New Westminster is a city that sits atop a hill where two Fraser River branches meet. Its location was chosen not just for commercial potential, but also for the strategic value of natural defenses. During the Gold Rush years, 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. It was fortunate that the city only saw furious traffic and trade during that time.
In 1860, New Westminster became the first incorporated city west of the Great Lakes. However, the Fraser River gold rush faded by the late 1860s, and Victoria on Vancouver Island took over as the capital city.
Once it was easy to distinguish Vancouver from its neighbouring cities, but by the 1970s the distinctions had blurred so much that one barely noticed a transition from one city to the next. New Westminster is now positioned at the heart of the Greater Vancouver network, offering a charming blend of old and new. It boasts a picturesque waterfront and beautiful Victorian architecture, making it a vibrant and progressive city with a deep respect for its heritage.
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