Why White Rock?

We lived among the beautiful majestic mountains in North Vancouver for three years, and banked in with clouds and rain, was proving to be challenging on my disposition. It was 1984, totally saturated with rain and dark skies, I noticed off in the distance a blue shape in the sky. I asked my husband, Ron, “Honey, what’s that blue spot in the sky?” and he replied, “That’s south my dear, and it is probably White Rock.” Well, after a bit of a drive and an unforgettable visit to this seaside community, that boasts the lowest rainfall in Greater Vancouver, we packed and moved a month later to this very special place, where we still reside today.

The Waterfront Drift - watercolor

Waterfront Drift Series: A watercolor painting with the viewpoint from West Beach to Mount Baker in the background.                                                                                                               Artist: Sherron Fairbairn


The city of White Rock is named after a 486-ton boulder that stands on the crescent shaped beach of Semiahmoo Bay. Geologists say: “that it was deposited here as the result of a glacial erratic that migrated south during the last glaciation,” and As Legend Goes, the Gulf of Georgia was ruled by a Sea God who was worshipped by the Cowichan natives long before the arrival of the discoverers. For fun, look at the ‘Historical Perspective’ the title of a series of articles written by Lorraine and Hugh Ellenwood.

The Rock in White Rock

The historical Rock on West Beach in White Rock – Photograph by Sherron Fairbairn

White Rock is a charming seaside city located on beautiful Semiahmoo Bay, and the first stop traveling north from the USA, at the historical Peace Arch border crossing. White Rock has a colourful and rich beginning, starting with its First Nation inhabitants, and with its folklore and culture.  A row of cottages was built for the customs officers near what is now the Peace Arch border crossing. Because, of its mild weather, its beautiful setting of land and water, and its laid back atmosphere, one can trace its roots as a holiday destination. Without getting too historically accurate, I think it’s clear that White Rock’s beginning as a resort area was fitting. As far back as the early 1900’s holiday campers would arrive by train traveling on newly laid tracks, steamships, and Model A automobiles. They were drawn by the warm, relaxed atmosphere.

White Rock is growing up

Architecture in White Rock

Bosa Towers in White Rock- photography-Sherron Fairbairn

There are a superb array of restaurants, bed & breakfasts, a waterfront hotel and unique blend of shops & boutiques. Uptown White Rock host’s activities, recreational programs and facilities including shopping, malls, restaurants, relaxing spas, diverse arts & entertainment. The RCMP and The White Rock Fire/Rescue Department provide services to keep our community safe and stable. The community is proud of the Peace Arch Hospital it built over 50 years ago old and supports many Social & Human Service Organizations and a much-appreciated library. There are two primary schools and in association with neighboring South Surrey, four secondary schools. The Centennial Park with its facility and programs include an ice arena, curling rink and ravine trails. Check out Softball City, an amazing athletic complex that contains softball diamonds (and other sports fields). Enjoy the ongoing events. The Tour de White Rock – a recognized international cyclist competition that has become an annual world-class event, The Sea Festival, The Moon Festival, and the International Artists Day Event.

White Rock is strategically close to Vancouver and minutes from the Douglas – Peace Arch Canada/United States border crossing. Situated in the southwest of the Lower Mainland this seaside destination is a gateway to great biking and hiking trails and ferries to Vancouver Island. We are within close proximity to world-class golf, wineries, theatre and the convenience of big box stores in South Surrey. Skiing is a one hour drive to the local North Shore Mountains and beyond to Whistler, home of the 2010 winter Olympic games. White Rock is in a position to be a thriving resort community and a premier tourist destination.

Become a part of our exclusive beach community.City of White Rock | Tourism, | Chamber of Commerce.

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