockside holding cell have been restored as a riverside park on the Fraser River, which will ultimately connect to the regional network of biking and walking trails and the city's waterfront promenade project.

A fire described as the "largest in the history of New Westminster" blazed what is left of the vacant Woodlands school building, adjacent to the penitentiary grounds July 9, 2008.


New Westminster's Chinatown was one of the earliest established in the mainland colony and also one of the largest. Originally located along Front Street, it was relocated to an area known as "The Swamp" at the southwest end of downtown, bounded roughly by Royal Avenue, Columbia Street, and 8th and 12th Streets (now a large shopping plaza area). Chinatown was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1898 and only partly rebuilt afterwards. Chinatown is not present in New Westminster today.

Columbia Street

Contrasting views of Columbia Street in 1932 and 2008.

Until the 1964 completion of the Highway 1 Freeway, which bypassed New Westminster to its north, Columbia Street along the city's waterfront was the main commercial retail and service centre for the Fraser Valley and nearby areas of Burnaby and Coquitlam. Most major department store chains as well as long-established New Westminster retailers thrived in a time when road travel to Vancouver remained distant for Valley communities and also when daily interurban rail service to and from Chilliwack was still in place (the service ended in 1950). The quality of shops was such that even Vancouverities would make the trip by interurban or, later on, by Kingsway (originally called the Westminster Highway or Westminster Road) to shop on Columbia Street. As well as the retailers, Columbia Street was also home to major movie houses, the Columbia and the Paramount, rivalling in size and quality those on Vancouver's Theatre Row. The freeway is generally conceded to have "killed" Columbia Street, and it has remained in a slump despite ongoing civic efforts to revitalize it. As of October 2006, Columbia Street has undergone reconstruction to change to a one-lane street, both directions, with a bike lane and reverse angle parking. This was done in an effort to encourage more foot and bicycle traffic. Major highrise or renovation projects are either completed or nearing completion.

Front Street

Originally a dockside street and market, and also the location of the original Chinatown, Front Street was converted into a truck-route bypass and elevated parkade during the 1960s in an effort to provide increased parking for adjacent Columbia Street. In recent decades it has been the focus of the city's thriving antiques and second-hand trade. It has also been used as a location in feature films such as Rumble in the Bronx (substituting for the Bronx), I, Robot (as a futuristic Chicago), and Shooter (doubling for Philadelphia, with the Fraser River being the Delaware River).

Government House

The original colonial Government House was located approximately where Royal City Manor is now. It was originally occupied by Colonel Richard Clement Moody who commanded the Columbia Detachment of Royal Engineers who established the city. Rarely used by Governor Douglas, its first full-time vice-regal resident was Governor Frederick Seymour.

New Westminster CPR Station

Adjacent to the New Westminster Skytrain Station, the city's former Canadian Pacific Railway station has been renovated and converted into a branch of The Keg restaurant chain.


Queensborough was the name originally chosen for the colonial capital by Royal Engineer commander Colonel Richard Clement Moody. When Queen Victoria designated New Westminster instead as her new capital's name, the name Queensborough became applied to New Westminster's portion of Lulu Island, across the north arm of the Fraser from the southern end of the city. Queensborough is today a low- to middle-income housing area with its own distinct identity, although some new condominium complexes have sprung up adjacent to the Westminster Quay development. In the Chinook Jargon, an adaptation of the name Queensborough - "Koonspa" - is the usual name for New Westminster as a whole.

A replica of a Queen Anne house opposite Queens Park


Sapperton was originally a "suburb" of New Westminster, named for the Columbia Detachment of Royal Engineers ("Sappers") whose camp was on the hill now occupied by the Fraserview neighbourhood. It is the location of the historic Fraser Cemetery, which rivals Victoria's Ross Bay Cemetery for the number of historically significant graves and monuments. Also located in Sapperton are the Royal Columbian Hospital, Sapperton Station and Braid Station. The Sapperton area is represented by one of the strongest soccer teams in Greater Vancouver, the Sapperton Rovers.[citation needed]

Uptown "6th and 6th"

Development of an uptown commercial area around 6th St and 6th Avenue started in 1954 when Woodwards Department Store opened. Added momentum came with the relocation of the public library from downtown to uptown in 1958. In 1992 Woodwards Department Store was expanded and modernized into a shopping centre and took the name Woodwards Place. With the economic collapse of Woodwards in 1993 the name of the centre was changed to Royal City Centre Mall. Moody Park is an important recreational area in the uptown area.

