Delta is a city of 100,000 people (2016) in Vancouver's southern suburbs. It is a large area which includes three separate built-up areas: Tsawwassen, Ladner and North Delta. It is surrounded by water on three sides, the Strait of Georgia to the west, Fraser river, to the north, and Boundary Bay to the south. The city of Surrey makes up the eastern border.
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 European settler in Delta was James Kennedy who pre-empted 135 acres in what later became Annieville in February 1860. Thomas and William Ladner, began farming the area named after them in 1868. Farming and fishing helped the community grow quickly over the next few decades. In 1879, the area was incorporated as a municipality, named "the Corporation of Delta", and the village of Ladner was made as its administrative centre.
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 the 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 comprises three distinct, geographically separate communities:
- North Delta (pop: 51,623) is home to over half of Delta's population. It is a largely suburban area in north-east Delta bordered by the Burns Bog and Surrey.
- Ladner (pop: 21,112) is a 19th-century fishing village in north-west Delta that has expanded into a suburb. Fishing and farming are important industries. Ladner Trunk Road is its main street.
- Tsawwassen (pop: 20,933) is a suburban community in south-west Delta that calls itself the sunniest place in Metro Vancouver. Luxury waterfront homes line Tsawwassen's coast. Tsawwassen is also home to the busy Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal which links the mainland to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Tsawwassen, together with Ladner are also known as South Delta.
Vancouver International Airport is only a few minutes north on the freeway in Richmond.
Highway 99 travels from the US border (where it becomes I5) through Delta and north to Richmond. Highway 10 travels east-west to Surrey. Highway 17 travels from Highway 99 in Ladner south to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, where there are departures to (and arrivals from) Victoria, the Southern Gulf Islands, and Duke Point just south of Nanaimo.
The Alex Fraser Bridge links Delta to New Westminster and Richmond. Public transportation in Delta is provided by the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority bus system. There is no rapid transit system in Delta, though the SkyTrain system in Surrey comes within 3 km of the city's borders. Delta.
- Boundary Bay Regional Park. Great birdwatching park as an internationally recognized Important Bird Area on the Pacific Flyway.
- George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, 5191 Robertson Road, ☏ . Daily 9AM - 4PM. A migratory bird sanctuary that is protect by the Government of Canada. Visitors are able to see a wide variety of birds in the wild. There is a fee to access the trails of the park (unlike Boundary Bay Regional Park, which has free access). Delta often wins the annual bird count for the most species of birds observed, so either of these parks are great places for bird-lovers. Adults $5, children (2-14 yr) $3, seniors (60 yrs+) $3.
- Westham Island Estate Winery tasting, 2170 Westham Island Road, ☏ . Daily. The first winery in Delta. Tasting free.
- Wellbrook Winery tasting, 4626 88th Street, ☏ . A turn-of-the-(19th-20th)-century atmosphere.
- Tour de Delta. Canada's largest cycling event, held annually in July as part of BC Superweek.
- Tsawwassen Mills, Hwy 17 just past 52nd Street. M-Sa 10AM-9PM; Su 10AM-7PM. 179 stores. From Bridgeport Station Canada Line (Bay 7), take bus #601 (South Delta via Ladner Exchange) and get off at 52nd St.
- Scottsdale Centre, at the corner of Scott Road and 72 Avenue. 40 shops and services including Save On Foods, BC Government Liquor Store, Dollarama, and Walmart.
- Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall, 56th Street and 12th Avenue. M-Sa 9:30AM-6PM; Su & holidays noon-5PM. Joe’s Farm Market, Thrifty Foods, Library, B.C. Liquor Store
- 1 SkyHawk Restaurant, 7800 Alpha Way #102 (follow signs to Boundary Bay Airport Terminal, enter main terminal doors, and turn right), ☏ . Daily 8AM-10PM. An unmatched location for pilots and aviation buffs — right in the terminal at Boundary Bay Airport (CZBB). Overlooks the apron, so you can watch planes come and go as you eat. Outdoor patio is delightful on sunny days. Serviceable breakfasts, burgers, steaks, pasta, and Asian food. In addition to being an easy "hundred dollar hamburger" for pilots, it's surprisingly busy with locals celebrating birthdays or family gatherings.
- 2 Speed's Neighborhood Pub, 4943 Chisholm St, ☏ . Great pub food with a waterfront location. cheap.
- Primerose Mediterranean Restaurant, 6165 Highway 17A, Ladner, ☏ . Tu-F 11AM-2PM; Tu-Su 4PM-late. Family recipes from Oropos, Greece; local Delta/Richmond produce and other ingredients in freshly made dishes.
- Tasty Indian Bistro, 8295 120th Street, Delta, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-noon.
- Pat Quinn's Restaurant and Bar, 5133 Springs Blvd, Tsawwassen, ☏ . M-F 11AM-11PM; Sa Su 10:30AM-11PM. Happy hour daily 2-6PM and F Sa 9-11PM. Pizza, pasta, steak, seafood.
- Coast Tsawwassen Inn, 1665 56 Street, ☏ . A reasonably priced hotel, with good accommodations and is on a major road. All-suite rooms come with a range of amenities, including complimentary parking, continental breakfast, Wi-Fi. From $219.
- Delta Town & Country Inn, 6005 17a Hwy (at Hwy 99), toll-free: . Free WiFi and parking, heated outdoor pool (seasonal), health club, 4 indoor tennis courts & 1 seasonal outdoor court. A non-smoking property. Old-school 1970s road-trip style hotel with throwback decor. From $119.
- Beach Grove Motel, 5921 12 Ave, ☏ , toll-free: . Laundromat with coin-operated washer and dryer. A baby crib or a cot can be supplied if required. Pet-friendly rooms, with free wireless Internet service. From $89.
- Point Roberts, an American exclave only accessible by land through Canada. Bring your passport.
|Routes through Delta|
|END ←||W E||→ Surrey → Langley|
|END ← Surrey ←||N S||→ ferry → Sidney → Victoria|
|Campbell River ← Nanaimo ← ferry ←||W E||→ END|
|Richmond ← New Westminster via ←||N S||→ END|
|Vancouver ← Richmond ←||N S||→ Surrey → becomes → Seattle|