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New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada


Notes: New Westminster is an historically important city in the Greater Vancouver region of British Columbia, Canada
In 1859, New Westminster was selected as the first capital of the new Colony of British Columbia by Queen Victoria, who named the city after part of London . From this naming by the Queen, the City gained its official nickname, "The Royal City". A year later it became the first City to have an elected municipal government. It became a major outfitting point for prospectors coming to the Cariboo gold rush, as all travel to the goldfield ports of Yale and Port Douglas was by steamboat or canoe up the Fraser River.
In 1866, the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island united as "British Columbia". However, the capital for the Colony of Vancouver Island, Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, was made the capital of the newly amalgamated Colony of British Columbia. Victoria was designated as the provincial capital when British Columbia joined Canadian Confederation in 1871.
Historical urban geography
New Westminster has been drastically changed by time and by the results of its incorporation into the wider urbanization of the Lower Mainland:
B.C. Penitentiary
In 1878, the Government of Canada opened the British Columbia Penitentiary, the first federal penitentiary west of Manitoba. "BC Pen" or simply "the Pen" as it was known (and also in old days as the "skookum house" in the English-Chinook Jargon patois common in early BC), was located between the Sapperton neighbourhood and what is now Queen's Park. It housed maximum security prisoners for the next 102 years, closing in 1980. and has been the scene of many famous trials and executions, including those of the Wild McLean Boys, Slumach and Simon Gunanoot. The original centre block (reputedly haunted) of the Pen still stands and has been revamped into condominiums and a fancy restaurant, while the rest of the Pen's grounds have been filled with newly-built townhouses and condominiums.
The Pen's armoury and dockside holding cell have been restored as a riverside park on the Fraser River, which will ultimately connect to the regional network of biking and walking trails and the city's waterfront promenade project.
New Westminster's Chinatown was one of the earliest established in the mainland colony and also one of the largest. Originally located along Front Street, it was relocated to an area known as "The Swamp" at the southwest end of downtown, bounded roughly by Royal Avenue, Columbia Street, and 8th and 12th Streets (now a large shopping plaza area). Chinatown was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1898 and only partly rebuilt afterwards.
Columbia Street
Until the completion of the Highway 1 Freeway, which bypassed New Westminster to its north, Columbia Street along the city's waterfront was the main commercial retail and service centre for the Fraser Valley and nearby areas of Burnaby and Coquitlam. Most major department store chains as well as long-established New Westminster retailers thrived in a time when road travel to Vancouver remained distant for Valley communities and also when daily interurban rail service to and from Chilliwack was still in place. The quality of shops was such that even Vancouverities would make the trip by interurban or, later on, by Kingsway (originally called the Westminster Highway or Westminster Road) to shop on Columbia Street. As well as the retailers, Columbia Street was also home to major movie houses, the Columbia and the Paramount, rivalling in size and quality those on Vancouver's Theatre Row. The freeway is generally conceded to have "killed" Columbia Street, and it has remained in a slump despite ongoing civic efforts to revitalize it. As of October 2006, Columbia Street is undergoing reconstruction to change to a 1 lane street, both directions. The city of New Westminster is adding a bike lane and reverse angle parking. This is being done in an effort to encourage more foot and bicycle traffic.
Front Street
Originally a dockside street and market, and also the location of the original Chinatown, Front Street was converted into a truck-route bypass and elevated parkade during the 1960s in an effort to provide increased parking for adjacent Columbia Street. In recent decades it has been the focus of the city's thriving antiques and second-hand trade. It has also been used as a location in feature films such as Rumble in the Bronx (substituting for the Bronx) and Shooter (doubling for Philadelphia, with the Fraser River being the Delaware River). All these shops are relocating in the next few years as Front Street and its parkade will be demolished to make way for the new North Fraser Expressway.


City/Town : Latitude: 49.206861, Longitude: -122.911222


Matches 1 to 5 of 5

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Died    Person ID 
1 van den Berg, Frouwke Maria  Jan 2004New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada I11234
2 Einfeld, Fritz  16 May 1987New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada I105735
3 OCallaghan, Hugh  07 Jan 1976New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada I256003
4 Savenije, Frederikus Hendrik Franciscus  Jan 1990New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada I11224
5 Savenije, Paul  11 Jun 2001New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada I13429



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