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New Westminster is a city of 79,000 people (2021) in British Columbia that is part of Vancouver's eastern suburbs. Its many Victorian-era houses and buildings remain giving the city a different feel than the rest of suburban Vancouver.


Burnaby lies to the north and west, Richmond on the southwest corner, Coquitlam on the northeast and the Fraser River borders it on the south and east.


Despite being a suburb of Vancouver today, New Westminster once eclipsed it in importance. Founded by the British in 1859 as the capital of the new colony of British Columbia, it was the first city incorporated in the colony. The name came from Queen Victoria for her favourite part of London and has earned the city the nickname "The Royal City". The hopes for colonial grandeur took a blow when Victoria was named the new capital of British Columbia in 1866. The city's importance continued to gradually decline as the major transportation routes moved north through Coquitlam and Burnaby into Vancouver.

Get in[edit]

Map of New Westminster

See Vancouver for options to get in the Vancouver area by plane, by bus, and by train, and by boat.

New Westminster is easy to access by car.

By car[edit]

From Vancouver's airport, get on Marine Drive and head east for 15-30 minutes (it depends on traffic). From Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway), take the Brunette Ave exit and head south. From Burnaby, driving east on either Kingsway or Canada Way will get you there.

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

The city is fairly compact, measuring only 11 km long and 6.5 km wide so if you are up for a good walk you can get around by foot; however, be warned that much of the city is on the side of a large hill. The street system is mostly a grid, with Columbia Street the major street along the Fraser River and 6th and 12th Streets being the major streets that run back from the river towards Burnaby.

By public transit[edit]

TransLink, +1-604-953-3333. 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). TransLink (Q1142140) on Wikidata TransLink (British Columbia) on Wikipedia  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.

Burnaby and New Westminster are part of the same transit zone, so the cost will be $3.15; getting in from anywhere else will cost $4.55.

By SkyTrain[edit]

There are five SkyTrain stations in New Westminster on the Expo Line. The Expo Line travels to Vancouver's neighbourhoods of downtown, Yaletown-False Creek, Gastown-Chinatown, and East Van, and beyond Vancouver to Burnaby and Surrey.

New Westminster Station being the most useful of the Expo Line stations in New Westminster. It's one block from the Riverfront area and close to shops and restaurants. Columbia Station is also located in downtown New West, but is further east and a longer walk from most attractions. The two stations are roughly 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver.

By bus[edit]

There are several bus routes that serve the city. None link directly with downtown Vancouver, but there are direct links with several transit centers in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and Richmond.

Bus routes are designed to connect New Westminster with Vancouver and other neighbouring municipalities so you may need a transfer depending on where you are going. Bus route #106 goes up 6th St, #112 follows Columbia and 12 Streets, #123 travels along 8th St and #155 cut along 6th Ave at the top of the city. New Westminster, 22nd Street, and Braid SkyTrain stations also have a number of buses that meet there.

By taxi[edit]

By ride hailing[edit]

  • Kabu.
  • Lyft. Lyft (Q17077936) on Wikidata Lyft on Wikipedia
  • Uber. Uber (Q780442) on Wikidata Uber on Wikipedia


Anvil Centre

There are several museums that have information on local history.

  • 1 Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St (corner of 8th & Columbia, across from New Westminster Skytrain station), +1 604-515-3830. 10AM-5PM. Mixed use building with a conference centre and several galleries and a museum. Attractions include:. Anvil Centre (Q24191913) on Wikidata
    • 2 Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (entrance through the New Westminster Museum & Archives). Museum and exhibition of lacrosse in Canada. Displays include history of lacrosse, famous players, traditions and the Canadian championship trophies. Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (Q62596820) on Wikidata Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame on Wikipedia
    • 3 New Westminster Museum & Archives, +1 604-527-4640. Nearly 70,000 photos and objects that cover the history and development of New Westminster. New Westminster Museum and Archives (Q116521852) on Wikidata
    • New Westminster New Media Gallery, +1 604-875-1865. Tu-W F-Su 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-8PM. Rotating exhibits with a focus on art that reflects the contemporary world.
  • 4 Fraser River Discovery Centre, 788 Quayside Drive, +1 604-521-8401. June-Aug: daily 10AM-4PM, Sept-May: W-Sa 10AM-4PM. Geared towards children, it has exhibits and videos on the health and sustainability of the Fraser River. By donation ($6 suggested for an adult).
  • 5 Hyack Square and Wait for Me, Daddy Memorial, Foot of 8th St at Columbia. The square's relatively nondescript appearance belies the vibrant past it once had. Both a commercial centre and the location of the CPR railway station (which still stands), it was one of the hubs of downtown New Westminster. The square was also the site of a bit of photographic history, where the iconic World War IUI photo, Wait for Me, Daddy, was taken. A bronze relief of the image stands in memorial, and there are some images and plaques explaining the history of the square. Free.
  • 6 Irving House Historic Centre, 302 Royal Ave, +1 604-527-4640. Open W-Su 11:30AM-4:30PM in the summer, weekends only noon-4PM in the winter. An old house preserved to show Victorian times and styles. A historical picture gallery and archives is also on-site. Irving House (Q96382887) on Wikidata Irving House on Wikipedia
  • 7 The Tin Soldier, on the Riverfront between the Fraser River Discovery Centre and the River Market. With its bright red jacket — styled after the Royal Engineers who founded New Westminster — the tin soldier is a prominent figure on the city's waterfront. At just under 10 m tall, it's also notable for being in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest tin soldier in the world. Free.