The West End

Opposite to Sapperton's north-end, New Westminster's West End was once fairly separate from the city proper, and has a neighbourhood commercial node along 12th Street and 20th Street approximately between London Street and Eighth Ave. The area features antique, unique, one of a kind stores and is designated as the art deco section of the city. The annual Ragtime Fest on 12th Street is an event that residents and visitors alike are looking forward to.

Westminster Quay

The Westminster Quay

Westminster Quay was an Expo-era (mid-1980s) development to revitalize New Westminster and accompanied the development of the SkyTrain line to Vancouver. In addition to a large public market and a 2.5 diamond rated hotel, The Inn at the Quay, a large condominium tower and townhouse complex was built, accessed from the older Columbia Street area of downtown by an overpass. The impetus provided by this project has spilled over onto the inland side of the rail tracks, with new tower developments focusing on the area southwest of 8th Street (the area known formerly as "the Swamp" and Chinatown). As of July 2007, the Quay's commercial component had noticeably decreased, with many vacancies present compared to the much more active Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. Responding to the decrease of business, the ownership group has now closed the Westminster Quay Market for renovations. The market will remain closed until 2010.[15]

Commerce and industry

With the completion of the trans-continental railway in 1886, trade began to shift to nearby Vancouver. Nonetheless, New Westminster weathered the loss, and remained an important industry and transportation centre. The local economy has always had a mix of industrial sectors, but it has evolved over the years, moving from a reliance on the primary resources of lumber and fishing in the 1800s, to heavy industry and manufacturing in the first half of the 1900s, to retail from the mid 1950s to the 1970s, to professional and business services in the '90s, and finally to high tech and fiber optic industry in the early 2000s.

Arts and culture

The city has several live performance venues ranging from the Massey Theatre adjacent to the New Westminster High School to the Burr Theatre, a converted cinema on Columbia Street, and two theatrical venues in Queens Park (One being the Bernie Legge Theatre, home of the Vagabond Players, which were formed in 1937.) The Royal City Musical Theatre, a long-established New Westminster tradition, uses the Massey, while comedy and mystery theatricals use the stages in Queens Park. Also in Queens Park is the Queens Park Arena, longtime home to the legendary New Westminster Salmonbellies professional lacrosse team, as well as an open-air stadium used for baseball and field sports. The Burr Theatre (originally the Columbia Theatre) - named for New Westminster native Raymond Burr - was operated by the Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society between Oct 2000 and Jan 2006. During that time it was home to professional-quality mysteries and comedies but was forced to close due to financial difficulties. At the time of writing the City of New Westminster is offering the 1927 building for sale. Douglas College also offers post secondary training in theatre, stagecraft and music, as well as non-credit courses in music for all ages and levels of ability through the Douglas College Community Music School [16] Theatre productions and music concerts take place in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre and the smaller, more intimate Studio Theatre from September to April at Douglas College .


Irving House
Established 1865
Location New Westminster British Columbia Canada
Type historical house museum
Website [http://]

Heritage is very important to the citizens of New Westminster which is the oldest city in Western Canada. The star attraction at the New Westminster Museum and Archives (NWMA) is the 1865 Irving House which is the oldest intact house in the BC Lower Mainland. In the museum are treasures such as the 1876 coach used by Lord Dufferin, then the Governor General of Canada, to tour the new province of British Columbia including a marathon trip to Barkerville via the Cariboo Road. The city's archives hold corporate and personal treasures such as 1859 maps of the city which were drawn by the Royal Engineers and official city records. In addition the citizens take great pride in other heritage elements in the city such as the 1937 Samson V paddlewheeler, the 1890s armouries, 1850s historic cannons, two of the old BC Pen buildings, numerous cemeteries and dozens of heritage homes, many of which are from the 19th century. The Museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.

Hyack Festival and the Hyack Anvil Battery

May Day celebrations in 1913. Young girls dance around a maypole.

New Westminster's May Day celebration began in 1870 and continues as an important civic tradition to the present day, lending the city the distinction of having the longest running May Day celebration of its type in the British Commonwealth. (At least three other Lower Mainland communities still celebrate May Day: Port Coquitlam, Ladner in Delta, and Bradner in Abbotsford.)

