Named for the Fraser River delta on which it lies, Delta is comprised of three communities: Tsawwassen, Ladner and North Delta, which all lie in a fertile oasis of farmland and wetlands, accessed by both Hwy 99 and Hwy 91.
Prior to European settlement, Delta's flatlands and coastal shores were inhabited by the Tsawwassen indigenous peoples of the Coast Salish First Nations . The land was first sighted by Europeans in 1791, when Spanish explorer Lieutenant Francisco de Eliza mistook the area for an island and named it "Isla Capeda". The first Europeans to settle in the area were Thomas and William Ladner, who began farming the area in 1868.
Due to its geography, Delta was a relatively isolated community. The completion of the George Massey Tunnel in 1959 linking Ladner to Richmond and Vancouver along with the opening, in 1960, of the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and Highway 99 being rerouted from the King George Highway in Surrey in 1962 to a new route through Delta, ended Delta's isolation and resulted in a massive 400% population growth over the next 20 years. The 1986 completion of the Alex Fraser Bridge connecting North Delta to New Westminster and Vancouver also helped Delta's growth.
Delta is located east of Highway 91 and north of Highway 10, 27 kilometres (17 miles) southeast of Vancouver and 22 kilometres (14 miles) north of White Rock and the Canada/United States border crossing at Peace Arch/Douglas.
Located on Westham Island, on the wetlands of the Fraser River, the Reifel Bird Sanctuary is home to over 230 species and is the annual migratory stop for some 1.5 million birds on the Pacific Flyway. Over 20,000 snow geese travelling south from Siberia every November make an especially breathtaking spectacle.
Historic Ladner is a charming community of unique boutiques and restaurants. During the summer make sure to visit the Ladner Village Market, a three-block long open-air market of fresh produce, handmade jewelry and had-crated treasures.
Centennial Beach has one the region's warmest and cleanest soft-sand beaches, as well as picnic facilities, beach volleyball, and nature trails.
Boundary Bay stretches from Tsawwassen to Crescent Beach in South Surrey. The Boundary Bay Dyke Trail winds through sand dunes, slat marshes, tidal flats and lagoons and is popular with walkers, cyclists, bird-watchers, hikers and equestrians.
An impressive stretch of dyke trail runs beside Mud and Boundary Bays east of Tsawwassen. The Boundary Bay Regional Trail, which includes the East Delta Dyke Trail, winds around both bays, skirting the mudflats that once extended much farther inland. Today's dyke is a much sturdier version than the crude ones built at the turn of the century. You can put in a full day cycling 20 kilometres one way between the Surrey-Delta border and Boundary Bay Regional Park in Tsawwassen. There are always shorebirds to entertain you, and towards evening the sky around Mount Baker lights up in the southeast.
The sun, the wind, and the beautiful waters of Boundary Bay call visitors to experience the sheer exhilaration of windsurfing. In Tsawwassen, on the south side of the BC Ferries causeway is a beach that attracts anglers and windsurfers. The best time to catch the breeze here is after a storm blowing from the south.
There are six golf courses within the municipality. Sunshine Hills Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 54 public golf course on 64th Avenue. Tsawwassen features the Beach Grove Golf Club and the Tsawwassen Golf & Country Club.
The Tour de Delta was introduced to the cycling community in 2001, with the inaugural event attracting more than 200 professional cyclists from across Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand. Since that time, with great weather, challenging courses, and enthusiastic spectators, the Tour de Delta has been a continuous success.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia