NEW WESTMINSTER IS CHANGING
Over the years New Westminster’s fortunes waxed and waned with the lumber and fishing industries. Warehouses, sawmills and packing plants that once lined the waterfront have now been mostly replaced by modern townhouses and condos all linked by parks, gardens and a public promenade. New Westminster’s historic Downtown is revitalizing with new development as builders and buyers seek out affordable urban alternatives to Vancouver while still retaining a quick connection to the big city from its five SkyTrain stations.
NEW WESTMINSTER ENTERTAINMENT & TOURISM
Located in Greater Vancouver, New Westminster is quickly becoming a hub for entertainment, tourism, and the arts. Filled with eclectic markets, art exhibits, museums, bars, restaurants and events, locals and tourists alike can find a little bit of everything in New West.
From drawing and painting to textiles and sculpture, artists of all crafts find inspiration and a welcoming community in New Westminster. The Arts Council of New Westminster was founded in 1967. This community organization fosters a local passion for the arts through handmade markets, gallery exhibits, and podcasts. Not surprisingly, celebrating diversity and culture is a big part of what makes New Westminster such a vibrant, artistic city. The New West Cultural Crawl is an annual event that showcases the work of local, up-and-coming artists across the city. You won’t want to miss it!
If you’re in the mood to explore with your taste buds, look no further than River Market. Located next to the Fraser River, this scenic stretch offers over 70,000 square feet of food and shopping. Dive into new tastes with specialty food vendors, browse through a local and organic grocery store, or spend the day exploring one of their many food festivals. Once you’re full, head upstairs to the second level to shop at local vendors, or grab a gelato or a cup of freshly ground coffee.
Get a breath of fresh air in one of the many outdoor parks and recreation centers throughout New Westminster. Queen’s Park offers basketball, tennis, baseball, and softball fields for public use. Play a game of football or soccer at Queen’s Park Farm, or cool down in one of the many spray parks located across Hume Park, Moody Park, Ryall Park, Sapperton Park, and Queen’s Park. You can even bring your dog and let them play in the off-leash dog area, featuring double fence safety gates, waste receptacles, and plenty of hills to explore.
New Westminster even has plenty of museums and historic centers for educational family outings (or for the history buff). The Irving House Historic Center gives a firsthand look at what life was like during the Victorian period. Built more than 140 years ago, the center was once the home of Captain William Irving, steamship captain and entrepreneur. Each visit includes a 45-minute guided tour through 14 fully furnished rooms. Take a trip back in time through exquisitely preserved clothing, pictures, and more!
NEW WESTMINSTER CITY GUIDE
There are two key areas of New West: the east half and the west half. While there are many similarities between the two, there are some key differences when it comes to the real estate market. To help you decide whether you should look at realty listings in the east half of the west half, let’s take a look at what makes these two sections unique.
The eastern section of New Westminster consists of the following neighbourhoods: The Heights, Sapperton, Queen’s Park, Glenbrooke South, and Glenbrooke North. Real estate options throughout these neighbourhoods tend to have a more suburban feel, with plenty of parks, community centers, and outdoor fields for sports and recreation. The eastern side of New West is a great option for homeowners who want a quieter and greener neighbourhood – without sacrificing easy access to signature New Westminster amenities such as restaurants, shopping centers, and the arts district. Here, you’ll find sprawling detached homes, high-end mansions, and historic neighbourhoods brimming with character. Though many homes in the eastern section of New Westminster come with a higher price tag, the ability to unwind with lush community parks and historic construction is often a desirable tradeoff.
On the other side is the western section of New Westminster, which encompasses Downtown New West, Kelvin, West End, Connaught Heights, Uptown, and Brow of the Hill neighbourhoods. You’ll find a more urban feel in the western side, with plenty of business parks, easy access to public transportation, bars, restaurants, gyms, and more. The real estate market on the western side is the perfect fit for homeowners who want to stay close to the hustle and bustle of city life (and all of the amenities that come with it). Realty listings in western New Westminster tend to center around condos and townhomes, making it easy for many young professionals to live, work, and play in the same area. However, certain neighbourhoods (such as Queensboro and Brow of the Hill) have plenty of free-standing homes, which keeps the western side an attractive option for younger, active families.
WHY LIVE IN NEW WESTMINSTER?
There’s a lot to love about New Westminster! From its picturesque location on the water to its bustling arts and entertainment, New West is quickly becoming a favourite destination for families, art-lovers, musicians, and foodies alike. Here are some of our favourite reasons to choose New Westminster as your new home:
- Easy Commute: As part of Greater Vancouver, living in New Westminster and commuting to Vancouver is very convenient. Take the Expo Line from one of five SkyStations and you’ll find yourself in Vancouver in 30 minutes or less!
- Great for Families: Parks, outdoor activities, family-friendly festivals, museums, and fine arts all make for terrific family outings! Add friendly neighbours, walkable streets, safe communities, and high-quality schools, and you’ve got the perfect place to raise a family.
- Heritage and Character: New Westminster real estate holds plenty of vibrant, historic, neighbourhoods. Instead of being bombarded with cookie-cutter housing plans, you’ll find plenty of character, history, and style.
- Food and Drink: Eating and drinking are basic necessities, but in New West, it’s an art form. From locally-owned restaurants to multicultural food trucks to craft breweries, a night out on the town is anything but bland.
- Outdoor Activities: From poetry readings to concerts to sporting events, outdoor activities are nearly limitless in New Westminster. Not only does the city boast an expansive public parks system, but the waterfront offers a wide range of activities as well. Get your blood pumping in the Queen’s Park Outdoor Fitness Circuit, and take a stroll along Pier Park.
Fun activities, historic sites, family-friendly entertainment, and the great outdoors are all at arm’s reach in New Westminster. Best of all, New Westminster brings all the convenience and community amenities of a booming metropolis with the walkability and vibrancy of a growing, neighbourly city.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT NEW WESTMINSTER REAL ESTATE
With its close proximity to Vancouver and its unique character, historical sites, and location on the Fraser River, New Westminster is a magnet for tourists and immigrants alike throughout the globe. Perhaps it’s not surprising that in 2016, the population of New Westminster totalled more than 70,000.
Not only does a growing, multicultural population create a desirable blend of cultures, arts, and entertainment, but it also shapes the state of the housing market. According to the Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book, the average household income for New Westminster families was slightly over $89,000 in 2019. New Westminster can certainly be more expensive to call home, but the amenities and vibrant character are well worth the investment.
Of course, each and every neighbourhood has its own average cost, amenities, and community atmosphere that will influence the cost of realty in New West. The best way to find the right home for you – whether you want a detached home, a condo, or a townhome – is to talk with your real estate agent. Together, we’ll help you find the perfect New Westminster home for your lifestyle, your needs, and your budget!