The May Queen circa 1887.

The May Day festival, held on the Victoria Day weekend and more formally known as the Hyack Festival, is distinguished by the Ancient and Honourable Hyack Anvil Battery Salute, a tradition created by The New Westminster Fire Department, during colonial times as a surrogate for a 21-gun salute. With no cannons available in the early colony, the Fire Department - known as the Hyacks, from the Chinook Jargon for "fast" or "quick", here derived from its use as a command for "hurry up!" - improvised by placing gunpowder between two anvils, the top one upturned, and igniting the charge from a safe distance, hurling the upper anvil into the air.

Mayor Wayne Wright sets off an anvil shot during the 2008 Ancient and Honourable Hyack Anvil Battery Salute.

Each year, in preparation for May Day, local schoolchildren are taught to dance around a maypole with colourful ribbons. Elections are held at elementary schools in the city, and, from them one girl is selected to become the year's May Queen, and two students from each school to become members of her "May Queen Suite" and "Royal Knights." On a Wednesday of the festival, elementary school students gather at Queen's Park Stadium to dance, and the May Queen is crowned.[17]

Educational institutions

Douglas College, a major community college has campuses in New Westminster and Coquitlam. The college has an enrollment of 12,000 students and offers degrees, associate degrees, two-year career and University Transfer programs to local, national and international students. The Justice Institute of British Columbia offers training to municipal police forces, fire departments, provincial corrections, court services and paramedics with the British Columbia Ambulance Service. The Institute operates a Centre for Conflict Resolution, a Centre for Leadership and Community Learning, Executive Programs, a Public Safety Seminar Series and the Aboriginal Leadership Diploma Program.

School District 40 New Westminster has one high school (New Westminster Secondary School), two middle schools, and nine elementary schools.


The Pattullo Bridge (upper centre) connects New Westminster (left) with Surrey (right) across the Fraser River. Queensborough is in the lower left of the photo.

There are no freeways within New Westminster’s city limits, although the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) is accessible from nearby Burnaby and Coquitlam.

The Queensborough Bridge (part of Highway 91A) connects Queensborough to mainland New Westminster, while the Pattullo Bridge (part of Highways 1A and 99A) links New Westminster with Surrey. A lesser-used Derwent Way Bridge connects Queensborough with Annacis Island of Delta.

Public transportation is provided by TransLink. Along with a number of bus routes, the city is also served by the following stations on the Skytrain system:

The city is located within Zone 2 of TransLink’s fare structure.


The city is well served by no fewer than four railways. CNR (Canadian National Railway), CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway), BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) and shortline SRY (Southern Railway of British Columbia).

Streetcars and the Interurban

New Westminster was once linked to Vancouver and other municipalities by the BC interurban streetcar network. The following links have examples of that system:

Sports and recreation

The city's New Westminster Salmonbellies are one of the oldest professional lacrosse teams in Canada, and also have junior and midget teams. The 'Bellies, as they are also known, have won the Mann Cup twenty-four times. New Westminster is also the location of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

The New Westminster Royals were a professional minor-league team from 1911-1914, in the heyday of the Pacific Coast Hockey League. Their home rink was the Denman Arena in Vancouver, which they shared with rivals the Vancouver Millionaires.

Playing at Queen's Park Arena were two incarnations of a Western Hockey League junior team, the New Westminster Bruins (1971-1981, and 1983-1988).

The city's current hockey representative is the New Westminster Whalers, the defending champions of the WHA Junior West Hockey League.

Pocomo Rugby Footall Club and Douglas Rugby Club (both teams play in New Westminster) merged in 2005 to form the United Rugby Club. Pocomo moved to New Westminster in the late 1960s eventually calling Hume Park their home field. Douglas was formed by Pocomo players who were attending Douglas College in 1972. United Rugby currently uses Hume Park and Queen's Park for home venues.

