New Westminster

Built on the shores of the Fraser River, New Westminster was the first official capital of the Colony of British Columbia until it was replaced by Victoria on Vancouver Island in 1866 with the formation of the province. Named by Queen Victoria (whom disliked the original suggestion for Queensborough), New Westminster takes its name from where British Parliament was located. Its strategic location, perfect for transport by water and land and future railways also made it the gateway into the north and outfitter during the Fraser Gold Rush.

Click on the map pins below to view the available activities within New Westminster

Map of Things to do in New Westminster

New Westminster today is a different city. Tugs and other boats make their way along the Fraser River past historic buildings and industrial areas. The city is full of museums commemorating its status as the oldest city in Western Canada. It was from New Westminster that John 'Gassy Jack' Deighton set sail down the Fraser with his infamous barrel of whiskey and landed in present day Gastown, founding the city of Vancouver.

The city has many key areas of interest - especially along its waterfront. The Westminster Quay with its riverside shops and marketplace is a popular locale throughout the year. The railway that runs throughout the city is some of the oldest in the Greater Vancouver Region having been laid down in 1885 making it one of the biggest port cities transferring goods and people. However, disaster struck in 1898 with the region's largest fires which gutted the city - the residents, determined to rebuild, created a town even more grand then the last.

New Westminster is still one of the area's most celebrated cities with many celebrations, parks and museums displaying photos and artifacts from the over one hundred and fifty years of history in the region. There is no shortage of heritage in 'The Royal City' as it continues to educate and inspire visitors.

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Queen's Park Petting Zoo

The Queen's Park Petting Zoo provides visitors the opportunity to meet farm animals (such as goats, rabbits, pigs, peacocks, chickens, ducks, geese, and other creatures) in an urban setting.

The Royal Westminster Regiment Museum

Inside the impressive Armoury which overlooks the City is the Royal Westminster Regiment Museum which displays artifacts, photos, information to educate visitors and serves as a memorial to those who have and currently serve in this Canadian Regiment.

New Westminster Museum and Archives

Home to 30,000 artifacts ranging from machinery, photos, paintings, books, clothing and more, the New Westminster Museum and Archives strives to teach visitors the history of the region ranging from the presence of First Nations communities to the settlement and evolution of the city that exists today.

New Westminster Police Museum

The Museum, located at the main entrance of the New Westminster Police Station, allows visitors to browse though displays with information, photos and artifacts about the longest serving Police Force in British Columbia.

Fraser River Discovery Centre

Exploring the history, industry, ecosystems and importance of the Fraser River, the Discovery Centre strives to teach visitors about the largest watershed and river in the Province of British Columbia.

Samson V Maritime Museum

As the last steam-powered Paddlewheeler remaining in the region, the Samson V now operates as a Maritime Museum allowing visitors to explore the old engine room, living quarters, galley and wheelhouse, as well as exhibits and displays on the edge of the Fraser River in New Westminster.