Favorite thing: What I loved most about New Westminster, is that the museums here are free. I'm not sure about the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, but the New Westminster Museum and Archives, Irving House, and Samson V, are all non-profit. With most attractions and museums in Vancouver, being incredibly overpriced, it was great to find some interesting museums, that were free.
If you wanted to visit some museums in Vancouver, but felt they were to expensive, take advantage, and visit the museums in New Westminster. You'll see some interesting stuff, learn a lot of history, and save yourself a lot of money. It's nice to give a donation though.
Fondest memory: The tour of the Irving House was my favorite. Absolutely beautiful place. My favorite part, was when a ghost shuffled across the floor, in the hallway.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: Columbia street can be pretty interesting. It is New Westminster's main downtown street and you can find a number of cafes, pubs, and small shops. Wedding service shops on Columbia are all over the place and so are many second hand shops. The street has undergone a revival as of late. However, be warned. Drug deals are still commonplace around the New Westminster Skytrain station.
Stroll Down Antique Alley
Favorite thing: This is a pretty cool place to go retro and find all those old useless things. This row of shops, dedicated to the nostalgic, is located on Front Street near the Westminster Quay. The street is also well known as a site for movie productions. I've seen the street used for the Will Smith movie "I Robot" as well as Jackie Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx". It's been in others as well as it apparently resembles parts of Chicago.
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: New Westminster was founded on a lofty hill where two branches of the Fraser River meet. The site was chosen as much for the strategic value of its natural defenses as for the commercial potential of the area. In 1859, New Westminster was the mainland berth for the fleet of sternwheelers that plied the waters between Victoria and Yale, the starting point of the Cariboo Wagon Road. Take a walk along the river and watch the working and pleasure vessels still operating. On average, more than 36 million tonnes of cargo were shipped through Fraser River Port in 2003. This volume has made Fraser River Port the second largest in Canada, generating $2.1 billion in local economic output and 12,400 direct jobs. Take a tour with the Fraser River Discovery Centre near Westminster Quay to learn more about this great river.
World's Tallest Tin Soldier
Favorite thing: New Westminster was not about to be left aside in the pursuit of roadside attractions that seemed to grip BC in the late 20th century. In the autumn of 2000, the Simon Fraser Society for Community Living, a support organization for disabled children, came up with the idea to raise awareness of child disabilities and build community spirit. Sheet Metal Workers and their employers were asked to help build the world’s tallest tin soldier as part of a Christmas celebration hosted by the SFSCL.
In 2002 the tin soldier received the official designation from the Guinness Book of Records confirming it as the world’s largest at 3 stories high. The tin soldier now stands permanent guard at the entrance to the New Westminster Quay Public Market.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: The Minto Cup is located in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. It is awarded annually to the champion junior men's lacrosse team of Canada. It was donated in 1901 by the Governor-General, Lord Minto, but until 1934 was awarded to the senior men's champion of Canada. During that period the Mann Cup, the trophy currently awarded to the senior champion, was also awarded to a national men's champion in a separate competition. The Minto Cup senior competition was dominated by the New Westminster Salmonbellies, who held the trophy for 21 of the 29 years in which it was contested (the competition was suspended during World War I).
In 1934 the last trustee appointed to supervise the Cup died, and the Lord Minto of the day eventually transferred it to the Canadian Lacrosse Association, which decided to award it as the trophy for the national junior men's champion, starting in 1937. Originally, the competition was between all-star provincial teams formed by adding players to the provincial champion. In 1960 this practice was abandoned and the trophy has since been competed for by the Junior A provincial champions of British Columbia of the BCLA,Ontario of the OLA and recently Alberta, of the ALA the only provinces where organized lacrosse thrives.
My brother's name is on the Minto Cup as he played on the 1994New Westminster Salmonbellies team.
Favorite thing: The Mann Cup can be found in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. It is the trophy awarded to the senior men's lacrosse champions of Canada. It was donated in 1901 by Sir Donald Mann. It was originally a challenge trophy, but in 1925 the trophy was turned over to the Canadian Lacrosse Association who instituted a national playoff system. Since 1935 the Mann Cup competition has been played under box lacrosse rules between the champions of the Ontario Lacrosse Association and the Western Lacrosse Association. The New Westminster Salmonbellies have won the most Mann Cups with 24. The Peterborough Lakers are the next most successful team with 10.
Go to Antique Alley!
Fondest memory: If you're into looking at antiques, retro collectables, old toys from the 70's and 80's, medievil furnature and candelabras, 2001 Space Odyssey influenced record players, army surplus gear, 1950's diner sparkly red vinyl barstools, old sports memorabilia, among other funky objects - this is the place for you! Antique Alley is a row of shops, all dedicated to collectables and antiques. It's located on Front Street, just down from Westminster Quay.
Note: If you've seen the 2004 movie, I Robot, starring Will Smith, you might recognize Antique Alley from the opening scene where they show what life in Chicago circa 2035 looks like. This entire part of the movie was filmed up and down Antique Alley, with all the shops done up in futuristic facades.
- Arts and Culture
Fondest memory: Westminster Quay (pronounced "key") is a large marketplace and wharf overlooking the Fraser river. It's New West's version of Vancouver's Granville Island Public Market. Here you'll find fresh produce, flowers, homemade chocolates, a wonderful bakery, ice cream, fresh meat, seafood and poultry, craft shops and other good things. There are shops upstairs, like my favourite from childhood, the gem shop (where you can buy little gems from all over the world), and the bookstore. Trolls Seafood restaurant is upstairs, as is a tiny little food court. Here you can eat anything from Japanese, Chinese, fish n chips, hot dogs (Orange Julius anyone?), among other tasty treats - perfect for when you need a bite to eat. Westminster Quay tends to be a lot more busy on the weekends, but in all reality, the crowds aren't bad at all.
- Family Travel
Fraser River waterfront
Favorite thing: Take a walk around the waterfront at the Westminster Quay.
During my last visit to Westminster Quay in August 2001, there was an environmental and wildlife awareness display all along the waterfront. Each society and organization had their own booth full of interactive displays.
Generally the waterfront is more interesting on a sunny day. Buy an ice cream from the Quay and watch the river traffic go by. It's a great place to relax.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: Columbia is New Westminster's main downtown street, home to various little shops, cafes and bars. If you're into second hand stores, this is the place to be. Strangely there are many wedding dress stores on Columbia for reasons I'm not quite sure of. Some of my favourite shops on Columbia are the Book Warehouse, the Salvation Army (aka "Sally Ann"), and the Army & Navy (a budget department store). Just down the block from Columbia Street is the New Westminster Key and Antique Alley.
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