There are things that you don't even wonder about until someone asks. I've been a regular at the Quay since the time, 15 years ago, when I lived just up the hill and walked its length every non-rainy day. And now I had to look up the word in the dictionary.
What is the New West Quay? Well, for starters, it's not exactly a quay, at least for most of its length. A quay is
"A mole, bank, or wharf, formed toward the sea, or at the side of a harbor, river, or other navigable water, for convenience in loading and unloading vessels." Dictionary.netUpriver of the hotel, there's a long loading dock for large boats, and three smaller wharves for smaller craft. This was the original development which gave the whole area its name.
Here's a satellite view, courtesy of Google:
The right side of the photo is upriver. The quay goes alongside the parking lot, and the big boat is the Royal Casino. It's the only boat that docks there, these days. The pale blue roof is the Quay Market, now closed for renovations. (We will miss this, once the warm weather arrives; so will the pigeons and sparrows that forage around the outdoor tables.)
By the parking lot, and the disused loading dock, looking upriver towards the Patullo Bridge.
The three smaller docks service assorted tugs and fishboats,
...the Samson V, a sternwheeler/museum, open all summer (for now),
"The Samson V is a wooden steam-powered sternwheeler built for the federal Department of Public Works for use as a snag-boat on the Fraser River."and a dock for river tour boats.
And now the quay has become a promenade. No boats tie up here; it is a half-mile of paved path and boardwalk along the river bank. On the landward side, in the narrow strip between here and the railroad tracks, luxury condominiums have sprung up.
This is the "Banana Belt"; here on New West's south slope, temperatures are mild, and spring starts early. And so do the gardeners, to good effect:
Weekends, the walk is always busy; families with small children on tricycles, parents taking the kids to the playground at mid-point, joggers and skaters, older folk sunning on the benches, tourists giving their cameras a workout, shoppers on their way back from the market, dogs of all shapes and sizes, on leash. We usually come mid-week, when we have space to admire the gardens properly.
We walk down the promenade a couple of times a month. Often, the plants are new to us; exotic species from farther south, or newly-developed varieties, sporting colours and patterns never seen before. Most do not survive the winter. But come spring again, the gardeners will appear, bearing gifts.
The condos below the railroad bridge are surrounded by shallow ponds, in lieu of lawns. This is where we took those watery photos last week.
So, no, Dawn, it's not like Venice; no gondoliers on these ponds. Only the ducks and goldfish use them for transportation.
But we do have UFOs.