The three communities of Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta make up the municipality of Delta, which is a small suburb located south of Vancouver, Canada. Bordered by water on three sides – the Georgia Straight, Boundary Bay, and the Fraser River – it is home to some amazing parks and wetlands and is a good off the beaten track day trip from Vancouver. At Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen when the tide is out, its possible to walk (or lie in a beach chair) along the sand, far from the beach front. If you’re lucky and the visibility is high, you can see Mount Baker towering above the beach.
What began as a simple farming and fishing community grew exponentially in the early 1960’s after the completion of the George Massey Tunnel and the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which opened up the area for residential growth and expanding importance. Located west of Surrey and south of Richmond, it became a well-connected transportation route, with highway 99 connecting this new region to the rest of the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island via the ferries and the US Border. There is still today a lot of farmland here, growing crops in the fertile lands of the river delta, but it has quickly become a residential destination because of its close proximity to Vancouver.
One thing that is certain; it is more than just a place to drive through on your way to the ferry terminal. There are many incredible parks and nature reserves worth exploring, with incredible views of the Fraser River. Delta is also home to one of the best (and underrated) beaches in Greater Vancouver. Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen is part of Boundary Bay Regional Park, and home to a long stretch of sandy beach surrounded by massive wetlands great for bird watching.
Boundary Bay is tidal, so when the tides retreat its possible to walk quite far out along the sand between the sandbars surrounded by trapped water. To the east of the park – a little bit past the residential Beach Grove neighborhood – the Boundary Bay Dike Trail connects Tsawwassen to Surrey along the shores of Boundary Bay. The trail runs 20-km from start to finish and is great for bike rides (especially because it’s nice and flat) allowing for great views of Boundary Bay.
The village of Ladner is a good place to visit, and the old historic center is attempting to go through a revival. It is certainly the nicest of the 3 city centers. Just east of Ladner, along River Road West, are some great places to explore the wilderness along the banks of the Fraser River. There are two fantastic spots along here to watch the sunset, as both Brunswick Point and Wellington Point Park’s are two fantastic spots along the river.
For birdwatchers, you can’t miss a trip to Westham Island to visit the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary, which is part of the Alaksen National Wildlife Area and is an important stopover for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway.
For tourists, it is definitely a little bit off the beaten track. There are several amazing parks to visit, and if you’re lucky there is a good chance you will see eagles on the river, or high above stalking their prey.
Low Tide on Boundary Bay. 2006.
Boundary Bay Flying Club. 2018.
The Boundary Marker between the United States and Canada. 2018.
Boundary Bay Wetlands. 2018.
Centennial Beach in Tsawwassen. 2018.
Flowers along the edge of the Dike. 2018.
Low tide on Boundary Bay. 2018.
Wetlands of Boundary Bay. 2018.
Searching for treasure. 2018.
Boundary Bay. 2018.
Wetlands of Boundary Bay. 2018.
Ladner & The Fraser River:
Eagles Nest. 2018.
Amazing Sunset on the Fraser River. 2018.
Snowy reflection on the Fraser River. 2007.
Eagle Flying along the River. 2008.
The Westham Island Bridge at Sunset. 2018.
Fishing Boats on the Fraser. 2012.
Fishing Boat returning to Ladner. 2008.
Bird House on the Fraser River. 2008.
Fishing Boats late at night. 2007.
Mute Swans. 2008.
Fishing Boat on the Fraser River. 2007.
Sunset Reflecting off a Sailboat. 2008.
A swan disrupts the stillness of a snowy night on the Fraser River. 2007.
Eagle Flying (with a plane taking off in the distance). 2008.
A family of Mute Swans along the Fraser River. 2008.
The Fraser River in action. 2007.
Sunset reflecting off the houseboats along the Fraser River. 2008.
Tug Boat leaving the Fraser River. 2006.
An eagle sits on the edge of the Fraser River. 2006.
Islands of the Fraser River Delta. 2008.
Fishing Boat on the Fraser. 2007.
Where the land ends and the Georgia Straight begins. 2018.
Tsawwassen & Around Delta:
Rainy Sunset at Tsawwassen Beach. 2018.
Delta Container Port from Above. 2006.
Low tide / Georgia Straight. 2007.
Farm Field in West Ladner with Delta Port in the background. 2018.
Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. 2018.
Burns Bog Burning. 2005.
Train tracks at Watershed Park in North Delta. 2005.
Blue Herron’s during the Blue Hour at Tsawwassen Beach. 2018.