The Land Of Sun.
One of the things Tsawwassen-ites love to share is how sunny it is here, and yet so many people still aren’t “in” on the best kept secret in the Lower Mainland. Tsawwassen literally means “facing the ocean” but it’s also known as the land of the sun. The self-proclaimed “Land of Sun” gets 3 full days of sunshine for every 1 in Vancouver though we’re only a short 40-minute drive away. Perhaps this abundance of sun, along with the laid-back pace of the beach-side community is why visitors often say that they feel as if they’re on a holiday when they come here. You could say it’s the sunnier side of life.
There’s no doubt that sunny skies will get your energy up, so pull out your shades and flip-flops and get some R&R at the beach, check out the views of BC’s coastal mountains and Washington State’s Mount Baker, and discover the 250+ businesses that call Tsawwassen home. You’ll find dozens of boutique-shops, award-winning restaurants, a variety of professional services and unique, locally-owned coffee shops. Once you go, you’ll know.
A Family-Friendly Beach Community
Tsawwassen is a mostly residential community located in the southwestern corner of the Corporation of Delta, in the Lower Mainland, though there are hundreds of shops and boutiques that make this community an entity on its own. And because it is a peninsula, Tsawwassen is surrounded by the ocean, which has blessed the area with some of the most inspiring waterfront and beach terrain, anywhere.
The beaches and parks are what make Tsawwassen an ideal family destination. People travel from near and far to spend a day at Centennial Beach or Deifenbaker Park, or to hike “the stairs” at Fred Gingell Park. And on your scenic drive here, you’ll pass through productive and pastoral farms and greenhouse veggies, and will likely see an eagle or blue heron along the way. Fishing is also a popular pastime around here as boats can be launched on both sides of the peninsula. There are so many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.
Tsawwassen is also home to the BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which connects the Lower Mainland with Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands; the Boundary Bay Airport; the Roberts Bank Superport; and provides the only road access to the community of Point Roberts, Washington, via 56th Street.
The Tsawwassen Story
Historically, Tsawwassen is home to the Tsawwassen First Nation, a Coast Salish people who may have lived in the area for over 4,200 years (the age of the oldest archaeological site found on English Bluff). Eight different prehistoric villages have been unearthed around Tsawwassen. A large, mostly undeveloped but agricultural part of north-west Tsawwassen, was formally known as the Tsawwassen First Nation Reserve, and is now a self-governed jurisdiction known as the Tsawwassen First Nation. Tsawwassen First Nation, which is comprised of 724 hectares of land, officially became a neighbouring jurisdiction of Delta (and specifically to the communities of Tsawwassen and Ladner) on April 3rd, 2009.
The history of Tsawwassen, and the municipality of Delta, is on display at the Delta Museum and Archives, on Delta Street, in Ladner Village.
On the southeast corner of the peninsula is the community of Boundary Bay also known as Boundary Beach, which originated in the 1890s as a seaside summer community for wealthy Vancouverites. Some of the original cottages still stand, many as renovated and updated homes, as well as modern contemporary single family homes and waterfront architectural residences. To the south, “The Bay” as it is referred to by residents, borders on the neighbourhood of Maple Beach in Point Roberts, WA. A Canada/US customs checkpoint joined the two communities (at the foot of 67th Street) until it was closed in the 1970s. Currently, Boundary Bay Road provides the only access route to this neighbourhood community.
Other areas within Tsawwassen which have names but are not necessarily distinct communities include:
Beach Grove, is situated on the edge of Boundary Bay, further north from the community of Boundary Bay. It is located on the east side of 56th Street, between 12th and 17A Avenue. This neighbourhood is surrounded by old-growth trees, and has a distinct, eclectic, beach community feel.
The Highlands, is the area just to the northwest of Downtown Tsawwassen, behind the Town Centre Mall and situated around Highland Park.
Pebble Hill, is the area surrounding Diefenbaker Park and Pebble Hill Park.
Tsawwassen Heights, is a small area located on English Bluff Road, south of 1st Ave. Two totem poles stand on either side of the road here as its official gateway.
The Terrace, is a terraced subdivision located between 56th Street, the Tsawwassen Nature Reserve, and the American border.
English Bluff, is the area along English Bluff Road, where many of the most expensive homes in the community enjoy commanding ocean views.
Stahaken, is a large area of houses built on land belonging to Tsawwassen First Nation. This land is leased to the Town of Tsawwassen on a hundred year basis; the current lease expires in 2089.
The Village; adjacent to Stahaken, is a wealthy subdivision built on the west side of English Bluff Road, overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Another totem pole stands at its entrance at Wesley Drive.
Tsatsu Shores, is a large apartment complex beneath English Bluff, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It too was built on land leased from Tsawwassen First Nation.
Imperial Village, is a large subdivision located east of 52nd Street at 16th Avenue.
Forest-by-the-Bay, is a housing development off of 56th Street and 6th Avenue beside Tsawwassen’s only cemetery.
Boundary Bay, is a quiet beach-side community situated on Boundary Bay between Boundary Bay Regional Park and the US border.