Soccer in New Westminster is represented by the Sapperton Rovers. Soccer in the Sapperton Community goes back to the early 1900s. In fact Sapperton Park was donated to the city in 1907 for the purpose to be used solely as a soccer venue. In the past and present many organized teams carried the Sapperton name, showing great pride in the community they represented. The Hyack Swim Club [], in operation since 1973, trains swimmers at Canada Games Pool, from a grassroots level up to International competition. Swimmers from across the Lower Mainland come to Canada Games Pool to train with this prestigious swim club. The swim club has trained many Olympians, Paralympians, and members of Canada's national team. Hyack Swim Club hosts four meets each year, two of which are held at Canada Games Pool. The premier meet each year is held during the Hyack Festival, and attracts swimmers from across the province, Alberta, Washington, and Oregon. Mark Bottrill has been Hyack's Director of Swimming since 1999. Hyack Swim Club's Drew Christensen was recently selected to represent Canada at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Notable residents

Sister Cities

Friendship Cities

Adopted City

During World War II, after the Soviet Union (USSR) had changed sides, New Westminster "adopted" the Soviet city of Anapa in 1944. This was not a formal Sister City arrangement and it has lapsed in the intervening years. [25]


See also


  1. ^ a b Statistics Canada. "New Westminster demographics". Retrieved 2007-01-20. 
  2. ^ Margaret Ormsby, British Columbia, A History, Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1976, p. 174
  3. ^ Ormsby, p. 175
  4. ^ Ormsby, pl 175
  5. ^ Ormsby, p. 77
  6. ^ Ormsby, p. 177
  7. ^ Ormsby, p. 178
  8. ^ Ormsby, p. 179
  9. ^ Ormsby, p. 223
  10. ^ "Uncovering her roots". Canwest News Service. New Westminster Record. June 6, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  11. ^ Terry Glavin (March 2, 2006). "How Poplar Island fell off the map". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ Stephen Hui (May 26, 2003). "4, vol 114 - film: The story of the smallest tribe". Simon Fraser University. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ Ormsby, p. 325
  14. ^ New Westminster Public Library. New Westminster Architecture.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Douglas College Community Music School
  17. ^ New Westminster Hyack Festival Association (2004). "Hyack Festival Events". Retrieved 2006-01-03. 
  18. ^ Telegram Oct 17, 1962 from Mayor Beth Wood of CNW to Mayor of Moriguchi saying CNW would "be honoured to accept your city as our sister city." to be followed by a formal motion by City Council.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "1991 Sister City agreement between New Westminster and Quezon City, Philippines." New Westminster Museum and Archives # IH2006.4
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ New Westminster City Council Minutes Nov 27, 1944 which refers to the adoption being in place

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to New Westminster article)

From Wikitravel

New Westminster [1] is a city in British Columbia that is part of Vancouver's eastern suburbs. Burnaby lies to the north and west, Richmond on the southwest corner, Coquitlam on the northeast and the Fraser River borders it on the south and east.

A public market, casino, two museums and the world's largest tin soldier - the hub of New Westminster's waterfront
A public market, casino, two museums and the world's largest tin soldier - the hub of New Westminster's waterfront


Despite being a suburb of Vancouver today, New Westminster once eclipsed it in importance. Founded by the British in 1859 as the capital of the new colony of British Columbia, it was the first city incorporated in the colony. The name came from Queen Victoria for her favourite part of London and has earned the city the nickname "The Royal City". The hopes for colonial grandeur took a blow when Victoria was named the new capital of British Columbia in 1866. The city's importance continued to gradually decline as the major transportation routes moved north through Coquitlam and Burnaby into Vancouver, however many Victorian era houses and buildings remain giving the city a different feel than the rest of suburban Vancouver.

Get in

New Westminster is easy to access by car or public transit.

By car

From Vancouver's airport, get on Marine Drive and head east for 15-30 minutes (it depends on traffic). From Highway #1 (Trans-Canada Highway), take the Brunette Ave exit and head south. From Burnaby, driving east on either Kingsway or Canada Way will get you there.

By public transit

New Westminster is part of the Vancouver-wide TransLink transit system. Burnaby and New Westminster are part of the same transit zone, so the cost will be $2.50; getting in from anywhere else will cost $3.75.

There are five SkyTrain stations in New Westminster:

  • 22nd Street (Expo and Millennium lines)
  • New Westminster (Expo and Millennium lines)
  • Columbia (Expo and Millennium lines)
  • Sapperton (Millennium line)
  • Braid (Millennium line)

New Westminster and Columbia are the most central stations, about 30 minutes from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver.

