"British Columbia's oldest city" Top 5 Page for this destination New Westminster by Carmanah

New Westminster Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 46 photos


New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Location: 49° 12' North, 122° 54' West
Population: 58,549 (2006 Census)
Incorporated: 1860


New Wesminster ("New West" to locals) is the oldest incorporated city in British Columbia. Located east of Vancouver and Burnaby where the Fraser River splits into its north and south arms, New West has a lot of history and past grandeur, despite being overlooked as a Vancouver "suburb" by many.

But it was in the 1860's when Queen Victoria named New Westminster after her favourite neighbourhood in London, and the city became the capital of the British colony of British Columbia. Built out of the wilderness, New West became a city 16 years before Vancouver did.

However, 6 years later the colony of British Columbia merged with the British colony of Vancouver Island, and while the name "British Columbia" was the name for the merged colonies, New Westminster lost its designation of capital city, and Victoria - the capital city of Vancouver Island, thus became the capital for the newly designated colony of British Columbia.

5 years later, the colony of British Columbia then decided (after considering joining up with the USA), to join distant Canada - then only a collection of 4 confederated British colonies thousands of miles east, and other than its British foundation, it had nothing in common with Canada, but everything in common with its neighbours California, Oregon (and eventually Washington) to the south.

But there's the historical legacy in what many see as a rough-around-the-edges "suburb". Its name, The Royal City exists for a reason, even if it's overlooked.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Easy to get to, great shopping, authentic downtown, lots of heritage, unique atmosphere
  • Cons:A little bit down-trodden, industrial sites line the riverfront in places
  • In a nutshell:A historic town vs. Vancouver suburb
  • Last visit to New Westminster: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated Oct 7, 2007
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Reviews (9)

Comments (53)

  • Sep 24, 2007 at 6:23 PM

    The Old Spaghetti Factory is easily the most overrated resturant I've ever eaten at. The pasta tastes cheap and the sauces are incredibly bland. It's got some atmosphere and stuff for kids, but it's food is subpar.

  • rwlittle's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2005 at 5:52 PM

    Great tips for my old home town, thanks!

  • morgr's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2004 at 12:11 PM

    I have my company x-mas party in New West tomorrow night. Now I know everything I need to know about the place :-) Thanks!

  • MURRA's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2004 at 12:02 PM

    GOOD WORK ON NEW WESTMINSTER ,PEOPLE HERE THINK IS VANCOUVER SUBURB

  • CdnJane's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2004 at 8:30 PM

    You have a wonderful writing style and terrific pictures. So much information to absorb - this is going to take me a while.

  • Mike25's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2003 at 7:00 PM

    Agraichen, I feel the same way.

  • crazyguitar's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2003 at 3:32 AM

    Great page!! Cool tips! I should visit this place!

  • Agraichen's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2003 at 12:28 PM

    If it serves Guinness, it has to be great.

  • frankcanfly's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2002 at 7:33 PM

    I wanna ride the Skytrain!! ;-)

  • Tolik's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2002 at 5:40 PM

    Happy Canada Day!!

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