New Westminster, also known as New West, is part of the Metro Vancouver Regional District that’s in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia,
New Westminster is primarily on the Fraser River’s north bank. It is located across the Fraser River from Surrey and Delta and is 19 kilometres east of downtown Vancouver. On the eastern border of Lulu Island, New Westminster’s Queensborough neighbourhood borders Richmond.
It is the oldest city in western Canada with a population of 70996.
The first recorded settler in now known as New Westminster was First Nation called Qayqayt First Nation. New Westminster served as a commercial and mass transit hub for the mainland during the discovery of gold in Fraser River.
But the arrival from the south of gold-seekers sparked worries among all the settlers that the Americans would invade and take over the land.
New Westminster served as the colony’s capital in 1859 when the British Colony of British Columbia was formed in 1858.
When the gold rush had ended in 1866, New Westminster had ceased to be the capital city. There were just 500 people in New Westminster as the population decreased and the city’s future seemed bleak. The first May Day celebration in New Westminster’s history was organized by a group of residents this year in an effort to lift the spirits of the city’s disappointed residents.
Even though the Canadian Pacific Railway built a line to New Westminster in 1886, the main line to Vancouver was completed in 1887, further degrading New Westminster’s status. A major lumber producer and salmon canning center in addition to being a commercial and administrative hub for the Fraser Valley, New Westminster has remained an important freshwater port.
New Westminster was served by the 1986-opened original SkyTrain line. Vancouver’s strategic location in the Lower Mainland, as well as a recent waterfront redevelopment, contributed to an increase in tourist activity.
One of the best places to eat, drink, and shop in New Westminster is right in the heart of the city. New Westminster Downtown is a must-see urban society. Locals in New Westminster know that the city has much more to offer.
Brick and Mortar Living, Old Crow Coffee, and Landmark Cinemas are just a few of the many establishments in downtown New Westminster that offer a wide range of services and amenities. There are off-leash areas within a short distance of the city center. Victorious Athletic Academy is a cool gym that offers fitness classes, and boxing for those who want to stay in shape.
Food treats abound at Westminster Quay’s River Market and Victoria Food Market. Shops with a variety of creative outlets including the Cosy Yarns & Gifts, GJ House Flowers & Gifts and Pacific Breeze Winery LTD. Local pubs like Steel & Oak and Hops host craft beer tastings for guests to unwind.
Parks and Trails
The city has falls, trees, and flowerbeds that are all beautiful gardening displays. Native trees, shrubs, and plants take over the landscape as you travel further into the park, creating a wilderness-like setting teeming with wildlife, greenery, and trails.
Amenities, recreation areas, and green spaces in the city are well-maintained and offer a wide range of unique and innovative activities and supports.
- Glenbrook Ravine – 76 Jamieson Court.
- Grimston Park – 1900 7th Avenue.
- Hume Park – 660 E Columbia Street.
- Mercer Stadium Track – 900 6th Street.
- Moody Park – 600 8th Street.
- Port Royal Park – 215 Salter Street.
- Queen’s Park – 3rd Avenue.
- Ryall Park – 920 Ewen Avenue.
- Connaught Heights Park – 2201 London Street.
- Quayside Park – 1260 Quayside Drive.
- Red Boat Park – 250 Holly Avenue.
- Riverside Adventure Park – 505 Sharpe Street.
- Saint Mary’s Park – 205 Agnes Street.
- Simcoe Park – 124 McInnes Street.
- Sinclair Park – 114 Sinclair Avenue.
- Sukh Sagar Park – 347 Wood Street.
- Sapperton Park – 351 E Columbia Street.
- Waterfront Esplanade – 1260 Quayside Drive.
- Westminster Pier Park – 6th Street.
- Albert Crescent Park – Albert Crescent.
- Brunette-Fraser Trail – 151 Spruce Street.
- Clinton Park – 2nd Street.
- Sullivan Park – 315 Oliver Street.
- Sunset Park – 8th Avenue.
- Terry Hughes Park – 8 8th Avenue.
- Tipperary Park – 315 Queens Avenue.
- Thompson’s Landing Park – 60 E Columbia Street.
- Toronto Place Park – 111 Eighth Street.
- Victory Heights Park – 921 Chilliwack Street.
Events for the year are held in New Westminster. Here are some of the local’s favourites, all of which are completely free.
- Hyack Festival – New Westminster Hyack Festival has been running for many years, aided by the locals and a wide range of arts and cultural organizations. It includes a number of food trucks, as well as vendors and community booths.
- New West Pride Street Festival – a week-long festival honouring pride and the LGBTQ+ community, culminating in a massive street party.
- New West May Day – a longstanding tradition that became the city’s cultural history and heritage.
- RiverFest – a celebration of rivers along the Quay in New Westminster in honour of World Rivers Day held during September. Exhibitions, history, and artwork are all on display.
- Uptown Live – an annual festival with food trucks, beers, and live bands that takes place on a single day.
- New West Farmers Market – a wide variety of farm produce, foods, and alcoholic beverages from artisan vendors and food trucks are available for purchase.
Other Interesting Places
Galleries, courses, art exhibitions and events are all part of New Westminster’s vibrant arts and heritage scene. New Media Gallery, the New Westminster Museum and Archives, the city’s Public Art and the Community Art Space are all excellent places to see the best of today’s cutting-edge new media art. Participate in one of our many programs and Cultural Services to meet new people or discover a new interest.
Additionally, there are the 1937 Samson V maritime museum as well as the 1890s New Westminster Armoury which is the only wooden armoury left in BC and the 1850s historic cannons in the city. There are also several historic homes, many of which date back to the nineteenth century.
The city has community gardens with a variety of pots (Port Royal, Saint Mary, Ryall Park and New West Garden) and skateparks BORO All-Wheel Park at Ryall Park and New West Skatepark at Queen’s Park.
New Westminster is a vibrant and diverse city with something for everyone. It’s no surprise that New West is becoming a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. A thriving community with a rich history and a beautiful waterfront. A taste for adventure and exploration is sparked by the stories of those who have been there before.