New West Info
Twelve kilometres east of Vancouver , New Westminster predates Vancouver , and was originally proposed as the provincial capital. It was founded in 1859 by Colonel Moodie of the Royal Engineers, and named by Queen Victoria that summer. In 1860, it became the first incorporated municipality west of the Great Lakes. During the 1860s it was the boomtown that supplied the Fraser River Gold Rush. It was originally known as the "Royal City" and until 1866 was the capital city of the mainland colony of B.C. Thereafter, until 1868 it was the capital of the joint mainland and Vancouver Island colony. Unfortunately, by the late 1860s, the gold rush had ended, and its importance as a commercial centre declined, prompting the Crown to shift the colony's capital to Victoria. In many ways, the city resembles San Fransisco, with its hills, waterfront, and gold rush history.
Today New Westminster, often shortened to "New West," is a bustling freshwater port. It is nestled in the middle of Greater Vancouver , between Burnaby to its north, Coquitlam to its east, and Surrey and Delta to its south. The Pattullo Bridge, formerly a toll bridge, has long been nicknamed the "Pay-Toll-O Bridge". The city is now a cluster of modern (and historic looking "post-modern") architecture in the middle of Vancouver 's sprawling suburbia. The "SkyTrain" commuter light rail transit line between Surrey and Downtown Vancouver (27 minutes away) has three stops in New Westminster.