Discover White Rock, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Modernity
White Rock, British Columbia, is a charming city nestled in Canada's Metro Vancouver Regional District. It is bordered by Semiahmoo Bay to the south and surrounded on three sides by Surrey. The city is named after a large white boulder on its beach, a glacial erratic that migrated south during the last glaciation. The White Rock Pier, a popular tourist attraction, is located nearby.
The Rich History of White Rock, British Columbia
Early History of White Rock, British Columbia
The Straits Salish people dominated the region from Boundary Bay in the north to Birch Bay in the south. Semiahmoo First Nation permanent encampments were known to exist between 1791, the first European contact, and the 1850s, the beginnings of European settlement. The Semiahmoo Trail still exists in White Rock and South Surrey, running from the site of the Boundary Commission Camp at the estuary of the Campbell River, overland to Mud Bay north of Crescent Beach.
Modern History of White Rock, British Columbia
The modern history of White Rock is directly tied to the railway linking British Columbia to Washington state, which runs along the shore of Semiahmoo Bay to the border. The rail is currently owned by BNSF Railway and runs alongside the promenade at the beach. This was originally the Great Northern line, and it opened up White Rock and Crescent Beach to tourists from Vancouver and New Westminster in the early 1900s.
Geography of White Rock, British Columbia
The boundaries between White Rock and Surrey are Bergstrom Road (136 Street) to the west, North Bluff Road (16th Avenue) to the north, Stayte Road (160 Street) to the east, and 8th Avenue to the south. The area south of 8 Avenue from Stayte Road westward to where 8 Avenue meets the water is the Semiahmoo Indian Reserve and lies within the bounds of the City of Surrey.
Climate of White Rock, British Columbia
White Rock has a moderate climate, with average daily high temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius in summer and 6 degrees Celsius in winter. Because the city is set away from the Coast Mountains, it sees less fog, fewer rainy days and shorter snowfalls.
Demographics of White Rock, British Columbia
In the 2021 Canadian census conducted by Statistics Canada, White Rock had a population of 21,939 living in 10,735 of its 11,541 total private dwellings, a change of 10% from its 2016 population of 19,952.
Annual Events in White Rock, British Columbia
Every year in July, the city hosts the Tour de White Rock, a bicycle road race that attracts over 150 local and international riders. Every year during the first weekend of August, the Spirit of the Sea Festival is held on White Rock beach.
Transportation in White Rock, British Columbia
Transportation in White Rock largely revolves around the automobile. Highway 99 is a freeway that links the White Rock area with Vancouver to the north and U.S. Interstate 5, via the Peace Arch border crossing, to the south.
White Rock, British Columbia in Television and Film
Scenes from the boxing film Knockout were filmed in White Rock. Portions of the 1965 film The Railrodder starring Buster Keaton were filmed in White Rock. The USA Network's detective comedy Psych was also filmed in White Rock, though the series is set in Santa Barbara, California.