Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ask a simple question ...

I promised Dawn a post to answer her questions about New Westminster Quay.

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."
Upriver 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 Casino.

The three smaller docks service assorted tugs and fishboats,

Working tug

...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.

Sternwheeler tour boat, with a glimpse of the Samson's paddlewheel at the next dock.

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:

Mid-July along the "Quay".

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.

Jaya, collecting fallen rhododendron petals.


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.

The dark green areas are ponds.

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.

(Ok, I cheated. It was there, all right, but I deleted a tiny bit.)



  1. Aren't you getting clever, manipulating the photo like that!

    I went on that paddle wheeler ...up to Ft. Langley and back. Kind of fun.

  2. What an interesting place!
    Thanks for taking the time and to put the post together.
    I like how you used google to show the property and the water that surrounds them. Really puts things in perspective.
    I can see why you like to go for walks there. Very beautiful place!
    I would report that UFO if i were you..LOL...I blew up the photo and couldn't figure out what the UFO was..street lamp perhaps? or a diving helmet?
    Again ...thanks for taking the time to show me around...maybe someday our wheels will drive up that way.

  3. What a fantastic places,Thanks for taking me free to visit all these places through your excellent snaps.Hope I will see in real oneday:-)


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