Talking a walk along the boardwalk, New Westminster style
  • 1 Waterfront Esplanade (Eastern end of the Waterfront Esplanade starts at Westminster Quay.). 1.6 mile long well maintained pedestrian path along the Fraser River. New Westminster's closest equivalent to Vancouver's Seawall.
  • 2 Paddlewheeler Riverboat Cruises, 900 Quayside Drive, +1 604-525-4465, . M-F 10AM - 4PM. Offers sightseeing cruises along the Fraser River, with lunch or dinner, holiday and charter options. Contact company to find out when cruises are offered. Prices depend on type of cruise selected. Fully licensed bar and full kitchen with chef onboard. $39-150 depending on cruise selected.


  • 2 Douglas College - New Westminster campus, 700 Royal Ave, +1-604-527-5400. One of the largest publicly funded colleges in the province of British Columbia. It is possible to complete some degrees at this institution and it is possible to transfer course credits from this institution into many public universities within Canada. Douglas College (Q5301348) on Wikidata Douglas College on Wikipedia
  • 3 Justice Institute of British Columbia - New Westminster campus, 715 McBride Blvd, +1-604-525-5422, toll-free: +1-888-865-7764, fax: +1-604-528-5518, . Canada’s leading public safety educator, a publicly funded post-secondary institution that has earned a worldwide reputation for exceptional applied education, training and research. The New Westminster campus is the institution's main campus. Justice Institute of British Columbia (Q16988497) on Wikidata Justice Institute of British Columbia on Wikipedia


  • 1 Antique Alley, 605 Front St, +1 604-759-1422. M-Sa 11AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Antiques and collectibles with everything from furniture to art to funky 50s collectibles to high end Victoriana.
  • 2 Columbia Square Plaza, Columbia and 10th St, +1 604-521-3304. Has a number of small stores, fast food places, Pharmasave with a post office, and a Save-on-Foods (grocery store).
  • 3 Royal City Centre, 6th St at 6th Ave, +1 604-526-6566. An indoor shopping centre with Shoppers Drug Mart and Safeway as anchor tenants. The food court has a variety of choices, A&W, Fresh Slice Pizza, Orange Julius to sushi and Chinese food.


