New Westminster, also known as “The Royal City”, is the oldest city in Western Canada (1858) and was the first Capitol of the Colony of BC (1859). The city was given the name by Queen Victoria after City of Westminster in England. Its location was selected for both its natural beauty and its strategic location, on the river – a primary transportation corridor at the time – and well north of the United States, who offered real fear of invasion at the time.
Today, New Westminster is a culturally rich city at the heart of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. New Westminster has been diligent in committing to the protection of its heritage with close to 60 heritage sites in the city, such as Irving House – said to be the oldest house in the Lower Mainland. Museums and annual festivals like the Hyack Festival add to New West’s colour. The Fraser River has long been a natural transportation route for New Westminster, with the Highway 91 and the Trans-Canada Highway both nearby providing easy access to points east, west, north and south. New West is also home to important rail yards, supporting industry along parts of the riverfront. Natural beauty was an important aspect in the selection of this area as a capitol city, and New West continues to delight. Panoramic vistas abound, and many parks and pathways honour the city’s heritage.
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