"British Columbia's oldest city" 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)
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: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
Take a walk around the waterfront at the Westminster Quay. During my last visit to Westminster Quay in August 2001,... more travel advice
If you're into looking at antiques, retro collectables, old toys from the 70's and 80's, medievil furnature and... more travel advice
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- 155 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 13, 2013