Situated between Surrey and Burnaby, just 30 minutes southeast of downtown Vancouver, is where you will discover the charming city of New Westminster. Between the city’s central location, walkability, plethora of green space, and diverse culture - attracting everyone from millennials to seniors, there is so much to love about this Metro Vancouver city. It’s also a great spot for families. School District 40 operates a range of public primary and secondary schools, which are among the best in the city. There are also several Montessori school options. Beyond education, New Wesetminster is home to a variety of family-friendly attractions, like the Fraser Discover Centre, the New Westminster Museum, Anvil Centre, Vancouver Circus School, Queen’s Park, and Westminster Pier Park, the latter of which features a picturesque boardwalk. Further, New Westminster has an excellent public transportation system, benefitting from Metro Vancouver’s TransLink system of buses and SkyTrains. For instance, there are five SkyTrain stations in New Westminster alone (22nd Street, Columbia, Braid, New Westminster, and Sapperton), allowing residents to reach downtown Vancouver in 40 minutes or less, even during rush hour. Additionally, given New Westminster’s long, rich history, each neighbourhood is teeming with character and historic charm. You can find lots of tree-lined streets and heritage homes. It also has an incredibly low crime rate, making it safe for people of all ages. Overall, if you’re considering moving to the Metro Vancouver area but aren’t sure where to settle, consider New Westminster. It is extremely well-connected to the rest of the Lower Mainland, is a hub of culture and history, offers top-notch amenities for families, and housing is relatively affordable compared to other parts of the city. Fun fact: New Westminster was once the capital of British Columbia when it was a colony in the 19th century. It was in 1858 that it was named the capital. However, by 1866, when the Mainland and Island colonies merged, Victoria was named the new capital.
Quality and diversity of education in New Westminster
The New Westminster School District, or BC School District No. 40, is responsible for operating all public elementary and secondary schools in the City of New Westminster. However, residents will also have their pick of religious, French Immersion, and private institutions. On top of this, New Westminster borders Burnaby, which is home to Simon Fraser University. This means that you won’t have to go far to receive a stellar post-secondary education. That said, since New Westminster is only half an hour from downtown Vancouver, which can be easily accessed by public transit, this opens up several other post-secondary opportunities. For example, in Vancouver, you will find the University of British Columbia, Capilano University, Vancouver Film School, the Art Institute of Vancouver, and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Most populous cities in New Westminster
Some of the most populous neighbourhoods in New Westminster, BC include Sapperton, Brunette Creek, Queensborough, Glenbrooke North, and Connaught Heights.
Quality of infrastructure for New Westminster
New Westminster residents benefit from a truly stellar public transportation system. Metro Vancouver’s TransLink system operates a plethora of bus routes in the area, as well as the SkyTrain. There are not one but five SkyTrain stations in New Westminster alone. They are 22nd Street, Columbia, Braid, New Westminster, and Sapperton. This means that residents can travel from New Westminster to downtown Vancouver in under 40 minutes, even during rush hour. This public transit accessibility is nearly unrivalled when compared to other Metro Vancouver cities. If you’re travelling by car, the Kingsway runs right through New Westminster and will take you to downtown Vancouver, while Marine Way will take you directly to Vancouver International Airport in nearby Richmond. In terms of healthcare, the Royal Columbian Hospital serves the City of New Westminster, though there are other options close by like Burnaby Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Vancouver General Hospital.
Safety and security for New Westminster
The New Westminster Police Department (NWPD) upholds the safety and security of New Westminster at all times. That said, crime rates in this area are low, as is the risk of natural disasters. In an emergency, residents can access emergency services by calling 9-1-1.
New Westminster property market
New Westminster is one of the most up-and-coming areas in the Metro Vancouver Area. It is sought after by young professionals, families, and seniors alike. Thus, buying here is likely to be a smart investment. Due to the rapid growth that the city has experienced, New Westminster now features all kinds of homes, from apartments and condos to bungalows, townhomes, semi-detached homes, and detached homes.
Standard of living in New Westminster
If you choose to call New Westminster home, your quality of life will be high. Why? Due to the fact that New Westminster boasts all kinds of cultural attractions and amenities, is easily accessible via public transportation, and is relatively affordable compared to other parts of Vancouver. Plus, New Westminster is considered part of Vancouver, which is considered to be one of the most liveable cities in the world. The Global Liveability Index recently published its 2023 Liveability Report, which analyzed cities all across the globe, comparing them using metrics like stability, healthcare, culture & environment, and education, and Vancouver was named the fifth most liveable city on the planet.
Something wonderful about New Westminster
New Westminster is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Here, you will find multiple live performance venues, like Massey Theatre, Burr Theatre, and the Bernie Legge Theatre. The city also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, such as the New West Cultural Crawl, the Mushtari Begum Festival of Indian Classical Music and Dance, the New West Film Festival, the New West Farmers Market, and Halloweekend on the River.