Located at the mouth of the Fraser River, New Westminster was the first stop for miners to buy provisions and tools for their journey ahead. In 1859, the Royal Engineers arrived from England to establish the first capital of the new colony of British Columbia. That same year Queen Victoria chose the name of New Westminster and honoured residents by referring to their home as “The Royal City”.
New Westminster is easily accessed by SkyTrain rapid transit link from downtown Vancouver. There are numerous historical sites that can be toured in the city, including Irving House, the oldest intact home in the lower mainland, built in 1865, and the Samson V, the last wooden steam powered sternwheeler to operate in Canada, built in 1937. New Westminster Museum and Archives cares for over 36,000 objects and 35,000 photographs, and has a new home in Anvil Centre, a centrally located civic centre built in 2014.