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.
See Vancouver for options to get in the Vancouver area by plane, by bus, and by train, and by boat.
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 Vancouver (Tsawwassen) ferry terminal.
- 1 BC Ferries - Vancouver (Tsawwassen) ferry terminal, toll-free: . Connected directly to Highway 17.
- Destinations served by this terminal, all using ferries that carry vehicles and foot passengers
- Victoria (Swartz Bay) ferry terminal near Sidney (1 hour 35 minutes crossing). Inbound and outbound ferries normally depart at the top of the hour on odd numbered hours with first departure normally at 7 am and with last departure normally at 9 pm. During the summer, ferries depart hourly for most of the day.
- Southern Gulf Islands (Galiano Island, Mayne Island, Pender Island, Saltspring Island, and Saturna Island) (crossing time depends on how many stops made along the way; Galiano is the nearest of the islands and has a crossing time of 55 minutes), operating a limited number of trips each day. Transfers between ferries may be required for some trips.
- Nanaimo (Duke Point) ferry terminal (2 hour crossing), departing every 2.5 hours. Inbound and outbound ferries' normal daily departure times are at 5:15 am, 7:45 am, 10:15 am, 12:45 pm, 3:15 pm, 5:45 pm, 7:15 pm, and 10:45 pm, except that on Saturdays, the last departures are at 5:45 pm, and on Sundays, the first departures are at 10:15 am.
- Reservations can be completed on BC Ferries' website or by phone.
- Reservations are a generally good idea, as ferries can fill up. If you book far enough in advance and prepay with saver fare is available, you may even pay less than showing up at the terminal. Otherwise, reservations increase the cost of the trip, between increasing cost between $2.50 extra and $17, depending on which option you choose.
- For ferries serving the Southern Gulf Island, reservations are free and are strongly recommended, especially in the summer.
- Drivers must redeem their reservation at the ferry terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled sailing or they lose their guarantee to be on the sailing and are given the same priority as anyone else showing up at the ferry terminal without a reservation.
- Public transit
- TransLink's bus route 620 operates limited stop service between Bridgeport station (SkyTrain Canada Line) in Richmond and the ferry terminal via Ladner Exchange in Delta.
- Victoria (Swartz Bay) ferry terminal is served by BC Transit on several routes including
- Saltspring Island (Long Harbour) ferry terminal is served by BC Transit by bus route 4, which travels to the island's hamlet of Ganges
- No other destination ferry terminals served from Vancouver (Tsawwassen) ferry terminal have public transit. For travel to Nanaimo, you are better off traveling between Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) ferry terminal and Nanaimo (Departure Bay) ferry terminal, which have public transit serving both ferry terminals, see West Vancouver for more information.
- Parking options
- Short-term and long-term parking are available at the ferry terminal, but parking availability may be limited at peak times. BC Ferries' website identifies the current amount of long-term parking remaining. As of 2022, the long-term parking lot costs $17 per 24 hours.
- 2 Tsawwassen Ferry Park and Go (Tsawwassen RV Resort), 4761 NuLelum Way, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Parking fee includes a complimentary shuttle to and from the ferry terminal. In the evening, depending on when your ferry arrives at the terminal, you may need to call for a pick up. $15 per day.
- Wi-Fi: Free service at the ferry terminal. Not offered on the ferries.
- Washrooms: Available in the terminal and on board ferries.
- Eating and shopping: Several fast food restaurants and shops are located within the terminal. A cafeteria style-restaurant and a gift shop are on board the ferries.
- Destinations served by this terminal, all using ferries that carry vehicles and foot passengers
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.
By public transit
TransLink, ☏ . The main public transit network in the Vancouver area, including: Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and White Rock. Its network includes buses, SkyTrain (rail rapid transit), SeaBus (ferries), West Coast Express (commuter rail), and HandyDART (door-to-door shared-ride service for those who cannot ride public transit without assistance). Passengers can pay for fares using Compass Cards ($6 refundable deposit), Compass Tickets, or tap-to-pay using contactless credit cards (only American Express, Mastercard or Visa) or mobile wallets. Passengers using Compass Cards and Compass Tickets pay discounted fares. Passengers can transfer for up to 90 minutes, except if taking West Coast Express, in which case they can transfer for up to 120 minutes. On bus and HandyDART, passengers can also pay in cash, but in that case will not receive change and are not eligible for transfers. Zone based fares apply between Monday and Friday for trips starting before 6:30 pm, if travel involves SkyTrain or SeaBus. Outside of those hours or for travel on only bus or HandyDART, a single zone rate applies. If traveling by West Coast Express, a higher cost zone based fare system applies regardless of time of travel. Children 12 and under can ride for free. People aged 13 to 18, and 65 and older pay discounted concession fares.
- Route 319 travels along Scott Road, which is the border Surrey and Delta. The route travels between Scott Road station (SkyTrain Expo Line) and Newton Exchange, both located in Surrey.
- Route 601 travels between South Delta (Tsawwassen) and Bridgeport station (SkyTrain Canada Line) in Richmond with stops in the Ladner area of Delta
- Route 620 travels Tsawwassen ferry terminal and Bridgeport station (SkyTrain Canada Line)
By ride hailing
- 1 Boundary Bay Regional Park, ☏ , email@example.com. Great birdwatching park as an internationally recognized Important Bird Area on the Pacific Flyway. Free.
- 2 George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, 5191 Robertson Road, ☏ . Daily 9AM - 4PM, reservations required. 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. No dogs or bicycles. Adults $5, children (2-14 yr) $3, seniors (60 yrs+) $3.
- 1 Angel Estate Winery, 2170 Westham Island Rd, ☏ . Daily. The first winery in Delta. Tasting free.
- 2 Wellbrook Winery tasting, 4626 88th St, ☏ . 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.
- 3 Sungod Recreation Centre, 7815 112 St, ☏ .
- 1 Tsawwassen Mills, Hwy 17 just past 52nd Street, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM-9PM; Su 10AM-7PM. 179 stores. From Bridgeport Station Canada Line (Bay 7), take bus #601 (South Delta via Ladner Exchange) or #620 (Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal) and get off at 52nd St. In the return direction, the stop for the #601 is more convenient to get to than the stop for the #620.
- 2 Scottsdale Centre, 7113A 120 St (at the corner of Scott Road and 72 Avenue), ☏ . 40 shops and services including Save On Foods, BC Government Liquor Store, Dollarama, and Walmart.
- 3 Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall, 1315 56th St (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.
- 3 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.
- 4 Tasty Indian Bistro, 8295 120th St, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 11:30AM-late. A high end Indian restaurant that live up to its name. Valet parking available.
- 1 Pat Quinn's Restaurant and Bar, 5133 Springs Blvd, ☏ . M-F 11AM-11PM; Sa Su 10:30AM-11PM. Happy hour daily 2-6PM and F Sa 9-11PM. Pizza, pasta, steak, seafood.
- 1 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.
- 2 Beach Grove Motel, 5921 12 Ave, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 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. Restrictions are still present at the border in both directions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so make sure you're eligible to enter before you go and that you'll have the necessary documents to re-enter Canada on your way back.
|Routes through Delta|
|END ←||W E||→ Surrey → Langley|
|Victoria ← Sidney ← ferry ←||W E||→ Surrey → END|
|Campbell River ← Nanaimo ← ferry ←||W E||→ END|
|Richmond ← New Westminster via ←||N S||→ END|
|Vancouver ← Richmond ←||N S||→ Surrey → becomes → Seattle|