  • 1 Burger Heaven, 77 10th St, +1 604-522-8339. Su-Th 11:30AM-9:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Specializes in burgers and sandwiches. $7-25.
  • 2 The Old Bavaria Haus, 233 6th St, +1 604-524-5824. Open every day from 4:30PM. An old home converted into a taste of Bavaria. Specializes in schnitzel, serving it with a variety of sauces and includes a vegetarian schnitzel. Mains $12-21, appetizers $4-8.
  • 3 The River Market, 810 Quayside Dr, +1 604-520-3881. Anchored by Donalds's Market, the River Market contains a mix of food court and sit down restaurants on the first floor.
  • 4 Taverna Greka, 326 Columbia St, +1 604-526-6651. M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa Su 4-10PM. A Greek restaurant with belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. Mains $13-27, appetizers $5-10.
  • 5 Tamarind Hill Malaysian Cuisine, 628 6th Ave, +1 604-526-3000. Daily 11:30AM-3PM, 5-9PM. While the decor is unappealing, this restaurant makes up for it in tasty, authentic Malaysian dishes. Start with a mix of satays (chicken, beef or lamb) at $1.25 a skewer, the roti canai (Malaysian bread) with a spicy curry dip (2 for $5), and some crispy vegetarian spring rolls (4 for $5). Dinner mains $12-24.
  • 6 Patsara Thai, 528 Carnarvon Street (between 4th Street and 6th Street), +1-778-398-2777. M–F 11:30AM–2:30PM, 5–9PM; Sa Su 5–9PM. Thai food, with a fair selection of vegetarian options. Located in downtown, a block away from Columbia Street. Entrees $9.50.
  • 7 Piva Modern Italian, 787 Columbia Street, +1 604-522-0221, . M–Th 4–10PM, F 11AM–10PM, Sa Su 10AM–10PM. Familiar Italian dishes in a well-regarded new restaurant with caring and attentive service. Substantial vegetarian menu. Both dine-in and take-out available (varies according to public health precautions). Dinners pizza $18–20, pasta $22–26, mains $22–45.
  • 8 The Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia Street (On the corner of Church St), +1-604-759-0819. Daily 10AM–2AM. Burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, and beers. Live music every day: M–Sa 8PM–midnight, Su noon–4PM. Drag show Su 7:30PM. $9–14.
  • 9 El Santo, 680 Columbia Street (between Begbie St and McKenzie St), +1-604-553-1849. Su–Th 11:30AM–10PM, F Sa 11:30AM–11PM. Inspired by Mexican cuisine, but with multiple hipster New West twists. Full bar, including several cocktails and a range of tequilas. entrées $12-28.


A public market, casino, two museums and the world's largest tin soldier - the hub of New Westminster's waterfront
  • 1 Paddlewheeler Pub & Patio, 810 Quayside Dr (at the River Market across from the Inn on the Quay), +1 604-524-1894. M-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 10AM-11PM. Live entertainment on weekends and a patio on the waterfront.
  • 2 River's Reach Pub, 320 6th St, +1 604-777-0101. Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-1AM. Cozy pub with a stone and hardwood interior and fireplace. Has a large selection of imported and domestic beers and has won several awards in the local Readers Choice awards.
  • 3 The Heritage Grill, 447 Columbia St, +1 604-759-0819. 10AM-2AM daily. Laid back jazz club with an outdoor patio, an intimate indoor dining area with stage and bar, as well as separate rooms for special private functions.
  • 4 The Thirsty Duck, 606 Twelfth St, +1 604 526-6411. M-Sa 11:30AM-1:30AM, Su 11AM-midnight. An English-style pub, The Thirsty Duck is most famous for its weekly "Thirsty Thursdays" where every Thursday, a pint of Molson Canadian will only cost you $3.50 + taxes. Wednesday Wing Night is also good value (35 cents per wing).


  • 1 Inn at the Quay, 900 Quayside Dr, +1 604-520-1776, toll-free: +1-800-663-2001, fax: +1 604-520-5645. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Unique hotel designed to resemble a ship, set on pillars extending over Fraser River. Rooms have a queen bed, king bed or two double beds, and feature waterfront views and free Wifi. The hotel has a fitness center and jacuzzi. $230 and up (peak season).
  • 2 The Met Hotel New Westminster, 411 Columbia St, +1 604-520-3815, fax: +1 604-520-0057. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Boutique hotel in a distinctive Victorian-era building. The 27 rooms are fully renovated and include free Wifi and a coffee maker. Some rooms also have a mini-fridge and microwave. There's a pub on the ground floor with a patio and plenty of TVs. $125-155 during summer, $85-100 during winter (parking is $7/day extra).
  • 3 The Admiral Anson Guest House, 1010 3rd Ave, +1 604-528-9939. 1915 Heritage Home renovated to an Olde English Guest House. The kitchen and dining facilities are available for those who wish to cook themselves, "send out" or ask about the many fine restaurants in the area. $39-75 a night (varies with season), $350 a week, plus monthly rates.

Stay safe[edit]

New Westminster is safe in general. The Downtown/Columbia Street area had a bad rep in the city for many years, but has become much safer since the police station relocated to 555 Columbia St and the revitalization work.


The area code for New Westminster is 604.




Go next[edit]

Surrey sits across the Fraser River from New Westminster and can be reached by car across the Pattullo Bridge or heading east on the Expo SkyTrain line. Richmond and Delta can be reached from the Queensborough Bridge (Highway 91A). The 91A south also leads to the U.S. border and Washington state (via Hwy 91 and 99).

Routes through New Westminster
VancouverBurnaby  W  E  CoquitlamHope
END  N  E  ENDS at W S
Vancouver City CentreBurnaby  W Expo Line S  SurreyEND

This city travel guide to New Westminster is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.