There are several bus routes that service the city. None link directly with downtown Vancouver, but there are direct links with several transit centers in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and Richmond.

Get around

The city is fairly compact, measuring only 11 km long and 6.5 km wide so if you are up for a good walk you can get around by foot; however, be warned that much of the city is on the side of a large hill. The street system is mostly a grid, with Columbia Street the major street along the Fraser River and 6th and 12th Streets being the major streets that run back from the river towards Burnaby.

The TransLink bus routes are designed to connect New Westminster with Vancouver and other neighbouring municipalities so you may need a transfer depending on where you are going. Bus route #106 goes up 6th St, #112 follows Columbia and 12 Streets, #123 travels along 8th St and #154 and #155 cut along 6th Ave at the top of the city. The New Westminster, 22nd St and Braid SkyTrain stations also have a number of buses that meet there.

There is a Tourist Information Center in Westminster Quay at the foot of 8th Street.

Talking a walk along the boardwalk, New Westminster style
Talking a walk along the boardwalk, New Westminster style
  • There are several museums that have information on local history, including:
  • Irving House Historic Center, 302 Royal Ave, 604-527-4640. Open W-Su 11:30AM-4:30PM in the summer, weekends only 12:30PM-4:30PM in the winter. An old house preserved to show Victorian times and styles. A historical picture gallery and archives is also on-site.
  • Samson V Maritime Museum, moored on the river at Westminster Quay, 604-522-6894 [2]. Open daily from July 1 to Labour Day, Noon-5PM; open weekends from Noon-5PM in May, June and after Labour Day to mid-October. A steam-powered paddlewheeler that once operated on the Fraser River to keep it clear of logs and other debris. It is now a museum that shows what life was like on a riverboat. Admission by donation.
  • Fraser River Discovery Center, 788 Quayside Drive, 604-521-8401 [3]. Open Tu-Sa, 10AM-4PM. Geared towards children, it has exhibits and videos on the health and sustainability of the Fraser River. Admission by donation.
  • Royal City Star Riverboat Casino, 788 Quayside Drive (at the foot of 8th Street, one block south of the New Westminster SkyTrain stop), +1 604-519-3678[4]. Open every day, 10AM-4AM. A casino on an old riverboat. It includes a restaurant and two lounges.
  • Do the Esplanade Walking Tour, a 1.6 mile trail along the Fraser River. It starts at Westminster Quay / Royal City Star Casino.
  • Paddlewheeler Riverboat Cruises, 139-810 Quayside Drive, 604-525-4465 [5]. Offers sightseeing cruises along the Fraser River, with lunch, dinner & dance, holiday and charter options. Cruise options depend on day of week and time of year, so need to contact company to see if a cruise is offered for a particular day and time. $30 for adult, $27 for seniors, $15 for children (for cruise only, food is extra).
  • Douglas College - Douglas College is one of the largest public colleges in the province of British Columbia. You can complete two years of university studies here and transfer into many public universities within Canada.
  • Royal City Center, 6th St at 6th Ave, 604-526-6566. An indoor shopping center with Shoppers Drug Mart and Safeway as anchor tenants. The food court has a variety of choices, A&W, Fresh Slice Pizza, Orange Julius to Sushi and Chinese food.
  • Columbia Square Plaza, Columbia and 10th St, 604-521-3304. Has a number of small stores, fast food places and an IGA Marketplace (grocery store).
  • Westminster Quay, 810 Quayside Drive, 604-520-3881 [6]. This is a public market with a number of souvenir, produce and deli shops. Enjoy lunch from the food fair while sitting at an outdoor table, or stroll along the Quay's boardwalk.
  • Antique shops are popular in New Westminster with two clusters of them in the city:
    • Antique Alley on Front Street (across from Westminster Quay). Selling everything from funky 50's collectibles to high end Victoriana.
    • Vintage Row, along 12th St. Antique stores sell everything from high-end gloriana to historic fixtures, including one-of-a-kind period lights, turn of the century plumbing accessories, and architectural bits and pieces.
