Totems in Stanley Park, Vancouver

New Westminster

New Westminster was originally the capital of British Columbia and known as the Royal City. There are many heritage buildings throughout the city which can be explored today by taking a heritage walking tour of the old town and some of the residential areas. And if you are a history buff visit Irving House built in the mid-1800s that was described as “The handsomest, the best and most home-like house of which British Columbia can yet boast”. Today you can revisit the splendour and grace of those pioneer days. And in December the house is transformed for a Victorian Christmas.

Paddlewheeler, New West Quay Phot Don

Paddlewheeler, New West Quay Photo Don

A paddle-wheeler tour down the Fraser River offers lots to see, from wildlife to sunsets and a visit to the world-class interpretive Fraser River Discovery Centre on the quay showcases one of the great rivers of the world, and the importance it has played in the development of not only New Westminster, but also British Columbia. The Westminster Quay is also home to the River Market with popular eateries, fun things to do for the entire family, and fronting the river is a long boardwalk with stunning views across the river and lined with flowers and raised gardens that stretches for several kilometres.

Queen’s Park is New Westminster’s flagship park dating back to 1886. It is a 75 acre haven for outdoor enthusiasts and families with trails, flowers, sporting opportunities, petting farm, playgrounds.

Location

New Westminster is located on the Burrard Peninsula, on the north bank of the Fraser River. The city is 19 km (12 mi) southeast of the city of Vancouver, 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. To access New Westminster use Hwy 1 from the east or west, Hwy 91 from the southwest and King George Hwy from the southeast.

A Step Back in Time

In 1859, New Westminster became the first capital of the new Colony of British Columbia by Queen Victoria, who named the city after part of London and henceforth its official nickname became “The Royal City”. Soon after it became a major outfitting point for prospectors en route to the Cariboo gold rush, as all travel to the goldfield ports of Yale and Port Douglas was by steamboat or canoe up the Fraser River.

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.

In September 1898, the Great Fire destroyed the downtown area of New Westminster, sparing just two buildings – the Queen Hotel and the Burr Block. The citizenry had little choice but to accept the enormous challenge of rebuilding the city, which was accomplished by 1910. Even today, the downtown shopping district along Columbia Street is still known as The Golden Mile.

By the 1970s the distinctions between the various surrounding communities had blurred to the point where one hardly noticed a transition from one city to the next, particularly between Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Port Moody. Today New Westminster is part of the area known as Metro Vancouver.

Contact Information

Tourism New Westminster

New Westminster & Nearby Accommodations

12 Listings

Cassandra Hotel
Capilano River RV Park
Burnaby Cariboo RV Park

Burnaby Cariboo RV Park

Burnaby

Deluxe RV Park for sightseeing the Vancouver, Canada area. This campground has full hook-ups for any size motorhome, trailer or 5th wheel. Separate tent camping area, indoor pool, jacuzzi (hot tub), fitness room, store. On transit route (bus, skytrain, sea bus). Guided tours of Vancouver & Victoria. ... Read more
Dogwood Campgrounds of BC

Dogwood Campgrounds of BC

Surrey

From the East on Hwy 1 take exit 50, stay right follow signs. From the West on Hwy 1 take exit 48 follow 108 E Ave signs, turn off 108 E off of 152nd St. Pool, laundry, bus tours, pull- thrus. Arcade, playground. Free showers. Very accessible to Vancouver and it's attractions. ... Read more
Plaza RV Park

Plaza RV Park

Surrey

Centrally located on Hwy 99A between ferries, airport and US border. Public transit at our door. Quick access to Skytrain. Clean and peaceful setting, close to Vancouver. ... Read more
2400 Motel

2400 Motel

Vancouver

Classic bungalows resting on over three acres of beautifully landscaped grounds in the city of Vancouver, 2400 Motel offers well-maintained units that range from large family units to smaller motel style units. The large units feature a full kitchen, perfect for guests who are wanting extended stay ... Read more
Tynehead RV Campground

Tynehead RV Campground

Surrey

Off Hwy 1, Take Exit #50, 160 St. South. Full hookups, washrooms, showers, laundry, sani-stations, tenting, 30 camps, heated outdoor pool, whirl-pool, convenience store, propane, cable-TV. Near a large shopping mall. ... Read more
Anmore Camp & RV Park

Anmore Camp & RV Park

Anmore

Centrally located to Vancouver. Entrance to Buntzen Lake. Quiet. Park Setting. Security Gate. Full hookups. Firepits. Showers. Laundry. Store. Sports court. Canoeing. Fishing. Open by Appointment Oct - Mar 31. ... Read more
Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport Hotel

Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport Hotel

Richmond

The Hampton Inn Vancouver Airport features 109 guestrooms and is located in the heart of Richmond, British Columbia. It is conveniently situated close to local restaurants, 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, 20 minutes from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and just 35 minutes from our beautiful native ski ... Read more
Peace Arch RV Park

Peace Arch RV Park

Surrey

Peace Arch RV Park accommodates 250 sites. Surrounded by trees and shrubs with captivating flowers. Pool and playground for guests use. We are located near amenities and minutes from the beaches. Hwy 99 will take you to downtown Vancouver in 45 minutes. RV Rentals are 20 minutes away from us. ... Read more
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Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989