  • Burger Heaven, 77 10th St, 604-522-8339 [7]. Open 11:30AM-9:30PM Su-Th, 11:30AM-10PM F-Sa. Specializes in burgers and sandwiches. $7-$25.
  • The Old Bavaria Haus, 233 6th St, 604-524-5824 [8]. Open every day from 4:30PM. An old home converted into a taste of Bavaria. Specializes in schnitzel, serving it with a variety of sauces and includes a vegetarian schnitzel. Mains $12-$21, appetizers $4-$8.
  • Taverna Greka, 326 Columbia St, 604-526-6651 [9]. Open 11AM-10PM M-F, 4PM-10PM Sa-Su. A Greek restaurant with belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. Mains $13-$27, appetizers $5-$10.
  • Tamarind Hill Malaysian Cuisine, 628 6th Ave, 604-526-3000. Open every day, 11:30AM - 3PM (lunch) and 5PM - 9:30PM (dinner). While the decor is unappealing, this restaurant makes up for it in tasty, authentic Malaysian dishes. Start with a mix of satays (chicken, beef or lamb) at $1.25 a skewer, the roti canai (Malaysian bread) with a spicy curry dip ( 2 for $5), and some crispy vegetarian spring rolls (4 for $5).
The Royal City Star -- riverboat and casino all in one
The Royal City Star -- riverboat and casino all in one
  • The Met Pub Bar & Grill, 411 Columbia Street (next to Columbia SkyTrain station), 604-520-1967. Has a patio for enjoying the summer weather and 11 TVs to enjoy whatever sports are on.
  • Paddlewheeler Pub & Patio, 810 Quayside Drive (at Westminster Quay across from the Inn on Westminster Quay), 604-524-1894. Live entertainment on weekends and a patio on the waterfront.
  • Pub Pier 660, 660 Columbia Street, 604-525-2850. Open 11AM-1:30AM M-Sa and 11AM-11PM on Sundays. Has karaoke, nightly DJ dancing and Sunday bingo.
  • River's Reach Pub, 320 6th St, 604-777-0101 [10]. Open 11AM-Midnight Su-Th and 11AM - 1AM F-Sa. Cozy pub with a stone and hardwood interior and fireplace. Has a large selection of imported and domestic beers and has won several awards in the local Readers Choice awards.
  • The Thirsty Duck, 606 Twelfth Street, (604) 526-6411. Open daily 11:30am-1:30pm. An English-style pub, The Thirsty Duck is distinguished by its bowling lanes downstairs. The Duck is most famous for its weekly "Thirsty Thursdays" where every Thursday, a pint of Molson Canadian will only cost you $2.45.  edit
  • The Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street, 604-759-0819. Mon – Thurs: 10am – 12am; Fri, Sat: 10am – 2am; Sun: 10am – 12am. As a laid back jazz club, The Heritage Grill offers an outdoor patio, an intimate indoor dining area with stage and bar, as well as separate rooms for special private functions.  edit
  • Inn at Westminster Quay, 900 Quayside Drive, 1-800-663-2001 or +1 604-520-1776 (fax: 604-520-5645) [11]. Unique hotel designed to resemble a ship, set on pillars extending over Fraser River. Rooms feature waterfront views, and the hotel has a fitness center and jacuzzi. $170-$375 (peak season).
  • The Met Hotel New Westminster, 411 Columbia St, +1 604-520-3815 (fax: 604-520-0057) [12]. Victorian boutique hotel built & owned by The Raymond Burr family, built in 1892 with 26 rooms. All rooms are fully renovated and contain kitchenettes rooms. $79 and up (parking is $7/day extra).
  • The Admiral Anson Guest House, 1010 3rd Ave, 1-604-528-9939 ( 1915 Heritage Home renovated to an Olde English Guest House. The kitchen and dining facilities are available for those who wish to cook themselves, "send out" or ask about the many fine restaurants in the area. $65, $350 a week, plus monthly rates.

Stay Safe

New Westminster is generally safe during the day, though there are some parts of town that should be avoided during the night. Exercise caution when walking through 12th Street, Columbia Street, and Moody Park after dark.


The area code for New Westminster is 604.

Get out

Surrey sits across the Fraser River from New Westminster and can be reached by car across the Pattullo Bridge or heading east on the Expo SkyTrain line. Richmond and Delta can be reached from the Queensborough Bridge (Highway 91A). The 91A south also leads to the U.S. border and Washington state (via Hwy 91 and 99).

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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